Top 10 Things to do in Waikoloa, United States

October 1, 2017 Nobuko Falco

The South Kohala coast of the island of Hawaii is home to Waikoloa Beach. Ancient Hawaiian history and culture, including petroglyphs believed to represent the heavens, stands side-by-side with ultra modern full-service resorts. Waikoloa is also home to fine examples of traditional Hawaiian aquaculture. In 1985, the University of Hawaii renovated the Anchialine ponds which today nuture a wide variety of sea life. Nearby Anaeho'omalu Bay has the Ku'uali'i and Kahapapa Fishponds.
Restaurants in Waikoloa

1. Dolphin Quest

425 Waikoloa Beach Dr, at Hilton Waikoloa Village, Waikoloa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96738
Excellent
75%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest Hawaii, located at the spectacular Hilton Waikoloa Village, brings people and dolphins closer than ever in fun, interactive dolphin encounter programs for all ages. This unique experience is on-of-a-kind on Hawaii's Big Island and is great for kids, adults or the entire family! Reservations can be made a year in advance. Dolphin Quest's Learning Center Lagoon, opened in 1988, was the first of its kind and inspired a new generation of large, natural habitats for marine mammals. A portion of the proceeds from your Dolphin Quest encounter program supports vital marine education, conservation and scientific study. TripAdvisor Certificate Excellence winner for the last 6 years (2012 to 2017)!

Reviewed By jjchoe17 - Tustin, California

I recommend everyone and anyone to go experience the Dolphin Quest if your in the Big Island, and especially if your staying in any property in the Waikoloa area. My family of 4 had a great time, we were very happy with the Encounter Deluxe package. About 45 min spent in the water with many different Dolphins, that a we got to touch, feed, and splash water with. The Go Pro package and photos are a bit steep in price but getting to take the memories home was well worth it. Also the entire amount spent at the Dolphin Quest was high, but we felt it was more of a donation that we got to give to the awesome dolphins. Since the cost to run this facility must be expensive, lets keep this place going strong so all of our next generation and generation after them can enjoy what we got to enjoy.

2. Kohala Divers

61-3665 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-7709
Excellent
92%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 610 reviews

Kohala Divers

Reviewed By Jobsg - Oakland, CA

We've dove with Kohala Divers on our last three trips to the Big Island. Unfortunately, we were only able to go out with them one time on this trip because they were already fully booked due to spring break. Their boat is relatively compact, but very comfortable and has a marine head. We love that they take out smaller groups and their guide to guest ratio is typically 6 to 1 or less. On our trip, there were two dive masters for 8 divers and they grouped us according to ability so that they could concentrate on the beginners without holding back the more experienced divers. Our only suggestion for improvement would be that their process for rinsing gear at the end of the dive wasn't very clear, but otherwise, we were very pleased. Everyone we've ever come in contact with is friendly and helpful. We are looking forward to diving more with them on our next trip.

3. Endless Summer Charters

Kawaihae Harbor, Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii, HI
Excellent
99%
Good
1%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 116 reviews

Endless Summer Charters

Reviewed By SuzanneBColorado - Ft Collins

We had an awesome experience with Bryan and Chris today! We wish we could go again tomorrow. They were so awesome with our three kids and the snorkeling was amazing. We saw dolphins and my kids tubed off the back of the catamaran- a new experience they will always remember. We will tell our friends!

4. Hawai'i Surf and Kayak

Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96738
Excellent
98%
Good
2%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 134 reviews

Hawai'i Surf and Kayak

We have kayak & snorkel tours in pristine coral reefs, stand up paddleboard lessons and all kinds of beach rentals including kayaks, SUPs, beach chairs, umbrellas, snorkel gear, GoPro and more! Come enjoy a kayak and snorkel adventure with us! We often see manta rays, eagle rays, sea turtles, dolphins and whales seasonally. Tropical fish are everywhere and the reef is alive and beautiful. Whether a first-timer or an experienced snorkeler, it will be an experience you won't forget! We are a locally owned and operated company and have extensive knowledge of the local coastline. All of our guides are CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard certified because your safety is our #1 priority.

