Dining Options on Miyajima Island

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While researching Miyajima one may assume that this tiny island with its Shinto shrines and scenic views of nature might lack an entry in any culinary journal.  Those that make that assumption find how wrong they were the moment they walk around Miyajima’s main streets.  Step into any restaurant and feast on seafood caught in the local waters.  Get a jolt of caffeine while sipping espresso drinks or indulge in ice cream served on a sweet bun.  Satisfy your food cravings by sampling any of the snacks offered by the local street food vendors.

Tori-I

With Miyajima’s proximity to water, seafood dishes take the top spot at many of the island’s restaurants.  Miyajima’s most popular seafood dishes include conger eel and oysters caught in local waters.  For a taste of both conger eel and oysters visit Tori-I.  Those who wish to eat oysters may order inside the restaurant or from the takeout window to the right of the entrance.  Order the oysters raw, grilled, or deep-fried.  Those that order the grilled oysters will find them seasoned with a soy-sauce based sauce.  Diners sitting inside the restaurant may choose from such dishes as udon with shrimp or grilled conger eel.  The grilled conger eel sits on a bed of rice in a bento box.

Miyajima Itsuki Coffee

For a classic cafe experience head to Itsuki Coffee.  The menu at Itsuki Coffee has various espresso choices, served either iced or hot.  Besides espresso the menu features pastries such as muffins, scones, and biscotti.  This cafe is perfect for visitors needing a caffeine fix or somewhere to sit and unwind.  Itsuki Coffee’s décor is modern but warm with wood accents.  Seating is available inside, or outside with weather permitting.

Melon-Pan Ice

Regardless of the day’s temperature, few can resist the draw of warm baked dessert bread with ice cream.  The chain Melon-Pan Ice opened a location in Miyajima, where tourists and locals both line-up for tasty treats.  Melon-Pan is the name of a sweet bun popular in Japan.  The bread bun is soft in the inside but the top has a thin layer of crispy dough that resembles that of a cut and diced melon.  Melon-Pan Ice takes the fresh-baked warm bun, cuts it in half, and adds a scoop of ice cream.  The resulting combination is so delicious that a nearby sign proclaiming it as “Japanese soul food” isn’t an exaggeration.

Miyajima Street Food

For those in need of a quick bite, or if you don’t have time to sit at a restaurant, you’ll find many street side vendors selling various snacks.  One dish in particular to try is a fried pastry made in the shape of a star.  These fried stars come filled with your choice of cheese, custard cream, or red bean.  Non-fried options include fresh-baked steamed buns filled with beef.  Another popular street vendor sells rolled up fish cakes, grilled and served to customers right off the hot stove.

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Miyajima Dining

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Tori-I: 34.298210, 132.321439
Itsuki Coffee: 34.296495, 132.320779
Melon-Pan Ice: 34.295516, 132.321621
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Tori-I
Dining Options on Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Itsuki Coffee
Dining Options on Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Melon-Pan Ice
Dining Options on Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island

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Miyajima Island has long been a draw for tourists and locals alike for its serenity, nature, and shrines.  Visitors are consistent in voting Miyajima Island one of the top scenic spots in Japan. A quick look on a map and you’ll find that Miyajima’s actual name is Itsukushima.  In Japanese Miyajima means Shrine Island, and the nickname has stuck. With easy access by boat, Miyajima Island makes for a perfect day trip when visiting nearby Hiroshima.

Sunset on Miyajima Island - Itsukushima, Japan

Sunset on Miyajima Island

Traveling to Miyajima Island

You’ll find Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay.  Travelers visiting Hiroshima can add an extra day in the region to visit Miyajima Island.  It is easy to reach Miyajima Island from Hiroshima.  The trip is less than an hour and makes for a perfect day trip.  Visitors will reach Miyajima Island from Hiroshima by train and boat.

To reach Miyajima Island most visitors in Hiroshima will board the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station.  The JR Line is the fastest way to reach Miyajimaguchi Station.  The popular Japan Rail Pass that many tourists use to travel around Japan covers the JR Sanyo Line.  Those that did not buy a Japan Rail Pass have two options to reach Miyajimaguchi Station.  The fastest route is to buy a round trip ticket for the aforementioned JR Sanyo Line.  The cheaper, and slower, alternative is to take the Number 2 Tram Line from central Hiroshima bound for Miyajimaguchi.

Upon reaching Miyajimaguchi Station follow the signs to the Miyajimaguchi/Miyajima Ferry Port.  This short walk leads you to the boats sailing to Miyajima Island.  At the Port, Japan Rail Pass holders may use the entrance marked JR and board the next available boat bound for Miyajima Island.  Those without a Japan Rail Pass will need to buy tickets at the nearby kiosk for the next available sailing.

Travelers without a Japan Rail Pass can reach Miyajima Island without boarding a train.  Two other docks, at Hiroshima Peace Park and Hiroshima Port, offer direct boat rides between Hiroshima and Miyajima Island.

Arriving at Miyajima Island

Regardless of which boat you take to reach Miyajima Island you will disembark at Miyajima Pier.  From the Pier turn right and walk along the path next to the waterfront.  As you walk along the path, and throughout Miyajima Island, you may come upon deer roaming free.  These deer appear tame and comfortable around humans, as long you do not bother them.  Visitors enjoy taking photos with the deer, but be sure to treat the animals with care.  Remember, the deer are wildlife.  Approach the deer with caution, stay at a safe distance, and do not touch or feed the deer.  The deer will eat paper tourists are holding in their hands.  Be mindful if you are holding maps or brochures near the deer.

To the left of the waterfront pathway you will find local owned businesses on the streets of Omotesando and Machiya.  Miyajima artisans are fond of using wood to create everything from trays to containers.  You can even find pieces of woodwork with etchings of various Miyajima sights.  Rice scoopers are one popular item the wood makers craft.  As you walk among the stores keep an eye out for a display featuring the largest rice scooper in the world.

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

At the end of the streets with stores and restaurants you will come upon Itsukushima Shinto Shrine.  The Shrine’s buildings, along with the nearby Five-Storied Pagoda and O-Torii, have the honorable designation of being a UNESCO World Cultural Site.  Most visitors are familiar with Miyajima Island because of the O-Torii, or Grand Torii Gate.  The O-Torii is first visible from the boat one takes to reach Miyajima Island.

