Big Island Review - Exploring The Kohala Coast

 


 

BIG ISLAND FAMILY FUN


There is only one place I know of in America where you can swim with 30 wild spinner dolphins in the early morning then scuba or snorkel that night with giant playful manta rays. Drive your rent a car around that afternoon and you will think you are on the moon because the landscape is all black volcanic rock

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BLACK LAVA ROCK COVERS THE KOHALA COAST



Don't get me started on how scenic the ocean view golf courses are. This magic place is the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, better known as Hawaii. This is truly a family vacation paradise. We brought our little five year old girl Tehea and she didn't stop smiling the entire five days. 

NHIKI AND TEHEA AFTER SNORKELING ENJOY A JACUZZI



She flew down the waterslides, snorkeled for the first time with colorful reef fish. Marveled at the turtles sunning themselves on the beach where we swam. Now don't get me wrong you can also have a very romantic stay on the big island. Did I mention eating dinner while watching a spectacular sunset is a nightly ritual here?

SUNSET DINNERS



Either way whether traveling as just a couple or with the whole family Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is the way to go. They have  several properties on the island, I stayed at The Outrigger Fairway Villas. This gated property is located in the Waikoloa resort area.

OUTRIGGER FAIRWAY VILLA AND POOL

The pool has an elevated waterfall spa and a poolside picnic area with BBQ. The Outrigger Fairway Villa's are done in contemporary Hawaiian plantation architecture. Stay there and you're just minutes from four or five of the best snorkeling beaches in all the Hawaiian Islands. You can even walk to two nice little shopping areas, Kings Shops and Queens Marketplace. There you will find a general store with everything you need to fill your Villa kitchen. Also three great restaurants. Roy's Waikoloa Bar and Grill, Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Surf Museum, SanseiSeafood Steak and Sushi Bar.

 

OUTRIGGER FAIRWAY VILLA



Our Outrigger Fairway Villa had two bedrooms, they have one and three bedrooms as well. It was beautifully appointed and overlooked the golf course. Everything about Outrigger is classy. The full kitchen has marble granite counter tops, a built-in microwave and dishwasher. The entire Villa was spacious, very clean and very comfortable. We all enjoyed having breakfast on our patio, known in Hawaii as an exterior lanai. There we watched geckos and colorful birds pass by. After a full day snorkeling and riding some island water slides with the kids it felt great to kickback in our air conditioned Villa, let the little ones nap.

TEHEA LOVED THE POOL

In a hotel room you can't make a cocktail or bite to eat without spending a fortune. In the Villa I just toss the wet towels and bathing suits in the washer/dryer. Then relax on the couch while listening to some soothing island music, sipping a little rum and fresh guava juice, which I bought at the local market in walking distance. Unlike a hotel room our parking spot was just feet from our Villa's front door. Which comes in handy when your kids are knocked out and you have to carry them from the car. For more information or reservations at the Outrigger Fairway Villas go to www.Outriggervillas.com 
 

KONA COAST WILL PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE


On vacation I love having a kitchen. With a family my trip philosophy is save money by making your own breakfast, even pack a few sandwiches for lunch at the pool or the beach. The local markets have the the tastiest fresh fruit. Then I spend my lunch money on those amazing real fruit island smoothies, and treat ourselves to some great restaurants for dinner. If your family loves being active and in the water than the Kona Coast is the place for you. There are several boats that will take you swimming with the wild spinner dolphins. We enjoyed Dolphin Journeys.

ABOARD DOLPHIN JOURNEY BOAT


Our boat held only six people making it perfect for a family trip. They also have boats that will take from seven to twenty five people on a dolphin trip or whale watching depending on the time of year. Our captain was a colorful lady who brought her small dogs along for the trip. You leave the dock at 830 AM, and after a short boat ride you're in the water with a school of spinner dolphins. It is a wonderful four hour trip, returning to the dock at 1 PM. The spinner dolphins hunt fish far out in the ocean at night and in the morning hang close to shore resting up. Being just feet away from them and watching them gracefully spin, jump and flip through the air is breathtaking. As long as you're kids can swim they can enjoy this adventure. It is truly one of the most magical days you will ever have. I would go back to the Big Island just for that dolphin experience again. None of the other Hawaiian Islands offers that experience. For the non swimmers there is also a Hilton Hotel that has an enclosed dolphin lagoon where kids interact with a dolphin one on one.

CALM BEACHES MAKES FOR GREAT SNORKELING


I am a snorkeling nut, and within five minutes by car are several hotels that have great snorkeling beaches. Both Maui and The Big Island of Hawaii have what I believe are the best snorkeling beaches in America. The water is teeming with tropical fish. The Hawaii green turtle was almost extinct but through conservation has made a great comeback. You will encounter them while snorkeling, but don't touch them that's against state law. Often you will find the turtles sunning on the beach alongside your family. Spend an afternoon sipping a fruit smoothie and snorkeling at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel beach. There the rock wall protects the cove and the water is very calm. Swim with the little ones just 15 feet from shore and you will see every kind of colorful fish Hawaii has to offer.

