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Things to do in
Waimea

Our most recommended things to do in Waimea

From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

1. From Hawaii: Historical Dinner Cruise Tour to Kealakekua Bay

Step aboard and step back in time. Hop aboard a sunset dinner cruise in Kona for an enchanting Hawaiian history lesson from the experts. This family adventure departs from the Kailua Pier and is narrated by a local historian tour guide, who will reveal secrets, tell stories, and share legends related to the numerous landmarks along the 12 miles of magnificent Kona coastline. Unwind while you admire Captain Cook’s Monument at Historical Kealakekua Bay (only accessible by boat or hiking) with a complimentary cocktail from a fully stocked, premium bar. Begin your delicious dinner starting with an appetizer of Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia Nuts (Vegan/GF). Enjoy a Starter: Mauna Loa Big Island Macadamia nuts (Vegan/GF) and salad of local baby spinach, Rincon farms strawberries, Big Island feta cheese, and Candied Macadamia nuts with served with a house-made Waimea Strawberry Vinaigrette (GF). For your main course: Kona Coffee braised short rib with creamy mashed potatoes featuring a Kona Coffee Red Eye Demi-Glace; Island Baked Coconut dinner rolls served with butter (vegetarian) and island-baked coconut dinner rolls served with butter (vegetarian). Your dessert is a chocolate torte with strawberry coulis (vegetarian/GF). Keep an eye out for dolphins, turtles, manta rays, and seasonal humpback whales throughout the evening. Enjoy live music from some of the Big Island's best entertainers performing slack-key Hawaiian Style music. Catch the sunset on the water and make sure to look for the famous Green Flash, a fleeting glimmer of intense emerald light that appears on the horizon just after sunset. Other highlights include the Ahu’ena Heiau, the Holua Slide, and the famous Kuamo’o Battlefield, just to name a few.

Hawaii: Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

2. Hawaii: Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 100+miles-long tour covers the essentials of Yellowstone National Park in 3-5 hours. Experience Hawaii's Big Island at your own pace with a self-guided driving tour. Stops include Hulihe's Palace, Magic Beach, and the Lekeleke Burial Grounds. Your tour of the Big Island begins outside the quaint town of Kailua-Kona. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. As you drive, you’ll see the historic Hulihe’e Palace, once the vacation home of the island’s royalty. Continue south to Magic Beach, where the sand sometimes simply disappears. After that is Kahalu'u Beach, a perfect place for snorkelers, followed by the sacred Lekeleke Burial Grounds. Next, pass the remnants of Hikiau Heiau, an important religious site in ancient Hawaii. Past that is the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park for those looking to learn more about the island’s history. See the Honaunau Rodeo Arena and learn all about Hawaii’s cowboys. Next up is Pebble Beach, where you’ll get to know the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. You’ll also have the option to check out the Kula Kai Caverns, left by ancient volcanic activity. Continuing on, reach the startling Punalu'u Beach, which features totally black sand. The route then passes an old sugar plantation, followed by the huge volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Pass by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can explore the island’s volcanoes up close. After that, drive through the picturesque town of Hilo. Then, cruise through the almost impossibly scenic Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Find surfers catching waves next at Honoli'i Beach. After that is Onomea Bay, featuring a spectacular hiking trail with views that can’t be beaten. Then, admire the astonishing flora at the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Continuing on, you’ll arrive at the surprising sight of the Honohina Hongwanji Mission, a historic Buddhist temple. Next pass the Laupahoehoe Train Museum before reaching Laupahoehoe Point, a spectacular ocean vista. Don’t forget to snap some photos. Anyone hankering for a snack will definitely want to stop at the Hamakua Harvest Farmers Market before continuing on to the cowboy town of Waimea. Up next are a pair of great beaches: Hapuna Beach is the largest white sand beach on the island and Beach 69 is beloved by locals, so take your pick. Then you’ll arrive at the Kings Highway Foot Trail, where you’ll have the chance to see the ancient Waikoloa Petroglyphs. After that are another few scenic overlooks, followed by the beautiful Kekaha Kai State Park. Your tour concludes here, just north of where it began.

Big Island: Coffee, Black Sand, Volcano and Waterfall Tour

3. Big Island: Coffee, Black Sand, Volcano and Waterfall Tour

Immerse yourself in the best of the Big Island’s sights, microclimates, and traditions as well as gourmet food and beverages on this full-day all-inclusive tour. Allow us to take care of all your needs from hotel pickup and drop-off and catered meals to a carefully planned route with thoughtfully curated stops. This is the Big Island you’ve been dreaming of — a destination where breathtaking landscapes and millennia of culture combine to create a day of connection with land and people. Welcome to paradise.

Big Island: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours - Full Island

