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Come Home to the Ocean

Experience the luxury of premium quality boats and our fun, water-loving community with hawaii boat clubs now a member of the carefree network of boats boat at any one of our 140+ clubs all included in your membership. now open in oahu, launching at ala wai harbor in honolulu.

Fill out the information below to reserve a free tour.

yacht club big island hawaii

Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of Hawaii & Our Passionate Community

Hawaii Boat Clubs is all about the experiences and memories you can make on the water! There’s nothing to compare to a day spent on the waves, whether you’re out fishing or watching the dolphins. When you become a member of Hawaii Boat Clubs you can immerse yourself in the ocean lifestyle on board a premium quality boat and relax knowing our team will take care of you! Not to mention, you will benefit from our passionate boating community through shared experiences, new connections and even some of our events on the water!

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Thinking About Buying A Boat?

Join our boat club membership instead.

  • Day Use Mooring Buoys
  • World-Class Pelagic Fishing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Scuba & Snorkel

Explore All Of The Activities Hawaii Has to Offer!

With a Hawaii Boat Club Membership, you can get access to the best locations, training & even discounts with select vendors! 

Take the Boat Out For A Spin

Blackfin 222 cc, blackfin 252 cc, blackfin 252 dc, blackfin 272 cc.

yacht club big island hawaii

We Are Ohana

We are the founders of Hawaii  Boat  Clubs and Ohana Boat Sales.  And, we are brothers! As a family-owned business, we understand the meaning behind ohana. We love the family-inclusive culture of Hawaii and we have made many cherished memories of our own out on the water. With the incredible natural beauty and temperate climate of Hawaii, outdoor activities like boating are an ideal way to spend family time together.  We know family is important and we will take care of you like family, too! You can be sure every boat will be cleaned and well-maintained and you will always be greeted with a smile!  We hope you love your time out on the water! 

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Want to learn more (and a chance to win a yeti cooler).

Connect with us! We can’t wait to hear from you and share what all is included in our Hawaii Boat Clubs and our premium quality Blackfin boats! If you have any questions, enter your name and email below.  We’ll be in touch!  

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yacht club big island hawaii

yacht club big island hawaii

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  • Graduations

Over $25K in scholarships available to Big Island graduating seniors

The nonprofit Hawaiʻi Rise Foundation and its community partners have opened their 2024 scholarship application program, offering over $25,000 worth of scholarships to Big Island students.

The first $1,000 scholarship was donated by Keaukaha General Store in Hilo in 2017. Throughout the years, the scholarships have grown and sponsors have inspired others to create scholarships of their own.

This year varying scholarship amounts will be distributed to Big Island seniors in support of their future endeavors. The scholarships are offered to graduating seniors islandwide and residents of Hawaiʻi Island.

Students interested will be asked to answer essay questions in the application process. Some questions encourage students to look into their past and share how they have grown through adversity. Others prompt them to look at issues in their communities and consider ways to give back and improve where they come from.

Some scholarships have a preference for those pursuing a specific major, like nursing, political science, Hawaiian studies and more. Each scholarship is different and has been uniquely created by its sponsor.

Applications are open now through June 15. Awardees will be notified in July and a formal scholarship ceremony sponsored by the Hawai‘i Rise Foundation will be held at the Hilo Yacht Club for scholarship winners.

Click here or visit the Hawai‘i Rise Foundation on Instagram to apply.

The Hawaiʻi Rise Foundation was founded by Big Island business and community leaders seeking to leverage their expertise, resources and experiences to support their community. Their mission is to create opportunities for vulnerable or moderate and low-income families, children and the elderly by providing educational services, programs and support.

The scholarships’ partner sponsors include:

  • Aloha Will Save The World Scholarship – Bronson Kobayashi & Alaina Villatora
  • Charles & Dorothy DeSilva Scholarship – Lisa Robbins
  • Danny K. Paleka Memorial Political Science Scholarship – Susan Paleka
  • Hawai’i Development Group Scholarship – Lailan Bento
  • He Manu I Ka Lewa Lani Scholarship – Manuheali’i
  • Hill-Estabilio Scholarship – Rinna & Mikey Hill
  • Hilo Yacht Club Scholarship – Hilo Yacht Club
  • Ho’opuakea Scholarship – Napua & Kealani Canda
  • Holomua Scholarship – Keaukaha General Store
  • Kim and Kids Scholarship – Breeani, Bronson and Brock Kobayashi
  • Na’au Ho’omaika’i Scholarship – Ka’iulani Hedlund
  • Pumehana Scholarship – Brock and Shoshanna Kobayashi
  • Rachel’s Gift – ‘ohana of Rachel Leilani Gangwes

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Kona Sailing Club

yacht club big island hawaii

Kona Sailing Club is a non-profit, ALL volunteer run sailing club.

Founded in 1980 by 13 charter members who broke away from an established but strictly social local yacht club, Kona Sailing Club was organized to be managed by and for sailors who actually get out on the water, and it has evolved into a very successful venue for organized sailing in West Hawaii.

The club is in the process of gathering old photos, documents, and other historical items in order to preserve our history.  Please submit any materials you think might be useful to Joe Dubose or Judy Funk.

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On The Water

Kona Sailing Club hosts numerous events designed throughout the year, designed to offer club members and guests the opportunity to learn, compete and have fun on the water together.

  • Casual Sailing Days
  • Junior Program
  • Wahine Regatta
  • Post Racing Grillmaster Signup
  • Potluck Signup
  • PRO & Race Committee Volunteer Signup

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Social Events

The club has an active social events calendar, including our annual Holiday Party and Summer Party.  After each casual racing event, we also get together for a club BBQ and potluck.

  • Holiday Party
  • Summer Party
  • Movie Night Signup

Full forecast, click here .

Upcoming Events

Club cleanup day for the summer party, summer party 2024, board meeting, talk story with the commodore, bud love fishing tournament 2024.

