Kona, Hawaii

Kona, Hawaii

From the perspective of Elana Jadallah Blogger + Social Media Strategist

(elanaloo.com + @elanaloo)

When thinking about what little nook of the world I wanted to share my experiences from, there is a special fondness and excitement that surfaces when thinking about one place . . . Hawaii. Specifically, The Big Island. So, here I welcome you into a glimpse of a truly special place – granted this is only a sliver of the island. There is so many wonderful, exciting, calming + magical moments to be had here but I hope I capture if only a bit of the charm of aloha. . .

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When you step off the plane, walk down the steps and into the immediate humidity and smell of plumeria – it's like a calm rushes over you, a dear friend hugging you. Every. Single. Time. With the airport only being twenty minutes out of town, you can head straight for an adventure if you'd like or take it easy and go plant your toes in the sand. That is the true conundrum of this island – with such expansive beaches (white, black and green sands to choose from) yet also so many different natural beauties up in the mountains to explore – it can be a dilemma to decide what to do.

Kona is known for it's fun strip downtown full of restaurants and beach-side bars, although I challenge you to think outside of the box – to explore the less explored. Though this destination can be known as a tourist hub, it boasts some of the most beautiful, barely touched beaches and hole-in-the-wall gems – you just have to know where to find them. Here is my 'insiders scoop' if you will. . .

See.

City of Refuge Also known as 'Two Step' . . . This cultural + historical site will educate you on the amazing history of the islands, which is so interesting and intriguing, but also provide some of the most beautiful views of Kealakekua Bay! I definitely recommend stopping in, exploring and learning about the inspiring Hawaiian culture. Also, if you love to snorkel – this is one of the best places on the island to do so!

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Kua Bay – Located not far from the airport, this lovely sliver of coastline is all white sand and blue skies. You will see a mix of locals + vacationers and it's a wonderful place to spend the day. There is some lava on the edges of the beach (very typical of Hawaiian beaches) but in the middle it's mainly sand bottom which makes it wonderful to take a dip in the turquoise blue waves! Kua Bay | Hawaiian Beach | Traveling to Hawaii | Things To Do In Hawaii | Vacationing to the Big Island of Hawaii | What To Do On The Big Island of Hawaii | Sceen'ry Travel Blog | elanaloo.comKua Bay | Hawaiian Beach | Traveling to Hawaii | Things To Do In Hawaii | Vacationing to the Big Island of Hawaii | What To Do On The Big Island of Hawaii | Sceen'ry Travel Blog | elanaloo.com

Black Sands Beaches – Thinking back to my very first time on the Big Island, I remember the striking nature of the black sand being one of the most unique and captivating things we experienced! My goodness, to someone who's never seen black sand, it's so different and exciting! Watching the contrast of the white foam waves kissing the black sand over and over is mesmerizing. I definitely recommend any of these beaches – Kahalu'u, Punalu'u or Kiholo.
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Pololu Lookout + Hike – Want to see something awe-inspiring? Something that truly puts in perspective how small we are in this world? Pololu does just that. Truly, the views from the top are spectacular and being merely a pebble on the beach once you're down there – it's all an experience. & one that's certainly worth taking!
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I also absolutely recommend seeing the Volcano – because, I mean, it's an active volcano! This island was formed on lava + the size of the island is constantly growing due to the flow. It's something unique to witness.

Lastly, the Green Sand Beach. It's a hike in but what a view! It's striking from every angle and if you are up for an adventure this is something you should add to your list!

Eat.

Da Poke Shack – One word: YUM! If you love fresh poke, I definitely recommend this local joint! They have awesome recipes, it's right in town + you can take it to the beach if you want to have yourself a little picnic!

