Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Group Tour magazine will continue to provide group travel inspiration. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
Home to all but four of the world’s sub-climate zones, the island of Hawai’i offers boundless opportunities for groups to find inspiration and explore. The island’s western coast — from Kohala to Kailua-Kona — encompasses everything from verdant valleys and rainforests to dramatic lava rock deserts.
“A visit to the island of Hawai’i enables groups and meeting planners to immerse themselves in our diverse landscapes and give back through Corporate Social responsibility programs,” said Debbie Hogan, senior director of sales for the Island of Hawai’i Visitors Bureau. “We encourage attendees to get involved and connect with our people and this special place.”
Help preserve natural resources, taste the fresh bounty of the land and learn about Hawai’i Island history while in the western coastal region.
Hawaii Tourism Authority
Groups can get their hands dirty and give back to nature with unique opportunities like a fishpond cleanup with Hui Aloha Kīholo and the Nature Conservancy. The fishponds are a testament to early aquaculture engineering by Native Hawaiians, while the Kīholo Bay area is home to an extensive environment and a number of historic homes and coastal trails.
With 266 miles of coastline, the island of Hawai’i has the most marine conservation districts of all the Hawaiian Islands. Smaller groups can enjoy an eco-friendly evening of canoe paddling and manta ray snorkeling with locally-owned ‘Ānelakai Adventures to see amazing creatures in action. Take a night tour to view plankton and stargaze on serene waters.
Visit North Kohala with Kailani Tours where Kuleana Rum Works grows, cuts and juices 40 different varieties of kõ — or sugar cane — on lush farmland. Groups will stop at the original King Kamehameha Statue and the majestic Pololū Valley lookout before enjoying a rum flight at Kuleana Rum Shack.
Four of Hawai’i Island’s five national parks, sites and trails are on the island’s western coast. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park and the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail all echo Hawaiian history and culture and are must-visits for groups.