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Destination Wedding in The Big Island of Hawaii

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

My good friends from Boston decided to get married in Hawaii. That’s how I got to be a bridesmaid in a tropical paradise! The Big Island of Hawaii is very beautiful, but also very unique. Here are a few things to know that will make your holiday more pleasant:

· The Big Island is big (this may seem obvious) and requires lots of driving

· Renting a car is cheaper than cabbing everywhere

· It gets dark very quickly and very early (5-6pm)

· Most places close early (around 10pm) and open early (6am for breakfast)

· Mosquito repellant is just as important as (or more than) sunscreen

Take It Slow

After a 5h flight from San Francisco, we landed in Kona Airport. Hawaii is literally in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which explains the hot and humid climate. October is a great time to visit the islands, or to have weddings for that matter.

On the way from the airport, our bus driver let us know that we’re on island time now. That became immediately apparent once we started driving to our hotel. The speed limitations here range anywhere from 35 to 45 mph, so plan to spend a lot of time in the car.

For our first night we stayed at the Sheraton Kona Hotel. I’ve stayed in so many SPG hotels and I know that wherever I go, they make for a lovely welcome. One of my favorite things is to wake up in a brand new place. We quickly got into the island spirit with fresh orchids in our hair, guava infused water and fresh fruits for breakfast. The pool was perfect for a slow morning and walks by the water. I loved how the black volcanic rocks contrast with the tropical flowers and ocean.

Snorkel, Drink Coffee & Repeat

We spent the rest of the day at the beach with our friends, fighting with and playing in the huge waves. After the beach fun we drove up north for 1h to get to the Pololu Valley. The black sand beach and lush valley amazed me and reminded me of wild scenes from Lost. The drive up there was also very special because we ended up in less touristy and isolated places.

On our way back we stopped in the little gem of Hawi for dinner. I wasn’t expecting to stumble upon art galleries and high end restaurants here, but was pleasantly surprised. We wrapped up the day with drinks with friends on the beach and live music. Perfect!

n Pic from little restaurant

The next day we had an early start and took the Fair Wind cruise to James Cook Bay. We spent several hours snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles among the corals. I got scared when I sighted what resembled a snake in the water, but was most likely an eel as I was told later.

The island has thousands of coffee plantations. Kona coffee is one of the smoothest that I’ve ever had. My grandma loves coffee and I always bring her some special coffee back from my travels. Heavenly Hawaiian offers plantation tours, coupled with tastings that also include chocolate. Their views are breathtaking.

On our way out I noticed that our room came with a TV. The sign of a good holiday is when you have a TV in the room but you don’t turn it on at all. There are so many things to do and see in this little corner of heaven! Next time I want to explore the Eastern side of this beautiful island: the volcano, the tide pools, the waterfalls and the green sand beach. I’ll be back!

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