Hawai?i, The Big Island Rebrands Itself: Reasons to Visit

Like many newlyweds, I spent my honeymoon in Hawai’i (The Big Island and Maui). But my acquaintance with the island chain was recently revived at a recent event at Bosie’s Tea Parlor in New York City where they spoke about the island’s rebranding.

The island is now officially known as “Hawai’i, the Big Island” or “Hawai’i Island” which reflects the richly diverse earth, sea and sky adventures.? For those of you who are fact junkies, Hawai’i Island stretches impressively from sea level to Maunakea and Maunaloa, and it also features the state’s highest lake, Lake Waiau (13,020 feet). It has the state’s longest sheer drop waterfall, Akaka Falls.

Waipio Dawn - Big Island, Hawaii

Waipio Dawn ? Big Island, Hawaii, credit Patrick Smith Photo on Flickr

There are many reasons to visit Hawai’i Island NOW, instead of waiting for the moment you win that Powerball. Here are only a few delicious ones:

  • Tourism is increasing on Hawai’i Island, with arrivals rising 12.9 percent in 2012 compared to March 2011. Not that we suggest rubbing elbows with the crowd (there’s plenty of room for everyone on this island), but you get the drift?this place is buzzing.

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  • On June 4, Hawaiian Airlines launched a “no-excuse” non stop daily service between Honolulu International Airport and New York’s JFK. United Airlines offered a daily non stop from Washington/Dulles to Honolulu on June 7th (this is an addition to United’s existing Newark to Honolulu route). I love nonstop flights and absolutely hate being stuck in transit. I’m thankful that the number of East-West coast nonstop flights is increasing (e.g. Aeromexico’s recent nonstop flight to Cancun is just 4.5 hours). Now, there’s REALLY no excuse to visit!

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  • The agricultural/agritourism and culinary activities are rich and evolving. If the Kona-coffee inspired desserts served at Bosie’s Tea Parlor were any indication, visitors will have no difficulty in accessing the tea and coffee farms to learn more about how this island staple is produced.

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  • Volcanic activity: I remember my visit to Hawai’i, The Big Island, clear as day. We flew over Kilauea and observed the beautiful ribbons of lava and magma, and felt the heat from the smoke! Apparently Kilauea has been making headlines once again because of increased activity inside the Halema’uma’u Crater, and the belief is that the lava will once again reach the sea (think: a spectacle at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park).

Chocolate Coffee Macaroons at Bosie's Tea Parlor New York City

At the event, we wolfed down what I think were the most creamy, delicious macaroons I’ve tasted in NYC. Take that, Laduree!

Kona Coffee Tarts at Bosie's Tea Parlor New York City

Other worldly Kona coffee infused tarts made by chef Damien Herrgott at Bosie’s Tea Parlor.

And these are only a small fraction of the reasons to visit Hawai’i Island, which is the youngest and largest of the island chain. While you’re not going to be greeted with sandy beaches when you land (the airport is located near a very volcanic/black sand stretch), you’ll see how impressively transformative the landscape is as you venture deeper and deeper into the island. It’s both jungle and volcano, ying and yang, half-moon cookie kind of experience.

I can’t wait to visit again.

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