Friday, July 14, 2017

hawaiian honeymoon: black sand beach day trip

thirty years ago, my parents honeymooned in hawaii and they often reference when my mother made my father find a black sand beach where he subsequently almost died. I don't know how close he was to actually dying, but the black sand beach has been engrained in my mind for quite some time. when we got to the big island, we learned there are several colored-sand beaches, including black and green. at first, we were gung-ho on discovering the green sand beach since there are only four in the world. however, upon reading tons of reviews on tripadvisor, etc we decided it wasn't worth the effort (two hour drive plus either a strenuous, dusty 6 mile hike down to the beach or hitching a sketchy ride with a local in the back of a pickup truck for $40).

we decided we'd explore a black sand beach instead. during our trip, we relied on the valet team at both resorts for tips and they were great! they recommended going to pololu black sand beach on the north end of the island, an hour and a half drive from our hotel. we picked up snorkel gear at snorkel bob's, hopped in the jeep and hit polulu, hawi, and mahukona for the perfect hawaiian day trip.

reading reviews on tripadvisor is actually quite difficult. for the same hike, one post will say "must be in very good shape with good footwear" while the next one says "a breezy, quick hike for all." umm... ok? the reviews for pololu were exactly like this, but stephen and I ended up wearing chacos and while I would say physical fitness is a plus for this hike, we were fine.

the views of the black sand beach were second to none, even before walking the hike down.

once we got to the base of the hike, there were some interesting local touches in the trees. pololu is definitely a local's beach.

getting to the black sand does require walking over a lot of unsteady rocks, which was kind of difficult in chacos but made it interesting for us.

after making the trek back up from pololu, we headed back to the town of hawi (pronounced ha-vee) for lunch. following our valet's recommendation, we hit bamboo for thai fresh-style food.


even though I didn't really feel like drinking, bamboo is known for its lilikoi margaritas and I couldn't say no. I also ordered the thai shrimp salad which was very good.

after lunch, we spent a couple minutes walking around to all the little shops in hawi.

after hawi, we drove about thirty minutes to mahukona for snorkeling. mahukona was not what I expected at all, and compared to some of the snorkeling I've done in maui, it was not too impressive. but I was glad we got to soak in some local culture and put our fins on. we snorkeled for about thirty minutes and were ready to head home. 

on the ride home, I spotted a malasada truck. I had pretty much given up on finding malasadas because I'd been looking so hard and hadn't found any up to this point. I screamed "stop!" and scared the you-know-what out of stephen. he pulled a u-turn in the middle of the highway and we got our malasadas!

we'd never had malasadas before so we ordered one plain white sugar, guava, and lilikoi. pro tip: do not order the plain white sugar. with all these yummy fillings, the plain was quite a let down. the guava and lilikoi were heavenly, hot from fryer, glistening with sugar, and dripping with fruit syrup. 

we had a great hawaiian day trip out to the black sand beach and if I learned anything, malasadas are a must!


  1. As if my travel bug wasn't bad enough! I love going on hikes, but especially ones that are tough with a reward at the end. Sounds perfect! Those views are incredible.

    1. oh yea, reward at the end on this one for sure... now, hiking back up is a different story!

  2. One of the things that I was dying to see when we were on our Hawaii trip was a black sand beach as well! It's just so cool to look at, especially considering how they're formed. It sounds like y'all had a great day, complete with those Hawaiian donuts! They look so good!

    1. the hawaiian donuts were amazing. hot and fresh and we definitely earned them after that hike!

  3. Eeep yess I have looking forward to reading this post, since I saw you Instagram about it. Such gorgeous views! I wasn't considering Hawaii for our honeymoon, because honestly, I forgot, but your pictures are really changing my mind! Will have to do more research!! And haha I hate when the Trip Advisor reviews are all over the place. It's too bad the green sand beach was difficult to get to. Can't believe there's only four in the world!

    1. I totally recommend hawaii if you want an adventurous and fun honeymoon. if you are looking to just chill, relax, and do nothing... hawaii is not the place given how long it takes to get to, at least for us - over 10 hours of plane time.