This was the biggest move of our time on The Big Island, Volcano Village to Kona.
You can see by the maps, we had a big day ahead of ourselves. We started by leaving the Aloha Junction B+B after eating the amazing breakfast they prepared for us. We decided to backtrack 10 minutes down the road to visit the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. My sister heard they had a $20,000 orchid that rarely blooms, but happened to be in bloom while we were there. They had gorgeous flowers. My allergies were acting up, but Im glad I got to see a room full of unique flowers. They all smell different, wildly different.
We needed to do one more thing before we started our long road trip to Kona. We went back into Volcano Village and did one more hike. I can’t say we saw anything very different from the day before, but it was nice to be out there getting exercise. There were dramatic lava formations that were cool to hike around.
Around 12p we finally hit the road. At marker “B” we saw a sign for a black sand beach and decided to get some fresh air. This turned out to be a great decision. This black sand beach is Punalu’u Beach and is a common place for turtles to lay out on the beach. We saw several. The other side of the beach had giant crashing waves. Don’t count on swimming here, but if you like wildlife it’s worth stopping in.
Since it was lunch time, we stopped in at a place highly recommended to us, the Punalu’u Bake Shop (point “C” on the map). I enjoyed the tuna sandwich and a malasada. We all split a scoop of mac nut ice cream and got some snacky breads for the road.
After lunch we had a short journey to the southern most tip of the US. I have to share a photo of a house we passed along the way:
Is that not hilariously hideous?
Once we were away from houses, the landscape became rolling green hills with cattle. Such a change in scenerey in such a short drive. Down at the coast, there is a hike to a green sand beach. We didn’t have enough time to make the loop, and from what we’ve heard, don’t try to drive it. I’m sure given how remote it is and the hike you have to take to get there, it’s a magical beach. And green sand is so rare.. oh well, next time. We did get to walk around and stand on the edge of the cliff of the southern most point.
We still had a long drive ahead of us, so we set back on the road to Kona. Along this drive north there were many coffee plantations and fruit farms that give tours. We were tired and anxious to get to Kona so we did not stop off at any. We finally arrived at our hotel (Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel) in Kona around 5ish, just in time for a drink and a walk around the property before dinner. This hotel was beautiful, centrally located, and pretty cheap. Judging by it’s high occupancy given it’s their off-season, I’m guessing this is a favorite for visitors.
For dinner we walked to the Kona Brewing Company. The food was so good and the beer even better.
The next morning began out last day on The Big Island. We snorkeled at Kahluu Beach Park and then explored Alii Drive. This road take you along the ocean and is filled with cute shops. We even stumbled on a farmers market.
It was getting cloudy and we needed to head to the airport, but we made one stop at the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area.
My next post will be all about our flight from The Big Island to Maui.