Archive for the ‘sightseeing’ Category

HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY Kapalua Bay Beach has been ranked No. 2 on an annual list of best beaches. A view of the Kapalua coastline off Maui is shown.

The sand on Siesta Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast — fine as powdered sugar, a pure, sparkling white and soft as a kitten’s fur comprised of 99 percent pure crushed quartz — beat out Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui as the best beach in America.

“The sand (at Siesta Beach) is outstanding,” said Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, a professor at Miami’s Florida International University who’s made a career ranking and studying beaches around the United States. “Every time I go there, I’ve got to take a bag home with me. It’s almost sacrilegious to walk on it with shoes on.”

Kapalua Bay Beach came in at No. 2 on the list, while Hapuna Beach State Park on Hawaii island came in at No. 8.

The 10, in order of ranking, are Siesta Beach, Fla.; Kapalua Bay Beach; Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; Grayton Beach State Park on the Florida Panhandle; Coopers Beach in Southampton, N.Y.; Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod, Mass.; Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater, Fla.; Hapuna Beach; Coronado Beach in San Diego; and Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island, S.C.

He’s rated beaches since 1991, and Hawaii beaches are usually represented on the list.

At No. 2, Kapalua Bay Beach — smaller than Siesta Beach — is crescent-shaped and flanked by palm trees. Unlike lots of Hawaii beaches, there aren’t many waves at Kapalua, he said, making it perfect for safe swimming.

“The coral reefs almost go right to the beach. There are tropical fish swimming all around.”

Leatherman, who is director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University, uses about 50 criteria to assess and rank beaches across the country.

 

Information for this post taken from The Honolulu Star Advertiser and was written  by Tamara Lush Associated Press  May 26, 2017

Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Everyone that comes to Hawaii wants to get some “beach time” to read a favorite book, walk along the shore, or work on a tan…  Below are some things to consider to find that perfect beach while on your Hawaii vacation.

Waves influence how much fun a beach is. The most fun and accessible ocean sport is boogie boarding, and as such we judge a beach that normally has active surf by its ability to produce the ideal boogie boarding wave.  In contrast, the most fun and accessible ocean activity is snorkeling. A location that aims to please as a snorkeling spot must have little surf, clear water, and plenty of fish.  The ideal wave is about 3 ft high, breaking perhaps 20-30 yards from the beach in waist high water. This size is challenging and exciting for those who are comfortable in the water, but not overwhelming. After the wave breaks, less experienced swimmers can still catch the white water without fear of being tumbled.
With Hawaii’s reputation as a surfing destination, some may be disappointed by what the ocean offers for non surfers, with waves often being too big or too small for boogie boarding. At many locations, the beach slopes into the ocean rather quickly, resulting in a wave that breaks on top of the beach instead of in the water. Reefs or neighboring islands also deflate wave energy, with trade winds further deforming the waves.

The typical Hawaiian beach has semi-coarse golden brown sand and is flanked by large lava rock formations where colorful tropical fish congregate. The water transitions from a dark blue to a ‘greenish blue’ near the shore. The water is rarely crystal clear as kicked up sand, ocean debris (plankton, coral bits etc.) and sediments from streams reduce visibility. The beach and sand are clean and well maintained, and free of sand flees (no-see-ums) and other annoying critters. A light fragrant breeze blows over calm ocean waters in the morning. In the afternoon the trade winds pick up, turning the ocean choppy with small waves. If it’s a weekday the beach comfortably accommodates all its patrons with ample amounts of play room.

Fine, soft sand is nicer to walk and play on than coarse sand, and also better for construction projects like sand castles. Rocks or other debris greatly reduce the quality as running and playing are not possible. Light colored sand is visually more appealing in our opinion, although it produces more blinding glare than dark sand.  White, black, and even green sand beaches abound along the Big Island’s 266-mile coastline.

Check out some of the most popular spots below:

Kauna‘oa Beach at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Hapuna Beach (popular for walking and body boarding)
Anaeho‘omalu Beach (known as “A-Bay,” great for windsurfing and kitesurfing)
Ka‘upulehu Beach at the Four Seasons Resort
White Sands Beach Park, near the Keauhou Resort (also known as “Magic Sands” because the beach can quickly disappear during high-surf months only to return in the spring)
Kahalu‘u Beach Park (Kona’s most popular snorkeling beach)
Punalu‘u Beach Park (a well-known black sand beach)
Mackenzie State Park in Pahoa (nearby, there’s a lava-lined pool heated to 95 degrees by a volcanic stream)
Coconut Island Park, near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel (a local favorite for fishing and swimming)
Laupahoehoe Point Park (created by a lava flow from Mauna Kea,its large grassy area is a good place to camp)
Waipi‘o Valley’s Black Sand Beach (accessible only with four-wheel drive or on foot from the overlook

Some people enjoy visiting the beach to people watch, sun tan, and check out the latest beach fashions. Indeed, you’ll see people sporting everything from Brazillian bikinis to snazzy one piece swimsuits.   However, a major consideration is how much room there is to walk and play. Can you fly a kite, play Frisbee, build forts, put up a volleyball net, or go for a long walk or jog? Bigger beaches offer more possibilities and as such are more desirable.  Most of Hawaii’s beaches are not crowded during week days and offer plenty of room to play, both on the sand and in the water. Only a handful of beaches and snorkel locations are consistently crowded and we tend to avoid those beaches.

Looking for a great vacation rental while in Hawaii?  Call us to find out our available dates for your vacation in paradise.  

Experience Open Range Horseback Riding in the unspoiled upcountry Hawai’i at the Ponoholo Ranch on historic Kohala Mountain. This 11,000 acre working cattle ranch, stretching from the rain forest to the ocean, offers the most spectacular scenery on the Big Island. Awe inspiring views of the Kona and Kohala coastline, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai Volcanoes on the Big Island and Haleakala Volcano on Maui.

The Ponoholo Ranch on Kohala Mountain is one of the most beautiful ranches on the Big Island. This 11,000 acre cattle ranch covering 3 climate zones stretches from the rain forest at 4,800 feet to the ocean. It has the second largest herd of cattle on the island, 6,000 to 8,000, after the Parker Ranch. The ranch is operated in an environmentally sensitive manner through intensive rotational grazing which maximizes nutritional opportunities for the cattle thereby reducing damage to the land through erosion and overgrazing. The cattle raised on the Ponoholo Ranch are sent to the mainland in livestock ships after they are weaned from their mothers. They are then trucked to pasture or to feed lots primarily in Texas.

The Ranch offers awe inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean, the Kohala and Kona coastline and the Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes on the Big Island and the Haleakala Volcano on Maui.

Paniolo Adventures is the Premier Open Range Horseback Riding operation on the Big Island. We have operated on the Ponoholo Ranch for more than 25 years. In riding the open range our guests get to experience what it was like to be a paniolo in the old days of North Kohala. The red lei lehua on the hat in the Paniolo Adventures logo is the traditional lei worn on the hats of the paniolos of the Big Island.

Feel like a real paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) when you outfit yourself with our boots, hats, chaps and Australian dusters and ride the range dotted with grazing cattle.

Rides vary from 1 hour to 4 hours.

Here is their contact information:

Paniolo Adventures: Hawaii Horseback Riding on the Big Island
1-808-889-5354  or check out their website @ www.panioloadventures.com
Mile 13.2 | Kohala Mtn. Rd. (Hwy. 250) | N. Kohala, HI 96743