The most beautiful scenery on Earth: black sand beach, magical Pololu Valley, magnificent mountains

This is the #1 itinerary we've put together for our personal friends/family--we're happy to share it with you! The day's itinerary will take you to some of the most beautiful scenery you will EVER see on Planet Earth. It will require the majority of a day...don't rush it! SOAK IT IN!

The Pololu Valley is very similar to the more-famous Waipio Valley, but somewhat smaller and without the challenges 4x4 vehicle and too many people hanging out in the magical valley once you're down there. The Waipio Valley is very beautiful, but apparently (and lucky for you) the guidebook writers didn't bother looking at Pololu. It is your host's favorite destination on the island. We take a picnic, spread out our beach towels on a log or on the sandy knoll, and let hours slide by. NOTE: While Pololu is associate with the WEST side of our island, it has the weather and rain patterns of the Hilo side. In general, the earlier you start your trek into the valley, the less probability of rain.

  • Stop #1: Hawi and/or Kapaau to browse/eat a snack (if you're hungry for lunch, we like Kohala Village Hub). In Hawi (pronounced Ha-Vee) the fudge shop is especially yummy. Kapaau is the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great and there's a big statue of him.

King Kamehameha statue in Kapaau Hawaii Big Island near Pololu Valley
  • Stop #2: Pololū Valley. Continue from Kapaau to the end of the highway and you'll be at the Pololū overlook and trailhead. 1KM hike each way, take shoes). IMPORTANT: do not attempt to swim at this beach. It is NOT safe; the currents are very dangerous and unpredictable. The walk along the beach is gorgeouis, and we usually just hang out with a picnic and soak in the astonishingly beautiful energy of this place. If you're quiet, you'll hear the sounds of the surf, the rocks clacking together in the waves, the wind in the trees, is absolute paradise. LOTS of pics ahead, more route info follows!

Pololu Valley Overlook with Pali  Beach
Pololu Valley Hike Big Island Hawaii
Pololu Black Sand Beach Hawaii Big Island
Pololu Valley Trails Hawaii Big Island hikes
  • Part #3: One of the world's most beautiful drives. Drive back to Hawi and turn onto Hwy 250 to go over Kohala Mtn. toward Waimea. The road climbs up for amazing views and changing landscapes---don't be surprised if at one moment you feel you're in a rain forest and a few moments later you feel you're in Tuscany and then Ireland. Drive VERY carefully on this road; if the driver wants to look at the scenery, pull out.

Kohala Mounain Road among best Hawaii scenery on Big Island
Mauna Kea at sunset from Kohala Mountain Road on Hawaii Big Island. World's most beautiful drives.
  • Stop #4: Waimea. Arrive in Waimea where there are some spots to eat and the Parker Ranch Store is an interesting place to browse--most people don't come to Hawaii expecting cowboy imagery, but as home to many cattle ranches, the Big Island has a lot of Western heritage. Suggested meal at Big Island Brewhaus, we feel they are the best brewer on our island.​

  • After Waimea, drive safely home to Kona Guest House.