Viewing the O-Torii is a different experience depending on whether you visit during low tide or during high tide.  Upon disembarking from the boat that brought you to Miyajima Island visit the nearby Information Booth for a posted sign with times for low and high tide.  Pre-planners can find tide times posted online if you need to know the times before your visit.  High tide is the perfect time for photos as the O-Torii sits surrounded by water.  Low tide offers visitors the chance to see the O-Torii up close as you may walk up to the Gate.  The ground is wet, muddy, and slippery, so wear proper shoes for the walk to the O-Torii during low tide.

Mt. Misen (the Sacred Mountain) and Observatory

Included in the World Heritage designation is Mt. Misen, known as the Sacred Mountain.  The landscape of the Island has drawn many spiritual beings to Miyajima.  As you hike Mt. Misen, you will find large rocks and trees amidst temples and religious statues.  To hike any part of Mt. Misen requires being in good physical health.  It is possible to hike from the base of Mt. Misen to the top.  Most visitors will ride the Miyajima Ropeway, which will allow you to bypass a large part of Mt. Misen.  From the waterfront follow the signs to the Momijidani Station and use the Ropeway to reach either Kayatani or Shishiiwa Station.

Even taking the Ropeway to the furthest point, Shishiiwa, still leaves hikers with a strenuous trail to the top most observation deck.  The reward in reaching the observation deck is stunning views of Seto Inland Sea and the surrounding Islands.

 

Daishoin Temple

With its deep connection between nature and spirituality, Miyajima is home to many temples.  One in particular, Daishoin Temple, is one of the grandest on Miyajima Island.  The grounds for Daishoin Temple makes it one of the larger temples to explore on Miyajima Island.  The easiest way to locate Daishoin is if you position yourself with the Miyajima Ropeway behind you, and the O-Torii Gate in front of you.  At that point turn left to reach Daishoin.  Take your time walking and admiring the serene grounds, various halls, and thousands of religious statues.

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Miyajima Island

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Miyajima Pier: 34.302092, 132.322270
Omotesando Street: 34.299070, 132.321860
Machiya Street: 34.298441, 132.322490
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine: 34.296083, 132.319915
Five-Storied Pagoda : 34.297129, 132.320752
O-Torii Gate: 34.297253, 132.318134
Miyajima Ropeway: Momijidani Station: 34.293247, 132.326782
Mt. Misen Observatory: 34.279436, 132.319529
Daishoin Temple: 34.291864, 132.318628
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Miyajima Pier
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Omotesando Street
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Machiya Street
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Itsukushima Shinto Shrine
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Itsukushima Island 広島県, Japan
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Five-Storied Pagoda
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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O-Torii Gate
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Miyajima Ropeway: Momijidani Station
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Mt. Misen Observatory
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Daishoin Temple
Visiting Picturesque Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan

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Vancouver’s Granville Island

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Granville Island in Vancouver is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Set along the waters of False Creek, Granville Island offers visitors scenic views. Spend the day shopping or eating at the various stalls within the Public Market or in the surrounding buildings. Unwind while perusing galleries or drinking beer at the Granville Island Brewery. Enjoy the waterfront while strolling along nearby Island Park Walk. Granville Island has so much to offer that tourists will find it one of the top highlights of their trip.

Getting to Granville Island

Tourists planning to visit Granville Island will arrive either by car, bus, or boat. Granville Island is accessible by car but you will be fighting with other drivers for the few parking spots available. The better plan is to arrive at Granville Island by bus or by boat. To get from Downtown to Granville Island you will board the #50 bus. The route for bus #50 runs through various Vancouver districts. Visitors staying in and around Gastown, Chinatown, Downtown, or Yaletown will take bus #50 southbound. Hop on the #50 bus labeled False Creek via Granville Island and exit at the W 2 Ave at Anderson Street stop. From the bus stop it will be a four-minute stroll to Granville Island via Old Bridge Walk.

A unique way to reach Granville Island is via boat on the waters of False Creek. Two boat companies sail along False Creek, Aquabus and False Creek Ferry. Both boat companies have eight docking locations along the waters of False Creek. You can catch one of the boats in popular tourist locations such as Yaletown or near BC Place at the Plaza of Nations. Boats land at each of the docks every 15 minutes so you won’t have to wait very long to catch the next boat. The simplest thing to do is arrive at the dock and hop on to whichever boat company arrives first.

Once on board you’ll pay the driver the fare to ride the boat. The boats hold between twelve and twenty passengers at a time. Passengers sit on benches next to windows so everyone has a view during the ride. The boats sail quietly along the waters of False Creek and offer a relaxing journey while sailing past the buildings of Vancouver. Exit the boat at the Granville Island dock. From the dock you are steps away from the main building for the Granville Island Public Market.

Granville Island Public Market

The most popular place to visit on Granville Island is the Public Market. Inside this building you will find a vast array of vendors. You can buy baskets of various fruits or bouquets of flowers. Other vendors sell pastries and bread still warm from the oven. Locals decide between fresh pasta and ravioli to bring home to cook later. It’s easy to check off your grocery list at the Public Market.

A few vendors at the Public Market sell food products you can eat on site. Lee’s Donuts is a must for those with an inclination towards fried dough. The Honey Dip Donut is a popular choice and tastes delicious. Enjoy your food with a cup of coffee from either JJ Bean or Petit Ami. If you are in the mood for more pastries and heartier fare stop at Laurelle’s Fine Foods. Laurelle’s is a bakery deli that sells meat pies and muffins. The dough on the meat pies flake right off and melt in your mouth.

Next to the Public Market are more buildings full of shops, galleries, and other food options. Those who wish to sample a local beer will want to swing by Granville Island Brewing. To maximize your tasting opportunity order a flight which allows you to sample up to four different beers. The Island Lager is their original beer and a fan favorite. For a true Canadian experience be sure to sample the Maple Shack Cream Ale. In addition to beer Granville Island Brewing offers a food menu with dishes such as poutine.

