Come to the Big Island and Explore Hawai’i’s Island of Adventure

Hawai’i’s Big Island (Mar.1, 2010) – The Big Island Visitors Bureau thanks everyone who sent their sincere wishes to Hawai’i as we braced for the tsunami generated by the Chilean earthquake on Feb. 27. Luckily, there was just a small surge across Hawai’i, and there were no reports of major damage or injuries. We salute the excellent coordination of our local government, disaster officials, mariners, and hospitality industry in working together safely and efficiently. We are happy to report business as usual!
Wishing for summer already? Hawai’i’s Big Island will melt the iciest conditions with its beautiful weather, incredible deals and 4,028 square miles of adventure!

New Rules for Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park – In order to protect one of Hawai’i’s most historically and culturally significant shorelines and coral reef ecosystems, the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) now requires a permit to land kayaks, canoes and other vessels near the Capt. Cook Monument, located within the Park. What does that mean for visitors? If you want to paddle over to explore the monument and land your vessel on shore, you’ll have to arrange for a permit well in advance, Download permit application or opt for a guided kayak excursion with the two permitted outfitters, Hawaii Pack and Paddle or Adventures in Paradise (see below). Another option? Stay afloat! Those without permits can still snorkel and kayak within Kealakekua Bay on their own (see Kona Boys below). Another fun-filled option is to book a snorkel charter aboard Fair Wind Cruises, which ties up to an eco-friendly permanent mooring in the bay in order to share the rich history and natural beauty of Kealakekua with their passengers (see below.) Kealakekua is where the first extensive contact between Hawaiians and Westerners occurred, with the arrival of Capt. James Cook in 1779,  and it’s also one of the most treasured marine life conservation districts in Hawai’i, where sea turtles, spinner dolphins, coral and colorful Hawaiian fish can be observed. For more information, visit Kealakekua State Historical Park.
Hawaii Pack and Paddle, one of two newly permitted companies offering guided kayak tours of Kealakekua Bay and the Capt. Cook Monument, is offering new reduced rates for a very scenic, fun and memorable kayak/snorkel tour, from $89/person. The tour includes easy paddling, snorkeling, history and cultural information, lunch, and ends at the historic Kona Pacific Farmer’s Cooperative coffee mill. Groups of four to 12, call (808) 328-8911 or visit
Adventures in Paradise is the other guided kayak and snorkel tour company permitted by DLNR to land near the Capt. Cook Monument. An early launch time of 7:30 a.m. in the calm and protected bay ensures that their small groups are usually the first explorers to land. Prices start from $69.95 per person, and the tour ends at noon. They also offer kayak rentals for ocean enthusiasts. Visit or call (808) 323-3005.
Need a Good Paddling? Kayak enthusiasts can rent a kayak and all its gear from Kona Boys off Hwy. 11 in Kealakekua to explore Kealakekua Bay – the largest sheltered natural bay on the Big Island – after self-launching from the Nāpō’opo’o Launch. Opt to kayak and snorkel this vast marine life preserve on your own, after absorbing the preservation message that Kona Boys share with guests at their shop. Don’t land at the Monument if you don’t have a permit though, there are penalties. Rates from $67 for 24-hour kayak rental. Ask about other hot coastal spots for Hawaiian-style water fun, like stand up paddle boarding, surfing, diving and more. or call (808) 328-1234.
Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides offers daily morning and afternoon snorkel excursions of Kealakekua Bay, and Spring Break specials galore! Book a second cruise, and receive 30 percent off a Fair Wind II Afternoon Snack Cruise, or a Hula Kai Morning Deluxe Cruise. Call, or look online for more specials including the Hula Kai Evening Manta Adventure. Visit or call (800) 677-9461.
Ocean Sports opened its new Hawaiian Humpback Whale Center in the heart of Kawaihae. The Center features photographs and video of humpback whales taken by renowned nature photographers and videographers in Hawaiian and Alaskan waters. The Center will host guest speakers, including eminent marine naturalists, public policy makers, nature photographers and others. FREE, open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Go to Your Vroom! The Big Island’s first Classic Car Museum is now open in The Studio at Queens’ MarketPlace. Waikoloa Beach Resort and the Hawaii Classic Cruiser Club have teamed up to bring classic car fans a collection of  immaculately restored vintage automobiles, and future plans include celebrity cars like the custom Rolls Royce once owned by martial arts legend Bruce Lee.  Open daily 11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Admission $4 adults, children 12 and under free with a paid adult.  (808) 886-8822,
Join Photo Safari Hawaii for a private Photo Ecotour of the Big Island while exploring your creative spirit through the lens of a camera.  While touring the island’s most scenic locations, guides offer insights into the world of photography with inspiring photo exercises, a safari for light and the expressive elements of the fine art photograph. Find out more at or call (808) 495-0213.
Looking for more to do? Click for detailed information about additional Hawai’i Island happenings in 2010, and be sure not to miss this:
Ka’u Coffee Festival (May 1 & 2) – Ka’u coffee has earned international acclaim, and this Festival celebrates Ka’u’s top crop. Featuring a Miss Ka’u Coffee pageant, ho’olaule’a, coffee tasting, recipe contest, music and entertainment, farm tours, and more, at the Pahala Community Center.  Most events are free. or email