© Kona Sailing Club, all rights reserved.     |      Website Design

Hilo Yacht Club

Hours updated 3 months ago

Photo of Hilo Yacht Club - Hilo, HI, US. a sandwich on a plate

Review Highlights

Wes B.

“ Tennis courts, lap pool , kiddie pool, bocce court, gym, half basketball court, sand volleyball. ” in 2 reviews

Kiana A.

“ I had the pleasure of dining in with my coworkers in celebration of administratives/secretaries day. ” in 2 reviews

Lillian K.

“ We are at the HILO Yacht Club enjoying a jam with Todd Otake . ” in 2 reviews

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Location & Hours

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77 Laehala St

Hilo, HI 96720








Closed now

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About the Business

Our Club offers Hilo`s only Oceanfront Dining, Caring Service & Aloha, Superb Athletic Facilities, Tennis, Pickle-ball, Beach Volleyball, Swimming and Social Events for its members. …

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Got a question about Hilo Yacht Club ? Ask the Yelp community!

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Photo of Vittorio G.

I was invited by a member of the Hilo Rotary Club to support a fundraiser and the event was being held at the Hilo Yacht Club. It was a prestigious honor to be invited, honestly, I felt overwhelmed and unsuitable to attend. This was also my first experience at the Hilo Yacht Club and the setting was spectacular, pristine, and elegantly timeless. I had to take a few moments and savor the beauty of the land with the echoing sounds of waves cascading against the shore. The fundraiser event offered "Ono Pupus" from the Hilo Yacht Club's superb culinary team and each appetizer was prepared to perfection. I did my best to stay focused on the event and not get distracted by the ambiance, the service, and the exquisite pupus. Nonetheless, the Hilo Yacht Club is nested alongside the coast in an environment where either direction you look, all you see is nature's majesty. If you are there at the right time of the year, you'll see whales breaching as if they were, "ships passing along the night..." After experiencing the ecosphere of the land, I believe the lack of sailboats and yachts is beneficial to the sanctity of the biosphere. So much was I in awe of such subtle beauty, that words began to dance in the wind as misty raindrops drizzled upon my aura. What most would see as a monotonous moment, I was poetically inspired.

As waves come rolling in... Ai am humbled within the mist of brilliant minds

As waves come rolling in... Ai am humbled within the mist of brilliant minds

Photo of Shannon G.

Super clean facility, friendly staff providing excellent service. Pre-selected Caesar Salad (for Alzheimer's fundraising luncheon) with fresh mahi was fresh and just the right amount, not tiny and not so much that I had to leave any there. Fish was very good, very well prepared. Fellow guests who ordered the chicken sandwich took one look at our salads and declared that they should have ordered the salad. The sandwich was also freshly prepared, with a very large bun that seemed to dominate the sandwich. Dessert was a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, very good, with 2 very good chocolate chip cookies. Overall a very nice intro to the Hilo Yacht Club, with an impressive demonstration of aloha and service by the staff and management.

Photo of loshawaiian

It's always a pleasure to visit the Yacht Club. Staff and manager are very friendly and professional. Since it is a membership club they know their people very well.

Photo of Alexander G.

Hilo Yacht Club has been around for decades, but we only got to visit recently for the 2023 Hilo Brew Fest which was held on the grounds. It's a gorgeous and special spot and worth coming for the view alone. South of Hilo town and the airport, it's in an area we don't get to often either. The Yacht Club has no marina, it's more of a social club but works in conjunction with other yacht clubs around the world. The grounds have a large parking lot with big areas of green grass for events, as well as tennis courts, and a lap pool that overlooks the rocky coast below. Everything is kept green and well manicured, it's a lush spot. The club building itself has a bar, restaurant, and restrooms, as well as facilities outside for when using the active areas. All the staff we met were friendly and attentive to help with the event. We did not eat here, but would love to come back on a normal day to see more of the club. If you're a member of any yacht club and visit the Big Island, make sure to stop here.

Photo of Julie K.

Excellent value for Sunday brunch and lunch. Love this menu, even includes GF and vegetarian options and flexibility. They are always improving the menu! Staff is so friendly and amazing. They learn and remember your name here! Whale-watching in the afternoons when it's "whale-watching season." The best and perhaps only oceanside place to eat in Hilo!

Photo of Jon O.

Fantastic lunch with beautiful ocean views! Started off with kalo fries which were crisp yet moist, and paired with bbq sauce and horseradish mayo. I had the poke topped with avocado which was delicious and left me wanting more. My wife had a fantastic special of the day, which was unagi over mushroom risotto. The eel was braised nicely with sauce, and the risotto was perfect with wonderful mushroom flavor. My dad always gets the Caesar salad which he says is always a winner. And the view is amazing, you can't get any closer to the ocean than this!

yacht club big island hawaii

See all photos from Jon O. for Hilo Yacht Club

Photo of Armando M.

I've been looking forward to dinner at the Hilo Yacht Club and they didn't disappoint! The sweeping sunset Hilo Bay views from our table was amazing and the appetizers were even more so. I'd highly recommend making it a regular dining experience, specially if you like the intimate no rush felling. It was a Korean BBQ Steak dinner night and we mentioned that we would prefer a simple steak with no seasoning sauce and ideally with greens plus bake sweet potatoes would be even better... so they said let's check with the chef. Next thing we know, we got just what we asked for and it was delicious. Much appreciation to the entire team who made sure the experience was of the upmost pleasant ones for those of us that have dietary restrictions.

yacht club big island hawaii

Went to the Yacht Club and had to update my review. I ordered the prime rib because they have it on the menu for the holidays. I must say that it was very good. Very tasty and cooked perfectly. I wish that they will serve this more often. If they do, then they will have one of the best prime rib dinners in Hilo!

