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Get Outta Town

How to Seriously Unplug on Hawaii’s Big Island

Get Outta Town BY tess falotico 01/20/2017

 

If you want extreme surfing, go to Oahu. If you want to be surrounded by honeymooner PDA, go to Maui. If you want secret beaches, untouched natural splendor, and fresh fish dinners, get yourself to the Big Island. “There is no party scene and are no trendy restaurants. And that’s why we go there,” says the sculptural, space-age jewelry designer Sophie Monet Okulick of her laidback Hawaiian island of choice. She’s been making the trip with her family for years and has your guide to the glorious place where the hottest thing in nightlife is, uh, lava.

 

Stay

PUAKO

 

“Rent one of the cute houses on this gorgeous beach where there’s great swimming and snorkeling. It’s a small alcove tucked amongst all the main hotels that no one really knows about.”

 

Eat

KAWAIHAE FISH MARKET

 

“Pick up their fresh catch of the day (or a poke bowl), and stop down the road for local produce, like my favorite anthurium flowers. Then, take it back to your rental house to grill. You’ve got nothing but time to hang out in the kitchen and be creative.”

 

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Do Things

KEALAKEKUA ANTIQUE SHOPS

“Wander through this town’s second-hand stores, like Discovery Antiques and Antiques and Orchids, to find treasures to take home, like vintage T-shirts, bowls, and woodworks.”

 

KAUMANA CAVES

 

“There’s so much to see in this region of the Big Island. Bring a flashlight and check out these caves. They’re mesmerizing, underground tunnels made of dried-up lava.”

 

RAINBOW FALLS

 

“Then, you can see the beautiful falls  and swim in the Ahalanui pond, a huge, volcanically heated thermal bath surrounded by a beautiful coconut grove.”

 

WAIPIO VALLEY

 

“This is a pristine black-sand beach where you can see waterfalls and wild horses and feel the magic. The land is considered sacred. You’ll need four-wheel drive to get down the steep, narrow road that takes you to the beach, but it’s breathtaking and totally worth it. The Big Island is huge—and you can’t usually see the beautiful beaches from the road—so I also suggest exploring to find your favorite. Rent a car, get a guide book, and then have an adventure.”

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