If we got you thinking about Kealakekua Bay, check out Hale Ho’ola B&B, located close to the bay, Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Painted Church, Kona coffee farms, and other Kona District “musts.” Three suites, with private bath and lanai, start from $110/night with a two-night minimum. Visit or call (877) 628-9117.
Lights! Camera! Action! The Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa recently welcomed crew filming a pilot travel adventure show for The Travel Channel as well as crew from Public Television’s popular series, America’s Heartland. Guests and production companies alike find the backdrop of black lava and blue ocean framed by bursts of colorful tropical flora to be picturesque beyond expectation. You can enjoy the views with the resort’s Endless Escape rate beginning at just $159 per night.
You Go, Girls. Hawaii Island Retreat offers an all-inclusive retreat package for Mothers and Daughters, May 11- 16. The six-night/seven-day package includes a welcoming bonfire with champagne, all meals, spa services, cooking classes, Hawaiian lore and artistry, adventure outings, shopping, and more.  The package is $2,100 per person and promises to be a bonding experience that Mom and Daughter will cherish forever.  Contact or (808) 889-6336 for more information, and visit
Prince Resorts Hawaii has amazing deals for family travel, with two rooms for the price of one at both Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel combined with Kid’s Eat Free & Golf Free. You can’t afford not to bring the family to Hawai’i! Purchase the first room at special room rate and receive the second room complimentary for travel Apr. 1 – Sept. 30, 2010. Call (866) PRINCE.6 or visit for details.

Four Seasons Resort Hualālai was awarded the Five-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide, as well as the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award for the 12th consecutive year. In celebration, earn a $1,000 Resort Credit for every six nights booked through June 20. Apply this credit to an array of traditional Hawaiian resort experiences from oceanfront dining, to championship golf and indulgent treatments in the resort’s newly expanded spa.

Can’t Make it Before the Humpbacks Leave? That’s OK, because Hilton Waikoloa Village is offering its popular Whale’s Tail Room Package again next whale season, for this season’s price! Starting at just $279 per room/night for two adults, you’ll receive one Ocean Sports Whale Watch voucher per adult booked/paid for on reservation.  Three-night minimum stay required, three-day minimum advance booking required.  Valid dates Dec. 15, 2010 – Apr. 14, 2011. (Package Code P4). Subject to availability, terms and conditions. Call (808) 886-1234, (800) HILTONS, or visit

Aston Hotels & Resorts in Hawai’i is calling visitors to come in from the cold with its own “hot” numbers: up to 45 percent off! Starting rates at Aston Shores at Waikoloa, $177/night for travel now through June 22, and Aston Kona by the Sea, only $168/night for travel April 1 – June 22, 2010. Added value incentives include the free Aloha Book – over $2,500 in savings on dining, shopping and activities. Visit or call (866) 774-2924.
Guests who reserve any King accommodation in 2010 get a fourth night absolutely FREE at Waianuhea Bed & Breakfast! Rates at this beautifully romantic B&B on the Hāmākua Coast start at just $310/night, plus tax. This offer excludes any other specials or discounts. Call (888) 775.2577 or visit

Indulge in a romantic getaway at the oceanfront Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa with the Escape to Romance Package, featuring deluxe accommodations, daily buffet breakfast for two at Hawaii Calls Restaurant & Lounge, champagne and an elegant Hawaiian memory journal by award-winning photographer Linda Ching upon arrival. Rates begin at $263/night and are valid through Dec. 24, 2010. Subject to availability, restrictions may apply. Visit or call toll-free from the U.S. (800) 721-6996 with promotional code ROM.

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a variety of dining features.  At Hale Kai Restaurant, enjoy the ‘Ohana Feast for just $39 which includes an Orchid Mai Tai, ‘Ohana plates and our signature 20th Anniversary dessert sampler.  At Brown’s Beach House, the four-course Ali’i Experience is offered for $54. At Norio’s Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, the five-course Omakase is featured for $45 and includes chilled sake. Call (808) 887-7368 for reservations or visit

Special note to media: The Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) recognizes the use of the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the modern Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai’i such as KÄ«lauea). However, BIVB respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses.