Friday, June 29, 2012

Green Sea Turtles in Hawai‘i

In Hawai‘i, the green sea turtle is known as the honu. And here in West Hawai‘i, honu are prevalent at beaches, bays and shorelines across the Kona coast.

Weighing up to 300 pounds with a life expectancy of 80 years, the honu frequents shallow waters and coral reefs where it feeds on algae. Like a telescope on a submarine, the honu will often pop its head out of the water as it floats around, making magical appearances for visitors on the beach to enjoy. Honu are also known to crawl out of the water and sleep on the sand, sometimes blending with the rocks along the shore.

Honu are protected by law, so it is illegal to touch or harass a green sea turtle, whether it is in the water or on the beach. There are many places in Kona to see honu up close. Kahalu‘u Beach Park on Ali‘i Drive offers a great spot to snorkel or swim among the turtles. Farther south near Kealakekua Bay, green sea turtles are prolific at Ke‘ei Beach and at Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park.

Our Holualoa Inn ohana can steer you in the right direction for snorkel adventures and turtle-sighting safaris in Kona. When you stay at our Kona boutique hotel bed and breakfast inn, you will be just a few short minutes from some of the best turtle-viewing beaches in the area.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hawaiian Cultural Festival

Among the most anticipated cultural events in Kona each year, the annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival will be held the weekend of June 29 through July 1, 2012 at Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park.

Now in its 51st year, the festival transports visitors back to Old Hawai‘i, circa 1800s, providing a uniquely Hawaiian experience on the beautiful, seaside grounds of the park. The festivities begin on Friday with a hula performance by Kamakani Hali Ala O Puna from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then on Saturday and Sunday, scheduled events include everything from canoe rides and lauhala weaving, to instrument making, lei making, food tasting, poi pounding and tapa clothing printing. Hawaiian practitioners dressed in traditional attire will honor the culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people, whether demonstrating the carving of a koa canoe, making kava beverages or weaving coconut frond creations. Visitors can take home craft items that they've made at the event during any number of group workshops held throughout the day.

The celebration's grand finale, the hukilau involves dozens of people joining forces in and around the water at the Royal Canoe Landing.  Visitors are invited to participate in this traditional fishing method that utilizes a long, sweeping net made of ti leaves.

Here at Holualoa Inn, our historic grounds include remnants of an ancient holua slide, historic trails and more than 30 acres of Kona coffee. Just a 25-minute drive to Pu‘uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, our Hawaiian bed and breakfast in Kona provides the ideal home base from which to explore the wonders of West Hawai‘i and the Big Island.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Kona

It's the hottest new water sport in America, and the best place to do it is right here in Hawai‘i.

Stand-up paddlers appreciate the calm, clear waters of Kona, where there is plenty of opportunity to view marine life from above while exploring the bays and beaches of the Kona coast. If you are a beginner, one of the best places to learn stand-up paddling is at Kahalu‘u Beach on Ali‘i Drive. This premier snorkeling spot features easy access from the sandy beach to the water. Across the street, you will find board rentals and other kinds of equipment for rent, including snorkel gear, kayaks and surfboards. There's also Kailua Bay right in town by the pier, where you can rent boards and cruise around the ancient Ahu‘ena Heiau overlooking the water.

Kona Boys rents stand-up paddleboards
Down the highway about 20 minutes south of town, Kealakekua Bay offers a pristine marine sanctuary brimming with beautiful tropical fish, green sea turtles and more. Sheltered by the towering pali (cliffs), the bay is also the best place to see spinner dolphins in action as they put on an amazing aerial display jumping and spinning out of the water. You can rent stand-up paddleboards at Kona Boys, located up the hill above the bay. Stand-up paddlers also enjoy making the trek to Kona Coast State Park (Kekaha Kai) near the airport, or down to the beautiful South Kohala beaches at Puako, Hapuna Beach, and Kaunaoa Beach at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Holualoa Inn is ideally situated for easy day trips to the beaches of the Big Island. In fact, you can even see the surfbreak from our beautiful backyard. Spend your next romantic Hawai‘i vacation at our Kona boutique hotel inn overlooking the Kona Coast.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

King Kamehameha Day Festivities

Every year in June, the people of Hawai‘i commemorate the great monarch, King Kamehameha I, who unified the island chain in the early 1800s and become the most revered leader in Hawaiian history. Throughout the Islands, traditional floral parades and activities set the stage for plentiful photo opportunities, including the regal pa‘u riders on horseback representing the florals and colors of the eight major islands.

Here in Kailua-Kona, the annual King Kamehameha Day Celebration Parade takes place on Saturday, June 16 beginning at 9 a.m. The parade travels through Historic Kailua Village along Ali‘i Drive, where visitors can see more than 120 horses, marching bands, decorated floats, a horse-drawn carriage, hulu halau and the beautiful pa‘u princesses on horseback leading their respective equestrian units. This year's grand marshal, Leabert Lindsey, is a legendary rodeo man and performing musician. He will be accompanied by 25 riders on horseback, many of whom will be strumming ukuleles and singing along the way. The pa‘u queen, DeeDee Bertelmann, will be joined by her ohana (family) from Pu‘uanahulu in North Kona. This year's Miss Rodeo Hawai‘i, Macey Loando, will also be on hand, along with many other members of the Kona community.

After the parade, Grammy-Award winning artist Cyril Pahinui will perform in a free concert at Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. He'll be joined by Darlene Ahuna, a multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner. A ho‘olaule‘a (Hawaiian music and craft festival) will also take place at the hotel from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Just a short drive down the hill to Kailua-Kona, Holualoa Inn is centrally located for your Kona Hawai‘i resort vacation. Our romantic Hawaiian bed and breakfast features an historic estate home on 30 acres of Kona coffee.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn