Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tranquil Vacations In The District Of Kona HI

By Stephen Baker

The Archipelago of five islands that make up Hawaii was granted entry into the union as the 50th American state in the summer of 1959. A scant 18 degrees north of the equator, its tempting tropical climate makes it an extremely popular destination for tourists. Visitors who want to get away from the hustle, bustle and expense of tourist Hawaii find tranquil comfort, together with independence, in the district of Kona, on the western, or lee side, of Hawaii, the Big Island.

Although you can comfortably drive the entire circumference of the island in about a day, there is still enough air traffic to sustain two airports. The one on the eastern side of the island is Hilo; on the western side, in Keahole, is the other. Here, passengers can arrive from/depart to the western seaboard of the continental United States, as well as destinations in Canada and Alaska.

The Keahole Airport looks nothing at all like a traditional airport. It more closely resembles a chalet-style resort or a night club or restaurant, with open-air buildings decorated with numerous palm trees. As quaint and charming as it looks, it really is a fully functioning airport.

While there are bright lights, noise and crowds of people if you should choose to go looking for them, you can just as easily convince yourself that you are a local resident. Attractions include a popular shrimp restaurant on the coastline that is themed after one of America's favourite movies. Here, you can observe swimming humpback whales or body-surfing humans.

The island is compact enough that everything you need is right there at your fingertips. One of the sights is Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano. At 14,000 feet above sea level, it is taller than Mt Everest and, obviously, the tallest peak in the state. Mauna Kea is a million years old.

If you are feeling adventurous and can find someone offering this activity, there is nothing in the world like parasailing. This involves getting hitched into a parachute and being towed by a speed boat as you ascend higher and higher into the atmosphere. The average distance above sea level is 800 feet, although the brave can signal being taken to 1,200 feet. The best feeling of the experience is being allowed to free fall. The ride is over all too soon.

Not everybody has the guts for a tummy-tickling experience a quarter of a mile above the surface of the sea. If your are looking for a more gentle seaborne experience, there is no shortage of boat trips on the island. Try raft cruising, discover dolphins, or cruise on a whitewater raft.

What makes staying in Kona great is its atmosphere of suburban independence. You have access to whatever you need in terms of food, shopping, and sight seeing but without the crowds and high prices. If you are lucky enough to find accommodation with your own balcony or patio, you can pretend that you really live there and have your own apartment. It makes you feel like you belong there.

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