Category Archives: Big Island Events

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!


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!


The Best Restaurants in Hawaii – Big Island Fine Dining

The vacation is booked – Hawaii here you come. You have chosen the perfect oceanfront location at a luxury resort near the picturesque Kohala Coast. The only decision that you will need to consider during your getaway is where to eat. Picking a restaurant can be a risky endeavor – people have different tastes and expectations.

On the Mauna Lani Point resort property are two outstanding dining options – Napua and the CanoeHouse. Napua at the Mauna Lani Beach Club is a fusion of Hawaiian, Asian and European fare made with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is located Oceanside on the south end of the resort with spectacular ambiance to match the cuisine. The CanoeHouse, at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, serves a plantation-style menu with sustainable Hawaiian produce, meat and seafood. Winner of TripAdvisor’s 2014 Certificate of Excellence, the CanoeHouse also offers the option of a Captain’s Table where the Chef will create a blind tasting menu to showcase the best seasonal dishes personalized for the experience.

For the best restaurants in Hawaii off of the resort property, there are a few succulent choices. One of our favorites is Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar. The menu is Asian-inspired dishes as well as creative and traditional sushi – for the more adventurous is the Chef’s Omakase or tasting menu for two. Merriman’s is known for its Hawaiian fare that is both innovative and locally sourced. Honolulu Magazine has named Merriman’s as the Best Big Island Restaurant for 15 years in a row. The menu will make any foodie very happy. Another one of our top picks is the Kamuela Provision Company. As winner of the 2015 Open Table Diner’s Choice Award, the restaurant serves a menu full of locally sourced ingredients from a handful of Hawaii’s organic farms, fisheries and free range ranches. Starting with Ahi Tataki or Poke appetizer, the ideal Surf and Turf with the Mauka Maki and ending with the award winning Chocolate Crunch Torte – Kamuela Provision Company will not disappoint.

If you are looking for something specific or would like a personal recommendation, please ask our concierge or Mauna Lani Point front desk staff – they will be happy to help.


Mauna Lani Resort Hawaii State Open

Mauna Lani Resort Hawaii State Open- Hawaii’s most prestigious and historic golf event of the year, is taking place this year, Friday, Dec. 12 – Sunday, Dec. 14. The tournament is held on the lush and pristine South and North courses of the resort. The courses, set on the serene Hawaiian island, are truly majestic with their perfect grasses and spectacular views. The 54-hole, stroke-play tournament flaunts not only majestic natural scenery but also top golf talent. Players will enjoy the immaculate and challenging course alongside beautiful and serene views overlooking the Hawaiian landscapes and Pacific Ocean whilst playing among challenging and notable talent.

Last year’s title holder- Nick Mason- birdied himself to victory over defending champion Dean Wilson. Mason won the tournament with a score of 4 under 68 in his final round. The tournament ended in a dramatic finale when Nick Mason took the title despite the volcanic fog looming over the course.

Registration for this year’s tournament opens Oct. 10 and closes on Nov. 29 at 5:00pm. The fee prices vary upon the player. The different divisions are as listed: A-Flight (Men), Men’s Open, Pro Senior, and Women’s Open. The tournament is formatted for six-person groups, including five amateurs and one professional. You have the option of inviting your own professional for your group. If not, the tournament committee will choose a professional for your team. For more info and entry forms, please visit this webpage:

Players and participants are offered special rates for lodging accommodations at the Maui Lani Resort. Players and participants can book ocean side rooms at the luxurious resort in order to fully soak up the premium golf and the exceptional accommodations sitting alongside of the courses. Rates and offers as well as terms and conditions can be viewed through the following website:



Big Island to feature local music and 30th annual county fair

The Big Island is a land of tradition; a land of many landscapes and majestic beauty; a land of untamed waters and paradise beaches; a land of rich culture and vibrant locals. Much like any other weekend, the Big Island will begin this weekend with the tradition of “Aloha Friday on the Porch.” Always a free event sponsored by the local municipality, this weekend local Volcano-area resident Wes Awana brings his ukulele and his love of Hawaii to serenade your inner-islander. After a short performance involving lessons and anecdotes about the rich culture of the island, Awana will then share his love of the ukulele by offering a family-friendly workshop offering tips and lessons on how to harmonically manipulate the original instrument of the islands.

After a Friday celebrating the original harmony of the island sounds, this weekend plans big with the 30th annual Kohala Country State Fair.  Promoted and organized by local community members, the County Fair will feature local community leaders and businesses working together in order to keep this annual event free to the public. Aiming to make this year the biggest and best it’s ever been, the fair will feature such musical acts as: the Keawe Trio, North Shor Live, LavaRoots African dance and drumming, and the HICCUP children’s circus. Between these local acts, the old-fashioned country games and over 100 local vendors of both food and other crafts, this fair is poised to be a blast for the whole family and a sure-fire way to have the best 30th birthday a fair could have!




Explore Pu`ukohola Heiau History



There’s no denying that Classic Resorts at Mauna Lani is the best place to stay on the Big Island, with all of the luxury and space you may be tempted to never leave the resort – and we don’t blame you! But, we have to admit that the Big Island has some amazing historical locations that are a must see. Just a few miles up the road from Mauna Lani you will find Pu`ukohola Heiau, meaning “Temple on the Hill of the Whale”. Let’s explore some of Pu`ukohola Heiau history and we will give you some upcoming activities that are great for the whole family.


How many places in America can you walk in the footsteps of a king? Where else has a stranded sailor risen up to become a great chief over an entire island? Pu`ukohola Heiau of course!


Although there is some debate as to the precise year of Kamehameha I’s birth, Hawaiian legend claimed that a great king would one day unite the islands, and that the sign of his birth would be a comet. Halley’s Comet was visible from Hawaiʻi in 1758 and it is likely Kamehameha was born shortly after its appearance.


