As the jet makes its arching descent across Hilo Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii, we’re mesmerized by the tropical tableau below–translucent blue water fringed with green rolling hills. The couple across the aisle compares the scenery to Ireland. But when my husband and I step off the plane, the floral fragrances and warm trades winds leave no doubt that we’re in Hawaii.
Exotic birds soar from palm to palm as we wind our way down the drive to a plantation-style inn located 14 miles from Hilo. Every room at the Palm Cliff House has views of the ocean below, where humpback whales and spinner dolphins frolic in the waters of Pokakumanu Bay.
Paddle on the Kona Coast.
Paddle on the Kona Coast. Maybe you’ll be lucky as we re. Dolphins surfaced close to our kayaks and then as furtively as they arrived, they disappeared into the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Don’t miss the Farmer’s Market in Hilo
Bike the Rim of the Volcano
The minute drive from Hilo to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park leads to one of the 22 World Heritage sites in the United States and one of two in Hawaii.
During our easy bike ride along the rim of the volcano, we stopped to hike through a lava tube and watch ash and gas spewing from the Halema’uma’u Crater. Don’t miss the nearby Volcano Garden Art Center and make time for lunch in the organic gardens of Cafe Ono.
This story first appeared in travelgirl magazine.