Reviewed By chrissyf - NYC

Super fun private kayak/snorkel adventure with Evan and Dominick and my family of four. The kayaking was a bit challenging, but totally doable, and the snorkeling was terrific. The weather was perfect and all the fish and turtles in the area came out to visit with us. Evan had a great assortment of fruit and snacks on our morning tour. I would definitely do this again, maybe even on a longer tour.

5. 49 Black Sand Beach

68-1107 Honokaope Pl, Waikoloa, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-8604
Excellent
58%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 481 reviews

49 Black Sand Beach

Reviewed By jjluke - calgary, ab

A really nice and well-kept, smaller-sized black sand beach with amenities, supposedly excellent snorkelling too though we never had an opportunity to jump in the water. Bear in mind though the beach is public, you have to go through private lands in a gated community to get there. Ask the security attendant nicely whether there are passes available for the beach. Guard was very friendly and helpful, even answering a few questions for us. Something to be said about the Aloha spirit that I often find is missing these days. We didn’t feel as if we were intrusive unlike with other communities. It is a contentious issue as the state requires land owners provide a certain number of parking spots for public access but some communities push the envelope and limit spots.

Note that some of the photos posted are actually not of the beach itself but other random places in Hawaii. I’ve attached some pictures of what it really looks like.

Please indicate if you found this review to be helpful as it will allow me to better focus my future review efforts. I am a consistent contributor to TripAdvisor and your quick clicks of thanks keeps me motivated to do more reviews! Safe travels!

6. Liquid Hawaii

Puako Boat Ramp, off of Puako Beach Drive, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743
Excellent
99%
Good
1%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 166 reviews

Liquid Hawaii

Dolphin Snorkel Adventure Tours Hawaii - Manta Ray Night Snorkel Big Island Tours - Dolphin Snorkel Tour lets you Swim with Wild Dolphins in Hawaii. Swim with Manta Rays, Snorkel with wild Dolphins in Hawaii, Whale watching tours & Colorful coral reef snorkel adventures in beautiful Puako, Hawaii. Book your Ocean Adventure Tours with Liquid Hawaii Today! Aloha! Liquid Hawaii specializes in the wild dolphin snorkel tour, manta ray night snorkel tour and whale watching tours here on the Big Island. Come join Liquid Hawaii for an epic snorkel adventure of a lifetime that will be one of the highlights of your trip to Hawaii. We only take 6 Guests so you get plenty of in water snorkel time, intimate wildlife encounters and more personal attention. Our style is all about respect & education that we gain from our daily snorkel adventures on the Big Island of Hawaii. Snorkel equipment, flotation noodles, snacks & drinks provided. Liquid Hawaii is Locally Owned and Operated we are a Ocean Eco Tour Company and a Green Listed Activity Provider in Hawaii.

Reviewed By Bev_Eger - West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Initially we'd just booked the night time manta ray snorkel with these guys but after experiencing a fabulous tour we then booked the dolphin swim and reef snorkel with them. My husband and I have been all over the world -- booking tours and excursions privately and these guys are right up there with the absolute best. We had a FABULOUS time swimming with 60 or so dolphins for an hour or more and the reef visit was wonderful -- lots of fish great varieties. Liquid Hawaii -- you're the best -- thank u so much for an amazing time on the Big Island Hawaii -- u made our trip!!! David & Bev Eger

7. Kohala Sail & Sea

61-3527 Kawaihae Rd, Kawaihae Harbor South, Slip #8, Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 68 reviews

Kohala Sail & Sea

Set sail aboard Riva, a beautiful, six-passenger sailing sloop berthed in the newest harbor in Hawai'i, Kawaihae South, near Pu'ukoholā Heiau National Historical Site. Our experienced crew offers sailing & snorkel trips, dolphin watching and idyllic sunset cruises year-round, and humpback whale watching during winter months.