The Coffee Shack – Plan on grabbing a fresh cup of kona joe + breakfast overlooking 26 miles of coastline. The location in the hills is breathtaking. Views of the coast everywhere you look and tasty bites – you can't go wrong! These photos were taken on a really dreary day + you can see even then, it's still charming. Best Places To Eat on The Big Island | The Coffee Shack | | Kona Coffee | Local Recommendations on The Big Island of Hawaii | Traveling to Hawaii | Things To Do In Hawaii | Vacationing to the Big Island of Hawaii | What To Do On The Big Island of Hawaii | Sceen'ry Travel Blog | elanaloo.comBest Places To Eat on The Big Island | The Coffee Shack | | Kona Coffee | Local Recommendations on The Big Island of Hawaii | Traveling to Hawaii | Things To Do In Hawaii | Vacationing to the Big Island of Hawaii | What To Do On The Big Island of Hawaii | Sceen'ry Travel Blog | elanaloo.com

Food Trucks – There are some delicious island food trucks here! We had no idea until we lived here so I'm giving you the local scoop. Check out: Lotus Cafe, Cool Runnings, Kona Dogs + Island Roots. They all update their social media with their daily location! Best Places To Eat on The Big Island | Food Trucks in Kailua-Kona | Island Roots | Kona Dogs | | Kona Coffee | Local Recommendations on The Big Island of Hawaii | Traveling to Hawaii | Things To Do In Hawaii | Vacationing to the Big Island of Hawaii | What To Do On The Big Island of Hawaii | Sceen'ry Travel Blog | elanaloo.com

Basik Acai – Right in the middle of town, just a climb up the steps into a little treehouse-style cafe – something scrumptious awaits you. I wish I had photos of my own to share, because their presentation is always beautiful, but unfortunately, their food is also too delicious to wait and get that shot! Seriously, if acai bowls are up your alley – head here for your morning breakfast or mid-day treat!

Stay.

Hotels – I have the best things to say about the Sheraton in Keauhou, Four Seasons at Hualalai, Hapuna Prince Hotel or the Fairmont Orchid. If they are in your budget – enjoy! If not, I would definitely recommend going one of these routes . . .

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AirBNB + Vacation Rentals - I wanted to make sure to mention the AirBNB and VRBO accommodations on the island because there are some spectacular, off the beaten path places (such as this dreamy tropical tree house or this yurt)! If you prefer to feel like you're staying in a home away from home, check out the listings on The Big Island.

Campsites – The west + north side of the island is home to some of the most beautiful stretches of beaches I've ever laid eyes on. All different + contrasting. You can check out this site to see if any of the camping sites are available for your stay! This is opportune for the budget-friendly traveler.

Shop.

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Holualoa – A quaint, sleepy town tucked away in the mountains above Kona. Holualoa offers darling little shops, art galleries along with a coffee shop, restaurant + taco stand. Not to mention a pink hotel. It's not overstated, but instead a calming reprieve from downtown; a road less traveled.

Hawi – (pronounced hah-vee) Another artisan town, this time a drive north from the mainstream – calling out to the the creatives and artists. Up on the north end of the island, colored buildings line the street and you will see small shops, smiling faces + a few quiet places to stop and grab a bite. On your way to Pololu, make a stop here!

Hawi – (pronounced hah-vee) Another artisan town, this time a drive north from the mainstream – calling out to the the creatives and artists. Up on the north end of the island, colored buildings line the street and you will see small shops, smiling faces + a few quiet places to stop and grab a bite. On your way to Pololu, make a stop here!

Ginger & Koi | Coco & Lita – I hate to break it to you, but Kona is not a shopping hub ;) It's just not. You won't find designer stores nor high fashion here (and that's just fine with me). Although, (via Instagram) I have found a few local places who have injected some style into Kona. One being Coco & Lita, ran by the most darling + stylish woman Lianne and Ginger & Koi – which carries the hottest swim/beachwear brands. Mahalo to both of these stores for giving me somewhere to go when my mainland heart is in search of something new!

Enjoy.

 
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One of the most amazing parts about The Big Island is just getting lost in it. Talk to the locals, find hidden treasures, stay off the beaten path, hike into a beach with a book and just let the beauty soak in. With gorgeous coastlines all around the island, you can't help but gasp at every mile-long beach, natural sea arch, tropical jungle or turtle sighting. I could go on for days, although I wanted to leave a little bit for you to explore on your own! If you ever have any more questions, always feel free to reach out. Hope this gave you a exciting snippet of my island home, this special place–one of my favorite places in the world. Until next time xx.

ElanaLoo

 

 

For the dreamer - For the adventurer