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Mauna Kea Beach - Big Island, Hawaii

The scenic route. A Big Island, Hawaii road trip.

On our last day on the Big Island, we took a drive, a Hawaii road trip, and veered off onto what the road signs appropriately called the “scenic route.”

After leaving Hilo, we stopped for a quick hike on Onomea Bay Trail. We visited the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. We visited Akaka Falls State Park and saw a giant waterfall. We looked out over Waipio Valley Overlook.

For lunch we grabbed a plate lunch (an Asian-influenced food plate that typically consists of two scoops of white rice, macaroni salad, and an entrée) at a local hole in the wall. My plate lunch was huge and had chicken katsu, teriyaki beef, tempura shrimp, tempura vegetables, rice, and salad

And then, by some miracle (or Andrew’s navigational/guidebook-reading skills) we finally did the seemingly impossible: found a beach on the Big Island. Mauna Kea Beach.


And so, after a week traveling around Hawaii, I finally got to put on my bathing suit, splish splash in the monstrous waves (one that pulled me under hard and knocked the wind out of me — it was kind of amazing), and watch the sun set over the ocean.

We finished our Hawaii road trip, and our vacation in paradise, at a nice little bar where we split some snacks (some fries, some poke, some chicken wings), drank a few lava flows (only the most delicious alcoholic beverage imaginable), and bid, “Aloha” to the Big Island.

Photos from our Big Island Hawaii Road Trip:

Crab Cakes Benedict at Ken's House of Pancakes on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Onomea Trails on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Onomea Trails on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Onomea Trails on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Onomea Trails on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Akaka Falls State Park on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Waipio Lookout on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Waipio Lookout on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Plate lunch with chicken katsu, teriyaki beef, tempura shrimp, tempura vegetables, rice, and salad on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Fries at Pineapples in Hilo on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Poke at Pineapples in Hilo on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Pineapple bbq wings at Pineapples in Hilo on the Big Island in Hawaii.

Lava Flow at Pineapples in Hilo on the Big Island in Hawaii.

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