With its fragrant flowers, sparkling beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, the Aloha State seems made for romance. And Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, is a great place to start. With the largest land area in the state, but fewer people than some of the other islands, Hawaii Island is a wonderful place to escape the crowds for a romantic getaway. Whether you’re planning a perfect proposal or just looking for a place to reconnect, here are four ways to kindle the romance on the Big Island.
1. Visit a Garden
Located on 24 acres donated by Hawaii’s last queen, Hilo’s Liliuokalani Gardens is the perfect place to stroll hand-in-hand with someone you love. The waterfront park, which overlooks Hilo Bay, is beautifully landscaped to replicate an authentic Japanese garden, with stone lanterns, pagodas, walking paths, torii gates, an authentic tea house, and arching bridges perfectly reflected in mirror-still fishponds.
2. Go For a Hike
From waterfalls to lava flows, Hawaii Island offers an abundance of natural beauty. Enjoy the breathtaking view of sea cliffs from the Pololu Valley overlook, then take a 25-minute hike to the valley floor where you’ll find a secluded stretch of beach. Swimming is not recommended due to strong currents, but this remote valley does offer a lush forest to explore, a cool stream to dip your toes in, and plenty of shade for a private picnic for two. And one thing’s for sure: All your memories will be set in paradise.
3. Relax at a Spa
Rest and rejuvenate by taking a spa day – together! Book a couples’ massage at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Kohala Spa to experience authentic Hawaiian lomilomi, a rhythmic style massage that incorporates hands, forearms, and elbows in long, flowing strokes. Try the spa’s “Naupaka Ritual,” an experience that starts with an awa root and ginger foot treatment, includes warm body compresses made with local herbs, and finishes up with a full-body massage.
4. Go Horseback Riding
What better way to finish your romantic getaway than by riding off into the sunset? A horseback ride is a great way to not only experience the island’s natural beauty and take in some spectacular vistas, but also to learn about Hawaii’s unique history of ranching and paniolo (cowboys). Paniolo Adventures offers trail rides on a working ranch high in the Kohala Mountains overlooking the Big Island’s cattle country. The “Sunset Ride” is timed to give you a great view as the sinking sun casts a golden glow over the landscape before disappearing into the ocean. It’s the perfect moment to snap a picture together – or pop the question.