The mighty Yacht Club is no more. It used to have the finest food in a special setting. However, the menu is a total disaster. At the very least, you would think that the deserts would be fine but alas....no. However, there are some positives since I don't want to be totally negative. There is ample parking and the employees are very nice. The bathrooms are very clean too. But back to the food. At the very least, they should have a steak plate, a simple fresh catch (which doesn't include marlin or ono since it's a rubbish fish) like Ahi because it's plentiful in Hilo, Steak and Lobster, and a tasty Kalbi dish. As for deserts, they should at least have something from Zippys for heaven's sake. It would so much better than what they offered. In conclusion, this is just a friendly suggestion to the management in order to prevent current members from quitting. It's very disappointing mainly because the Yacht club was the most upscale restaurant in Hilo. The original members must be turning over in their graves. Hopefully things will improve and the management doesn't take this review in a negative way. It's only to help them.

Photo of Leslie F.

The food, ambiance, ocean views and friendly service was excellent! Loved the experience!

Photo of Toren N.

It was superbly repulsive, I simply couldn't take another bite, despite my ravenous hunger I left the restaurant immediately. Please do not go to this restaurant if you value anything, especially dignity.

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Hilo Yacht Club

Address: 77 Laehala St. Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Hours: 11am to 9pn Daily and 11am to 6pm on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday

Location: Along Oceanfront Keaukaha area of Hilo, Big Island

Parking: Guest Parking

Phone: 808-969-6663

Directions: Head towards Hilo beaches, yacht club is tucked away oceanfront on Laelaha street.

Official Website: Hilo Yacht Club

Additional Resources and Information:

Hilo Sailing - Hawaii Yacht Club

Instagram - Hilo Yacht Club

Yelp - Hilo Yacht Club

Hilo's most exclusive private tennis and dining club. A staple steeped in rich oceanfront history with tennis. The Big Island of Hawaii is famous due to its tourist attraction activities, traditional food and much more. There are plenty of places to go and enjoy the delicious food and scenic views. There are the different regions and towns on Big Island, Hawaii, as it is the most oversized island in the United States. Hilo Town in the eastern province of Big Island Hawaii preserves the great beauty regarding the gaming, food, beaches, restaurants, and many more. The Yacht Club is a famous place on Big Island Hawaii for spending quality time with your precious company. It is located at the 77 Laehala Street in Hilo, covering the scenic vies and perfect taste of traditional food. If you want to spend some relaxing time at Hilo, you can visit the Yacht Club. They believe in the integrity of their work, which makes them more attractive to tourists. You will get a homelike atmosphere with a perfect interior and exterior creativity. All the food is fresh, and refreshing to enlighten your mood. When you enter the Yacht Club, you will get a warm welcome from team members and find them supportive throughout your stay at their place.

If you are in Hilo town, it is essential to visit the Yacht Club to enjoy the perfect food, company, and relaxing environment. Hilo Yacht Club's atmosphere is the primary thing that attracts the visitors and the delicious food. The management of Hilo Yacht Club make it a heart touching place for the visitors by giving them the ideal hospitality services. Every customer will get individual member services that help visitors order their required food according to taste. Moreover, the comfortable seating plan in the interior and exterior of the Yacht Club make it more effective. They are constantly striving to give the best services to their potential clients, making them popular among the locals and tourists. Therefore, you will get extraordinary services through friendly team members who provide the ideal services. 

Now, if we talk about the food and the aesthetic views, you will give this place a high ranking - the Hilo Yacht Club. You can enjoy the ideal dinner at the Yacht Club and the perfect service for holiday buffets and social events. Club managers ensure to appoint the executive chef to provide the best traditional and trendy foods. It will always excite the visitors to come and enjoy their meal with scenic views. Keep in mind that Hilo Yacht Club is famous for its food and excellent hospitality services. Moreover, the delicious food and beverage and the comfortable environment make the perfect combination for visitors to come and enjoy. Now, if you are on the Big Island of Hawaii, ensure to go to Hilo to spend quality time enjoying traditional food, shopping, and many other activities. Ensure to keep the Hilo Club at the top of your list when looking into residing in Hilo, Hawaii. The best compliment to owning real estate here.

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Better Sailing

Living on a Boat in Hawaii: What you Need to Know (Best Liveaboard Marinas, Costs, etc)

Living on a Boat in Hawaii: What you Need to Know (Best Liveaboard Marinas, Costs, etc)

The Hawaiian Islands have some of the world’s best sailing opportunities. It’s among the top destinations for sailors and offers many activities and amazing places to explore. For liveaboards, life can be cheap in Hawaii in comparison with the other US States. For example, throughout the year, Waikiki provides consistent wind and a generally tranquil bay for sailing and powerboating. Everyone enjoys scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming in the crystal-clear water off their boat. It truly is the lifestyle of a lifetime! On the other hand, there are a limited number of slips and moorings accessible in Hawaii. So, let’s speak about the liveaboard life in Hawaii, follow me!

Information about Living Aboard in Hawaii

You are not allowed to live aboard a boat in Hawaii or even on an offshore mooring. But, this does not apply to all marinas and locations. Furthermore, some marinas allow you to stay 90 or 120 days in marinas and harbors in Hawaii. In that situation, you can liveaboard using the facilities there. But, you’ll have to pay a lot of money per week to stay there. You can, however, live onboard if you travel from one marina to the next and stay for a specific amount of time. For example, if you owe a 50 feet boat you will be paying around $400 per week. These are in addition to the card fee for bathrooms and more for shore power. In addition, there are certain restrictions on mooring vessels utilized for living aboard in small boat harbors other than Ala Wai and Keehi.

Keep in mind that a lot of harbors don’t even have the aforementioned facilities. But, the yacht harbor in Ala Wai does. If you belong to a yacht club, you can stay on their moorings in Lahaina as a guest. You will still be charged, but it is a lovely environment. Even if you are in a mooring area, you will be charged for the overall length of your vessel rather than the deck length. And, even if moorings are not available, you will be charged for anchorage. And, this may put your boat on the rocks with a slight breeze.

