All posts by Mauna Lani Point

Big Island 4th of July Celebrations

Celebrating the 4th of July in Hawaii is a treat for the entire family. What better place to celebrate the birth of our nation than surrounded by the people you love in paradise? Your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point are the perfect location from which to branch out and participate in the many big island 4th of July celebrations. Here are a few of our favorite events:

4th of July Parade & Firework Extravaganza in Kona

Watch a beautiful fireworks display along Kailua-Kona town and Kailua Bay for a view you won’t forget. Catch the parade at 6pm (along Ali’I Drive), and then stay for the fireworks, which are set to start at 8pm.

Getting There: From your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point, turn right onto HI-19. Turn right onto Palani Rd, and, continue on to Ali’I Drive.

4th of July Fireworks & Events at Waikola Beach Resort

There are a couple different events taking place at Waikola Beach Resort. Head to the Kings’ Shops at 11am and you’ll find entertainment for your kids, live music, and food booth. You can also watch a rubber ducky race! Or, head to the Queens’ MarketPlace at 12pm to enjoy a carnival, live entertainment and music, and a fireworks show. Catch the fireworks show at the Waikola Bowl at 8pm – be sure to arrive by 5pm to hear the Tomi Isobe Blues Band and the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific.

Getting There: The Waikola Beach Resort is located right next door to your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point. You are a less than 10 minute drive to participate in the fun events!

Turtle Independence Day Celebration

This truly special event provides a unique way to celebrate the 4th. Every Year, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalow releases young sea turtles (honu) that they have nurtured in their saltwater ponds. Watch the release of these beautiful creatures, and learn about them at the educational displays. This event takes place from 10:30 to 12pm, which leaves plenty of time in the evening to watch fireworks elsewhere.

Getting There: This event is held less than three miles from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point. You just need to head north up the coast to join in on the fun.

Parker Ranch 4th of July Rodeo and Horse Races

If you’d like to see some of Hawaii’s ranching roots, head to Parker Ranch for their 55th annual 4th of July rodeo and horse races. The rodeo is a celebration of the Hawaiian cowboy (called paniolo). The doors open at 7am, and the rodeo starts at 9am. Learn more about this event here.

Getting There: The Parker Ranch is located about 30 minute away from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point. Turn left out of the resort onto HI-19, and head towards Waimea. Turn right onto Pu’u opelu Rd and you’ve arrived!

Fireworks Blast and Celebrations at Hilo Bay

If you’d like to celebrate the 4th on the other side of Hawaii from where you’re staying, head to Hilo Bay. The Bayfront will be blocked off, and you and your family can enjoy cook-offs, games, music, food, and entertainment. The fireworks show starts at 8pm!

Getting There: The drive across the island takes less than 2 hours, and there are two different routes to consider.

Mauna Lani Point: Great Accommodations for Independence Day Celebrations

There are many different 4th of July celebrations across Hawaii. Mauna Lani Point is a great launching point for exploring the big island, and everything it has to offer. Why stay in a cramped hotel room when you can stay in a spacious condo located right off the beach? Learn more about the accommodations, and get your room booked!


The Best Waimea Hawaii Restaurants to Enjoy During your Vacation

Vacations are all about relaxing. Whether that means going on a hike, lounging on the beach, golfing, surfing, or cliff-diving, it is important that you do the things that allow your mind and body to truly rest. One of the most important parts about vacation and traveling is enjoying good food: It gives you a break from cooking, and offers a glimpse into the culture of the place where you are visiting. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at the best Waimea, Hawaii restaurants to enjoy during your vacation. After all, “we all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas.

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas.

Sansei Seafood, Steakhouse and Sushi

Sansei Seafood, Steakhouse and Sushi is a local favorite, as well as an award-winning restaurant in the area. The contemporary sushi and new-wave Asian-inspired dishes are served in a fun, upbeat setting that makes it well-loved. Try Sensei’s Shrimp Dynamite – crispy tempura shrimp tossed with a garlic masago aioli, and unagi glaze drizzle, or order the “Catch of the Day” for the freshest seafood!

Under the Bodhi Tree

Under the Bodhi Tree has an almost five-star rating on TripAdvisor. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s a great option because all their food is served with locally sourced, organic ingredients when possible! Their fresh food is a great choice if you want something truly delicious and healthy after your travels. Reviewers say the Acai Smoothie Bowls are filled with exotic tropical fruits.