4. Big Island: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tours - Full Island

Don’t miss a thing as your favorite audio tour narrator guides you across Big Island to not-to-be-missed viewpoints, with fascinating stories, tips and directions along the way. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. The Island of Hawaii, often simply referred to as the Big Island due to its size, is famous for its incredible natural attractions, including massive volcanoes, black-sand beaches and lush valleys. Major Highlights: Volcanoes National Park Chain of Craters Road Halema'uma'u Thurston Lava Tube Petroglyphs Devastation Trail Holei Sea Arch Waimea Hamakua Coast Hilo Coffee Coast Place of Refuge Akaka Falls Kona Waipio Valley Pololu Valley Kealakekua Bay Liliuokalani Gardens Hawi Kamehameha Statue Rainbow Falls Kohala Coast Includes: Volcanoes National Park The Big Island's most famous and popular place to visit. In the park there are many amazing formations created by eruptions spread over hundreds and thousands of years. There are two driving routes in the park and expect to spend minimum 2-3 hours exploring. Add the driving time to get there and back, means this is a full day outing. The drive to the park is scenic and it's strongly recommended to drive by going south from Kona using Hwy 11 to pass around the bottom of the island and then up the eastern side. The commentary provides an entertaining and informative description of volcanology and Hawaiian mythology along the way. From Hilo, its's just a 45 minute drive to the entrance. Island Circle Navigating around the entire island includes the tropical and green Hamakua Coast, dotted with sugar plantations towns and amazing rocky coast scenery. A long but manageable day, and make sure to allocate some time for exploring around Hilo. Kohala North Loop Driving from Kona to Hawi is an amazing journey with beaches, a surprisingly arid coast at times, views to Maui, black sand beaches from cliff viewpoints and driving over an old volcanic mountain makes for an excellent half day or longer of sightseeing. Follow the tour as it drives a loop itinerary that gives you a fantastic sample of old Hawaii, modern Hawaii, awesome beaches and huge ranches. Kona Coffee Coast Kailua-Kona is the active hub of the western side of Hawaii and features energetic shopping and dining choices, mixed with historic landmarks and fun beaches. Follow the road that heads south along the coast to tour through this vibrant area. But then, you'll quickly transition to areas of incredible Hawaiian cultural importance and sites that have been preserved for prosperity. Bring your snorkel gear as the audio tour points out places to see fish and turtles.

Big Island: Private Island Circle Tour with Lunch and Dinner

5. Big Island: Private Island Circle Tour with Lunch and Dinner

Discover the beauty and grace of the Big Island of Hawaii on a private tour. Explore some of the island's most unique and idyllic locations, including the Kona coast, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Hilo's iconic waterfalls, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sit back and relax as all meals and drinks (excluding alcoholic ones) are included throughout your day. Make your way to your first stop: the South Kona Coffee Farm for a tour and coffee sampling. Travel south along the striking Kona coast and absorb the breathtaking views of lush vegetation and coastline. Listen to your guide describe the cultural history of the area as well as the local flora and fauna. Then, visit the southernmost bakery in the United States, Punalu‘u Bakery. World renown for their sweet bread, malasadas, and other delicious treats. Enjoy a malasada and a coffee or tea. Continue your tour to one of the prettiest black sand beaches in all of the Hawaiian Islands, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. Relax with black sand between your toes while listening to the wind move through the palms. Keep a look out for green and hawksbill sea turtles that frequent the beach. Next, make your way to the the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. This iconic park encompasses the summit of two of the world’s most active volcanoes and extends from sea level up to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. Explore the main attractions in the park including the Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Road, and a nature walk along the Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the beauty of the park before embarking on the next leg of your adventure. From the park, venture up to Hilo to visit the picturesque Rainbow Falls and Akaka Falls State Park. Both waterfalls are a sight to behold. Beautiful falls combined with lush vegetation make these stops photo-worthy. Then, drive along the 50-mile stretch of the Hamakua Coast with its hidden waterfalls, tropical rainforest, and lush green valleys. Described as one of the most beautiful locations in the state, it’s well worth the scenic drive. Arrive at Waipio Valley in the late afternoon. Enjoy the sprawling views as your guide explains the rich history of the area. Continue your ride to marvel at the bright sunset views of Waimea. To get there, travel through Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) country and take in this historic area with its rolling, green pastures, the home to cattle, cowboys, and one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States; Parker Ranch. Enjoy a local and authentic dinner in Waimea where surf and turf is a definite menu staple, before returning to your hotel.

Maui: Sunrise Self-Guided Driving Tour

6. Maui: Sunrise Self-Guided Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Note: This 95+mile-long tour covers the essentials of Maui Sunrise in 2-3 hours Travel across the island of Maui on an early morning driving tour you can enjoy at your own pace. Follow a GPS-enabled audio guide through quaint towns, the Makawao forest, and the Kula Botanical Garden. Take in the lush scenery and reach Haleakalā volcano to admire the sunrise from the summit. Download the app that will function as your personal guide and head out on your own vehicle to the town of Kahului. Head inland through the picturesque town of Pukalani and listen to an insightful introduction to Maui's historic cowboys, known as 'paniolos'. Learn about the island's rich culture as you become surrounded by the lush wilderness of the Makawao Forest Reserve, featuring some fantastic hiking and biking trails through the jungle. Pass a park full of friendly chickens before arriving at the Kula Botanical Garden. Pause your tour at any of these locations or head straight into Haleakalā National Park to catch the sunrise. Begin ascending the awe-inspiring volcano, rising over 29,000 feet from its base below the sea. Get acquainted with myths and legends about this natural landmark as you drive up. Find a couple of hiking trails with great mountaintop views, as well as two fantastic overlooks of the crater and surrounding landscape. Reach the Haleakalā Visitor Center and Red Hill, the highest point on the island. End your adventure with striking panoramic views from the top.

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What people are saying about Waimea

Overall rating

4.4
(27 reviews)

Chance was a great guide! I appreciate having a local who knows their stuff! The longest stop is at VNP to visit the Caldera and have lunch at Volcano House. The next longest was at Black Sand Beach. The rest of the stops are pretty short, but it's a lot to cram into one trip around the island. We had a rental car, but we would not have done this trip ourselves. This was a great way to see a lot of sites and decide on where you may want to go again later. Highly recommend. The Sprinter van was very comfortable too.

We had an outstanding experience! The seating was comfortable, the crew was extremely attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. One member even microwaved hot water for my wife to have tea. The food was five star, delicious and a beautiful presentation. We enjoyed the music and the narration of the sights. This is a must do event for anyone visiting the island.

Had a wonderful time on the cruise. The staff were so friendly and did an amazing job of serving us on the ship. The food was pretty good for ship food.

All the additional information and history stories were a great addition to. Tour was excellent!

This cruise was excellent! The food, entertainment and service was awesome!