Island Park Walk

After you’re finished with Granville Island head to nearby Island Park Walk. This path just on the other side of Granville Island offers views of Granville Island plus residential homes and boats docked at the harbor. The path is especially stunning in the fall time when the leaves have changed colors. Here along the path visitors can dream of living next to Granville Island. Imagine waking up on a weekend morning and heading over to pick up items for brunch at the Public Market.

If daydreaming leaves you famished, at the end of Island Park Walk you will find Go Fish. This popular eatery sells quality seafood dishes from a simple shack. For fried golden perfection order the classic fish and chips. Or try the fish sandwich with either seared ahi tuna or salmon. Afterwards take Island Park Walk back the way you came towards either the #50 bus or to the Ferry Creek docks to catch the next boat home.

 

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Granville Island

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Granville Island 49.270622, -123.134741 Overview of Vancouver, Canada and Vancouver’s Granville Island

 

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Overview of Vancouver, Canada

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Ask ten different people what their favorite thing to do in the Canadian city of Vancouver is and you are likely to get ten different answers. The reason you get varied responses stems from the fact that few places in the world compare to Vancouver. To the casual observer Vancouver is just another metropolitan city. Yet Vancouver differs from other major cities because it embodies diversity. In one day visitors can hike Stanley Park in the morning and then shop Downtown among the masses in the afternoon. Foodies buy produce at Granville Island one moment and enjoy fine dining in Yaletown the next. Convention goers attend meetings at Canada Place and then lounge waterside at English Bay Beach. Tourists walk historic Gastown before slurping noodles in Chinatown. These dichotomies exist in harmony with the diverse people of Vancouver.

With something for everyone Vancouver as a tourist destination appeals to even the most discerning of travelers. First time travelers looking at a map of Vancouver might notice that the city looks like an oyster shell. As anyone who loves oysters knows, you’ll want to crack that shell open and dig into what Vancouver offers. Vancouver isn’t a difficult city to navigate but the easiest way to get oriented is to begin somewhat in the middle of the city in the Downtown district. Downtown is home to the financial and business districts of the city. Among the skyscrapers you will find the Vancouver Central Library. This stunning building is an architectural contrast to the stark skyscrapers. In Downtown you’ll want to make your way to Robson Street. This is one of the main thoroughfares in Vancouver and stretches the length of the city.

On one end of Robson Street is BC Place, a stadium where one can catch either a sporting or musical event. Continuing on and around Robson Street you’ll find a variety of shops. A number of the stores are global brands but a few, such as Roots, are Canadian brands. Few tourists will walk the entirety of Robson Street, but those that do wind up at Stanley Park. If you don’t wish to walk, or don’t have a car, you will reach Stanley Park by bus. Stanley Park is a massive public space with paved paths for bicyclists, roller bladders, and walkers. Here visitors enjoy trees, totem poles, and the waters of the Vancouver Harbour.

To the east of Downtown you will find Canada Place. If you arrived by cruise ship, you will have most likely disembarked at this spot. Besides being a cruise ship terminal, Canada Place is home to a convention center and hotel. Near Canada Place is the oldest neighborhood in the city, the historic Gastown. First time tourists visit Gastown at least once, to see the Steam Clock and a chance to shop for souvenirs. Next to Gastown is Canada’s largest Chinatown. Vancouver’s Chinatown traces its history back to 1885 and to this day is full of shops and restaurants. While in Chinatown you will want to visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This tranquil spot is a wonderful place to recharge and center oneself.

West of Downtown, in simplest terms, is synonymous with food. The regions of the West End and Yaletown are quintessential foodie neighborhoods. Here you will find well-established diners among up and coming restaurants. Further west, across the waters of False Creek, is Granville Island. Here at the Granville Island Public Market are vendors galore. Visitors can buy fresh produce, straight out of the oven breads and pastries, and a plethora of other food products.

Regardless of how you spend your time in Vancouver you will find navigating the city easy. Those who enjoy walking will find wide avenues and flat surfaces. Bus routes traverse throughout the entire city. Ferries sail to Granville Island or further afield to places such as the city of Victoria. Vancouver’s rapid transit system, SkyTrain, runs through parts of Downtown. The SkyTrain connects Vancouver to the cities of Burnaby, New Westminister, Surrey, and Richmond. For those arriving in Vancouver by airplane, the SkyTrain’s Canada Line will get you from Vancouver International Airport to your destination in no time.

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Vancouver

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Vancouver Central Library: 49.279754, -123.115679
Robson Street: 49.284605, -123.124824
BC Place: 49.276750, -123.111999
Stanley Park: 49.298319, -123.137684
Canada Place: 49.289124, -123.116498
Gastown: 49.282808, -123.106688
Chinatown: 49.280600, -123.100553
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: 49.279649, -123.103913
West End: 49.285646, -123.130621
Yaletown: 49.275702, -123.119907
Granville Island: 49.270622, -123.134741
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Vancouver Central Library
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Public Library- Central Branch, West Georgia Street, Central, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Robson Street
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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BC Place
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
BC Place, Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Stanley Park
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
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Stanley Park: Vancouver’s Urban Park

Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Canada Place
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver Convention Centre West Building, Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Gastown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chinatown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Chinatown, East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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West End
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
West End, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Yaletown
Overview of Vancouver, Canada
Yaletown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Granville Island

Overview of Vancouver, Canada
and
Vancouver’s Granville Island


Granville Island, Vancouver, BC, Canada

 

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Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island

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Traditional restaurants and eateries aren’t the only food experiences available on the Big Island of Hawaii. Three Hawaiian food companies have sites on the island open to visitors. Each of the Hawaiian food companies mass produce their products for sale on the islands and export them to other parts of the world. By visiting these Hawaiian food companies in person one can learn the secrets behind producing these foods. This article explores the Hawaiian food companies of Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, Kona Brewing Company, and Punalu’u Bake Shop.

