On our seventh and last full day on Hawaii’s Big Island, we decided another beach day was in order. When debating between exploring a new beach or visiting a beach that we had already visited, our memory of our somewhat disastrous first beach day was still imprinted on our minds, and we decided to go back to tried and true Manini’owali Beach, which is great for swimming, but also has a little snorkeling.
After finishing at the beach, we also stopped by the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation and the Historic Kailua Village. What fun!
On arrival to Manini’owali Beach, we decided to set up in a similar place as our previous visit. The far end is great for playing in the sand and swimming, but is also close to some rocks that make snorkeling quite interesting. Not as interesting as Kahalu’u Beach Park, but if you want both sand and snorkeling, there are going to be compromises.
I have found that I don’t particularly like standard snorkeling; I don’t like how the snorkel goggles plug your nose. If I were to do it over again, I would wear my regular swim goggles, put a snorkel tube in my mouth, and float on a swim buoy while using flippers to navigate. Much more pleasant!
We enjoyed playing in the water and in addition to some pretty fish and an eel, we even managed to see some cool sea turtles!
When we went to leave, our tires started spinning in the gravel and the car started sinking. Eventually, we put some additional rocks around the tires, then tried going a little forward, then sped backwards over the crater we had dug! A little nerve-wracking, but at least we didn’t bottom out and have to call a tow truck!
Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation
Since it was still reasonably early in the afternoon, we decided to see if there was a nearby Coffee Plantation that we could visit. Without reservations, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation seemed to make the most sense.
At the time of our visit, 20 minute farm tours were quite accessible to drop-in guests:
- Location: 73-1942 Ha’o Street, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
- Hours: 9:00am-4:00pm
- Free 20 Minute Tour: Every half hour from 9:00am-3:30pm.
- Longer tours: Reservation only, but not currently available due to Covid and staffing.
We were able to learn about the coffee growing and roasting process, tour the inside of the coffee roasting facilities, and taste a few of their coffees at the end. The coffee was quite good and we purchased a bag of coffee to take home with us! Quite a lovely experience.
Historic Kailua Village
Not ready to head back to our condo, we decided to stop by the Historic Kailua Village again to do some souvenir shopping and to get more shave ice.
Dinner and a Sunset
Back at the condo, we packed our bags for our flight the next day, made our own dinner, and then enjoyed the sunset on our lanai!
What a fun day!
Keep reading our travel blog for some more posts from this Hawaii Trip: