In the last 25 years I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to visit Hawaii numerous times. My grandmother grew up on the Big Island so we have always had family there. This month we went over for what will probably be the last time, at least for a few years. I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about all the wonderful experiences and places we’ve been able to visit and wanted to share a scrapbook of sorts with everyone.
5 Generations | Age 2 to 107
Best of Hawaii
So, here it is, my personal “best of” Hawaii…complete with a few experiences and places that aren’t around anymore, some kid friendly ideas, and of course, some embarrassing childhood photos!
Hawaii aka The Big Island
It wouldn’t be right to not start with Hawaii. The majority of the family we have left in Hawaii live here and we’ve spent the most time on this island. Since I’ve spent so much of my time visiting here it’s hard to narrow down the best of the best so here are a few of the things we just can’t seem to miss.
Rainbow Falls | Hilo, HI
Rainbow Falls is a great pull off the road stop, depending on the amount of rainfall the falls is different each and every time.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
There is ALWAYS a turtle or two at Punalu’u (or at least for us there has been) and YES! that’s the same shot 20 years later!
Volcano National Park
From lava boat tours to lava tubes we’ve seen quite a few “once in a lifetime” tings at Volcano National Park. Each time we visit the park has changed, it’s always a stop on our list.
Misc. Big Island Fun
In addition to the things we visit each time we go, we’ve been able to experience lots of other amazing things.
Sunset Horseback Rides with Paniolo Adventures, Lava Tree State Park, Rainbow Falls, Captain Cook Monument, Lava at Isaac Hale Beach Park, Orchids at Akatsuka Garden, Lava from Fissure 8, Turtles, Coconut Island, Papakolea Green Sand Beach, and Waipi’o Valley.
Hakalau Plantation (my great grandfather worked there), St. Benedict’s Catholic Church (Painted Church), Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, Turtle in the water, Snorkeling, Papakolea Green Sand Beach, Great Grandma and Christopher the last time we would see her, Great Grandma and I the first time we visited, New Lava at Isaac Hale Beach Park, My Sister and I at Liliuokalani Gardens, and Ahalanui Hot Pond, which was lost in the 2018 volcano eruption.
Waterfalls along the Road to Hana, Waianapanapa State Park Black Sand Beach and Caves (the caves are closed to the public now), Luau at Old Lahaina Luau, My sister jumping from the rocks into one of the Seven Sacred Pools at the O’heo Gulch, I would show you a picture of me doing this but I’m a chicken and there isn’t a picture of me doing this haha!, and Turtles on Ho’okipa Beach.
Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu Bay)
From deserted beaches to deserted valleys Molokai is Hawaii before all the resorts and tourism. If you go, look into doing a hot bread run. I’d fly back tomorrow just for that yummy goodness!
We caught a ferry from Maui and spent a day doing nothing in Lanai. There’s a story there, but that’s for a different day.
Pearl Harbor, Hula Show at the Ala Moana Center, Diamond Head, and oldie but goodie of our first Hawaiian photograph (it’s NOT a backdrop, it’s the real thing), Hanauma Bay, Turtles and Monk Seals, the Kodak Hula Show (no longer running), Surfing at Waikiki Beach, and Swimming with Sharks.
Poipu Beach, Swinging Bridge, Waterfalls, Waimea Canyon State Park, a Helicopter Ride, Queen’s Bath, Wailua Falls, the Napali Coast, and Manawaiopuna Falls (better known as Jurassic Park Falls)
Family Memories at their finest
All the years and all the memories with my family, there are so many more adventures to be had. Every time someone asks me if I ever get tired of vacationing in Hawaii I start by reminding them that we don’t vacation, we take trips and then tell them I could visit Hawaii for every trip I ever made. There’s no way to ever soak it all in.
Dedicated to my Great Grandma, Fumie. b. November 14, 1910 d. February 13, 2019
btw. she was 40 in this photo!!
Plan Your Next Trip
Ready to plan your next trip? Check out some of the resources below for tips!