Big Island: Places to Explore

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Kohala Coast

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If you had only a weekend to spend on the Big Island, this is probably where you'd want to go. The Kohala Coast is a mix of the island's best beaches and swankiest hotels just minutes from ancient valleys and temples, waterfalls, and funky artist enclaves.

The resorts on the Kohala Coast lay claim to some of the island's finest restaurants and its only destination spas. But the real attraction here is the island's best beaches. On a clear day, you can see Maui from them, and during the winter months, glistening humpback whales cleave the waters just offshore.

Rounding the northern tip of the island, the arid coast shifts rather suddenly to green villages and hillsides, leading to lush Pololu Valley in North Kohala, and the hot sunshine along the coast gives way to cooler temperatures.

As you drive north into the mountains, you'll find the quaint sugar-plantations-turned-artsy enclaves of Hawi and Kapaau, where new galleries are interspersed with charming reminders of old Hawaii—wooden boardwalks, quaint local stores, delicious neighborhood restaurants, friendly locals, and a delightfully slow pace. There's great shopping for everything from designer beachwear to authentic Hawaiian crafts.

Kohala Coast at a Glance

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