This is the second part of my Lost Trip Pics from our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2010. One of the most amazing places to go to is Ka Le or “south point” as it’s more often called. It is the southernmost point of the Big Island making it the southernmost point of the United States! It was a fairly long drive from Kona, about 2 hours, to hit the road that leads to Ka Le. Once you are on that road it is another half an hour to the southernmost tip.
When you get to south point you will see that there is no where else to go to. It is pretty much a dead end cliff area. There is no sign of marker that tells is where you are but you pretty much will know once you get there!
Not far from South Point is the area of Punalu’u – the bakery there is touted as USA’s southernmost bakery! It’s a nice place to stop and use the facilities and you can also sample their homemade breads and pastries. If you want something savory they do have plate lunches as well as burgers and sandwiches.
Also in Punalu’u is a beach I highly recommend, the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. It is probably THE spot to see basking giant sea turtles (called Honu) in Hawaii. I’ve been there twice and each time I’ve counted up to nine turtles in various locations on the beach. Please don’t touch them, but you can take as many pictures as you want.
Although I would not recommend snorkeling at Punalu’u as the water seems a bit murkier and the waves can be rough which can throw you into the rocky areas, there are a few spots to snorkel with turtles. One is near the Captain Cook monument at the area called “Two Step” which I mentioned in my previous post. Or there are various snorkeling spots around the island, one being right near Kailua-Kona called Kahalu’u Beach Park. I believe the below pictures were taken there.
No trip to Hawaii would be the same without at least one shave ice! A popular place in Kailua Kona is Scandinavian Shave Ice.
If you have time, I recommend driving to the Waipio Valley lookout. There are various lookout points but we didn’t go to the main one, which has a better view. Instead we went to one on the western side so mostly saw the valley with a lot of trees. The eastern view seems to have a better vantage point of the beach.
Near our condo in Waikoloa we did a short hike to a petroglyph park – where you can see ancient petroglyphs carved into the stone. It was pretty neat to see.
If you love coffee then the Big Island is your destination because Kona and Ka’u coffees are grown exclusively here! There are quite a few farms open for public tours and tastings on the Kona Coffee belt which is located near Captain Cook, south of Kailua-Kona. I recommend UCC, Bayview, and Greenwell for their tours and tastings. In addition, if you can get your hands on some Heavenly Hawaii coffee, please do as it’s amazing! They don’t open to the public though so you may have to call for a private tasting. Kona Joe is also great if you like iced coffee as they give samples of that and it’s delicious.
If you’re driving around the coffee fields, the Painted Church is around there offering a glimpse into a colorful small-town church. Worth a stop if you’re in the area but I wouldn’t go out of the way for it.
That concludes our Lost Pics from the Big Island 2010! Th Big Island is an amazing place and we can’t wait to go back again! I recommend not visiting for less than a week, especially if you want to do the volcano. I believe that excursion would be worth a few days of exploring. One thing we really want to try is the night snorkeling with Manta Rays which is offered at the Sheraton Keauhou. Coming up I’ll show some Lost Trip Pics from Maui!!