Where We Stayed
My parents have traveled to the islands of Hawaii almost every year for the past ten years for a work function so they've visited several different resorts and islands. This made planning a breeze as we went to their all time favorite resort: the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel located near Kona on the Big Island (Hawaii).
Overall, I loved the hotel- our rooms were amazing, the pool was big, it had a beach, had lots of activities to do, has a nice spa/fitness center, has a few restaurant options, and has a shopping center near by that has a grocery store, more restaurants, and some cute shops!
Hawaiian Style Cafe- This is a total dive style of a place but is so good! My dad is actually obsessed with their speciality dish, the Loco Moco, and we visited twice during our trip for both breakfast and lunch at both their Kona and Hilo locations. I definitely prefer their breakfast and their pancakes can't be beat as they're gigantic!
Tommy Bahama- Located in the Mauna Lani Shops, Tommy Bahama is a restaurant that has the same beachy, coastal feel of the Tommy Bahama stores. I was positively surprised by Tommy Bahama as my meal was amazing and they had awesome desserts too!
Luau at the Fairmont Orchid- One of the nights we were there we attended a luau at a neighboring hotel, the Fairmont Orchid. It was such a cool experience with amazing food so I would definitely recommend!
The Canoehouse- This restaurant is actually a part of the Mauna Lani and is gorgeous! A large portion of the seating is outside with amazing ocean/beach views. It's a bit more on the fancy side and has a lot of seafood options as well as some steak. The desserts are really good too- my parents had the Baked Hawaii, which was so good!
The Volcano- The Big Island was formed from a volcano and now you can actually visit the larger volcano on the island that's a national park. It's super easy to access as there's multiple attractions that you can drive to! Not to mention, how many times in your life can you see a volcano in real life?
Dolphin Discoveries- My siblings and I all were dying to swim with some dolphins while we were in Hawaii so that was very high on our priority list while planning our trip. We were able to snorkel alongside the dolphins, which was so cool and was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me!
Akaka Falls- Our hotel recommended visiting Akaka Falls and it was amazing! I love waterfalls and it was cool to walk through the lush jungle paths. Akaka Falls is just outside of Hilo and is definitely worth the visit!
Black Sand Beach- Colorful sand beaches are always a go-to on guides for various destinations but the Black Sand Beach was the first one I've gone to and was so cool! It takes around two hours from Kona to get to and is more of a "see" destination than a "do" but it's a must see in my book nonetheless!
Pearl Harbor- Although Pearl Harbor and Honolulu are located on Oahu, it's only a hour flight away and is a great day trip. My parents had visited before and wanted us to see it, especially since we were relatively close. Especially after taking AP United States History or any history class, it's surreal to see the place where a huge part of American history took place!
Have you ever been to Hawaii? What island did you visit? Let me know in the comments!