Who doesn’t want to pack up and move to a tropical paradise complete with miles of pristine shoreline and beautiful tropical rainforest? Think you’ve got what it takes? Before you take the plunge, try these five things and experience Hawaii like a local.
1. Leave traditional “mainland” accessories behind. E.g. your phone and watch
Here, everything moves at a slower pace. Each day is measured by the sun, surf and simple pleasures. Don’t fight it.
Instead, make time for morning strolls and afternoon beach adventures. Visit Waipio Valley Beach and lounge on black sand, or Makalawena Beach (commonly referred to as “Maks” by the locals). Here bright white-sand is lapped by beautiful, turquoise water. You’ll have to hike for a half hour over lava rock to get to this secluded destination, but it’s worth it.
2. Stay away from overpriced food – it’s not as hard as you think
Locals find ono grindz (Hawaiian for yummy food) at places like Ohelo Café. And, don’t pay for $$$$ for gourmet poke. Instead, look for your favorite FRESH fish at local fish markets.
3. The ocean is bigger than you, just an FYI
Surfing is big in Hawaii – I’m sure you didn’t know that. It’s a great sport, and where better to learn than the Big Island, right? But keep in mind Hawaii surf can be huge – and dangerous. Be honest about your abilities. There are some swells, in some areas, that only the most advanced surfers should take on. If you’re new, trying practicing on the mellower summer waves or easier waters at places like Kahalu’u Beach Park
4. Uncle Roberts Awa Bar and Night Market
You can find Uncle Roberts Awa Bar and Night Market just outside Puna on the south side of the Big Island. Here, you can taste the creations of dozens of native and non-native foods, from Thai papaya salad to gourmet grilled cheeses. You can also take home beautiful handmade jewelry and cleverly-named homemade soaps – perfect Hawaiian souvenirs.
5. Party like a rockstar – an ancient rockstar
In the movies and on TV luaus are often depicted as big-budget affairs hosted by large resorts. In actuality, families host luaus for first birthdays and other milestone events. They’re often situated on grassy areas near the beach and offer barbecued meats, a large cooked pig, poi, Molokai sweet potatoes, lomilomi and plenty of live music.
The Big Island is full of fun things to do all year long. We’ve got great food, beautiful views and wonderful people. Not sure you’re ready to make things permanent and really do Hawaii like a local? Visit us at Kilauea Hospitality Group and do a dry run. Here you’ll find everything you need to make your local Hawaii vacation unforgettable.