Hawaiian Style Café

The Hawaiian Style Café is located about a 30-minute drive from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point, but if you’re looking for authentic Hawaiian food “served in Hawaiian portions,” then this is the place for you. Try their World-Famous Massive Pancakes, or Loco Moco for the kids. The Kalua Pork Hash is also delicious, as is the Taro Stew. Prices are reasonable, making this a great choice for larger groups.

Napua at Mauna Lani Beach Club

If you want magnificent views while you dine, then Napua is a great option. This restaurant offers Hawaiian, American, Asian, European, and Pacific Rim fare – all created with a local flare. Everything is made with local food that is harvested and prepared within 50 miles of the restaurant. Try the Fresh Catch of the day for the freshest seafood, or try the Blackened Seared Ahi, served over jasmine rice and baby bok choy, topped with crispy fried somen noodles and a soy wasabi beurre blanc.  We guarantee your tastebuds won’t be disappointed.

The Best Waimea Hawaii Restaurants Will Enhance Your Vacation

When you eat good food while you travel, it enhances your experience. Have you ever eaten a meal that instantly transport you back in time? This feeling is something we all should cultivate when we travel – eating food that will forge memories, and give us a glimpse into the culture we are visiting.


Big Island Chocolate Festival – A Sweet Event Not to Miss

If you’re staying at Mauna Lani Point in Hawaii this month, then you’re in luck: The Big Island Chocolate Festival is taking place at the end of the month, and it’s an event you can’t miss! Here’s everything you need to know to attend this tasty event!

About the Big Island Chocolate Festival

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc: The purpose is to promote the cacao industry in Hawaii. This event is a great outreach and educational opportunity for local cacao farmers in the area, and, well, pretty much anyone who likes chocolate.

Events You Can’t Miss

The festival isn’t just a good excuse to eat chocolate. It’s a great place to learn more about how chocolate is made – how it is grown, harvested, and made into decadent desserts. Here are a few of our favorite events:

Cacao Plantation Tour: April 28th, 11:00am – 12pm

Most of us don’t realize that chocolate grows on trees. You’ll learn all about how cacao is grown and harvested at the cacao plantation tour, which takes place at The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. This is the first company to grow, hand-pick, sun-dry, and process Hawaii’s cocoa beans into chocolate. You’ll be able to walk through the orchard, and tour the factory. This “tree to bar” factory is truly a treat to tour.

Chocolate Culinary Demonstrationa: April 29th, 9:30am – 2pm

Now that you’ve learned how cacao is grown and turned into chocolate as we know it, learn how chefs turn it into the decadent desserts we know and love. The first session is “Small Chocolate Bites” by Donald Wressel (an execute pastry chef at Guittard Chocolate Company). During this demonstration, you’ll learn about and get to taste three mini-chocolate desserts. The second demonstration is “Chocolate Crystallization & Tempering,” by Alicia Boada (the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate). In this demonstration, you’ll learn what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. The final demonstration is “Creating a Artistic Chocolate Showpiece,” by Stephane Treand, (of The Pastry School). Yu’ll learn how to add flair to any of your chocolate creations at home.

Mauna Lani Point: The Best Accommodations in Hawaii

When it comes to accommodations in Hawaii, Mauna Lani Point is the best option. That’s because our location can’t be beat (easy access to all the activities you want to enjoy in Hawaii), our condos are spacious, and you get all the benefits an amenities of a hotel, without paying resort fees. Book your stay today!


Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Hawaii: Enjoy the Sun and Waves at Mauna Lani Point

Hawaii is the destination for adventurers from all over the world. Hawaii’s white, sandy beaches, dense rain forests, cascading waterfalls, and stunning ocean views are a veritable playground for people of all ages. One of the best activities to try during your stay at Mauna Lani Point is paddle boarding: There’s nothing quite like skimming above crystal-clear water, looking down on the wildlife below, and feeling the warm sun on your back. And, stand up paddle boarding in Hawaii is for everyone: It’s a great choice for beginners and the experienced alike. Here are a few tips for people looking to enjoy Hawaii on the water this year.