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company - Kawaihae, HI, USA

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Flavoring Panner at Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company - Kawaihae, HI

Flavoring Panner at Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Macadamia nuts are as synonymous with the Hawaiian Islands as pineapples. Established in 1994, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company brings macadamia nuts to the masses. Visitors to this Hawaiian food company’s cannery will see machinery and assembly lines used to bundle the macadamia related products Hamakua sells. Behind glass pane windows visitors witness first hand as Hamakua employees work on macadamia nuts in various stages. Visitors see macadamia nuts being weighed, in flavoring pans, and vacuum sealed in cans. Besides viewing these assembly lines visitors can sample a variety of macadamia nuts. Samples include both regular and flavored macadamia nuts. Be sure to visit the Hamakua gift shop to buy your favorite macadamia nuts, macadamia nut cookies, and macadamia nut brittle.

Kona Brewing Company - Kailua-Kona, HI

Kona Brewing Company

Beer at Kona Brewing Company - Kailua-Kona, HI

Beer at Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company

As the lone liquid food on this list, the Kona Brewing Company is a Hawaiian food company specializing in handcrafted beers. Their brewery is in the city of Kailua-Kona and offers daily tours. The tours include a history of the Kona Brewing Company. During the tour visitors learn the techniques behind brewing beer. At the end of the tour visitors have the chance to sample the beers. After the brewery consider retiring next door to the Kona Brewing Company restaurant. At the restaurant patrons can drink glasses of beer while eating traditional pub fare. The Growler Shack is between the brewery and the restaurant. Here you can buy growlers or kegs for home consumption. The growlers are half-gallon glass jugs that make for a great souvenir. Kona Brewing Company sells a standard rotation of beers including their popular Longboard Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale. Kona Brewing Company sells their standard beers in grocery stores throughout the United States and around the world. In addition to the standard beers Kona Brewing Company brews seasonal beers. Visiting the Kona Brewing Company in person allows you to sample these unique beers.

Punalu`u Bake Shop - Naalehu, HI

Punalu`u Bake Shop

Taro Sweetbread Rolls from Punalu`u Bake Shop - Naalehu, HI

Taro Sweetbread Rolls from Punalu`u Bake Shop

Punalu’u Bake Shop

It turns out that the southernmost bakery in the United States is on the Big Island of Hawaii. The bakery is Punalu’u and the Punalu’u Bake Shop is in the city of Naalehu. To reach Naalehu visitors to the Big Island will need a rental car. The drive to Naalehu takes 90-minutes from either the city centers of Kona or Hilo. Visitors to the Punalu’u Bake Shop get to try samples of the bakery’s famous Hawaiian Sweetbread. The traditional Hawaiian Sweetbread made by Punalu’u Bake Shop is soft and fluffy. The specialty rolls Punalu’u Bake Shop bakes are delicious. For a real island treat sample the Taro Sweetbread. The premises of the Punalu’u Bake Shop include the visitor’s center, retail bakery, gift shop, and a restaurant. The facilities at Punalu’u Bake Shop will entice those traveling from Kona to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Punalu’u Bake Shop is midway along that journey on Highway 11 and a great place to refuel.

 

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Hawaiian Food Companies - Big Island

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Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company: 20.049097, -155.835638
Kona Brewing Company: 19.643110, -155.997546
Punalu’u Bake Shop: 19.061248, -155.585891
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Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island
Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co Inc, Maluokalani Street, Waimea, HI, United States
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Kona Brewing Company
Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island
Kona Brewing Co, Pawai Place, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Punalu’u Bake Shop
Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island
Punalu`u Bake Shop, Mamalahoa Highway, Naalehu, HI, United States

 

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Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast

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With so many dining options in Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae one may never eat a meal beyond those regions. Yet the Big Island of Hawaii has much to offer food lovers. Chances are during your time on the Big Island’s western coast you may venture into areas beyond Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae. Below we offer four restaurants sprinkled throughout the Big Island’s western coast to try out if you’re in the neighborhood.

The Coffee Shack

Tourist that are spending the day visiting coffee farms will find the Coffee Shack a great place for breakfast or lunch. In addition, the Coffee Shack is a great pit stop for those heading from the Big Island’s western coast out to the Volcanoes National Park. Even if you aren’t touring coffee farms or volcanoes Coffee Shack’s view alone makes it a worthwhile eatery. Enjoy the views of the ocean while sipping coffee and eating your meal. One of the best dishes off the breakfast menu is the French toast, made with their homemade Luau Bread. The Coffee Shack serves its own coffee, made from coffee beans from their own coffee farm. You can order a cup with your meal and buy a bag to take with you if you wish. For lunch choose from a variety of sandwich or pizza options. Homemade dessert is available for those with room to spare in their stomachs after their meal.

Manago Hotel Restaurant

Three miles away from the historic Kainaliu district in Captain Cook you will find the Manago Hotel. The Manago Hotel has on site a Hawaiian-American restaurant. This Big Island’s western coast restaurant is known for their famous pork chops. Grilled to perfection, the pork chops are tender in the inside and seared on the outside to ideal specifications. This attention to detail carries over to grilling other items on the menu such as the New York Steak and Mahi Mahi. Each entrée comes with a bowl of rice and three sides. Sides rotate daily and might include string beans, tofu, or macaroni salad.

Merriman’s

For a fine dining experience on the Big Island’s western coast dine at Merriman’s in Waimea. This region of the Big Island is cooler than the rest of the west coast. Contrary to other parts of the island if you are dining at Merriman’s for dinner bring a jacket or sweater to combat the cool breeze. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday, and lunch and dinner daily once inside Merriman’s you will receive top-notch service. The staff is attentive and dedicated to providing you a wonderful dining experience. Menus change but always include cuts of meat from local ranches. The fish Merriman’s serves is straight from the nearby ocean. Those that enjoy a glass of wine with dinner will find Merriman’s wine list exhaustive with great selections from California and Europe.

Monstera

Four miles from the Waikoloa Beach Resorts and within the Shops at Mauna Lani is Monstera. This Big Island’s western coast restaurant specializes in Japanese-Hawaiian cuisine. Anyone who craves fresh served sushi will enjoy dining at Monstera. Select from a variety of sushi rolls or sashimi options. For those wishing to augment their sushi selections the menu includes small plates and noodle dishes. The head chef of Monstera trained in Tokyo and has worked at hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton. Having such a skilled chef at the helm means that the meal you consume is a feast for your mouth.

