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Spotlight: Hawaii (The Big Island)

Posted on April 16, 2013


[trip style = beach + sun]

As my flight descends towards the Kona airport over an 1890s lava flow, I’m welcomed by Hawaii Island’s bubbling beginnings. This is not your average sandy beach vacation; it’s so much more.

At 11:50 a.m. I settle into my sweat box of a rental car and open my TomTom GPS app — my travel BFF — ready to tackle the island on two wheels. Problem: trusty Tom does not include Hawaii’s Big Island {note to self: download Tom’s newest version, doh!}. Before I have a molten meltdown, I realize that while the Island is big, it only has a few major roads. Old-school exploration it is; map in hand, we start the car.

Pulling out of the open-air airport with the air con blasting at arctic levels, my eyes are glued to the window instead of the map. Wispy grasses sprout between the shiny, course lava—indicating different flow generations—as we motor to our first of five hotels on the youngest Hawaiian Isle.

En route I notice a bunch of highway-side parked cars and lava ash roads leading to what seem like secret spots. Out yonder oceanfront palm oases brighten the inky landscape. The trusty map shows no evidence of such places, and I quickly learn Hawaii 101: have a guidebook and Hawaii 102: go off book and explore like Captain Cook.

At first I skip Kona and do what ANY sun-starved winterite would do: bee line to the Kohala Coast Resort, don my bathing suit and dine while watching the sunset. P-r-i-o-r-i-t-i-e-s. Over the next 10 days, I make my way around the island, descending into sacred valleys and going on DIY turtle safaris along the way.

Continue reading more about Trish’s Hawaii Island adventure on Trip Styler.

Trish unpacks her suitcase in Vancouver, Canada, where she is the editor-in-chief of TripStyler.com, a travel lifestyle website for aspiring jetsetters. Find her moonlighting with Expedia, Fodor’s and Jetsetter while circumventing the globe with her entourage: a MacBook Air, an Olympus camera and the biggest carry-on she can fit on the plane. Find her on social media @: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

1 Comment »

  1. Enjoyed reading this as it sounded like us (my family). We’ve learned when on the Big Island (my favorite by far), just to take off and go. Last time we rented a 4 wheel drive and went to some wild places. Drove out to the Green Sand beach and climbed down the cliffs to take a dip. Drove to the top of Mauna Kea (I don’t like heights) but it was oh so gorgeous! And who would’ve thought there was snow in the islands? Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Jana Mueller — July 16, 2013 @ 11:17 am

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