AFTER SNORKELING TEHEA ENJOYS A FRESH FRUIT SMOOTHIE

    
To me there is not a more perfect family afternoon. Sunny beach, clear blue water with friendly colorful reef fish, a sandwich and a fresh fruit smoothie!!! When I hit the lottery I'm buying one of these Outrigger Fairway Villa's and spending my days here in the sun!!
 
When I vacation in any of the Hawaiian Islands Roy's Restaurant is a must. They have six restaurants throughout the Hawaiian Islands, thirty one throughout the world. Three here in Los Angeles area. Chef Roy Yamaguchi is the father of Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine . Roy focuses on fresh caught local fish combining the freshest local farm ingredients with European sauces and bold Asian spices.

ROY'S AHI IS AMAZING

        
Roy's Waikoloa Restaurant located in the Kings Shops, walking distance from our Outrigger Fairway Villa's. We all strolled over after watching the sunset. Although the menu is famous for their fresh fish and you can't go wrong with any of their signature dishes like the Butter fish, Jade Pesto Steamed Monchong, or the Mahimahi. I like to start with Roy's Szechwan Ribs.  

I DREAM OF ROY'S RIBS

          
I also recommend Roy's Dim Sum Canoe for two, you get to try a little of everything. And don't miss the Ahi Poke, it is some of the best tasting Ahi you will ever try. We also loved the Frying Dragon Roll. Wash that down with one of Roy's signature cocktails like The Original Hawaiian Martini and you're in business. Roy's has one of the friendliest staffs I have ever encountered. They always go out of their way to take care of your little ones. They truly have the Aloha Spirit. Keep some room for one of their signature desserts. Do make a reservation for Roy's and all the restaurants I write about. All are very popular and in great locations with plentiful free self parking. Go to www.roysrestaurant.com to find all their locations and phone numbers.
 
Our second night we walked to Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Surf Museum also located in the Kings Shops. Named after legendary surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau. Eddie saved hundreds of lives while on lifeguard duty in the late 1960's at the treacherous surf beaches of the North Shore. Today a surfing contest is named in his honor. They have live island music playing while you dine. The music is wonderfully soothing, and adds nicely to the dinner.      

LIVE ISLAND MUSIC ADDS TO THE DINING EXPERIENCE


Our little girl Tehea got up and danced to the music which the entire restaurant seemed to enjoy. This restaurant is great for a casual lunch or dinner. The Kailua Pork Sliders and Fish Tacos were great. Try the grilled Ono or Macadamia Nut Mahimahi and you can't go wrong. 

EDDIE'S HAS GREAT FOOD

                                        
Their Big Island Baby Back Ribs were wonderful as well. The truffle Sweet Potato Fries don't disappoint. For dessert the Chocolate Brownie with Coconut Ice Cream and two sauces is quite memorable. Wash that all down with a Mango Margarita. They have very nice gluten free options as well. For reservations call 808-886-8433  

EVERYTHING AT SANSEI WAS DELICIOUS

 
Our last night before sadly heading to the airport we dined at Sansei Seafood Steak and Sushi Bar. Located in the Queens Marketplace also in walking distance from the Outrigger Fairways Condo. Here at Sansei and throughout Hawaii their motto is dress casual and bring a smile. The sushi is fresh caught and very tasty. We loved the Otoro Blue Fin Tuna and Island fresh Pink Sapper-Opakapaka. The little ones love the noodle dishes and Teriyaki Beef. I loved the Tea duck Eggroll and Cracked Peppercorn Grilled N.Y. Steak. The big Island is famous for their cattle ranches so do try some beef dish wherever you dine. 

FLASH FRIED MAC NUT ICE CREAM TO DIE FOR


Save room for the Tempura Fried Macadamia Nut Ice Cream- Vanilla ice cream encased in pound cake, rolled in macadamia nuts then flash fried. All I can say is WOW. Months later I still crave it. 

YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE ALL 3 RESTAURANTS


For a full menu and all their locations throughout the Hawaiian islands go to www.sanseihawaii.com

BIG ISLAND PERFECT FOR FAMILY TRIPS


 
The Big Island of Hawaii is the perfect family vacation. I hope you land there soon. Happy Travels
 
For reservations at The Outrigger Fairway Villa's go to www.Outriggervillas.com
for reservations at Dolphin Journeys go to www.DolphinJourneys.com or phone # 800-384-1218 or 808-329-3030
Roy's Waikoloa Bar and Grill phone # 808-886-4321
Sansei Seafood Steak and Sushi Bar in Waikoloa phone # 808-886-6286
Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Surf Museum in Waikoloa phone # 808-886-8433
 
 
 
 

 

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