Kick back on the Kohala Coast in this cozy village, noted for its generous sprinkling of envy-inducing beachfront resorts, golf courses, and snorkeling hotspots.

Waikoloa sits on the Big Island’s northwestern coastline, tucked deep within the Kohala region’s rippling lava fields. If you take a look at Waikoloa Village on a map, it sits back from the hammock-shaped Kohala coastline, taking only the occasional glimpse of Anaehoomalu Bay. Just a stone’s throw away, the village’s coastal counterpart, Waikoloa Beach, lives and breathes Kohala’s oceanfront splendor. Spend a little time here and you’ll be transfixed by that million-dollar view, too.

So, what’ll it be? Waikoloa is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of place. Snorkeling, scuba diving, or body surfing? Check, check, check. Kicking back by the poolside in a breathtakingly beautiful resort? Yep, got that too. If you feel like putting in paradise, Waikoloa’s collection of golf courses can take care of that.

OK, beach bums, you first. Hapuna Beach is Waikoloa’s number one destination for coastal chill. Broad shores, picnic areas, gentle waves, and lifeguard services make this beach a hit with families. If you’re a sucker for a white sand beach (and who isn’t?), hit up Kaunaoa Bay or Waialea Beach. When it comes to diving, Anaehoomalu Beach is sure-fire snorkel satisfier. In fact, the nearby Kuualii and Kahapapa Fishponds have been a local diving spot for centuries. Check out the ancient Waikoloa Anchialine Ponds, where fresh and salty waters mingle in lava-rock pools and teem with tiny fish. Don’t take our word for it – the history of this place is set in stone, literally. Explore Waikoloa’s petroglyph fields and see the etchings made by Hawaiians both ancient and not so ancient.

When dusk begins to fall, find a beachside spot and bunker down. Sunsets are like the icing on the cake in Waikoloa. Watch as the last rays of the sun are thrown across the Pacific Ocean in a blaze of orange and deep mauve.

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