The Big Island of Hawai'i Part I: ‘Anaeho’omalu and Waikoloa Beach
It would take you about ten hours to drive around the Big Island of Hawai’i. This great size gives the island great diversity. There are acres of lava rock, void of all life except maybe a few wandering goats. There are lush, green hills where cattle graze and coffee beans grow. There are beautiful beaches, some boasting a harsh surf while others have calm waters. Simply put, the Big Island of Hawai’i is diverse, peaceful, and beautiful. I am currently spending some time on Hawai’i, and for the next few blogs I will tell you about some of the islands attractions.
Staying in Waikoloa, I am a thirty-minute walk away from ‘Anaeho’omalu Beach and Waikoloa Beach, a beach with two names although it is really just one long beach. The walk to the beaches is lovely. You pass through the grounds of the sprawling Hilton hotel where you may be lucky enough to see some sea turtles sunbathing on the hotel’s shoreline. You also pass Buddha Point, where a large buddha statue sits in meditation for eternity, apparently. There are also the grounds for Dolphin Quest, where you can see some dolphins swimming about in captivity. I don’t like to see the dolphins in captivity, and I feel bad for them, but it’s nice to be able to observe these beautiful animals up close. As you walk along the rocky coastline you pass some break-water in the ocean where surfers are sometimes seen gliding upon the waves. The walk changes from black lava coastline to a white coral-based shore, finally leading to the sandy grounds of the beach.
‘Anaeho’omalu and Waikoloa Beach have beautiful sand and calm waters. Waikoloa Beach has public chairs you can use, so long as some are available. There is also a beach stand at ‘Anaeho’omalu Beach where you can rent paddle boards and book sunset cruise tours that go out most evenings. From my experience, the beach is rarely busy, making it a relaxing place to spend an afternoon.
You must use caution in the water as there is a large coral shelf that is not too far off from shore. Watch your step, I cut my foot open once as I walked back in to shore. But that should not deter you from going in, for the water is warm and tranquil, but still be cautious. Prior to the coral shelf, the ground underwater is sandy and gentle on the feet, and deep enough that you can enjoy yourself. The water is also good for snorkeling. Fish, urchins, and maybe even a sea turtle can be seen underwater.
At the south end ‘Anaeho’omalu Beach is the Lava Lava Beach Club, a very popular spot for sunset dinner and cocktails. Go early to get a table if you want to eat there at sunset. Usually, by 6pm (sunset), there is at least an hour wait for a table, sometimes longer. If you go after sunset, at 8pm say, or for lunch, the lineups are not bad at all. The food is good here, as are the drinks. The atmosphere is fun, family-friendly, and you are right on the beach – what’s not to love. They sometimes have live music to go along with dinner, which is nice. There are also stray cats that may come visit you while you eat. Sounds gross, if you don’t like cats, but they are non-intrusive, and kids tend to enjoy their company. They are quite harmless, but if you feed them then expect them to stick around your table. If you haven’t booked your trip yet, you can try and book a seaside cottage through Lava Lava Beach Club.
The sunset from the beach is beautiful, but I usually enjoy it as I walk home. Along with the beautiful sun and sea and its magnificent colours, there is great people watching. As you pass back through the Hilton grounds you will pass a restaurant called Kamuela Provision Company. It is a pricey restaurant where, along the walkway, multiple two-person tables are set up where couples can sit with an undisturbed view of the beautiful ocean.
‘Anaeho’omalu and Waikoloa Beach is a great place to spend a day. If you don’t walk, the area also has a lot of parking available that is right by the beach and the Lava Lava Beach Club.