Even before you set foot on The Big Island of Hawaii for your elopement, you’ll want to be prepared and know where you should stay! Each city and town in Hawaii is unique, and offers various different experiences and vibes. Let’s take a tour to figure out where you’ll be staying during your Hawaii elopement adventure.
The two main cities on The Big Island are Hilo and Kona. You’ll probably book your flight to land in one of these spots!
Hilo is on the east side of the island, and gets more rain than the west side. A sunny day on the east side of Hawaii is magical because of how lush the jungles are! Hilo offers diverse and authentic food, and has those essential island vibes you might be after. If you’re planning to elope at a waterfall, or do a day after session at Mauna Kea like Joey and Raegan, Hilo and the surrounding area is where you’ll want to stay!
Places to Stay near Hilo, Hawaii:
Kona draws people in with promises of sunshine. It’s catered more toward tourists but also has a lot to offer as far as foods, beaches, and activities! It’s a conveniently located city, with many activities using Kona as their jumping-off point. Sunset catamarans, snorkeling, and Manta Ray trips come to mind! Kona also offers nightlife, more than almost anywhere else on The Big Island!
Places to Stay in Kona, Hawaii:
If you want to be in Kona but slightly out of town, you can try Ka’awaloa also known as the Captain Cook. Kealakekua Bay is a beautiful spot to explore, as well as South Kona. Sometimes, it can be nice to be in Kona but feel a little more “Hawaii”. The adorable town of Holualoa is 15 minutes outside of Kona and at a higher elevation. Within minutes, you can go from lava fields to lush jungles. There are a bunch of coffee farms here, and lots of Hawaiian architecture and art galleries. Flower shops, coffee shops..this area has a cute, small town feel.
Seeking a resort experience and nice hotels on the beach? Waikoloa! In this town, you’ll be in a good position to explore northern part of island. Waikoloa is full of boutiques, well known brands, and nice restaurants. Such a relaxing vacation base!
Waimea is pretty centrally located, home to lots of agriculture. A total foodie town, with spots like Forc and Red Water. One of my fave places here is Waimea Coffee Company, which feels cozy and homey when Waimea has a misty day. Check out their Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, where you can pick up fresh flowers for your elopement bouquet!
Dreaming of eloping near the southern part of Hawaii? Nāʻālehu has mix of jungle but is a little drier and warmer than staying in Volcano. However, you are only about 30minutes to the entrance of the national park. A totally cute tiny town! If you’re planning on staying here, stock up on supplies in Kona or Oceanview.
If your Hawaii elopement will take you to Punalu’u black sand beach, you’ll want to stay in Pahala. From there, you’re about 5-10 minutes to the black sand beach. I’ve stayed at Sea Mountain for vacation, and loved it! For breakfast, stop at Punalu’u Bakery, for world famous Hawaiian sweetbread or my favorite coffee shop, Ka Lae.
Of course, I can’t forget about the town of Volcano! Staying here works perfectly if you want to elope at Volcanoes National Park.
Volcano is an intimate town that can get pretty cold by Hawaii standards! You’ll want gloves, a rain jacket and a puffy jacket for sure. Total PNW vibes, like the rainy town of Fern Forest. This area has lots of unique treehouse airbnbs, and cabins with relaxing spas!
You’ll find the town of Pahoa nearby, filled with crystal shops, cafes, worldly clothing, and a really cute bookstore. It’s a cool area to explore if you want to see where the new lava flow happened recently, too!
Things to Remember When Booking Your Stay in Hawaii:
No matter where you decide to stay in Hawaii during your elopement trip, I just know you’ll pick the perfect place based on what is important to you and your partner.