Cruise ship guests will get a break from life at sea once their ship docks at the Kailua Pier in Kailua-Kona. Couples will have an abundance of unique and romantic sights to see and things to do with their time on land in Kona. On the Big Island, even the most romantic experiences are usually nature and activity oriented, so be ready to feel the love while feeling the natural beauty of the island.
Beautiful Kua Bay — Photo courtesy of Eggrole
Relax at Manini'owali Beach, also known as Kua Bay, in Kekaha Kai State Park north of Kailua-Kona.
Before a real road to the beach was put in, people would four-wheel drive or hike in over lava rock - proof that the beach was well worth the effort. Today you can easily access this beautiful, small white sand beach between mile markers 88 and 89 on Highway 19.
The turquoise water here is excellent for bodyboarding, swimming and snorkeling. It's also a great place for getting a lot of sun, since there's not much shade. Full facilities make it a comfortable place to spend some time at this picturesque beach.
Enjoy lunch at Huggo's and grab a romantic, oceanfront table outside. A Kona staple for over 40 years, Huggo's is known for serving up local favorites like fresh fish dishes, tropical cocktails, burgers and salads. Try the breadfruit french fries for a local twist on an American staple.
Sunset at Huggo's — Photo courtesy of Huggo's
Grab your mask and snorkel and explore the vibrant underwater world of Kahalu'u Beach Park. Known for some of the best snorkeling on the island, Kahalu'u manages to draw in tons of fish, which, if you pick up a bag of fish food on the beach, will swarm all around you, allowing close up views of their colors and prints. Full facilities and lifeguards here make it an easy stop.
In the late afternoon, cool off by heading up the mountain to gallery-filled Holualoa for a bite to eat at Holuakoa Gardens and Café (76-5901 Mamalahoa Highway). Located in the cooler climate a bit inland, the café offers all outdoor seating in a beautiful garden.
The menu changes daily with available local produce and the dish options aren't the usual ones you find in Hawaii. There are vegetarian and gluten-free options, and an extensive wine list is available.
For the best historical activity on the Big Island, visit Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, also known as the City of Refuge. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., this place offers insight into old Hawaii - really, really old Hawaii.
City of Refuge — Photo courtesy of Ken Lund
Dedicated to the god Lono, who was the god of life, the park was a place of refuge for Hawaiian chiefs. During times of war, women and children would find safety on the grounds. If defeated chiefs or people accused of breaking kapu ("taboo") could make it to the shore by swimming across the bay, then they would be freed of their sins and given a second chance.
The beach is beautiful and there are sculptures, statues, carvings and structures along with an abundance of historical facts to be discovered.