Posts Tagged ‘Waimea’

Exploring the Big Island of Hawaii: a Photo Essay Using the Boomerang App


Shaka symbol shadow puppets on the Big Island

I just got back from  a girls trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. I decided to document our trip using the Boomerang App from Instagram on my iPhone 6s (Boomerang is also available for Android users). The Boomerang app creates short videos from bursts of still photos. Below are some of my favorite Boomerangs from the trip to the Aloha state.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 21, 2016 at 5:56pm PDT

Sunset Zen on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii excels at sunsets. I took this Boomerang on the beach at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Kohala Coast.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 15, 2016 at 5:54pm PDT


Hang Loose Shadow Puppets

The Hulihee Palace in Kona was once a vacation home used by the Hawaiian royal family. Built in 1838, it is now a cool Victorian era museum with a great collection of Hawaiian artifacts and pictures. You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside the palace, so I made this boomerang of the “hang loose” shaka symbol. The shaka symbol is used as greeting in Hawaiian culture.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 22, 2016 at 5:42am PDT

Rush Hour on the Kona-Kohala Coast

The waters off the beach at the Fairmont Orchid are perfect for swimming, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. It’s a great snorkeling spot as well. The local fish and giant turtles (known as honu) happily share this portion of paradise.


A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 20, 2016 at 6:27am PDT

Hula Dancing on Hilo Bay

My friend, Zan Aufderheide, learned a few hula dancing basics during a tour of the Big Island. Here she is showing her mad hula skills on Hilo Bay.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 16, 2016 at 2:08pm PDT

Yummy Tuna Crudo

The Beach Tree Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons Hualalai is one of best spots on the Kailua-Kona Coast to take in the sunset and enjoy a meal with a view. The tuna crudo (ahi sashimi) with spicy aioli was both satisfying and light and paired perfectly with the tropical cocktails. I recommend trying The Green Flash made with Patrol Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, lime, cream of coconut, Genovese basil, and fresh jalapeno.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 15, 2016 at 1:24pm PDT


Yellow Flags at the Fairmont Orchid

I stayed at the Fairmont Orchid. The hotel has a lovely beach and bay which is a great place to snorkel with the giant turtles, known locally as Honu. These yellow flags amongst the palm trees gave a real sense of being on vacation.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 16, 2016 at 9:02pm PDT


Handsome Furry Local

Much of the Big Island of Hawaii used for ranching, complete with cattle and cowboys. I met this furry local, a dog known for guarding cattle up in Waimea. If you’re in the area, try one of the locally sourced burgers at Village Burger. Located in an laid back strip mall, locals and visitors flock to Village Burger for their cooked to order Hawaii Big Island Beef Burger. I wasn’t even hungry and I could not resist the delicious smell wafting in the Hawaiian breeze.

For best results, Boomerangs are best viewed using the Instagram app. If you’re not yet following my Instagram, here’s a link.

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Exploring Kauai: Beaches, Bays, and Bookstores


 Tree on Moloa’a Beach

If you are looking for things to do on Kauai and want to dive deeper than the tourist centers of Poipu Beach and the resorts at Princeville, here are a few of my favorite spots on the Hawaiian island.

Moloa’a Beach is located near Kapaa on Kauai’s east shore. It’s a bit off the highway, but once you get there it you might recognize it. Moloa’a Beach was a filming location in the pilot and first episode of the 60’s television show Gilligan’s Island. This is the beach where the Minnow was aground on an “unchartered desert isle.”

Pro Tip: If you want to stay on Kauai and avoid the crowds, consider renting a house or cottage from HomeAway or AirBnb near Moloa’a and having this amazing beach within walking distance.

Photo Feb 04, 4 55 32 PM

An aerial view of the coast of Kauai


The gorgeous scenery of Anahola Beach on Kauai includes the Kalalea Mountains

Of all the beaches I saw on Hawaii’s garden island, Anahola Beach was the one I thought was most beautiful. Located on Kauai’s east shore, this crescent-shaped stretch of sand is .42 of a mile long and has the Kalalea Mountains and lush greenery as a backdrop. Anahola Beach also has campground, and the Anahola river nearby. I loved the large black volcanic rocks that were scattered about.

Pro Tip: Be warned– the campground can get packed during high season. 


A view of Hanalei Bay

There are several hiking trails near Princeville and Hanalei, including one that gave me the view of Hanalei Bay above.


The view of Hanalei Bay from a scenic overlook in Princeville

The image above is another gem from a scenic overlook just off Kuhio Highway.


Garden Island goodness from an overlook in Princeville

Some of the Garden Island’s best views can be seen from simply pulling over onto the scenic overlooks just off Kuhio Highway. The weather and light change the mood and viewing conditions, but it’s well worth pulling over for the views.


Hanalei Valley Overlook

This gorgeous view of Hanalei Valley was shot from a scenic overlook just off Kuhio Highway.


Blue water and black rock at Lumahai Beach

Lumahai Beach is best known as a filming location for the film South Pacific. It’s volcanic rocks and strong currents make it a nice place to watch the waves crash on the rocks. The currents were too strong for swimming or snorkeling during my visit to Kauai. But it is still worth the hike.

Pro tip: Wear good shoes or sneakers for the steep path to Lumahai Beach. It can get slippery.


Ferns framing the Kapaa Stream

The Hoopii Falls hike is a great 2.2 mile hike that offers some great scenery of Kauai, including two waterfalls. It’s easy and well marked and good for kids, too.

 Hoopii Falls video (shot on my iPhone 6s)


Palm Tree Power along Kauai’s North Shore


A Hike to Hanalei Bay from Princeville


A View of Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon is known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This colorful gorge is located on the western side of Kauai and well worth the drive if you’re staying on the North Shore or in the Poipu Beach area.


Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe

Hanapepe is a small and historic town on Kauai’s western side. It has the western-most independent bookstore in the United States, Talk Story.



 Rooster crossing the Road in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii

Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796, United States

Nurses Beach (Lumaha’i Beach)

Hwy. 560, west of Hanalei, Hanalei, HI 96714, United States

Moloaa Beach

Moloaa Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754, United States

Anahola Beach

Anahola, HI 96703, United States

Hoopii Falls

The short, moderately difficult 2.2 mile hike on unmarked trails along the Kapaa Stream will take you up close to two waterfalls.

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Exploring Hawaii’s Garden Island of Kauai in GIFs


Kauai Native Levi Fabiana has mad machete skills

The gorgeous scenery of Kauai, Hawaii’s “Garden Island” has been featured in many Hollywood films including the classic 50s film South Pacific, James Cameron’s Avatar, the Spielberg classic Jurassic Park, and The Descendants. In addition to stunning landscapes, Kauai offers less cinematic charms. If you are looking for things to do on Kauai, here are some of my favorites, illustrated with GIFs.

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