Hey guys! Holy, it’s been some time since I’ve posted! I’ve been so busy with life in general that I’ve neglected to write about it! We recently, travelled to Hawaii for our first family trip with my in-laws, husband and sister-in-law to celebrate my father-in-law’s big 7-0! As a kid, I remember family trips to the east coast, and camping but we didn’t have much of these growing up because my parents were always working. As an adult, we were excited to see what our new family trips would look like, especially even more excited that it was to Hawaii! Today, I’m sharing our trip over to Big Island and Maui, both of which are vastly different from one another and how our family trip gave us freedom to explore on both islands. We took a few factors into consideration when we chose these two islands: my husband’s family has travelled to Oahu, so that was out, we really wanted to check out Kauai but we’ve heard that island was a lot of hiking and adventure and we wanted to make sure we accommodated our parents so that really left us with Maui and Big Island. If you’re planning a trip , it’ll be difficult to see all the islands in one trip so take into consideration what you like to do on your trips and it’ll help you narrow your choices. We also chose accommodations that had a kitchen. It can add up on a family trip, so it allowed us to stop by the closest Safeway to grab our groceries for a few days.
Duration of stay: 11 days (6 days Big Island in Puna and Kona, 5 days in Maui)
Our first stop, Big Island! It’s the largest of the islands of Hawaii and is extremely diverse in its landscape with beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and Volcanoes National Park. We decided to explore both sides of the island to make sure we got a glimpse of everything. The first few days we stayed in Kona, a super relaxed beach filled part of the island. What I found on this part of the island is that there is a lot of volcanic rock surrounding the shores, so if you’re looking to go for a quick dip, you’ll need to drive to sandy beach to do so. The waves during this time of year were a bit rough (good for surfing) but you’re going to hit by a few waves in certain parts of the water if you’re not careful. I’ve listed a few restaurants and places we’ve visited during our stay in Kona.
Da Poke Shack – delicious poke perfect for a bit after time at the beach
Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill – great spot of dinner *highly recommended
Merriman’s – we grabbed lunch here on our drive over to Puna
Snorkelling, Manta Ray Night Dive (one of kind experience and highly recommended), end of the world cliff jumping (some of the locals were jumping off the cliffs but they didn’t recommend it because the waves were a bit strong that day), Makalawena Beach
End of the world cliff jumping
One of many Shaved Ice treats
Swimsuit: Tavik Swimwear
Puna (on the east side of the island, lush rainforest)
On our drive to our airbnb we made stops along the way: Akaka Falls, Waipi’o Valley, and the little downtown area of Hilo. On this side of the island it made it easier for us to access Volcanoes National Park which was an experience of it’s own.
Stops on our way to Puna
A stop in Volcanoes National Park
Even these islands are all part of Hawaii they felt so unique from one another. Maui felt more like a city, and their beaches were more easily accessible (not as many volcanic rocks/cliffs surrounding the area). We spent out last half of the trip here and I’d highly recommend renting surfboards, or other water equipment for your stay because the beaches are everywhere and can literally park your car and take a dive at your leisure. I’ve listed a few things we did and recommendations on our stay on this island below.
Aloha Mixed Plate – good for a relaxed meal, but nothing fancy
Lahaina Grill – we got super lucky last minute with a reservation here, highly recommended, it was the best meal we had on our trip!
Leilani’s on the Beach – great lunch spot with a view, with amazing avocado toast!
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop – our last lunch meal, highly recommended – try a dessert pie too
Monkeypod Kitchen – enjoyed lunch here mid-beach day
Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice – We probably had one of these every other day – don’t forget to get the ice cream in the centre!
Japengo – our last dinner in Hawaii, great for sushi/seafood lovers
Leilani’s on the Beach
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
Big Beach (strong undercurrent), little beach (might see some nudies here beware)!, Keawakapu Beach (this was my favourite – shallow and super clean water), Road to Hana (beautiful stops but I’m not sure I’d recommend this trip – I found it long and even a bit tiring but the stops I’d recommend: Paia Town, Ka Haku Smoke Shack, Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach), Surfing
Montage Kapalua Bay
Swimsuit: Kore Swim
We made our own flora crowns