 

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Big Island West Coast Eats

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The Coffee Shack: 19.475276, -155.892291
Manago Hotel Restaurant: 19.489198, -155.910803
Merriman’s: 20.023014, -155.676598
Monstera: 19.941275, -155.857801
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The Coffee Shack
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
The Coffee Shack, Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI, United States
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Manago Hotel Restaurant
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Manago Hotel, Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, HI, United States
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Merriman’s
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Merriman's Big Island, Opelo Road, Waimea, HI, United States
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Monstera
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Monstera, Mauna Lani Drive, Puako, HI, United States

 

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Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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Visitors that arrive to the Big Island of Hawaii by way of Kona International Airport will have their first look at Hawaiian city life in nearby Kailua-Kona. This quintessential beach town thrives off locals and tourists alike. Kailua-Kona has many restaurants so you know you will eat well whether you are in town to shop or sight see. There’s food to satisfy every craving from hearty breakfasts to fresh poke to delicious lunch plates to sweet shave ice. Below you will find listed in alphabetical order seven of the best Kailua-Kona eateries.

Mural inside 808 Grindz Cafe - Kailua-Kona, HI

Mural inside 808 Grindz Cafe

Loco Moco at 808 Grindz Cafe - Kailua-Kona, HI

Loco Moco at 808 Grindz Cafe

808 Grindz Cafe

808 Grindz Cafe is in a strip mall in Kailua-Kona. As you enter the restaurant the first thing you see is a huge mural on a wall depicting beachgoers relaxing. The mural emanates good vibes making you think you too are beachgoer just taking a food break. 808 Grindz Cafe might be a small restaurant with a tiny kitchen but it dishes out big plates of food. Order from a variety of classic Hawaiian favorites made with a special chef’s twist. Favorites include the kalua pork hash, the 808 Combo, and the loco moco.

If you’ve never had loco moco be sure to order it at 808 Grindz Cafe. A loco moco begins with rice as the base of the dish and a hamburger patty on top of the rice. Poured over the hamburger patty and rice is brown gravy. An egg placed on top of everything completes the dish. The 808 Grindz Cafe is open daily, except Mondays, for breakfast and lunch only.

Banana macadamia nut pancakes at Big Island Grill - Kailua-Kona, HI

Banana macadamia nut pancakes at Big Island Grill

Sign for Big Island Grill - Kailua-Kona, HI

Sign for Big Island Grill

Big Island Grill

The moment you enter the Big Island Grill you know you’ve stepped into a classic diner. Sit amongst the many locals and enjoy a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take a moment and explore the menu at Big Island Grill. Their menus are full of traditional Hawaiian dishes. Choose from favorites such as the saimin, loco moco, katsu, or kalua pork. The Big Island Grill serves one of the best banana macadamia nut pancakes, not just in Kailua-Kona but the entire state of Hawaii. Order the short or full stack and remember to pour as much of the coconut syrup as your heart desires. A cup of the Kona coffee or guava juice will help you finish up those pancakes.

Garlic butter jumbo shrimp plate at Broke Da Mouth - Kailua-Kona, HI

Garlic butter jumbo shrimp plate at Broke Da Mouth

Spam musubi at Broke Da Mouth - Kailua-Kona, HI

Spam musubi at Broke Da Mouth

Broke Da Mouth

Broke Da Mouth is one of the most unassuming eateries in the world. Next to a laundry mat in an out-of-the-way strip mall you’ll find a foodie’s paradise. Chefs at this Kailua-Kona eatery cook up pile high food plates for starving customers. The portions are dense so bring your appetite. The best food options are those from the Grindz section of the Broke Da Mouth menu. Select from such savory options as shoyu butterfish, braised boneless kalbi, furikake chicken, or jumbo shrimp. Each plate comes with two scoops of white rice and your choice of macaroni or green salad. If you’ve never had Hawaiian macaroni salad try that island favorite.

For those still hungry add a foot long musubi roll. A musubi roll is rice and a filling, such as spam and egg, wrapped in seaweed. The musubi roll might just come in handy and tide you over if you’re waiting for a load of laundry to finish next door.

Entrance to Da Poke Shack - Kailua-Kona, HI

Entrance to Da Poke Shack

Poke Plate at Da Poke Shack - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke Plate at Da Poke Shack

Da Poke Shack

A popular dish to come out of Hawaii is poke. Poke is raw sushi grade fish sliced into cubes and marinated in sauces such as shoyu (soy sauce). Often mixed with the fish are onions and furikake. A dry Japanese seasoning, furikake includes sesame seeds and seaweed flakes. Da Poke Shack is one of the go to places for poke on the Big Island for both locals and visitors.

A great choice from the menu for those getting poke from Da Poke Shack is their Poke Plate. The Poke Plate includes two scoops of rice and your choice of poke. You get to choose two sides, such as edamame or seaweed salad.  Da Poke Shack has two locations on the Big Island.  The Kailua-Kona location has a few seats available for those that wish to eat on site. A second Da Poke Shack location is in Captain Cook, off Mamalahoa Highway at Mile Marker 106.

Breakfast sandwich at Green Flash Coffee - Kailua-Kona, HI

Breakfast sandwich at Green Flash Coffee

Entrance to Green Flash Coffee - Kailua-Kona, HI

Entrance to Green Flash Coffee

Green Flash Coffee

A great spot for breakfast or lunch in Kailua-Kona is Green Flash Coffee. This small coffee shop serves Kona coffee and Hawaiian inspired espresso drinks. The Haupia Latte and the Mauna Kea Mocha will satisfy the sweetest of teeth. Items on the breakfast and lunch menu are served throughout the day. The breakfast sandwiches Croque Madam/Monsieur and the French toast are delicious. The bread for the French toast, both the breakfast sandwich and the regular French toast, is Punalu’u sweetbread. Punalu’u sweetbread is fresh from the Punalu`u Bake Shop in the city of Naalehu. The lunch menu options include sandwiches made with their Panini grill. For those not craving a sandwich Green Flash Coffee sells smoothies made with fresh fruit.