Reviewed By Traveler_Matthew - Orange County, California

Captain Steve was terrific! He was knowledgeable and knew where to get good whale sightings. The humpback whales were beautiful; we were 100 feet away, and they were enormous. He also donates some of the money he earns to whale preservation efforts, so that was an added bonus.

8. Mauna Lani Sea Adventures

68-1292 S Kaniku Dr, Mauna Lani Resort, Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-9729
Excellent
91%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 242 reviews

Mauna Lani Sea Adventures

Welcome aboard Winona, our 50-foot, Polynesian style sailing catamaran! Winona is U.S.C.G. Certified for a maximum of 49 passengers, with plenty of room to comfortably accommodate large groups while still being cozy enough for smaller, intimate gatherings. She has a 3/4 covered cabin area to protect you from the sun and wind, and her large viewing windows allow you to still enjoy the views outside from her covered seating area. Her open deck is spacious and provides plenty of outside seating and areas to sunbathe. Winona's "Stairway to the Sea" allows easy access to and from the ocean for snorkelers and swimmers. She is equipped with two restrooms for your convenience. The dress code on Winona is casual to resort attire. We suggest flat, soft-soled shoes or sandals. Hard sole or high heel shoes are not recommended. Winona does have nonskid decking so bare feet are welcome. We recommend you bring along sunglasses, a hat or visor, waterproof sunscreen and a beach cover up to help protect you from the sun. Towels are provided. Our helpful staff will provide instructions and then equip you with all you need for a spectacular snorkeling experience! Mask, Fins and Snorkel sets or View Boards with built in windows are available to start your adventure. We offer everyone a safety vest and defogger to help keep your experience both safe and fun! If you would like a special keepsake of your group's event, let us know. We can arrange professional video services (above and below the surface) for your group at an additional cost. For individual travelers staying on the Resort's grounds, the hotels provide free shuttle service to and from our departure and arrival locations. Our Captains and Crew look forward to assisting you in creating wonderful memories of your stay in Hawaii! Aloha!

Reviewed By gibdar - california

We dive with these guys-we dive ALOT with these guys-why? Because they are PROFESSIONAL, SAFE, FUN, AND KNOWLEDGEABLE....EVERY..SINGLE ..TIME!
Steve, Gary, Spike, Don, Mike, Joey, Kavika, Deb-forgive us is we have left anyone out-are all there to enhance your diving, snorkeling and whale watching experience. They know their stuff!! Dive a lot-this is the place! New to diving? Get thee to this place! Need certified? They do it! All within the beauty of the Mauna Lani property-the only dock on the property-only their boats! Dive sites vary each day-you will see such beauty-don't have your own equipment? They have it! Have your own? They will store it! So just call-book something, anything with them! I did two whale watching trips and diving every day for 14 days.....you will love it, and you will want to return to Mauna Lani Sea Adventures as much as possible. Thanks all! Linda and Larry

9. Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co

61-3251 Maluokalani St, Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-8718
Excellent
55%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 393 reviews

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co

Reviewed By UnrepentantFoodie - Bellingham, Washington

This is where they roast, season, scan and package the myriad flavors of excellent savory and sweet macadamia nut products they sell. A bazillion samples line the main sales room as well as the hall to the big windows where you can watch the cooks and machinery at work.

Coffee is also available for free, and there's an ice cream counter (not free) too. Servings are huge and if you by any chance have a jones for coffee ice cream like I do, don't pass this up! Best I've ever had.

10. Waialea Beach

Old Puako Rd, Between Hapuna and Puako, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 256 reviews

Waialea Beach

Reviewed By Tschmidt690 - Saint Paul, Minnesota

It was a bit windy the day we went. Not great for snorkeling but did it anyways. Some fish visible. Founds some shells and about 10 pieces of sea glass in vaired colors (green, orange and clear). Plenty of trees to provide shade. Restrooms/changing rooms and shower to rinse off. When you walk down the path head to the left for picnic tables, to the right for a smaller cove/bay. Parking is $5 in a paved lot. Lots of space to spread out. Not overly busy.

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