Golf Resort with Ocean Views from Private Balconies
With the Mauna Kea volcano as backdrop, Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay designed the Hapuna Golf Course to complement the dramatic rise from the Pacific shore to about 700 feet above sea level. Named one of the top 20 courses in Hawaii by Links magazine in 2011, the course sits on the sprawling grounds of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The championship course could be the Hawaiian retreat's most striking feature were it not for its beach—a pristine expanse of white sand lining the turquoise Pacific on the Big Island's Kohala Coast.
Each of the hotel's oceanfront rooms offers views of the water from a private lanai. The intimate balcony features stone tile floors, a quaint café table, and comfy lounge chairs. Back at ground level, you can choreograph underwater ballets in the heated pool or lounge on cushy chairs under coconut palm trees and white canopy umbrellas. Nearby, there’s a small, secluded cove where giant sea turtles occasionally seek harbor and snorkelers set off to explore Hawaii's abundant marine life.
After a day of exploring the waterfront, you can cap your night with a traditional luau on the Mauna Kea luau grounds. As musicians pluck at steel guitars and hula dancers sway, diners feast on Hawaiian specialties including poi, sashimi, and roasted kalua pig.
Kohala Coast, Hawaii: Big Island Paradise Abounding with Adventures on Sea & Land
The Big Island's Kohala Coast offers a nearly limitless selection of invigorating aquatic adventures. Certified instructors at scuba-diving centers within 15 minutes of the resort lead underwater tours through crystalline waters inhabited by whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays, and bottlenose mermaids. Amphibious travelers can also board catamarans for treks to areas frequented by humpback whales.
About a 60-mile drive from the hotel, Akaka Falls State Park is known for its waterfalls nestled in lush Hawaiian rainforest that teems with wild orchids, bamboo groves, and draping ferns. The park's namesake Akaka Falls, reachable by a winding footpath, presents a majestic sight as it plummets nearly 500 feet into a bubbling ravine below.
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