Moo Bettah sign - Kailua-Kona, HI

Moo Bettah sign

Shave Ice at Moo Bettah - Kailua-Kona, HI

Shave Ice at Moo Bettah

Moo Bettah

When you crave dessert swing by Moo Bettah in Kailua-Kona. Perfect for those warm Hawaiian days choose from milk shakes, scoops of ice cream, or frozen yogurt. If those options aren’t enough you can pick from a list of smoothies, floats, and shave ice. Don’t confuse shave ice with a snow cone. Snow cones have crushed ice as opposed to shaved ice. With the shaved ice in a plastic bowl flavored syrups poured over the ice give the ice a sweet taste. To experience a real Hawaiian style shave ice add a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom of the shave ice.

Poke and sides on display at Umekes - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke and sides on display at Umekes

Poke from Umekes - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke from Umekes

Umeke’s

For many foodies poke is a religious experience. These foodies believe that their sworn duty is to eat the best poke from every region of the world. The Hawaiian Islands are full of places selling poke and Umeke’s is a front-runner for one of the best on the Big Island. The fish sold at Umeke’s in Kailua-Kona is fresh and delicious.

Umeke’s has two locations on the Big Island.  Depending on what time you visit the Umeke’s at Ali’i Plaza, you might see the staff working on large cuts of fish and preparing the poke. The various poke Umeke’s offers is on display in a glass case. Umeke’s sells poke by the pound or in a local style lunch bowl or plate. The lunch specials include poke, rice, and your choice from a variety of sides. One side dish you can buy is the Hawaiian favorite lomi lomi, a tomato and salmon salad. For dessert Umeke’s sells a Hawaiian favorite, the coconut-based Haupia.

The Umeke’s at Ali’i Plaza is a takeout establishment but if you want a more traditional sit-down experience, visit Umeke’s Fish Market Bar and Grill.  Located in Kailua-Kona, here you will find a full-service restaurant that has food and a bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails.  Umeke’s Fish Market Bar and Grill has won awards for the food it serves and has appeared on the Cooking Channel.  Be sure while visiting the Big Island to visit either of Umeke’s locations for a poke feast you won’t soon forget.

 

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Kailua-Kona Dining

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808 Grindz Cafe: 19.642470, -155.994061
Big Island Grill: 19.640135, -155.992239
Broke Da Mouth: 19.648566, -156.000360
Da Poke Shack: 19.607898, -155.977167
Green Flash Coffee: 19.622141, -155.985421
Moo Bettah: 19.570480, -155.962074
Umeke\'s: 19.638445, -155.991071
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808 Grindz Cafe
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
808 Grindz Cafe, Kopiko Street, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Big Island Grill
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Big Island Grill, Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Broke Da Mouth
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Da Poke Shack
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Da Poke Shack, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Green Flash Coffee
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Green Flash Coffee, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Moo Bettah
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Moo Bettah Frozen Fun, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Umeke's
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Umeke's Poke Bowls And Local Lunch Plates, Hualalai Road, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States

 

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Big Island Beaches

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The beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii are as picturesque and popular as the beaches found in the state’s other islands. Travelers staying on the Kona side of the Big Island have three distinct beaches they should plan to visit. Three Big Island beaches worth soaking up the sun’s rays at are Anaehoʻomalu Bay, Hapuna Beach, and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park.

Anaehoʻomalu Bay - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Anaehoʻomalu Bay stretches along the west coast of the Big Island. A section of the Bay connects to the Waikoloa Resorts, including the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. With portions of Anaehoʻomalu Bay being attached to the Waikoloa Resorts the Bay is often referred to as Waikoloa Beach. The part of Anaehoʻomalu Bay that is closest to the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa includes an inlet of water. Between the inlet and the Pacific Ocean is a stretch of sand for beachgoers to enjoy.   The contrast of the Bay along with the Pacific Ocean and the narrow stretch of sand provides a perfect setting for photos. In fact, the entire Anaehoʻomalu Bay is a great place to view the magical sunsets of Hawaii. Near the beach Anaehoʻomalu Bay has trails that lead through lava rock. Among the lava rock are tide pools and petroglyphs. Any time you see ancient petroglyphs you know you are on sacred land and should not step on those rocks. Enjoy your time at Anaehoʻomalu Bay by strolling through the lava rock trails or relaxing on the beach.

Anaehoʻomalu Bay - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Sunset at Anaehoʻomalu Bay - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Sunset at Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Hapuna Beach

The Northwest coast of the Big Island is home to the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. As one of the few actual white sand Big Island beaches, Hapuna Beach is popular with locals and tourists. The white sand is so soft that beachgoers find it hard to leave Hapuna Beach. Since Hapuna Beach is popular arrive early if you want to claim a spot to lounge on for the duration of the day. Besides sand Hapuna Beach offers picnic tables for those who might bring their own food and wish to eat while watching the Pacific Ocean waves. Although the beach now is only for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking the beach has an interesting history. The military conducted training sessions on Hapuna Beach during World War II. Even to this day due to these training sessions sometimes pieces of old ordnance, or artillery, will wash up on shore. Warning signs even great visitors to Hapuna Beach alerting them of the possibility of unexploded ordnance. Sweeps for ordnance occur on a routine basis ever since the military ceased training sessions on Hapuna Beach. If in the rare case that you find a piece of ordnance do not touch it. Contact the authorities by calling 911 and let them handle the ordnance.