What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

You likely have heard of stand up paddle boarding: It has become very popular in the last 10 years, but has much older origins. No one knows when it originated: Ancient cultures have used canoes they propelled with paddles while standing up for many purposes – for battle, hunting, and transportation. Hawaii plays a role in its history as well. In 1778, when Captain James Cook first sailed to the Hawaiian Islands, he saw the first surfers – native Hawaiians surfed the waves, often using paddles to propel themselves forward. Today, people from all walks of life enjoy standing up on their board, and exploring the coves, inlets, and beaches of Hawaii.

Fun for All

Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest growing sport in the world. This is likely because a), it is a ton of fun, b). it’s a great workout, and c). it’s easy to learn, so anyone can do it! The best part about paddle boarding is that you can get started easily. Everyone in the family can rent or share a board, and get out and enjoy the sun and waves.

SUP Rentals: Where to Go

There are many places where you can rent a stand up paddle board near your condo at Mauna Lani Point. One of our favorite rental options is Hilo SUP Rentals. They are located a 4-minute drive from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point. The local shop is owned by Jun and Sarah, and offers SUP rentals as well as lessons! For additional options, stop by our guest services desk to learn more.


Plan a Day Trip to Big Island Volcano National Park

Volcanoes National Park is a must-see during your visit to Hawaii. Step into a world of active volcanism and rich cultural history. Only a 2 hour drive from your condo at Mauna Lani Point, plan a day trip to the Big Island Volcano National Park, and you’ll experience an adventure you won’t soon forget! Here’s everything you need to know about visiting, including how to get there, what to bring, and what to expect during your visit!

Getting to Volcano National Park

You can be at Hawaii Volcano National Park from your condo at Mauna Lani Point in less than three hours, including the drive and seeing a few sights on the way. From your resort, take Highway 19 towards Waimea. Continue on this highway to Hilo, where you’ll take Highway 11 to the park. Along the way, you’ll have a wonderful view of the coastline. If you want to stop and stretch your legs, stop at Akaka Falls. This 420-foot waterfall is surrounded by a few beautiful hikes that take 30-45 minutes to enjoy.

Planning Your Day Trip to Big Island Volcano National Park

The park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. So, no matter when you are vacationing, you can visit this exciting park! You need to do some planning ahead before you visit, however. Because the volcano is active, there are often changes to viewing areas that must be made for the sake of safety. It’s important to see what’s happening with the volcano, and check alerts before you visit. Additionally, it is important that you understand a few things about the park:

  • Volcanic Fumes: The volcano has vents that generate high levels of gases that can negatively affect visitors. Some days, the park is closed due to these fumes. Check the air quality before you visit!
  • Check Closures: Due to volcanic activity, specific areas of the park may be closed. Be sure to check closures before you plan your trip!

During your visit to the park, you’ll get a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Hawaii. There are countless things to do and enjoy while in the park: Take a drive around Crater Rim, or take a hike and learn about the area. If you only have a few hours, we recommend seeing the summit if Kilauea volcano on the Crate Rim Drive. If you have more tie, be sure to check out the eastern park of the park by driving the Chain of Craters Road. You’ll come across lava flows that have crossed the road!


Running in Hawaii: A Weekly 5k and Great Cross-Training

Running in Hawaii is special for many reasons: First, the temperature is always wonderful. Gone are the days of running in intense heat, or worse – in layers upon layers of clothing due to the bitter cold. Second, the scenery is unparalleled. What could be better than running with beautiful vistas overlooking the ocean? Third: Running on the beach is simply the best. The sand is soft, the ocean laps at your feet, and there is wildlife to spot along the way. There are many great runs to enjoy during your stay at Mauna Lani Point but our favorite is a weekly running event that sets you off on the right foot, and inspires additional runs.

Weekly 5k Close to Mauna Lani Point

If you’re not sure where to run during your vacation, join the Big Island Running Company’s weekly 5k event. You’ll meet people who run consistently in the area, so you’ll get some great ideas on the most scenic and enjoyable runs to check off your list. Here’s everything you need to know to join in:

  • Choose Your Distance: You can choose to do the 5k through Kailua Village, or take the longer route along Alii Drive.
  • All Abilities are Welcome: You don’t have to be an intensely dedicated runner to participate. Both runners and walkers are welcome!
  • Location and Start: To join the run, simply meet at the Big Island Running Company on Alii Drive at 5:00pm every Tuesday evening.