Around 1790 Kamehameha I rose into power and constructed Pu’ukohola Heiau. Heiau (temples) took on many forms from simple stone markers, to massive stone platforms associated with human sacrificial temples. Large heiau such as Pu’ukohola could only be accessed by the priests and chiefly classes.


One explanation for Kamehameha’s rise to power is based on the fulfillment of four prophecies that different kahuna (priests) decreed would change the course of history in Hawai’i. Each prophecy was directly related to Kamehameha either through his birth or his deeds. A different explanation for his rise to power is based on the political conflict on Hawai’i in the 1780s. It focuses on his uncles pushing Kamehameha I to the forefront in order to protect their own interests.


The end of the 1700s European explorers increased the number of visits to the Hawaiian Islands. With their trade ships, warships, cannon, and military experience, the foreigners were considered assets by the warring chiefs. Kamehameha was particularly astute on this point and took two young sailors captive, John Young and Isaac Davis. Young and Davis proved their courage and loyalty in battle and became close, trusted lieutenants to Kamehameha, aiding his rise to power. Their relationship lasted far beyond the battlefield and into everyday life, Young eventually becoming governor of the Big Island, and Davis of O’ahu.


John Young also handled the king’s business affairs with foreign traders. As a trusted advisor held in high esteem, the king granted him land at Kawaihae, adjoining Pu’ukohola, for a home. Young first built a small home near the beach below the heiau. Later, he built a larger compound just north of the heiau. His plaster-covered stone house was the first Western style structure in Hawai’i. John Young’s homestead is a part of Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site and is being protected and preserved for future generations.


Pu’ukohola Heiau was designated in 1928 when it was commemorated as a Historical Landmark by the Hawaiian Territorial Government. In the 1960s, the Queen Emma Foundation and the Queen’s Medical Center, the Waimea and other Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and the local community groups were instrumental in getting Pu’ukohola Heiau designated as a National Historic Landmark.


The Queen Emma Foundation donated 34 acres of land in 1972 encompassing Pu’ukohola Heiau and the John Young Homestead made it possible for the establishment of Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. Through an act of Congress on August 17, 1972, this site became one of the chosen few to be recognized as one of our nation’s crown jewels and national treasures, to be preserved and protected for future generations.


March Events

Coconut Leave Weaving

Join members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha for hands-on opportunities to learn how to weave various items out of coconut leaves (fish, small bowl, etc.).

March 17 10am -2pm


Whale Watches

Watch humpback whales with staff and volunteers from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA). Learn about these “Giants of the Sea” while watching them at Pu`ukohola…”the Hill of the Whale”! These whale watches take place just outside of the park’s Visitor Center.

March 22 & 29 9am-11am


Lei Making

Learn about the art of Hawaiian Lei Making through hands-on demonstrations.

March 22 & 29 9am-1pm

Contact Pu’ukohola Heiau at 808-882-7218 ext. 1011 for more information.



Article content provided by our friends at Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site.




Experience the PGA in Hawaii

For the past 15 years, the Mitsubishi Electric PGA Champions Golf Tour has held its first match of the year on the Big Island. The event, held annually at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, features 40 top golfers aged 50 and above. This upcoming year, the 2013 tournament will be held on January 18th – 21st.

In order to qualify to play, each golfer must have won a Champions Tour event or any other PGA majors or money event. The total purse of $2 million dollars brings out the best of the best golfers and the event is not one to be missed.

In previous years, icons like Tom Watson and Dan Forsman have walked away with the win. Who will do it this year? Make a weekend of it and come watch for yourself!

Additional information can be found on the Offical Site of the PGA Champions Tour or on the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau website.


Experience Kona Coffee

If you love coffee and you love the Big Island, November just might be the perfect time for you to visit our island.

The entire month of November, we will be celebrating Kona’s famous harvest with the award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, recognized as the oldest and most successful food festival in Hawaii.

The celebration features events such as tastings, art exhibits, a cupping competition, farm tours and parades, while recognizing the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans. Events are held at various venues and many are free.

The ten day celebration begins with a “Kona’s Got Talent” karaoke night at Konawaena Elementary School and concludes on November 11th with the Aloha Makahiki Concert at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa. There is definitely something for everyone. For a full list of events, visit the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Calendar of Events.


IRONMAN World Championships – October 13

In 1977, the inaugural running of the “Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon” occured as a way to challenge athletes who had seen success at a local biathlon. San Diego-based John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai’i – the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon – into one event.

That first event saw people attempting to take on the IRONMAN challenge. Prior to racing, each received three sheets of paper with a few rules and a course description. The last page read: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”

In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Along the Kona Coast, black lava rock dominates the panorama, and athletes battle the “ho’omumuku” crosswinds of 45 mph, 95 degree temperatures and a scorching sun.

Now in its 34th year, the IRONMAN World Championship centers on the dedication and courage exhibited by participants who demonstrate the Ironman mantra that “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. ®” On October 13, nearly 1,800 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of “IRONMAN.”


Celebrate Queen Liliuokalani’s Birthday

Queen Liliuokalani was Hawaii’s last monarch, reigning until the monarchy was abolished in 1893.

Most beloved, each year her birthday is celebrated with an incredible festival, He Halia Aloha No Ka Queen Liliuokalani, which is held in the Liliuokalani Gardens, a Japanese-style gardens in Hilo which was named for her.

There will be hula demonstrations and traditional Hawaiian music.  Held in Hilo, about an hour drive from the Resort, this is one birthday celebration you will remember forever.

Where:  Liliuokalani Gardens, Banyan Drive, Hilo, Hawaii
When: September 8, 2012, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
For more information, please call: 808-961-8706