Hawaii Post 7: Ziplining + Maui Brewing Company

To catch you up to speed:
Post 1: The Hilton Waikoloa
Post 2: Waikoloa to Hilo
Post 3: Hilo to Volcano Village
Post 4: Volcano Village to Kona
Post 5: Kona to Maui
Post 6: Lahaina + Trilogy Boating Excursion

After yesterdays boating adventure, it was time for a beach visit. Originally we had grand plans to wake up at 3am (I know, ridiculous) and drive all the way to Haleakala to catch the sunrise. I’m sure this would have been amazing, but it just didn’t make sense because of where we were staying it would take 4-5hrs just for a 10 minute sunrise. Not worth our time this trip (although when I go back, I’ll make sure I get to see it). Instead we decided to hit the local beach, Napili Bay (point “B”).

The sand was so soft that it made for a great laying-out beach as well as snorkeling. At noon we went to Skyline Eco Adventures (near point “C”) to go ziplining! It was my first time. I didn’t bring my cell phone or camera because I didn’t want to lose either, although in hindsight it would have been okay to use a cell phone for photos. Sadly, there are no pictures of this excursion. If you click on the website link above you can see photos on their website of the lines we went down. What a cool experience and our guides Kevin and his partner in crime (who’s name I can’t pronounce or spell) were hilarious. You could tell they love their jobs and working with travelers. We did 8 (?) zips and ate lunch at a treehouse like structure overlooking a valley. They had a veggie option for me which was a tasty sandwich. They even give you a free water bottle and drinks and dessert when you finish. I highly recommend this company. They were a little more money than some of the other options, but provided food and a ton more zips! It’s the best bang-for-your-buck.

After ziplining we explored Whaler Village (also near point “C”) before heading back to our condo to get ready for dinner. It reminded us of the Grove, to put it in LA perspective. It’s also surrounded by large high-rise hotels and resorts so it’s very touristy. It was fun to walk through, but we didn’t stay too long. We drove up north of our condo to see the Ritz, but it wasn’t very open to the public so instead of catching the sunset there, we stopped back at Napili Beach.

After sunset we realized we never stopped in at the Maui Brewing Company. Since we saw the Kona Brewing Company on the Big Island, it only seems fair to see Maui’s. We knew we wanted to have dinner in Lahaina (at Cheese Burger in Paradise which was recommended by Young House Love)so we just stopped in for one drink. I ordered their coffee/coconut dark brew Coconut Porter. I love it.

Then we ate at Cheese Burger In Paradise (point “D”) while listening to a singer. The photo was good. Nothing fancy but a fun place to eat on the second floor overlooking Lahaina.

Of course we stopped back in a Ululani’s for another dose of shaved ice.

Can you tell we’ve eaten and ton on this trip? And indulged in so many tasty treats? It’s so hard not to with so much unique food in Hawaii. You can bet now that I’m back, it’s diet-city!

Hawaii Post 4: Volcano Village to Kona

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.