Things To Do On The Big Island Of Hawaii When You Stay For A Week – Our Concierge Recommendations

Published June 6th, 2018

Meet Lindsay Lincoln, your Concierge for the Equity Residences Mauna Lani house. We asked Lindsay what she recommends to do on the Big Island of Hawaii, and she was excited to share her best advice for a Big Island 7 day itinerary.

Meet Lindsay.

Lindsay Lincoln settled on the Big Island in 2005 and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Lindsay has gotten to know and appreciate all the island has to offer from her 12 years working as a Concierge at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

She is happy to answer any questions about the island or make recommendations based on your interest.

She shares this itinerary with our investors and guests and hopes they find Hawaii just as thrilling as she does.

Day 1 – Arrival Day

Get settled in the house & take a walk or golf cart ride down to the end of the street to jump in the ocean at Makaiwa Beach.

Moon shaped Makaiwa Beach at Mauna Lani

As a guest of Laule’a you have access to the private Mauna Lani Beach Club, where you will find a gem of a beach called Makaiwa. Although fairly small, its accentuated half-moon shape opens up to a bay that simply beckons to be enjoyed. Make sure to bring a snorkel to enjoy the colorful sights that hide beneath the water.

Sunset Dinner at Canoe House or Brown’s Beach House

The best way to start a Big Island vacation is by a dip in the ocean and a watching a Hawaiian sunset while sipping on a cocktail!

Day 2

Morning Spa appointment at the Mauna Lani Spa

Lindsay recommends enjoying the Lomi Lomi Massage – This traditional Hawaiian massage is a sacred healing art handed down from generation to generation by Kupuna (elders). Techniques are rhythmic and unique to each therapist, integrating use of palms and forearms, an excellent full body wellness massage.


Morning Golf tee time at the Mauna Lani Golf Course. 

The Mauna Lani Golf Course offers two courses for our guest to enjoy. Mauna Lani Francis H I’i Brown (North Course) is the more challenging of the two courses at the Mauna Lani Resort and is characterized by rolling terrain and kiawe groves. Built on an ancient lava flow, feral goats frequent the fairways. Hole #17 is similar to an amphitheater made out of rocks, which will present a challenge for any golfer.

Mauna Lani Francis H I’i Brown (South Course ) is home to the famous Senior Skins since 1989. The South Course is sculptured from a geologically young lava flow and features breathtaking ocean and mountain views. The famed 15th hole crosses the Pacific and is noted as one of the most memorable holes in Hawaii.

Equity Residences Mauna Lani house overlooks Francis H I'i Brown golf course

Manta Ray Night Snorkel. 

This activity is very unique to the Big Island of Hawaii and has become one of the most popular for island visitors. The boat will depart approximately one hour prior to sunset and go to a location with a high success rate of seeing the Manta Rays. The Kona coast has over 200 resident Manta Rays that are up to 16 ft from wing tip to wing tip.

Manta Rays have no barb or stinger and feed through a filter making swimming with these gentle giants safe. Once at the location, after a short informational briefing, you will enter the water once the sun has set. Each participant will hold onto a shared floatation devise that has dive lights attached to the bottom. These lights illuminate the plankton in the water which attracts the Manta Rays to feed right below you in a barrel roll.

The sight is spectacular!

Manta Rays in Hawaii

Day 3

Morning Helicopter Ride. 

Lindsay says: “A Helicopter tour allows you to explore areas of the island that are inaccessible by land – seek out lava flows old and new, fly far back into green lush valleys to view 1000 ft waterfalls, fly over majestic green sand and black sand beaches, and count all 5 volcanoes from the air. It is the ultimate experience!”

Blue Hawaii Helicopters offers a 2 Hour Big Island Spectacular tour, which will fly over the saddle of the island between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, straight to the volcano, where you will fly by the active crater, any lava entering the ocean, and all visible surface flows.  Once this is exhausted, they then continue back along the northern coastline, where you see all of the valleys and waterfalls.

Lindsay can arrange a private helicopter tour for our guests. The company she works with has relationships with private landowners, so it can offer landings at secluded beaches, at hard to reach waterfalls, coffee plantations, and other locations that are otherwise inaccessible.

Afternoon at the Beach. 

Take a drive to explore one of the many beaches along the coast. Lindsay recommends Hapuna Beach or Wailea Bay- aka Beach 69.

or Drive to Volcano National Park And Spend All Day Exploring. 

An active Volcano is a popular attraction for those that do not want to fly in a helicopter. There are many different ways you can explore this region of the Island: from driving yourself with a self-guided tour, organizing a tour with an Eco Adventure company with a group, or booking a private tour. Lindsay can offer you more insight into what would be best for your family.

The active Volcano is on the opposite side of the Island from Mauna Lani Resort, so visiting the area by car will be a 10 – 12-hour exploration.  If you do decide to drive yourself, feel free to speak to ask your concierge for recommended points of interest that you can enjoy along the route and different locations to enjoy a bite to eat.

Upon arrival at the Volcano Park, Lindsay always recommends your first stop to be the Visitors Center, where you will find the Park Rangers.  They are always a wealth of information about the latest happenings within the park.

If you prefer to have a guide to enhance your day by providing you more information and history on the region, educate you on the different plant life as well as some wonderful Hawaiian mythology, speak with Lindsay.