Note that according to the Hawaiian department of land and natural resources, the department may permit the operator of a vessel to moor the vessel and liveaboard. This applies for a period that doesn’t exceed thirty days at any one small boat harbor during the calendar year. Moreover, the operator applies for and receives a living aboard permission. This allows the designated individuals to dwell onboard the operator’s vessel.

Small boat harbors are built, operated, and maintained primarily to provide public recreational boating opportunities and to promote the fishing sector. To achieve these goals, an application for a living aboard permit must be reviewed. Also, the department may request additional information to determine the effect or likelihood of the permit’s issuance on the most efficient use of small boat harbor facilities for recreational boating activities. The department will not provide a permit to live aboard a vessel unless the application and supporting evidence clearly show that doing so is not in the public interest or otherwise illegal.

living on a boat in maui hawaii

>>Also Read: Best Time to Sail to Hawaii

Costs of Living Aboard in Hawaii

The fees for a marina slip determine a lot. You still have to pay for things like energy, the internet, etc. It’s important to note that as the space is limited when living aboard, you have to be a bit of a minimalist to live full time aboard a boat. Maintenance, insurance, and other steady costs are also important to keep in mind. For example, outside of Honolulu, a monthly fee of $610 is charged for a 35′ slip. You also have to pay for electricity. As a matter of fact, the closer you get to Honolulu, the more expensive it will be.

Don’t forget to check beforehand so as to see if there are any mooring possibilities without long waitlists. It may be difficult to get things to work out if there’s a 6-month waitlist. On Oahu, long-term mooring isn’t recommended. Most harbors have long waiting lists. Also, the locations you might be able to get into aren’t the safest for your belongings due to criminality. You will have a better chance on the outer islands. Although Hawaii is expensive, it is not significantly more so than other states on the mainland. Some of them already have a poor reputation for the cost of living. In other words, what you need for the liveaboard life in Hawaii is a decent budget and a spacious vessel. This, of course, will depend on your needs and crew.

Facilities and Liveaboard Life in Hawaii

In general, it’s not so easy to be a liveaboard in Hawaii. This is because the facilities are mostly nonexistent, a private marina is a far better choice if space is available. Also, most goods are extremely expensive. On top of that, the currents, wind, and waves in the channels can be dangerous at times. So, unless you have a very solid heavy displacement cruiser, you may find yourself waiting to cross. And, based on the disappearance of offshore moorings, more things have only gotten more expensive and less welcoming. Keep in mind that criminality in Hawaii is also increasing dramatically.

Ala Moana Marina is a marina in Ala Moana, Hawaii. It is close to all of Waikiki’s bustle, Ala Moana’s massive retail area, and downtown, and the rent is more than reasonable. There appears to be a community of people who live on their boats and mingle with one another, sitting on piers with their beverages to watch sunsets, assisting one another with repairs, and so on. The marina’s rules required that the boat be a “sailable” boat, which meant that you had to take it out of your slip at least once a year.

Some sailors state that even if the Hawaiian Islands have hundreds of miles of shoreline many areas are the most boat-hostile places they’ve never been. Even for the boating community, it’s pricey there, and the boating laws are far too restrictive. Many boaters end up selling their boats and settling down on land. However, it’s a wonderful location to be if you can afford it and don’t mind the restrictions but be prepared for dealing with difficulties. Lastly, hurricanes and bad weather are also common in the Hawaiian Islands.

Living on a Sailboat in California

>>Also Read: Living on a Boat in California: What you Need to Know

Best Marinas in Hawaii

Ala wai yacht harbor.

The Ala Wai Yacht Harbor is the largest and most well-known harbor. Despite the fact that obtaining a permanent slip can take anywhere from two to three years, the harbor provides a 120-day interim permit. It can also fit some rather large yachts and is relatively inexpensive. This, however, depends on the size of your boat. A 40-foot sail yacht, for example, would cost $15.63 per day. The representatives can provide you with an estimate for any size boat over the phone.

The Ala Wai Harbor is the finish line of the world-famous Transpac sailing event, which takes place every two years from Los Angeles to Honolulu. There is a big canal that is easy to navigate and is close to all of Honolulu’s attractions. The Waikiki Yacht Club and the Hawaii Yacht Club are two private yacht clubs in Honolulu. Both offer permanent slips for boats of all sizes. These clubs are located directly across the street from the Ala Wai Harbor. The wait for regular members of either club can range from two to ten years, but temporary slips are possible.

Kewalo Harbor

Honolulu’s Kewalo Harbor is another wonderful option. Kewalo Harbor is located in Honolulu’s Kaka’ako district, where new and gorgeous apartments are being built. The length of the slips varies between 40 and 100 feet. Three loading docks, electricity, water, vehicle parking, and facilities are available to both members and visitors. It would be quite easy to live in a condo across the street and have a boat slip at Kewalos. After a day on the beach, Ward town has a plethora of stores and excellent eateries to choose from. You’d still head straight out the huge channel and up to Diamond Head to take advantage of everything Waikiki has to offer.

Ko Olina Marina

The full-service 342-slip Ko Olina Marina, located on Oahu’s picturesque leeward shore, contains state-of-the-art Bellingham floating docks and the Ko Olina Activity Building. The first marina built in Hawaii in almost 30 years, and the only one intended to fulfill the needs of world-class megayachts, opened in 2000. The marina received the Marina Dock Age magazine’s “Marina of the Year Award” in 2008.

Honokohau Harbor

Between the Kona Airport and the town of Kailua-Kona sits Honokohau Harbor. Grander Alley, located just beyond the harbor, offers world-class sportfishing. This is a fantastic tiny boat harbor. There is plenty of free parking. Restrooms are clean and there are plenty of facilities.This is where dive boats, snorkeling cruises, fishing charters, and other activities depart from. Two boat launches are available. The harbor has two sides. On one side, there’s a dive shop, as well as locations to have a drink or a bite to eat.