Hapuna Beach - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Hapuna Beach

Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park is often referred to as Punalu’u Beach or Black Sand Beach. The Punalu’u Beach is on the southern part of the Big Island. Although not on the Kona side of the Big Island the black sand found at this beach make this a worthwhile drive. The drive from central Kona is an hour and forty minutes. Visitors staying in Hilo can reach Punalu’u Beach in an hour and fifteen minutes. Long ago lava flowing into the ocean created the black sand. Around the black sound is lava rock that extends into the ocean. With the lava rock so prominent once you wade into the water you find that the ground is full of rocks. This makes swimming in the Pacific Ocean here a challenge. Besides experiencing the unique black sand, Punalu’u Beach is home to sea turtles. The sea turtles are an endangered species and protected by state and federal law. This means that people may not disturb the sea turtles. Visitors must stay at least 25 feet away from the turtles. You may take photos of the turtles but do not engage these rare creatures. Leave the turtles to bask in the sun and enjoy the nature along with them.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park

 

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Big Island Beaches

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Anaehoomalu Bay: 19.916124, -155.893224
Hapuna Beach: 19.990617, -155.825596
Punaluu Black Sand Beach: 19.136057, -155.505065
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Anaehoomalu Bay
Big Island Beaches
Anaehoomalu Bay, Puako, HI, United States
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Hapuna Beach
Big Island Beaches
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Waimea, HI, United States
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Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Big Island Beaches
Punaluu Black Sand Beach Park, Pahala, HI, United States

 

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Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Locals and visitors to the state of Hawaii can attest that Hawaii encapsulates tropical serenity. The views of paradise stretch from lush green hills to white sandy beaches and warm ocean waters. Hawaii’s main islands for tourists are Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Island of Hawaii. The Island of Hawaii, referred to as the Big Island, is the largest of the islands. Visitors to the Big Island will be in for a topographical shock. Other Hawaiian islands are awash in swaths of greenery. Upon landing on the Big Island you will notice lava rock stretching for miles. The lava rock throughout the island reminds you of the surface of the moon. Yet the entire island is not just visible lava rock. There are lush hills and green trees aplenty. The Island of Hawaii is diverse not only in its topography but in its climate. One could start their day at the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, and on this the tallest peak on the Big Island see snow. In the afternoon you can warm up by flying over an active volcano or sunbathe at a black sand beach with turtles. Regardless how one spends their time on the Big Island the best way to end the day is by watching a sunset at one of the soft white sand beaches.

The Big Island: Hilo and Kona

To reach this island paradise visitors will arrive at either of the two main cities, Hilo on the eastern side of the island and Kona on the west. The fastest way between the two cities cuts through the island and is a 77-mile drive taking an hour and forty minutes. Another route includes more time by the coast but is over 90-miles and takes closer to two hours to drive. As the two cities aren’t close most visitors will choose to stay in one city their entire time. Others will decide to begin their trip in one city and then end up in the other. Hilo and Kona have their own airports. If you wish to see both cities the most time economical approach is to fly into one city and fly out from the other city. Hilo leans more towards the local scene with bed and breakfasts. It is the city to stay in for those wishing to explore the Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. The Volcanoes National Park is an hour away from Hilo versus two and a half hours from Kona. Kona has big hotel resorts and is within driving distance of many coffee farms. Most tourists stay on the Kona side of the island. With a rental car staying in Kona affords you the luxury to visit coffee farms, beaches, scenic overlooks, and petroglyphs. Not to mention go shopping and explore the historic districts of Kailua Village and Kainaliu.

Kona International Airport - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport is a tiny outdoor airport. Exiting your plane and feeling the warm island breeze is a great Hawaiian welcome. It’s not a perfect greeting when it’s raining so whether you are landing or waiting to leave keep an umbrella handy just in case. If you are renting a car follow the signs to the rental car van pick up location. You’ll be on your way to the rental car agency in no time. The airport has minimal shopping or dining options. When flying out if you plan on arriving early and want to eat at the airport consider bringing a lunch plate with you from a local restaurant.

Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook

Kona Scenic Overlooks

Routes 19 and 11 will be your primary highway arteries as you navigate the Kona coast. Each route has a scenic overlook worth the stop. On Route 19 the Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point is a great place to view Kiholo Bay and the surrounding lava fields. On Route 11 is the Kona Coast Scenic Overlook. Besides the ocean view you will find the Ohi’a Lava Tube Caves. This historic preserve of lava tubes run underneath the ground from the spot of the overlook to the ocean. Although access to the tubes is off-limits the lava rock and ocean in the distance make for striking photos.

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve

Kona Sights and Shopping

Close to the Waikoloa Beach Resorts is part of the Ala Loa Trail, or Kings Trail. This trail, once used for horse travel, leads travelers to the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve. At the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve you will find ancient rock carvings on sacred land. Visitors must stay on the well-marked trails, as tourists may not walk or climb on the sacred rocks. The trails are not paved so wear comfortable and sturdy shoes. Besides petroglyphs you will see cave shelters and rock shelters. For those staying at the Waikoloa Beach Resorts you will access the Kings Trail and Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve by foot. Visitors from other hotels may park at the nearby Queens’ Market Place or Kings’ Shops. Shoppers will want to spend time exploring the stores and restaurants offered at both the Queens’ Market Place and Kings’ Shops.

Mokuaikaua Church - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Mokuaikaua Church

Kona Historic Districts

The historic district of Kailua Village Kona is off Ali’I Drive. Ali’I Drive is where the Ironman Triathlon competition starts and finishes.   Kailua Village and Ali’I Drive have two historical buildings. Visitors will pass by the Huliheʻe Palace, a museum that was once a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Close by is Hawaii’s first church on the islands, Mokuaikaua Church. Visitors stroll along Ali’I Drive while enjoying the waterfront and exploring the various stores and restaurants. Kona’s Farmers Market is a favorite tourist stop with over forty vendors selling souvenirs, flowers, and fresh fruits.

Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store, Dirty Balls - Milk Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts - Kealakekua, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store, Dirty Balls – Milk Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts

Another nearby historic district is Kainaliu off Route 11. Kainaliu is an old plantation town that is now home to specialty stores and restaurants. A popular store is the Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store. The store sells packets of various chocolate covered macadamia nuts named by using puns. You’ll find the labels on the packaging either hilarious or offensive. Puns aside the chocolate covered macadamia nuts inside the packages are delicious morsels that make for great souvenirs. Besides sweets The Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store sells a variety of BBQ rubs, packaged in the same witty style as the macadamia nuts.

