Sparkling shorelines and soft sands have most people itching to head to the beach where they laze about getting a tan. Of course, on Big Island there are plenty of water sports for those after some adventures instead.
Boating and Sailing
Boating and sailing are two top draws for those keen to explore what lies in and around the island, from coastal caves to leaping dolphins, without having to venture too far afield on their own. A capable skipper will take the wheel and give you a full tour of all that is available in the area – and if you’re into snorkelling and scuba diving, the boat you charter will often have set dive sites and stop off’s in secluded coves with the chance to experience nature in all it’s pristine glory below the waves.
If you’re not keen to have a specific island adventure, or can’t choose which one to visit first, a cruise is a good way to experience the charm of various locals on a floating hotel of your choice. Onboard amenities will usually include dinner, shows, spa experiences and onboard entertainment, with the option to disembark and explore whichever port you’ve stopped at. Cruises last anywhere from two nights, to over a week, and specials are offered frequently.
One of the most popular activities in Hawaiian waters, which tourists and locals love, is the ability to leisurely paddle across the ocean surface doing SUP … and it’s far easier to learn paddle boarding then surfing for most. This sport has been around since the early 16th century and originated in Hawaii as a surfing offshoot. Its Hawaiian name is hoe he’e nalu, and it can be done in various locations, though some of the most popular spots are Keahou Bay in Kona and Launiupoko in Maui.
Rated as a top international surfing location, Hawaii has numerous surfing coves and spots, though always check the bay you’re visiting to ensure the currents aren’t too strong. Oahu’s North Shore is known as THE spot to go surfing, and you’ll also find great waves in Honolua Bay and The Cove at Kalama Beach Park. For beginners, Launiupoko State Wayside Park is a good place to practice.
Swim with Dolphins
Wonderful for all ages, having a dolphin encounter is one of the most incredible memories you can make when visiting Hawaii. Dolphins are often found in all the bays and off the coast, but if you want the chance to check here and feed, swim and interact with them in a safe environment, the Hilton Waikoloa Village is the best destination around.
Whale watching in season is highly recommended as these marine giants have specific feeding areas which they return to year-round. While watching from shore is a great way to get some snaps, you can also go on a chartered tour, where getting close to one will leave you in awe of their sheer size and majesty – and is one way to get your heart pounding in joy – and terror.