Kaneohe Yacht Club

The Kaneohe Yacht Club was founded in 1924. Its goal was to encourage and promote a love of sailing, powerboating, and other maritime sports via competitive, recreational, and social events. They offer first-class harbor facilities, clubhouse, and other amenities. Moreover, they create a refuge on Windward Oahu for boating enthusiasts. All these encourage good seamanship, education, and an overall attitude of excellence.

Outside of Honolulu

You have a couple of different possibilities if you choose to round the island and leave Honolulu. Ko’olina Marina is located in Kapolei on the west side of the island. This is a liveaboard marina with water, electricity, cable television hookup, phone, laundry and washroom facilities. There’s also a picnic area with grill, and a secured entrance. A 160-foot floating fuel dock with a pump out station offers both diesel and gasoline. There is a $2.50 per foot per day guest charge, as well as a permanent slip waiting list. Ko’olina is an excellent site to dock your boat. This is because there are many activities and shops around it.

Haleiwa Harbor is a tiny boat harbor on the North Shore. This is the most difficult harbor to get a long-term slip in. Because it is the only safe harbor on the North Shore, the waiting period is around 10 years. Many boaters sail up to Waimea Bay in the summer and anchor on the sand. They cook on their boats and stay for days at a time just to swim and kayak in the gorgeous lake. It’s quite pleasant and serene, and I would recommend it to any cruiser. If you plan on staying for several days, a small dingy can be useful for getting groceries or going to supper in Haleiwa town.

Another alternative is to purchase a home that has a boat slip. The Makani Kai Marina is one of the greatest communities. Big 2-3 bedroom suites with Kaneohe Bay views, large lanais, a pool, clubhouse, and a private marina are available in these condos. Because the units are exceptionally unusual and rarely appear on the market, they sell for between $700,000 and $800,000 depending on size and view and include your own boat slip. This marina has large docks, and the world-class Kaneohe sandbar is easily accessible from the canal.

The townhome apartments at Gateway Peninsula at West Marina, Hawaii Kai, also include boat slips. There are 3 bedroom/2 bath homes with access to Koko Marina and close proximity to Honolulu. All these start in the high $800s. You may take your boat to some of the fantastic eateries along the river, such as Kona Brewing Company or Assaggio’s Italian, or go shopping at Costco. If you want to have a motorboat right outside your door, there are a variety of single-family house alternatives on the canal. Although there are certain size restrictions, it is still a fantastic alternative for the avid powerboater.

Liveaboard in Hawaii

>>Also Read: Best Sailing Destinations in Hawaii

Living on a Boat in Hawaii – The Bottom Line

So, living aboard your boat is feasible in Hawaii but you will probably encounter some difficulties. This is due to the State’s laws, expensive slip rates, not so many liveaboard communities, and inclement weather. However, if you have decided that you want to liveaboard in Hawaii you can do it. You just have to plan and organize yourself and your boat ahead of time, do some research and contact the marinas of your preference. Keep in mind that a standard mooring permit, as well as additional permission, is required to reside aboard a boat, resulting in a higher rent charge. Proposed legislation that would increase slip rental prices might have a significant impact on the Ala Wai Harbor’s unique and colorful community of boat owners. And, this includes individuals who live aboard their vessels full time.

I hope that this article has helped you find out whether or not you want to liveaboard in Hawaii. It is totally feasible and it can also be a unique experience if you choose the right marina and location. I wish you all luck with your research!


Peter is the editor of Better Sailing. He has sailed for countless hours and has maintained his own boats and sailboats for years. After years of trial and error, he decided to start this website to share the knowledge.

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April 21, 2015 by Peter T Young 1 Comment

Hilo Yacht Club

While the Club’s website suggests it formed in 1913, the January 20, 1897 issue of Pacific Commercial Advertiser noted, “The past week has recorded another innovation in Hilo the organization of the Hilo Yacht Club …”

It will “aim to encourage aquatic sports and athletics. The initiatory meeting was held on Saturday evening, the 9th (1897)… Within five days the membership roll included 75 names…”

The original site of the Club was the CC Kennedy home built before 1900 and situated near Reeds Bay. The Club maintained a small boat house and several boats to support the lively interest in competitive rowing. During the early years the Club entered rowing competitions in both Hilo and Honolulu against Honolulu rowing crews.

By 1919 the growth and success of the Club prompted members to begin a drive to replace the Kennedy house. Likewise, members concerned with the potential liability from the Club’s indebtedness wanted the protection of the corporation and incorporation was accomplished on December 18, 1919.

Then, expansion took place.

“Architect Davis of the firm Ripley & Davis is preparing plans for the Hilo Yacht Club building, which is to be erected on the Cocoanut Island side of the Hilo Wharf. There is much enthusiasm among the members of the newly formed club and all are anxious to get into their club quarters.” (Star-bulletin, August 16, 1913)

On September 10, 1937 the Yacht Club’s lease came up for renewal. Charles C Pietsch, a prominent Honolulu realtor, outbid the Yacht Club trustees after spirited bidding.

The Inter-Island Steamship Company, the Hilo Hotel and Doris Duke Cromwell were among the possible interested parties.

By April 1938, the community learned that a group of Hilo businessmen headed by Senator WH “Doc” Hill, a Yacht Club member, was negotiating a lease from Pietsch for the purpose of building the Naniloa Hotel.

Having lost the lease, the Hilo Yacht Club, in 1939, moved, again, relocated and renovated the Keaukaha home of Frank Harlocker, on 2.84-acres. (Wilson)

Frank Arakawa, county architect, was hired to draw up plans and specifications for a combination dance pavilion and badminton court, a bar room, alterations to the former Harlocker home and a swimming pool and bathhouse.

The Clubhouse included the new pavilion and the former Harlocker home. The remodeled home included a reception room, dining room, kitchen, ladies’ dressing room, and men’s smoking room.

