Hawaii Island, also knows the Big Island, is the youngest and largest isle in the Hawaiian archipelago. Home to all but four of the world’s climate zones, Hawaii Island’s vast,wild acreage is some of the most diverse terrain on earth. Travel beyond the confines of your beachfront resort and you’ll discover tropical jungle, black sand beaches, the spectacular, snow-capped peak of Mauna Kea and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. If you’re looking for an escape that has it all—from world-class coffee farms and picturesque ranchlands to Hawaiian archeological sites and crystalline coral reefs—Hawaii Island is your ultimate destination.
Larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined, Hawaii Island is rife for exploration. With so much ground to cover, a bird’s-eye-view tour with Paradise Helicopters is your best option to see it all. With an expert pilot as your guide, you’ll glide through rainbows, get up-close to waterfall-drenched valley walls and feel the heat emanating from a lava-spewing volcano. Throughout the ride, you’ll learn about Hawaii’s stunning geography and storied culture. With options to depart from Kona or Hilo, Paradise Helicopters is equipped with a top-of-the-line fleet and experienced pilots eager to acquaint you with Hawaii Island’s marvelous topography. Our recommendation? Choose a doors-off helicopter tour for an extra-thrilling experience.
Now that you’ve got the lay of the land, it’s time to adventure on foot. Hawaii Forest & Trail’s guided tours grant guests front-row access to the island’s most spellbinding locations, including must-see sites that are privately owned and otherwise inaccessible. Whether you prefer to swim in a pool at the foot of a raging waterfall, stroll a glimmering jet-black sand beach in search of marine life, tour a traditional coffee estate, enjoy an introspective sunrise atop Mauna Kea or hike to the edge of precipitous volcanic craters that plunge deep into the earth, Hawaii Forest & Trail has an adventure fit for your desired level of difficulty and duration. You never know what unexpected treasures you’ll find along the way—tropical fruit trees, hidden cave systems or birds on the brink of extinction, to name a few.
When you’re tuckered out from all that exploring, there’s no better place to rest your head than the newly transformed Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. Nestled on the bluff s above one of Hawaii’s longest stretches of white sand beach, you’ll find little reason to leave the grounds of this sophisticated sanctuary on the idyllic Kohala Coast. In addition to spacious, elegant rooms and stunning views, you’ll enjoy access to Mediterranean and Pacific Rim restaurants, a new adults-only pool equipped with posh private cabanas, interactive programs for kids and families, adventurous ocean activities and state-of-the art fitness studios. At the Westin Hāpuna Beach Resort, you’ll experience what it’s like to live in the lap of luxury, without sacrificing the casual, island-style vibe that instantly makes Hawaii feel like your home away from home.
Fuel up for a new day of adventure with a sunrise drive to Greenwell Farms, a gorgeous seed-to- cup coffee estate offering free walking tours, club memberships and tastings in Kealakekua. Greenwell Farms is a fourth-generation family owned farm where the tradition of high-quality Kona coffee farming endures in the form of century-old Arabica coffee trees sustainably harvested at a 1,500-feet elevation. After exploring the coffee fields, be sure to stop in the store for a fresh-made cup of joe. Greenwell Farms coffee is a unique and well-balanced with a lingering, sweet-as-chocolate aftertaste that will have you sipping until the last drop. One cup is never enough, so be sure to bring home some beans of your own.
Now that you’re feeling the buzz, you’re ready for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Hawaii’s oldest food fair is a 10- day celebration of the harvest of Kona’s world-famous coffee crop. From Nov. 9 to 18, enjoy live entertainment and hands on cultural activities, including a colorful lantern parade, the crowning of Miss Kona Coffee, a traditional Japanese bon dance, Hawaiian poi making and a flower lei-making contest. Walk among the coffee trees, try your hand at picking ripe coffee cherry and partake in the harvest as the crop transforms into coffee in your cup.
End your Hawaii Island experience on a sweet note with a visit to Big Island Candies in Hilo. Established in 1977, this time-honored maker of shortbread cookies, chocolates and baked treats embodies the Japanese concept of omiyage—gift - giving with a sense of place. Whether you’re seeking a tasty treat for yourself or a decadent souvenir for family and friends back home, Big Island Candies’ lip-smacking assortment of confections includes must-try local favorites, such as pineapple manju, li hing mui cookies, milk chocolate-dipped mochi and dark chocolate coffee beans. You’re guaranteed to taste the aloha in each bite.
This special sponsored section can be found in our September/October 2018 print issue. Get your copy by contacting our Circulation Department at email@example.com or call 800-788-4230.