She recommends exploring this area with one of the Eco Adventure companies.  She has relationships with several. All of them feature amazing guides and small tour groups, allowing them to better focus on everyone’s interests while keeping the tour more intimate and personal.

Hawaii Big Island lava flow

After Exploring The Island, Invite a Private Chef.

Lindsay recommends inviting Chef Kat for private chef service. She has many years of experience and provides services to many of the luxury homes on the island. Her pricing depends on the number of people in the party and the menu that is selected.

She can also arrange for entertainment if the guest would like a hula dancer or fire dancer to come to the home.

Equity Residences Hawaii Mauna Lani Resort home modern kitchen

Day 4

Morning Snorkel Sail.

Enjoy a snorkel excursion aboard Mauna Lani Sea Adventures 50 foot sailing catamaran called the Winona. Motor to secluded coves along the Kohala Coast for a spectacular snorkel experience.

Dolphin Swim.

Another popular activity is a Snorkel Excursion called a Dolphin Swim. Ali’I Ocean Tours will take you out into the ocean to look for our local wild spinner dolphins.  These excursions focus on spending time with the Hawaiian species of dolphins while interacting with them both in and out of the ocean.

They will do their best to provide you with the opportunity to swim with the pods. Keep in mind, you will be swimming with untrained and wild mammals, so it truly is up to them whether they want to interact with you.  Each of these companies takes the utmost care not to disrupt their sleep, nursing and breeding habits.  Continental breakfast and deli-style lunch included.

Mauna Kea Luau. 

Most authentic Luau on the island, which an oceanfront setting and talented musicians and dancers. Guest get to enjoy Hawaiian storytelling through hula and dine under the stars on a traditional local fare.

Day 5

Private morning Yoga at the House.

Start the day off right, feeling centered and refreshed, with a private yoga class right on your lanai.

Beach Day & Lunch at Napua at the Mauna Lani Beach Club.

Explore a new beach or head back to Makaiwa Bay.

Mauna Kea Summit and Star (dinner included).

Another unique feature of the Big Island of Hawaii is a trip to the top of Mauna Kea for a stargazing adventure. The tour companies have designed their excursion to take you to the base of Mauna Kea to enjoy a dinner before ascending to the summit; elevation almost 14,000 feet. They time their ascent to coordinate the sun setting behind Haleakala, the volcano on Maui.

Mauna Kea is known to be home to several observatories.  However, they are run by a variety of different countries and are not set up to accommodate visitors.  So after sunset, the companies will take you back down to the visitor center level, approximately 9,000 feet, for the stargazing portion of your adventure. Each company provides a large celestial telescope with guides that will be able to entertain you with information on our Island, Hawaiian mythology, and stories relating to star constellation.

Due to the extreme climb and oxygen levels at this elevation, this adventure is not recommended for anyone with heart or lung conditions or who may be pregnant. Additionally, keep in mind that if you decide to enjoy a Summit Adventure, you will want to bring long pants, socks, closed toed shoes and clothing you can layer to help ward of the temperatures you will experience at these elevations. The company will supply you with Parkas for the evening.

This activity should be booked 1-2 months in advance to ensure availability.

Day 6

Kohala Zip and Dip.

Kohala Zipline is located in the North Kohala area, near the Pololu Valley.  This tour features a nine-line course perched amongst the trees of Halawa, featuring elevated suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms, and a thrilling dual zipline.  The course offers a variety of heights and lengths with a small break to enjoy a snack.

Kohala Zipline also offers a fun combination tour called their Kohala Zip & Dip Adventure. This tour will combine the 9 line Zipline course and a short 1-mile hike to a waterfall for swimming at the base.

ATV Ride the Rim.

Waipi’o Ride The Rim is located over near the historic Waipi’o Valley; approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes from the Mauna Lani. Waipi’o Ride the Rim takes you through a sandalwood forest to the backside of the valley and a hiding waterfall.

After enjoying the refreshing pool of this waterfall, you will proceed on to the rim of the Waipi’o Valley to enjoy some amazing views of the valley itself and waterfalls located within.  If you decide to enjoy this excursion, you will need to remember to bring long pants and closed toed shoes that you do not care if they get dirty.

Dinner at `Ulu Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons.

The restaurant showcases a stylish blend of Hawaiian architecture and modern flair – a lively, informal setting where guests are inspired, surprised and delighted by Hawaii’s natural beauty, as well as the flavors of the Pacific.

Casual, friendly and knowledgeable servers guide guests through a social dining experience, highlighting an innovative ocean-to-table menu with a playful tableside presentation. The cuisine is oven roasted, flame grilled and wok fired. An extensive wine list including a special election of boutique wines is also available.

hawaii water drop

Day 7  – Departure Day

Lindsay suggests one last jump in the ocean before heading to the airport.

Equity Residences Partners and guests, you can get more information about all these activities, and more, when you book the Mauna Lani home. Lindsay will be happy to welcome you to the Big Island and arrange tours listed above and custom activities, like private helicopter tours, upon request.

Explore the Big Island by region. Visit a coffee farm in Kona and sip coffee that is harvested less than 30 feet away.

See waterfalls in Hilo, or taste sweet honey wine produced right under a volcano. To find out the best places to visit on the Big Island and enjoy your trip to the fullest, read our blog.

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