In 1939 the Club membership included: 106-resident members, 21-lady members, two-junior members, four-life members, one-honorary member and 66-nonresident members.

Just before 7 am on April 1, 1946 a devastating tsunami hit the Island of Hawaiʻi; the water rose up to the level of the steps. Staff was able to escape by the back roads the tsunami washed away all buildings on the site of the Yacht Club.

A bathhouse was quickly rebuilt at the swimming pool, and by July the swimming pool was reopened. The Clubhouse was not so easily restored. The Yacht Club made arrangements with the Girl Scouts to use their clubhouse (until 1949 when the present clubhouse was completed.)

I recently attended a function at the Hilo Yacht Club; unlike prior days (with a ‘boathouse’ and ‘several boats,’) there were no boats in sight.

It seems the mission of organizing a ‘social club’ promoting ‘other’ pastimes is being fulfilled.

The club website notes, “The recreational focal point of the Club is the spacious ocean view pool enjoyed throughout the year. For those who prefer outdoor sports, the club maintains three tennis courts, a black sand volleyball court and a new Fitness Center.”

A recent Club newsletter notes current membership includes: 511-resident members, 38-allied members, 20-honorary members and 55-nonresident members (624-total.) (Lots of information and images from Hilo Yacht Club.)

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Hilo Yacht Club

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Hawaii Yacht Club is located inside Ala Wai Harbor at the edge of Waikiki on the Island of Oahu.  We offer world-class facilities, fine dining, sailing classes and more! Home to the famous Friday Night Races. 

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Learn to sail! Sailing classes at Hawaii Yacht Club are safe and fun for the whole family.  

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Ikaika Hawaii programs include surf ski, kayak, paddle boards, SUP, outrigger canoe paddling, rowing, water polo and more!



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Yacht Life on Oahu – Where to Keep Your Boat?

  • By Hawai'i Life

July 25, 2017

The Hawaiian Islands offer some of the best sailing in the world. As an avid skipper myself (and by avid I mean completely addicted to sailing), and being around boats my entire life, it was something that drew me to Oahu and made it my permanent home. Waikiki offers steady wind and a relatively calm bay for sailing and power boating all year. Diving, snorkeling, and swimming off your boat in the crystal-clear water is something everyone loves to do. It really is living the dream lifestyle! However, with the limited slips and moorings available on Oahu, let’s talk about where you can keep your boat when you live on Oahu.

Ala Wai Yacht Harbor

The largest and most well-known harbor is the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor located at 1651 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815. Even though the wait for a permeant slip can be 2 to several years, the harbor offers a temporary permit for 120 days a year. It is also relatively inexpensive depending on the size of your boat and can accommodate some pretty large vessels. For example, a 40-foot sail yacht would cost $15.63 per day. The representatives can easily quote you on any size boat via their direct phone line at: (808) 973-9727

yacht club big island hawaii

Bondi Tram anchored for some swimming and diving in Waikiki

The Ala Wai Harbor is the end point of the world famous Transpac sailing race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, which takes place every two years. It was just completed this year with the last yacht arriving in Honolulu on July 21st, 2017. There is a large channel that is easy to maneuver and is close to everything Honolulu has to offer.

There are two private yacht clubs in Honolulu: the Waikiki Yacht Club and the Hawaii Yacht Club. Both offer permanent slips for all different sized yachts. These clubs are located right next to the Ala Wai Harbor. As a regular member of either club, the wait can be anywhere from 2 to 10 years, but temporary slips are available. Both clubs have restaurants, bars, and a lot of ocean activities to participate in such as canoe paddling, Cal 20 races, and sailing lessons. Hawaii Yacht club hosts the weekly Friday night “Beer Can” sail yacht races, with live music to follow at each club. I frequent at both clubs weekly, and they are highly enjoyable, filled with great people that love to spend time sailing or power boating.

yacht club big island hawaii

50-foot temp slip in Ala Wai Yacht Harbor

Kewalo Harbor

Kewalo Harbor is another excellent option located at 1125 Ala Moana Blvd. B-1 Honolulu, HI 96814. Kewalo Harbor is in the Kaka’ako District of Honolulu where new and beautifully build condominiums are going up. See my other blog on “Living in Kaka’ako.”   Slips range from 40 to 100 feet. Both members and visitors have access to three loading docks, electricity, water, vehicle parking and restrooms. Living across the street in a condo and having your boat slip in Kewalos would be very convenient. Ward village offers a ton of shops and great restaurants to eat at after a day on the ocean. You would still go right out the large channel and head for diamond head to enjoy all Waikiki has to offer.

yacht club big island hawaii

Diamond Head and the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor

Outside Honolulu

If you choose to circle the island and leave Honolulu, you have a few other options.  On the west side, there is Ko’olina Marina located at 92-100 Waipahe Pl, Kapolei, HI 96707. This is a live aboard marina that has access to water, electricity, cable television hookup, telephone, laundry and restroom facilities, picnic area with barbecue and gated entry to the Marina. There is a 160-foot floating fuel dock offering both diesel and gasoline with a pump out station. Guest rates are $2.50 per foot per day as well as a waiting list for permanent slips. Surrounded by hotels, golf courses, and restaurants, Ko’olina is a great place to park your yacht. The snorkeling on the west side is phenomenal, and dolphins are known to swim very close to shore every day giving you the opportunity to see these beautiful animals. There are a lot of properties to choose from if you are thinking of buying a home in Ko’olina. Townhouses on the golf courses, villas, condominiums and single family homes, most offering two or three bedrooms are all inside this gated community and minutes from the marina.

The small boat harbor on the North Shore is called Haleiwa Harbor. This is actually the toughest harbor to secure a long-term slip. The wait time is 8-20 years as it is the only safe harbor on the North Shore. During the summer months, many boaters sail up to Waimea Bay and anchor on the sand. They grill off their boats and sleep over for days at a time to just swim and kayak in the beautiful water. I have personally done this, and it is so relaxing, peaceful, and I highly recommend it to any cruiser. If you are staying for many days, it helps to have a small dingy to go into shore to get supplies or go to dinner in Haleiwa town.

