Your Polynesian style bungalow at Sea Mountain puts you a short 30 minute drive to this natural wonder, and others are even closer. Located in the arid, isolated, undeveloped part of the island known as South Point, the resort is set well apart from the bustle of Hilo or Kona.
The resort features its own golf course, plus a barbecue area; an outdoor pool and hot tub; tennis courts; and you are only moments away from the legendary black sand beach. This is the Hawaii of old, where tradition lives on and the Polynesian island atmosphere runs deep.
Rooms feature a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, televisions with DVD, in-room telephone, ceiling fans and a relaxing patio or balcony. A car is a necessity when you visit Sea Mountain. You may wish to do your major grocery shopping in either Kona (70 miles) or Hilo (56 miles). Local grocery shopping is limited
The dramatic size and scope of the largest Hawaiian Island creates a microcosm of environments and activities. On this island's vast tableau, you'll find everything from incredible golf courses to modest local towns and sacred Hawaiian historical sites, from the birthplace of King Kamehameha I to Hawaii's first missionary church in Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona).
With surroundings ranging from lava-strewn deserts to tropical plantations and gardens, you can engage in every imaginable outdoor activity here.
Hawaii's Big Island and its clear blue waters are truly a snorkeling and scuba paradise. Snorkel or scuba with manta rays off the Kona Coast. For serious snorkeling, it's best to take a boat charter or travel with a local guide, somebody who knows the best spots and who can read changing weather patterns.
Take a helicopter tour for a bird's-eye view of steaming volcanoes, and the rest of the island's hidden waterfalls, lush valleys and balmy beaches.
Watch as the kids discover ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks at sites along the Kohala Coast. Let them stargaze through telescopes at the Ellison S. Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, 9,300 feet atop Maunakea. Or join them as you explore the planetarium and interactive exhibits in the amazing Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.
Outdoor adventures abound at family friendly parks and beaches with lifeguards and full picnic and restroom facilities. Build a sandcastle, explore tide pools, or snorkel with the kids to catch a glimpse of the Big Island's rich marine life.
Embark on a cultural journey discovering authentic hula, exploring natural wonders and learning about some of Hawaii's most historic places.
Hawaii's Big Island is home to some of the most historic places in all of Hawaii. From the birthplace of King Kamehameha and the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) to restored heiau and the site of Captain Cook's death, the Big Island offers visitors a chance to walk in the shadows of Hawaiian history.
National Parks abound, each with their own uniquely wonderful experience. Continuously erupting since 1983, Kilauea Volcano is the centerpiece of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Currently, most of the volcanic activity is centered around the Puu Oo Vent. Visitors can witness lava entering the sea from a viewing point in Kalapana outside the park.
Home to Pele, the volcano goddess, the massive Halemaumau Crater within Kilauea Caldera has also been the center of recent volcanic activity. Steam vents and dramatic, otherworldly views make this an unforgettable sight.
All along the Hamakua Coast from Hilo to Waipio Valley, you'll find a variety of lookouts to see incredible waterfalls. Akaka Falls is a 442-foot waterfall that's easily accessible, while Wailuku River State Park features the 80-foot Rainbow Falls and Peepee Falls just west of Downtown Hilo.
Puuhonua of Honaunau National Historical Park features royal grounds, heiau (temples), Hawaiian fishponds and the Great Wall, 10-feet high and 17-feet thick. This is a fantastic place to learn about early Hawaiian culture. Mookini Heiau State Monument, King Kamehameha's Birth Site is one of the most sacred spots on the island - this 1,500-year-old heiau (temple) in beautiful North Kohala was once a temple of human sacrifice.
Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) in the center of the Kona Coast is also a place of great historical significance. Visit Hulihee Palace, summer home for Hawaiian royalty; Mokuaikaua Church, Hawaii's earliest Christian Church built in 1820; and Ahuena Heiau, built by King Kamehameha I, all within view of each other on Alii Drive.
If you like a round of golf - there are just so many courses to choose from. But just try to concentrate and focus on your swing and not the pristine, black lava-lined fairways and palm tree-speckled greens. Block out the crystal blue waters and the rhythmic crash of waves just beyond the bunker. Try your best to forget that you're playing on one of the most beautiful golf courses you've ever seen. It may take a few holes, but you'll get used to it.
With so much to see, it's best to experience the island in small pieces. There's plenty of room on Hawaii's Big Island for your return.