Kohala, located on the northernmost point of Hawaii’s Big Island, is a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. From its natural beauty to cultural significance, adventure opportunities to relaxation and wellness, and mouth-watering cuisine, Kohala has something for everyone. This article will explore five reasons why everyone should visit Kohala at least once in their lifetime.
The Meaning Behind Kohala
Kohala is a word with many layers of meaning, but at its simplest, it can be translated to “standing tall.” This has roots in the Hawaiian language, with Kohala referring to mt. Kohala is an extinct volcano located on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The mountain was thought to be a special place where the spiritual and physical realms met, uniting the local people in connection with their environment, history, and culture. As one Hawaiian proverb says, “Kalo ka hua o Kohala” – translates to “Kohala’s fruit,” this phrase represents the growth and legacy that takes place after enduring tough times.
Essentially, this means that you may find enlightenment and growth by cultivating beauty even in difficult times or through challenging circumstances. Today, Kohala carries positive vibrations of strength, power, and resilience for Hawaiians and all those touched by its meaning.
Reasons Why Everyone Should Visit Kohala At Least Once
It’s no secret that Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its stunning beaches and lush rainforests make it a paradise full of life and adventure. Kohala, located on the northernmost point of Hawaii’s Big Island, boasts some of the best sights and experiences in the state—so not visiting it would be a mistake! Here are five reasons why everyone should visit Kohala at least once:
One of the primary reasons to visit Kohala is its breathtaking natural beauty. The area is home to numerous stunning beaches, waterfalls, and forests, each offering its unique experience. One of the most popular beaches in Kohala is Hapuna Beach, a mile-long stretch of pristine white sand with crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The beach is also great for sunbathing, picnics, and relaxing in the sun.
Another must-see natural attraction in Kohala is the Akaka Falls State Park, which boasts two beautiful waterfalls – the 442-foot Akaka Falls and the 100-foot Kahuna Falls. The park is also home to lush rainforests and many hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
In addition to its beaches and waterfalls, Kohala is known for its forests, home to many native plants and animal species. The Kohala Forest Reserve, for instance, is a protected area that covers over 20,000 acres and is home to various rare and endangered species, such as the Hawaiian Hawk, the Hawaiian hoary bat, and the Hawaiian petrel. The forest reserve also has many hiking trails that allow visitors to experience the beauty of the forest up close.
Apart from the aesthetic value of Kohala’s natural attractions, experiencing nature has many proven benefits for mental health. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve overall well-being. Therefore, visiting Kohala’s natural attractions is not only a visually stunning experience but can also positively impact your mental health.
Kohala is also steeped in cultural significance, making it an excellent destination for those who want to learn more about Hawaiian history and traditions. The Hawaiian people have a rich cultural heritage that is closely tied to their relationship with the land and the ocean. Kohala is home to many historic sites, temples, and cultural landmarks that offer a glimpse into the lives of the native Hawaiians.
One such landmark is the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, a temple that the Hawaiian King Kamehameha built in the late 18th century. The temple played a significant role in Hawaiian history as it was where Kamehameha received the blessing of the war god, which helped him unite all the Hawaiian islands under one rule. Visitors can learn about the temple’s history and the cultural significance of the site through guided tours and exhibits.
Another cultural attraction in Kohala is the Lapakahi State Historical Park, an ancient Hawaiian fishing village restored to its former glory. The park is great for learning about Hawaiian life before European contact and features many informative exhibits and guided tours. Visitors can also participate in traditional Hawaiian activities, such as hula dancing, lei-making, and poi pounding, to experience the culture up close.
Exploring Kohala’s cultural significance is an excellent way to gain insight into the Hawaiian way of life and learn about a unique culture deeply rooted in nature and spirituality.
For the adventurous traveler, Kohala offers many opportunities to explore and experience the outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice looking to step out of your comfort zone, Kohala has something for everyone.
One of the most popular adventure activities in Kohala is hiking. The area has many beautiful trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The Pololu Valley Trail, for instance, is a 0.6-mile trail that takes hikers through lush rainforest and down to a black sand beach. The trail offers panoramic views of the valley and the coastline and is a great option for those who want to experience Kohala’s natural beauty up close.
Another popular adventure activity in Kohala is snorkeling. The clear waters are home to many exotic marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and manta rays. The Puako Bay Marine Reserve is a great place to go snorkeling as it has many coral reefs and underwater caves home to various marine species. Visitors can also take guided snorkeling tours to learn more about the area’s marine life and conservation efforts.
Surfing is another popular adventure activity in Kohala, and the area’s beaches offer some of the best surf spots in Hawaii. For example, the waves at Hapuna Beach are ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers. In contrast, advanced surfers can head to the nearby beaches of Waialea Bay and Kua Bay for more challenging waves.
Relaxation And Wellness
If you’re looking for a more relaxing and rejuvenating experience, Kohala has many options for wellness and self-care. The area is known for its spas, yoga studios, and other relaxation activities that promote relaxation.
One of the best ways to relax in Kohala is by practicing yoga. The area has many studios and instructors that offer classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced. The yoga classes are often held outdoors, providing a serene and tranquil environment that promotes mindfulness and relaxation. Spas and massages are other popular options for unwinding in Kohala. Many of the area’s resorts and hotels have spas that offer a range of treatments, from deep tissue massages to facials and aromatherapy sessions. Visitors can also opt for traditional Hawaiian massages, such as the Lomi Lomi massage, which uses long, flowing strokes to release tension and promote relaxation.
Engaging in relaxation and wellness activities is essential for maintaining good mental health and reducing stress. Taking time for yourself and prioritizing self-care can improve your overall well-being, boost your mood, and help you feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.
Food And Drink
Kohala is also known for its mouth-watering cuisine, a fusion of traditional Hawaiian flavors and modern culinary techniques. The area is home to many top-rated restaurants, food trucks, and farmers’ markets that offer fresh, locally sourced ingredients and a range of delicious dishes.
One of the most popular foods in Kohala is poke, a traditional Hawaiian dish made with raw fish, rice, and vegetables. The dish is often served as an appetizer or a light meal and comes in many variations, from spicy tuna poke to salmon poke with avocado.
Another must-try food in Kohala is the Hawaiian plate lunch, which typically consists of rice, macaroni salad, and a protein, such as teriyaki chicken, kalua pork, or fish. The dish is a staple of Hawaiian cuisine and can be found in many local restaurants and food trucks.
Kohala is also home to many farmers’ markets that offer fresh produce, baked goods, and other local specialties. For instance, the Hawi Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday and features vendors selling everything from organic fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and jewelry. In addition to its food, Kohala also has a thriving coffee culture, and the area is home to many coffee farms and roasters. The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is a popular destination for coffee lovers, where visitors can learn about the history of Kona coffee and take a guided tour of the farm.
So, Will You Visit Kohala At Least Once?
Kohala is a destination that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, delicious food, or a deeper understanding of the area’s culture and history, Kohala has it all. From hiking through lush rainforests to relaxing at a luxurious spa, there are countless ways to experience the area’s natural beauty and vibrant culture.
By visiting Kohala, you can challenge yourself physically and mentally, expand your palate and cultural horizons, and gain a deeper understanding of a unique and fascinating destination. So why not plan your next vacation to Kohala and experience all that this beautiful area has to offer?