Another option is buying a property that comes with a boat slip. One of my favorite gated communities is the Makani Kai Marina located at 45-995 Wailele Rd, Kaneohe 96744. These condos offer large 2-3 bedroom units with Kaneohe Bay Views, large lanais, a pool, clubhouse and a private Marina. As the units are extremely rare and hardly come on the market, when they do, they range from $700k-$800k depending on the size and view and come with your own boat slip. Large slips are available in this marina and the world-class Kaneohe sandbar is easy to access from the channel.

yacht club big island hawaii

Hawaii Kai Slips

Gateway Peninsula located in West Marina, Hawaii Kai, offers boat slips with their townhome units. 3 bedroom/2 baths range in the high $800k and offer access to Koko Marina and are located very close to Honolulu. You can take your powerboat to some of the great restaurants such as Kona brewing company or Assaggio’s Italian, or do your weekly shopping at Costco from the waterway. There are lots of single family home options on the waterway if you wish to have a power boat sitting outside your door. Size restrictions do matter, but it’s another great option for the avid power boater.

yacht club big island hawaii

Racing in Honolulu

All in all, here on Oahu we have a great sailing and power yachting community. There is nothing better than a great day out on the ocean. Contact me if you have more questions about the boating life on Oahu , or if you plan to move to the islands with or without your yacht. Also, I must add, if you are wondering how to get your boat here, I deliver yachts from the mainland if you prefer to have her sailed over!

Posted on July 25, 2017 in Lifestyle , Oahu , Oceanfront , Beach Villas at Ko Olina , Big Island , boat , Condos , For Sale , Hawaii , Hawaii Yacht Club , ko'olina marina , sailing , Transpac , Waikiki , waikiki yacht club , yacht

Hawai'i Life

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My gosh Ashley you are so knowledgeable. I want to go sailing with you.

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Leiola Augustine

July 31, 2017

What a well written article Ashely! You’ve got just enough information to keep the dream alive without overwhelming the reader. I’ll be sure to reference this article in the future. Costco via boat!?!?! Incredible…..

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Fannie Cline

August 8, 2017

Great in-depth overview of options Ashley! Mahalo!

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Yacht charter Monaco

August 23, 2017

Hey Ashley Bailey, Nice blog. The yachts are very beautiful nad the information you shared is very nice. If you want you can also visit Superyacht charter Monaco .

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Alan McConnell

November 20, 2017

Great article, Ashley. I wish only to point out that Keehi Small Boat State) harbor and Keehi Sailing club (private) are at 4 Sand Island Access Road, near HNL airport. The former typically has temporary offshore mooring most of the time, and some temporary slips are sometimes available.

Waianae also has a recreational harbor in the north-west side of Oahu, as does Kailua to the east. If you’re active duty or retired military or DOT, Rainbow Marina may be a good choice.

You’re correct that permanent slips often have extraordinary waiting lists. Services available at most harbors are adequate, though state harbors tend to be “no frills”. Few harbors monitor marine channels, so be prepared for cell phone communications. Sailing conditions are great year around, but Fishing and Diving are better planned elsewhere. Especially the former. But if you’re in to surfing, beach bummin’, or any number of other ocean activities, Hawaii has them all.

Finally, don’t expect locals or the state or local government to extend much aid to sailors. For some reason, they seem to actively discourage pleasure boaters in the islands.

Aloha nui loa, Alan

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Emily goodall

May 22, 2019

Please don’t mislead people about the yachting scene out here. I too have been a lifelong boater having spent many years circumnavigating the world. My home base has always been Hawaii and I can tell you from first-hand experience this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a premier sailing location. First of all the channels between the islands are some of the roughest in the world, at times, and can be very dangerous for anyone who is not thoroughly experienced with rough-water sailing . . . In fact only the most experienced should consider venturing out into the channels. Secondly, there is little in the way of good viable anchorage’s here in Hawaii. Most of the anchorages here are exposed to t the open ocean and can sometimes be very dangerous. Sailors who anchor on their own ground tackle in offshore anchorage’s here have to be alert all the time for changing weather conditions. Thirdly, the small boat harbor situation in the state of Hawaii is in absolute chaos. The DLNR and DOBOR, the state agencies who are responsible for managing our Harbor have completely & utterly failed the boating community here. You can expect to wait, sometimes, up to 10 years to get a permanent mooring here in Hawaii. Boaters here pay heavily for the bungling of these State agencies. Sadly what could be a premier boating environment, turns out to be very disappointing.

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September 9, 2019

Hello! I am trying to sail to Hawaii and live somewhere around the north shore , is this possible ? Would like to be in a mooring field, or what’s best ?

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Alex Gojile

June 23, 2020

Good article Can we get an update version?

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Joe Kennedy

January 6, 2022

Great article Ashley!

I would love to live on a 35-38′ power yacht in Hawaii and am open to both renting or buying.

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yacht club big island hawaii

Island Connections: Hilo Yacht Club

by: Kelly Simek

Posted: Oct 17, 2023 / 03:34 PM HST

Updated: Oct 20, 2023 / 05:37 PM HST

The Hilo Yacht Club, established in 1919, has been a cornerstone of the Hilo community for over a century. Its diverse membership, spanning generations, sees the club as an extension of home, a place where families and individuals find common ground. John went over to the big island and met with Niklas Dahm, General Manager at Hilo Yacht Club, to learn all about it, and how they keep connected with Hawaiian Telcom.

Members join the club for a variety of reasons. Some are drawn to the top-notch athletic facilities, including a pool, beach volleyball court, tennis, and pickleball courts. Others come for the social experience and the club’s unparalleled Hawaiian setting. What unites them all is their love for great food, which the club takes pride in offering.

