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  • Writer's pictureMonica, Your Travel Gal

Top Island of Hawaii Romantic/Outdoor/Family Activities

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Whether you are looking for romance, outdoors or family friendly things to do, I have it all covered for you below. Let's start out with the romantic options with your sweetie in Hawaii. Check out my Top Romantic Activities on the Island of Hawaii (aka "The Big Island").

Image by Geoffrey Mao from Pixabay

1) Sunset Sail

The golden sunsets of the Kona and Kohala coasts on the west side of the island are the picture-perfect backdrop for catamaran cruises departing from Keauhou up through the Kohala Coast. Some include dinner, champagne and live entertainment.

2) Guided Stargazing

The amazing night skies above island of Hawaii are sure to inspire romance. Make sure to book a guided tour up the slopes of Maunakea where you can peer through giant telescopes and learn about the constellations from astronomers.

3) Waterfall Hike

Just outside Hilo are some of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Hawaii. Akaka Falls State Park is a wonderful place for couples to wander through the rain forest on paved footpaths to view two gorgeous falls.

4) Horseback Riding

Island of Hawaii offers many options for romantic trail rides that you can explore. The uplands of Waimea, where ranchers are happy to share their stories of paniolo culture, are ideal for trail rides through rolling meadows. On the east side of the island, couples can enjoy a lush landscape of streams and waterfalls on a ride through the Waipio Valley.

5) Outdoor Spa Treatments

Many of the upscale resort spas on the Kohala Coast offer special spa suites for couples with their own private gardens. Some also have private treatment cabanas overlooking the ocean.

6) Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

North of Hilo, this is a place of spectacular ocean vistas and nature trails meandering through an enchanting landscape of ginger, bromeliads, palms and other rare and exotic plants.

7) Liliuokalani Gardens

Another lush beauty spot near Hilo is Liliuokalani Gardens, an idyllic Japanese garden with pagodas, a teahouse and a half-moon bridge spanning a tranquil pond.

8) Art Galleries

Artists are drawn to island of Hawaii’s inspirational landscapes and laid-back pace, a fact that you will appreciate when exploring the art galleries that abound in towns like Hawi, Holualoa and Volcano Village.

9) Kailua Village Walking Tour

A great way for clients to enjoy the palace, as well as other historic sites in town, is to take the Kona Historical Society’s Kailua Village Walking Tour, available in either guided or self-guided versions.

10) Luau

You will enjoy the magic of a sunset luau with buffets of local specialties and live Pacific Island music and dance.


Maybe romance isn't your gig but exploring the outdoors is? Check out my Top Outdoor Activities on the Island of Hawaii (aka "The Big Island").

Credit: Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) / Kawika Singson

1) Manta Night Dives

Gentle manta rays, with wing spans of up to 20 feet, are most visible at night when they come in to feed on plankton. Book one of the night snorkel/dive tours that depart from various points along the Kona Coast. The companies set up giant lights on the ocean floor, enabling snorkelers and certified divers to watch the graceful rays gliding and somersaulting through the water.

2) Deep Sea Fishing

Island of Hawaii, with its waters teeming with marlin and other big-game fish, is famous the world over for deep-sea fishing. Book one of the many charters available out of Kailua-Kona throughout the Kona Coast so you can try your luck at landing the really big one.

3) Nature Hikes

Hikers of all abilities will find much to enjoy on island of Hawaii. A great way to explore the island is by visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers over 150 miles of trails. If you want to combine a hike with ancient wonders, the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (also known as the Kings’ Trail) encompasses petroglyph fields, heiau (temples), ruins and other sites.

4) Air Tours

The huge scope of island of Hawaii’s geological marvels are brought together by air tours. Be it by helicopter or small plane, you can fly over the steaming craters and lava flows of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the majestic peaks of Maunakea and the waterfalls of the Hamakua Coastline on one thrilling ride.

5) Snorkeling Adventures

The clear, calm waters off the Kona and Kohala Coasts provide great snorkeling opportunities. On the Kohala Coast, Hapuna Beach and Anaehoomalu Bay are prime spots for snorkeling excursions. South of Kailua-Kona, Honaunau Bay is another.

6) Horseback Riding

In the upcountry around Waimea, you can experience the paniolo (the Hawaiian word for cowboy) lifestyle at working ranches and ride horses through verdant rolling pastures that look more like Wyoming than Hawaii.

7) Golf

Island of Hawaii is known as “The Golf Capital of Hawaii” for good reason. The black lava landscape and blue waters of the Kohala Coast are the setting for several magnificent courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf. For a truly unique golf experience, I suggest that you try the 4,200-foot high Volcano Golf and Country Club located just outside the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

8) Zipline

Island of Hawaii offers a number of exciting zipline options, including the chance to soar above a rainforest and then take a dip in a refreshing natural pool fed by a spectacular waterfall.

9) Waipio Valley

This deep, cliff-enclosed valley is said to be where many of the ancient Hawaiian alii (royalty) are buried. You can take a guided hike or van tour to the valley floor, a peaceful world of kalo (taro) patches, fruit trees and isolated homesteads. Or, you can savor views of the valley and coastline from up high at the Waipio Valley Lookout.


Finally, maybe you are traveling with your kids and want some family friendly things to do? Check out my Top Family Activities on the Island of Hawaii (aka "The Big Island").

Image by Adrian Malec from Pixabay

1) Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

No theme park can match what nature has in store for families to enjoy in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While families can explore the park on their own, there are also guided tours available that cover such highlights as Kilauea Caldera, the Thomas A. Jagger Museum and the Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku). For something extra special, book a night tour of the park where you might see the fiery glow of Kilauea at its most dazzling.

2) Imiloa Astronomy Center

The many inter-active interactive exhibits in this Hilo attraction unlock the secrets of the stars above island of Hawaii as well as their significance in Hawaiian history and culture. Families can also enjoy daily planetarium shows.

3) Pacific Tsunami Museum

Through historic photographs, docent tours and interactive exhibits, this Hilo museum explains the science and impact of tsunami waves, including the two that washed over Hilo shores in 1946 and 1960.

4) Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

The largest of island of Hawaii’s white sand beaches is located on the Kohala Coast adjacent to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Safe for swimming, snorkeling and other water sports, it offers ample picnic areas and other family-friendly facilities.

5) Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm

This aqua farm in Kailua-Kona is dedicated to preserving the endangered seahorse and is now captive breeding 15 species of the enchanting little creatures. You can tour the farm and learn about its efforts, view seahorses in its aquarium room and even get to hold and feed them.

6) Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

A restored compound of temple ruins, fish ponds, sacred burial grounds, petroglyphs and other illustrations of life on the island before Western contact. Also known as the "City of Refuge".

7) Lapakahi State Historical Park

On a hill above the North Kohala Coast, this is a partially restored fishing village dating back 600 years. On a self-guided one-mile walk, visitors can explore restored hale (houses) and lava stone walls and even try their hand at traditional Hawaiian games.

8) Stargazing

Island of Hawaii is a major astronomical destination, with its famed observatories atop Maunakea and the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. Guided stargazing tours are a great way for you to see what the heavens reveal.

9) Paniolo Culture

The uplands of Waimea, where ranchers are happy to share their stories of paniolo (cowboy) culture, are ideal for trail rides through rolling meadows. This is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy!

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