Top ChoiceBeach in Puako

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Hapuna Beach is world famous for its magnificent half-mile sweep of white powder sand and fabulously clear waters. In summer, waves are calm and allow good swimming, snorkeling and diving. When the surf's up in...

Top ChoiceHistoric Site in Kawaihae & Around

Puʻukohola Heiau National Historic Site

By 1790 Kamehameha the Great had conquered Maui, Lanaʻi and Molokaʻi. But power over his home island of Hawaiʻi was a challenge. When told by a prophet that he would rule all of the Hawaiian Islands if he built a...

Top ChoiceBeach in Mauna Kea Resort Area

Mauʻumae Beach

What’s not to love about Mauʻumae (pronounced Mao-oo-my)? It has white sand, teal water, shady trees and protected waters – and is even more private than Kaunaʻoa Bay. Locals are proprietary about this gem, and...

Top ChoiceBeach in Puako

Beach 69

This lovely powdering of white sand is a local favorite but remains somewhat off the tourist radar. Both family-friendly and gay-friendly, its calm, protected waters are ideal for a bout of casual snorkeling....

Top ChoiceItalian in Waikoloa Village

Pueo's Osteria

Run by a former top resort chef, this hidden gem will satisfy your cravings for gourmet-rustic Italian fare: pizzas, pastas and classics, including a yummy gorgonzola gnocchi. Everything is homemade, and the...

Top ChoiceBeach in Mauna Kea Resort Area

Mauna Kea Beach

Crescent-shaped Kaunaʻoa Bay (nicknamed 'Mauna Kea Beach' after Rockefeller built his landmark hotel on it) is blanketed in powdery white sand, with clear waters that are calm and shallow (generally less than...

Top ChoiceFusion in Waikoloa Resort Area

Lava Lava Beach Club

This cheerful spot is a favorite with tourists and locals, who snack on excellent coconut shrimp with ginger-guava sauce, ginger-crusted ahi with ponzu and some killer burgers. Cocktails and an unbeatable view of...

Top ChoiceDesserts in Kawaihae & Around

Anuenue

Since 1998, this shave-ice counter has delighted all comers with snowy shave ice and premium ice cream, which is perfect on a hot day, or following, say, a gut-busting burger. Among the dozens of flavors are...

Top ChoiceHawaii Regional in Mauna Lani Resort Area

Brown's Beach House

Brown's remains a standout for those willing to pay top dollar for island cuisine. Expect gracious service and the finest local ingredients: the surf and turf features locally raised beef and Kona lobsters, wild...

Top ChoiceFood & Drink in Waikoloa Resort Area

A Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Celebrated Big Island chefs work magic with local range-fed meats and local produce in late September or early October. As of late, there's been an effort the make the event zero-waste, and themes of food...

Top ChoiceBurgers in Kawaihae & Around

Kohala Burger & Taco

When only a real burger will do, come here for local grass-fed quarter-pounders with specialty toppings that are, in short, absolutely gorgeous. If you're not into beef, have a go at the fish tacos, quesadillas...

Beach in Waikoloa Resort Area

ʻAnaehoʻomalu Beach Park

ʻAnaehoʻomalu Beach Park

Don't worry about that tongue twister of an official name; everyone on the island calls this beach 'A Bay.' 'A-plus' is another way of putting it: this beach has easy access, salt-and-pepper sand and calm waters...

Vegetarian in Mauna Lani Resort Area

Under the Bodhi Tree

Vegetarians flock to this spot, where the dishes show a commitment to local and organic produce and Pacific Rim influences. Kalbi-style tofu is served up with kimchi and brown rice, or you can opt for coconut...

Fusion in Mauna Lani Resort Area

Napua

Fine dining and Pacific influences come together at this gem, which overlooks a fine sweep of the Mauna Lani oceanfront. Try the rib-eye steak, the slow-cooked guava barbecue pork ribs, or the always-excellent...

Desserts in Kawaihae & Around

Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc.

Shave ice is great, but it's even better when it's mobile. This supremely good shave ice stand has great flavors ranging from ube (sweet potato) to haupia (coconut), and toppings like mango syrup, boba pearls,...

Seafood in Kawaihae & Around

Hale I'a Da Fish House

Also known as just 'Da Fish House,' this take-out counter mainly sells fresh fish, but you can also score some outstanding, delicious poke. Head to the harbor for a picnic.

Historic Site in Mauna Lani Resort Area

Kalahuipuaʻa Historic Trail

The first segment of this easy trail meanders through a 16th-century Hawaiian settlement, passing lava tubes once used as cave shelters and a few other archaeological and geological sites marked by interpretive...

Historic Site in Waikoloa Resort Area

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve

This collection of petroglyphs carved in lava rock is so easy to access that it merits a stop, although the Puako Petroglyph Preserve further north is more spectacular and doesn't abut a shopping mall. Many...

Beach in Kawaihae & Around

Spencer Beach Park

Shallow, sandy and gentle, this beach lacks the dramatic sweep of Mauna Kea or Hapuna, but it's ideal for kids and popular with local families. Come to swim rather than to snorkel; the waters are slightly silty...

Historic Site in Mauna Lani Resort Area

Puako Petroglyph Preserve

With more than 3000 petroglyphs that date back as far as the 16th century, this preserve is among the largest collections of ancient lava carvings in Hawaii. Scratched into the stone are thousands of stark...