Why visit the Kohala Coast? The Kohala Coast offers much!
The Kohala Coast Is Where We Are.
With this page on the Kohala Coast, we would like to provide first time visitors to the Big Island and previous visitors to other Big Island areas with some basic information about the area where our vacation homes are located and with a glimpse of the huge variety of activities it offers. See also our detailed 7-day Kohala Coast vacation plan.
You can draw a line down the middle of the island from north to south and east of that line is the windward side, also known as the green side, or wet side. Much more rain, much more green everywhere, jungles, rain forests, waterfalls, rocky coastlines and black sand beaches. West of that line is the leeward side, also known as the dry and sunny side, with the Kona Coast and the Kohala Coast (Gold Coast) where we are.
As the Kohala Coast features the most stable sunny weather all year round, the best white sand beaches of the Big Island and premier golf courses, it is home to many famous 5-star and 4-star resorts like the Four Seasons, Waikoloa Beach Resort with Hilton, Marriott and vacation condos, Mauna Lani Beach Resort with Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii and vacation condos, Puako vacation homes, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
In comparison to Maui or Kauai, the Kohala Coast doesn't have ocean front condos (except ‘The Terrace at Mauna Lani’ where rates start at $350/nt.). From all Kohala Coast Big Island condos at Waikoloa Beach Resort, Waikoloa village, Mauna Lani Resort, vacationers have to drive to the beaches!!! So, if you insist on an ocean front vacation home on the Kohala Coast, your only options are Puako vacation rentals (anticipate double or triple our cottage rates and make sure that the house has AC).
Where are the beaches?
Hapuna Beach Park
Mauna Kea Beach
Spencer Beach Park
When we get inquiries, the most asked question is 'Where are the beaches?'. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from: Spencer Beach Park (perfect for families with small children) and Kauna’oa (Mauna Kea Beach w/public part - never crowded, and the separate hotel part, so you don't need to mingle with the hotel crowd) and Hapuna Beach State Park. All 3 beaches feature shower and restroom facilities and are within about 12 min drive from our Aloha Vacation Cottages. Mauna Kea and Hapuna beach have both been ranked among the best beaches in the world by Conde Nast Magazine. Other great options are Wailea Bay in Puako (about 15 min drive) or Anaeho’omalu Beach (called 'A Bay' by the locals) about 25min drive…just to name the most well-known and closest white sand beaches in our area on the Kohala Coast. You will find more beach information with photos in your guesthouse.
Where we are
Our vacation rentals are about 6.5 miles from Mauna Kea beach or Kawaihae Spencer Beach Park in the direction to Kamuela (Waimea) and 3.5 miles from Kamuela (Waimea) in the direction to the beach, off Hwy 19, located in the peaceful, upscale community of South Kohala View Estates, with wide streets and friendly people, a great place for a morning or late afternoon walk or jog. Compare to Big Island map.
What else can you do in our immediate area on the Kohala Coast? Within short driving distances of your big island home, you can play golf at 9 championship courses, play tennis (get tennis racquets from us free of charge), go horseback riding, take a hike into spectacular valleys (with Waipio Valley & Pololu Valley in close proximity, it’s a hiker’s Paradise), explore the Pacific waters snorkeling & meeting tropical fish and turtles (we provide snorkel gear and share great snorkel places with you), go deep sea fishing or scuba diving or check out or maybe you want to go boogie boarding (we provide the boards!)…the Kohala Coast has something for everybody! We have not even mentioned a visit to the world's most famous observatories on majestic Mauna Kea or a helicopter flight over an active volcano...
Nearby Local Attractions - Kohala Coast
We are long time residents of Hawaii Big Island and will help find the right activity for you. Let's start by sharing a few of our favorite spots with you. Find recommendations for your 7-day vacation plan for your Big Island stay with us.
Waipio Valley Lookout
can be reached by car within half an hour - walking into the valley will be an adventure you won't forget (driving requires a 4-wheel drive)!
Located along the Hamakua Coast on the northeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawai'i, Waipi'o Valley is the largest and southernmost of the seven valleys on the windward side of the Kohala Mountains. Waipi'o is a mile wide at the coast and almost six miles deep. At the coast there is a beautiful black sand beach. On either side of the valley are cliffs reaching almost 2000 feet with cascading waterfalls.
The view of the valley and coast from the Lookout is spectacular.
Looking for a challenging hike? Try the hike from Pololu Valley Lookout on trails above the valley winding underneath waterfalls ... spectacular views will reward your efforts. Permit required!
More things to do on the Kohala Coast
* Mauna Kea beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, boogie boarding & sunbathing. Don't miss the 360° Panorama view of Mauna Kea beach with hotel and public part.
* Kohala Divers located in Kawaihae Habor & Marina (short drive from us), offer a wide variety for ocean activities like snorkel & scuba diving, whale watch & sunset cruises on the Kohala Coast. Sail Hawaii with Maile Charters for adventure.
* Free Manta Ray watch at night (Mauna Kea Beach Hotel). The hotel has a Manta Ray lookout. A spotlight will be switched on at night, which attracts the plankton, and the rays show up for dinner and perform their magnificent ballet.
* Star gazing on top of Mauna Kea (13,796ft). You can drive to the summit on your own, provided you have a 4-wheel drive from Harpers (only car rental which allows Saddle Rd and Mauna Kea), are in good health and the summit weather conditions are OK.
* Spectacular hiking into remote valleys & to hidden waterfalls. Decide for a guide tour with Hawaiian Walkways and discover places you normally would not find or be allowed to visit. Explore on your own...Waipio & Pololu Valley are a Paradise for hikers!
* Paniolo Adventures offers horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking tours in the historic Kohala Mountains.
* Walks to ancient fish ponds, sacred Hawaiian sites, heiaus & Petroglyphs on the Big Island. Puukohola Heiau built by King Kamehameha in Kawaihae next to Spencer Beach Park is worthwhile a visit (ca. 10min. drive from our cottages).
* Helicopter tours over an active volcano and remote valleys of the Big Island.
* Flumin Da Ditch now called Kohala Ditch Adventures - Flume the historic Kohala Sugar Plantation irrigation ditch by Kayak on this unique ecotour led by professional guides.
* Resorts like Mauna Lani and Hilton Waikoloa with Dolphin Quest are great fun to vist for the whole family.
* King's Shop event calendar Kings' Shops are located in Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii's Big Island,about a 20-minute drive from our Big Island vacation rentals. This 75,000 square foot dining, shopping and entertainment complex offers a variety of unique local shops and great restaurants. Daily hula performances, Ukulele lessons, Hula lessons, Hawaiian legends and story telling and John Keawe Slackkey guitar playing at 6pm for Kohala Coast visitors. No fees are charged for King's Shops activities. Morning hours complimentary petroglyph walks. Lots of shops to take home a gift from Hawaii. Food & drinks are available at casual and fine dining restaurants.
Activities in Waimea town and in area
* Tutu's House with hula, flower lei making, ukulele playing, free health classes and more for residents & Hawaii visitors.
* Fitness Center, public tennis courts & public library with Internet access.
* Parker Ranch Museum and Wagon Tour. Hawaiian Rodeos.
* Hawaii Preparatory Academy, private school w/heated lap pool (public access) & tracks.
* Good to know when visiting the Kohala Coast of the Big Island that we have a state-of-the-art hospital.
North Hawaii Community Hospital is serving Waimea residents and Big Island visitors.
* We also invite you to go cruising in our favorite activity links for the Big Island. Find more Hawaii activities in our
Big Island activity guide.
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