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Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Mauna Kea: 19.820611, -155.468094
Hilo Airport: 19.718834, -155.041687
Kona International Airport: 19.736916, -156.042925
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: 19.419370, -155.288497
Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point: 19.841805, -155.921574
Kona Coast Scenic Overlook and Ohi\'a Lava Tube Caves: 19.574186, -155.958996
Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve: 19.916992, -155.880135
Queens\' Market Place: 19.913617, -155.880590
Kings\' Shops: 19.916323, -155.882090
Kailua Village Kona: 19.637090, -155.990203
Huliheʻe Palace: 19.639334, -155.994352
Mokuaikaua Church: 19.639574, -155.993832
Kona Farmers Market: 19.637065, -155.991840
Kainaliu: 19.533105, -155.926751
Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store: 19.531545, -155.925824
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Mauna Kea
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Mauna Kea, Hawaii County, HI, United States
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Hilo Airport
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hilo Airport, Kekuanaoa Street, Hilo, HI, United States
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Kona International Airport
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kona International Airport, Kupipi Street, Kona, HI, United States
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, United States
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Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kīholo Bay, North Kona, HI, United States
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Kona Coast Scenic Overlook and Ohi'a Lava Tube Caves
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Keauhou, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Waikoloa Petroglyph Reserve, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Queens' Market Place
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Queens' MarketPlace, Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Kings' Shops
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kings' Shops, Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Kailua Village Kona
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kailua Village, Kuakini Highway, Kona, HI, United States
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Huliheʻe Palace
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hulihe‘e Palace, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Mokuaikaua Church
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Mokuaikaua Church, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Kona Farmers Market
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kona Farmers Market, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Kainaliu
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kainaliu Union, Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States
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Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store., Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States

 

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A Hong Kong Day Trip

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A great Hong Kong day trip is one where the experience differs from that of the districts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Hong Kong is more than just city escapades through skyscrapers and shopping malls. Allocating part of your trip to visiting other districts of Hong Kong allows you the opportunity to see another side of Hong Kong. A Hong Kong day trip means seeing first hand a bustling fishing village or hiking lush green hills. You can pay homage to a gigantic Buddha or soak in Portuguese influence. These Hong Kong day trips give you a glimpse into how locals live on outlying islands. Four unique Hong Kong day trips are those to Cheung Chau, Lamma Island, Lantau Island, and Macau.

Boats in Cheung Chau's harbor - Hong Kong, China

Boats in Cheung Chau’s harbor

 

Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau is part of Hong Kong’s Island Districts. You reach Cheung Chau by boat in under an hour from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 5. Unlike Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, Cheung Chau is a bustling fishing village. The harbor is full of fisherman working on their boats. At the waterfront vendors sell fish at markets while restaurants serve up fresh seafood dishes. Besides seafood tourists will enjoy Cheung Chau’s narrow streets with their shops, bakeries, and food stalls. Cheung Chau may translate from Cantonese into “Long Island” yet the island itself is small enough to entice visitors for a few hours. This makes Cheung Chau a perfect island for those tourists on a time crunch but still wanting to explore one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands.

Check out our article on Cheung Chau for more on visiting this island: Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

 

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail - Hong Kong, China

Part of the Lamma Island Famly Walk Trail

 

Lamma Island

Lamma Island is one of Hong Kong’s largest islands and one of the closest to Hong Kong Island. The island’s proximity and size is why Lamma Island is a perfect day trip for those visiting Hong Kong. The lush green hills of Lamma Island and lack of vehicles makes this Hong Kong day trip a peaceful change of pace from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Lamma Island has two main villages, Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. These villages connect to one other by a concrete trail that takes 1-1/2 hours to walk. The trail has amazing views of the island and the surrounding waters. Besides the trail, Lamma Island has beaches that are great for hot days and restaurants that serve delicious seafood. Visitors will reach Lamma Island by boat in under an hour on direct sailings from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 4.

Check out our article on Lamma Island for more on visiting this island: Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

 

Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island - Hong Kong, China

Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island

 

Lantau Island

Lantau Island is Hong Kong’s largest island and one of its least populous islands. What draws visitors to Lantau Island is the giant Tian Tan Buddha. Located at the Po Lin Monastery this bronze Buddha is one of the largest seated outdoor Buddha statues in the world. Visitors can get closer to the Buddha by climbing a staircase consisting of 268 steps. Travel to the Monastery and Buddha begins by reaching Lantau Island using either MTR (Mass Transit Railway) or by boat. The MTR Station you need to arrive at is Tung Chung Station, Exit B. If you are traveling by boat you will leave from Hong Kong Island’s Central Ferry Pier 6 to Mui Wo. Once on Lantau Island you will travel on a gondola (Ngong Ping 360) or bus to the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha. The gondola ride leaves from the MTR Tung Chung Station and is a 25-minute ride. Buses from either MTR Tung Chung Station or Mui Wo Ferry Pier will get you to your destination in 40-minutes.

 

St. Paul Ruins - Macau, China

St. Paul Ruins – Macau

 

Macau

Of the four destinations listed in this article Macau is the only one not part of Hong Kong’s Islands District. In fact Macau isn’t part of Hong Kong but its own city. As Hong Kong was once under British rule, Macau was once part of Portugal. The mix of Portuguese and Chinese influence makes Macau an interesting Hong Kong day trip. To visit Macau from Hong Kong visitors must leave from the Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island. The trip takes an hour by boat. Tourists will want to visit the ruins of St. Paul and the Kun Iam Statue and Temple. Besides the sights enjoy walking the mosaic-tiled streets amid buildings painted in calming shades of yellow, orange, and red colors. Take your time exploring the neighborhood’s shops and restaurants. A quirky spot to visit is the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Centre’s buildings are replicas of ancient Greek and Chinese architecture. Visitors who gamble will enjoy Macau’s status as the Las Vegas of Asia. There are plenty of casinos to gamble at such as the Sands Macao, Wynn Macau, Venetian MacauMGM Grand Macau, and Casino Lisboa.

 

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Hong Kong Day Trips

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Cheung Chau: 22.201618, 114.026501
Lamma Island: 22.200006, 114.135017
Lantau Island: 22.253985, 113.904984
Macau: 22.198745, 113.543873
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Cheung Chau
Cheung Chau: A Hong Kong Island

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A Hong Kong Day Trip

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
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Lamma Island
Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

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A Hong Kong Day Trip

Lamma Island, Hong Kong
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Lantau Island
A Hong Kong Day Trip
Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong
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Macau
A Hong Kong Day Trip
Macau

 

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