Running in Hawaii: Not the Only Form of Exercise

If you’re a runner, then you know it can be difficult to switch up your routine. But, doing so can be great for your running in the long-term. Cross training is extremely beneficial, and there’s no better place to try something new than in Hawaii! Here are a few activities you can do that get your heart-rate up and work your muscles:

  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming
  • Paddleboarding

Book Your Trip to Hawaii: Start the Year Off the Right Way

Nothing is better than starting off your year with a vacation. If you book now, you could be in Hawaii in the first quarter. The accommodations at Mauna Lani Point are exceptional: Our condos are spacious (much larger than traditional hotel rooms), and have all the amenities you want when you vacation. Book your stay today!


Beginner Surfing at Pine Trees Beach Near Mauna Lani Point

If you’re looking for a beginner surfing spot, or simply an out-of-the-way picnic area, Pine Trees Beach is the best place. Because it is difficult getting to the beach, not many tourists will venture there, making it a great, remote place to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii without as many other visitors. Here are a few things to know about accessing and enjoying this fantastic beach!

Enjoy a Favorite Local’s Spot

Pine Trees Beach is beautiful: There is a wide, sandy beach that is perfect for setting up for the day. If you’re planning on spending the day, be sure to bring your surf board – the water is not good for swimming. Most visitors go to enjoy the fun, beginner surfing.

Bring the Grill

Be sure to bring your grill when you drive to Pine Trees Beach. Portable gas or charcoal grills are allowed (but no open fires). Enjoying a cookout by the ocean, as you watch the sunset, is something you will never forget.

Prepare for Off-Roading

You’ll need an off-road vehicle to access Pine Trees Beach, but the trip is well worth it. To get to the beach, head south on HI-19. Take the road towards the Natural Energy Lab (which is just past mile-marker 94).  Drive to where the road comes to a T – head south along the coast for about a mile. Use your judgement when choosing the best road – all of them lead to the same spot.

Great Beginner Surfing Close to Mauna Lani Point

When you stay at Mauna Lani Point, you have great access to some of the best beginner surfing. If you’re looking for a remote spot that is a favorite of locals, Pine Trees Beach is the best location. Plan on spending the day on the beach (you can even camp, but you’ll need to speak with the people managing the beach on your way in), surfing and enjoying the sun. In the evening, bring out the grill, and watch a stunning Hawaiian sunset. To learn about more beginner surfing spots close to your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point, speak to our customer service desk and we’ll direct you to the best spot!


Lapakahi State Historical Park: Experience Hawaii Like Hawaiians of the Past

Located a short, 30-minute drive from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point, Lapakahi State Historical Park is a must-see during your Hawaiian vacation. The beautiful scenery and historical setting will transport you back in time. Here are a few of our favorite activities in Lapakahi State Historical Park, as well as directions on how to get there from your villas at Mauna Lani Point.

Visit Lapakahi State Historical Park in HawaiiExplore the Ruins of an Ancient Fishing Village

Lapakahi State Historical Park is the site of an ancient fishing settlement. The partially restored ruins are over 600 years old. You can take a one mile walk through the Lapakahi Village interpretive trail, which winds along the rocky coast, through the enormous park (it is over 262 acres). Along the way, you’ll see lava stone walls, and restored houses (called hale). As you take the self-guided tour, you’ll get a glimpse into what life was like 600 years ago for Native Hawaiians. You may also spot humpback whales in the water along the trail!

Visit Lapakahi State Historical Park in HawaiiExplore the Marine Life Conservation District

Located just off the shore is the Marine Life Conservation District of Lapakahi. Koai’e Cove is a rough, coral beach that provides access to the water (although swimming is discouraged). The water is teeming with marine life: nearly all nearshore specious typical of the area are represented. And, in the winter months, you may be able to spot humpback whales just off the coast!

Visit Lapakahi State Historical Park in HawaiiWhat Visitors Have to Say about the Park

Everyone who has reviewed the park has enjoyed their visit: One reviewer says it is a “very special place.” Another says he felt like he had “stumbled upon a hidden gem.” When you visit, you’ll get a glimpse of an ancient culture, and be able to see what life was like in Hawaii in the 1300’s, when the village was founded.

Getting to Lapakahi State Historical Park

If you are staying at Mauna Lani Point, it is a very short drive to the park. You’ll need to leave the resort and head north on HI 270.

When you visit Lapakahi State Historical Park, you won’t be treated to the luxury of Hawaii. Instead, you’ll get a glimpse into what life was like for native Hawaiians fishing along the rocky coast. This short drive and walk will help you feel as if you are living on the island 600 years ago!