What sets the Hilo Yacht Club apart is its unique blend of excellent associates and engaged members. As a non-profit member-governed organization, it benefits from diverse perspectives. The primary focus is to ensure that members feel at home when they visit, fostering a sense of recognition, appreciation, and belonging.

The Hilo Yacht Club is a century-old institution that represents the heart and soul of Hilo, offering community, athletics, and shared experiences against the backdrop of Hawaii’s serene beauty. To become part of this dynamic community, reach out to the club office for membership details. The club often invites prospective members to experience its ambiance firsthand and explore membership options.

Niklas also shared how the business successfully operates and stays connected with Hawaiian Telcom. For more on that and how you can keep your business connected, visit hawaiiantel.com

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Kaisen catches the big one at keiki fishing tourney

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Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

Kaisen Barretto gets help from Kekoa Barretto in landing the barracuda that measured 22 inches longduring the NYC Father’s Day Keiki fishing tournament at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

yacht club big island hawaii

Jim Saylor, garbed in his once-a-year fish headwear, interviews a young fisher during the NYC Father’s Day Keiki fishing tournament at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

yacht club big island hawaii

Kaisen Barretto gets help from Kekoa Barretto in landing the barracuda that measured 22 inches long during the NYC Father’s Day Keiki fishing tournament at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

yacht club big island hawaii

Scout 148 fisher Olivia Narciso shows off her “Brightest Fish” toau during the NYC Father’s Day Keiki fishing tournament at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor on Sunday, June 16, 2024.

NAWILIWILI — Kaisen Barretto may have caught the most fish on Sunday, but Kairee Barretto’s 22-inch kaku, or barracuda, grabbed the spotlight during the Nawiliwili Yacht Club Father’s Day Keiki fishing tournament held outside of the Kaua‘i Sailing Association building at Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor.

“You can see the teeth,” a keiki spectator squealed as fisher Kairee pulled in the fighting fish. “Watch out. Does it bite? It looks mean.”

More than 50 young fishers — more than anticipated — cast their lines vying for one of the prizes housed in the tent cave provided by the Nawiliwili Yacht Club (NYC), and many generous community sponsors.

The need for prize categories taxed the minds of the NYC racing fleet, which exchanged their traditional helm positions for seats on the creative table.

Bonnie and Doug Tiffany of Bonjolea II, who won the last Invitational Series on a tie-breaker, manned the barbecue grill churning out a good supply of hot dogs (if Sharon Gibson were here, they’d be called “Yacht Dawgs”) and Dick Olsen, the skipper aboard Speedy, relied on his computer to track the field of 50 fishers.

Jim Saylor of Fast Company exchanged his safety helmet for the once-a-year appearance of the yellow fish head wear to announce the catches that crossed the weighmaster’s table, and Chris Jordan of OZone picked up a camera for the club’s newsletter.

“Zen — he’s 2 years old — didn’t even know the fish was on his line,” said Lance Okasaki, the keiki fisher’s father. “He was kind of pulling on the line, and whoa!” Zen brought in an aholehole that looked to be a keeper instead of the catch-and-release format.

Scoutmaster Roxanne Thompson brought the Girls and Cubs of Troop 148 for a taste of family fun experience at the tournament, where some young fishers got a lesson on Invasive Species while watching a large number of toau crossing the weighing station.

The fishing tournament was made possible by NYC members Rhan Honjo, Jan Martinez, Hu and Stevy Mast, John and Charlotte Ross, Jim Saylor, Fred Styer, Liz Tanner, Doug and Bonnie Tiffany, Orly Patisserie, the Lihu‘e Fishing Supply, Aloha ‘Aina Juice Cafe, Ko Bakery and Coffee, Kawai Kokoro, Aloha Craft Cafe Kaua‘i, DejaVu Surf Hawai‘i, Menehune Water Co., Ace Hardware, Royal Sonesta Kaua‘i Resort, NAPA Auto Parts, DJ’s Box Lunch and Crow’s Nest.

Main Category Results

Most Fish Caught (by hook): Kaisen Barretto

Most Fish Caught (by crook): Cain Galler

Biggest Fish (length + girth): Kairee Barretto

Next Biggest Fish (length + girth): Kade Gandeza

Longest Fish: Teylie England

Next Longest Fish: Vernon Javinar

Fattest Fish (girth only): Colson Okinaka

Next Fattest Fish (girth only): Lehiwa Moribe

First Fish Caught: Slater McMullen

Prettiest Fish: Aila Okasaki

Biggest Crab: Teylie England

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  • 1 Obituary for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Island of Hawaii

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Unwind in Paradise : Three Days on the Island of Hawaii

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Kick Back in Kona for a Taste of Local Culture

Start your day with a look at the coffee farms that give Kona a reputation for top-notch beans, then kick back in a rented cabana for a beachy morning. In the afternoon, hike to the summit of Mauna Kea, or stay near sea level and get cozy with the marine life at Kanaloa Octopus Farm. Follow up an evening of fine dining with some live jazz at Gertrude’s.

At Rainbow Falls, the Wailuku River rushes into a large pool below

Head for Hilo

 Hawaii isn’t all about beaches, so today you’ll explore some of the verdant mountain jungles outside of Hilo, with stops at the famous Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots. After lunch, it’s a visit to Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden to glimpse a few of the countless flora native to this island chain, or a trip to Imiloa Astronomy Center for a planetarium show and a primer on the Polynesian navigators who first settled Hawaii so long ago. 

An active volcano in Hawaii

Cap Off a Weekend in Paradise With a Volcanic Visit

We wouldn’t have Hawaii without its volcanoes, so a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must — but it’s up to you whether to explore it on foot or via helicopter tour (or, hey, why not both?). Follow it up with a tasting at the southernmost winery in the United States, then head to Punaluu Black Sand Beach for snorkeling (or just snoozing off any lingering wine buzz on the shore). 

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