From Waimea to Hawi: Paniolos & the Pololu Valley Lookout

When you stay at Mauna Lani Point, you have easy access to everything that makes Hawaii a great place to travel. With sunny beaches, shopping and restaurants, golf, and incredible mountain views, Mauna Lani Point is the best vacation accommodations in Hawaii. If you’re looking for a way to see more of the island, including majestic views, consider traveling from Waimea to Hawi along Highway 250. Along the way, you’ll discover the Pololu Valley Lookout, and be treated to a glimpse of Hawaiian culture.

Explore Paniolo Country

Paniolo are skilled Hawaiian cowboys. Waimea, which is located northeast from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point, is at the heart of paniolo country. Kahua Ranch is a working cattle and sheep ranch with beautiful landscapes. You can tour the ranch on horseback or ATV to learn more about ranching in Hawaii. The ranch’s Evening Sunset Dinner is one of the best ways to learn about the ranch. You’ll sit around an open campfire and learn about the history of the ranch before enjoying a delicious meal (complete with macadamia nut pie and Kona brew beer). You’ll finish off the evening with a roping lesson, line dancing, star gazing, playing horseshoes, and eating s’mores. It’s a great way to experience Hawaii like a paniolo!

Drive Kohala Mountain Road to Pololu Valley Lookout for Majestic Views

After you visit to Kahua Ranch, consider driving north up the Kohala Mountain Road. Most visitors to Hawaii miss this stunning drive, but it’s well worth your time. Leave Waimea, and drive along Highway 250, north to the little town of Hawi. This wonderful town is the turnaround for the Ironman World Championships. Here, you can check out art galleries and grab a bite to eat before heading east along Highway 270 toward Kapaau. Here, you can see the original King Kamehamea I statue, before heading to the Pololu Valley Lookout. This overlook has incredible views of the coastline. You’ll want to spend some time here, soaking in the views!

Mauna Lani Point: Perfect Accommodations to Enjoy Hawaii

Mauna Lani Point is the perfect place to stay during your visit to Hawaii. With easy access to beaches, shopping, boating, surfing, and golfing, you’ll never want to leave the property. But, if you want a bit of adventure, you can enjoy the incredible views the Pololu Valley Lookout has to offer, in just over an hour drive. Book your stay today!


Visit Pu’ukohola Heiau During Your Stay at Mauna Lani Point

Hawaii is a beautiful place. But, it is also an historical place. There aren’t many places in the world where you can watch sharks swim in the water over an ancient submerged temple – Hawaii is one of them. During your stay at Mauna Lani Point, we highly encourage you to take a trip to nearby Pu’ukohola Haiau, where you’ll be able to get a glimpse into the rich history of the island.

The History at Pu’ukohoala Heiau

Long before the time of King Kamehamaha I, the temple of Pu’ukohola Heiau was built. Today, its ruins are one of the last major ancient Hawaiian temples. The temple was built in 1790 to favor the war god Kūkaʻilimoku. Pu’ukohala Heiau means, “Temple on the Hill of the Whale.” It was built entirely by hand, and involved thousands of people in the building process. The building of the temple signaled the beginning of the unification of all the islands.

Things to See During Your Visit to Pu’ukohola Heiau

Pu’ukohola Heiau is truly a special place. You can see the temple, which is 224 by 100 feet, and surrounded by up to 20-ft walls around it. At the visitor’s center, you can enjoy a small museum, see historical exhibits, and watch videos that explain the history of the area. Additionally, there is a walking tour that allows you to see more sites in the area, including the homestead of John Young (a British sailor who was stranded there in 1790, and became a valuable aid to King Kamehameha I in the following years), and Mailekeini Heiau, which is much older temple, believed to have been built in the 1500’s. Our favorite spot to visit is Hale o Kapuni, which is a temple dedicated to the shark gods. It is completely submerged!

Getting to Pu’ukohola Heiau from Your Accommodations

Pu’ukohola Heiau is only a short, 15-minute drive from your accommodations at Mauna Lani Point. Simply head north on HI-19 for about 6.5 miles, before turning left onto HI-270. Follow the signs for the historic site, and you’ll arrive in a few minutes. We hope you have a wonderful time during your visit to Pu’ukohola Heiau and your glimpse into ancient Hawaii!

Map to Pu’ukohola Heiau from Mauna Lani Point