I recently spent three weeks traveling around the Big Island of Hawaii eating mostly raw fruit and vegetables. Sometimes it was easy to stay completely raw and other times it was more challenging. Still, I was always able to find what I needed. The Big Island, even in the Winter has an abundance of fruit stands, farmers markets, natural shops and Vegan options to keep just about anyone happy.
I started my trip in Kona, where I spent a week in a few different Airbnb’s, shopping at the farmers markets and grocery stores, going for long walks and to Yoga clasess daily. I ate completely raw that week and found it very easy. Read about my experience in Kona and where to go for the best fruits and veggies HERE.
Waikoloa Village (1,000 ft above sea level)
After Kona, Matt met me and we drove North to stay at an Airbnb in the residential neighborhood of Waikoloa Village.
We intended to enjoy the beaches and swim while we were there as it’s one of the best places to enjoy white sand and calm waters on the island. However, the weather was not in our favor and the wind was blowing at 45-50mph both days we were there .
I did find a small farmers market at the Waikoloa Community Church, however, it turned out to be one farmer selling her produce. I bought some tangerines and avocados from her.
At the Waikoloa Village Market grocery store in the Waikoloa Highlands Shopping Center I found an abundance of mostly unripe produce and a small selection of organic produce.
In the same shopping center there was a Thai Food stand that made us smoothies that were very watery. They were accommodating when I asked them to re-blend them with a few more bananas.
One of the days we stayed in Waikoloa, we drove North through Waimea to hike into the Pololu Valley (definitely recommend). In Waimea we stopped at the Kamuela’s Farmers Market. There were a few stands with mostly bananas, papayas, tangerines and avocados. We ended up buying some produce and home made raw veggies wrapped in rice paper.
Before reaching the trailhead to Pololu Valley, on Highway 270 there were two small stands offering fruit smoothies.
On our way back to Waikaloa we drove through Hawi which has a few shops and a Vegan restaurant. Look on Happy Cow website or App for details.
Honomu & Hilo
After the winds of Waikoloa we were excited to get to the other side of the island. Honumu is just North of Hilo and is very green and lush with an abundance of waterfalls. We stayed in another Airbnb on a family farm near Akaka Falls which was comfortable and quiet. It rained a monsoon amount of rain for two days solid, forming a river in front of our bnb that even our jeep struggled at times to get through. And despite our efforts with ponchos and warm clothes we were pretty cold and limited to the waterfall hiking we had hoped to do.
In Honomu town, Hilo Sharks Coffee served us a great smoothie and they also had salads. There was also two fruit stands on Hwy 220 (the road to Akaka falls) that had bananas, papays, coconuts and sugar cane.
Even with the rain I was keen on seeing the Hilo Botanical gardens. We stopped at What’s Shakin’ fruit stand on our way there for a smoothie and I also noticed the Low Store Deli & Fruit Stand nearby as well.
Later, in Hilo we stopped at Conscious Culture Cafe and had some dinner. I had tacos and Matt had a veggie burger. Both were very good and high quality ingredients.
Hilo had an abundance of healthy options, including a large Farmers Market.
We were supposed to carry on to Pahoa after our stay in Honomu but we longed for sunshine and warm weather so we bolted back to sunny Waikoloa. Luckily, the wind had mellowed out and we stayed at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Hotel. After checking in we went straight for beach chairs to warm up and soak in the much needed sunshine.
That night we went out for dinner at a Vegan restaurant called Under the Bodhi Tree nearby. The food was absolutely amazing quality and I highly recommend it.
The next morning I went back to Under the Bodhi Tree for fresh green juices and smoothies. On my way back to the hotel I noticed another farmers market just near the hotel at the Kings Shops.
That night we got dressed up and went out to the Fairmont Orchid hotel for dinner. The hotel was absolutely gorgeous and the staff were very professional. We sat in the bar where Matt had a portobello burger and I had a salad with french fries and hummus. I felt pretty awful afterward but I don’t do it often and when I do, I am so grateful for how healthy I eat normally and how good I feel on a regular basis.
We finally made it back to the West side of the island and checked in at a permaculture farm called The Hawaiian Sanctuary. We immediately joined the Permaculture class that was taking place when we arrived and partook in smoothies from their bar. After class, we were shown around the farm and told we were welcome to eat anything off of the trees, including the coconuts if we could open them.
That afternoon we decided to head out to see some sights and stopped in the town of Pahoa at Island Naturals for some snacks. We then ended up in Hilo for dinner at Sombat’s Thai Kitchen. I had a veggie green curry and raw Thai veggie rice wraps. Both were very good, albeit spicy!
Around Pahoa we didn’t see any fruit stands but it may have just been by chance as we didn’t really look very hard for them.
Volcano National Park
On the way to the Volcano from Hilo we saw a fruit market but as we were stocked up on fruit we didn’t stop and I didn’t catch the name of it.
At the Volcano we hiked the Kilauea Iki trail which was very interesting and beautiful. It was 4 miles through forest and an old lava lake with active steam vents. We snacked on Lara Bars, dried mango and macadamia nuts along the way.
The night before we missed our turn off from Hilo and ended up at the Volcano so we stayed for the sunset and to watch the volcano goddess Pele in action.
The drive to Captain Cook from the Volcano was quite rural and we did not see any fruit or stores that I recall. We only passed a few small towns that seemed very quiet. We stopped for a walk at the further most point in the United States which is the very South of the Big Island (it’s not Key West). We were mesmerized by the contrast in colors of the long green grass, deep ocean blue, red soil and blue skies.
As we approached Captain Cook we passed the South Kona Fruit Stand which is excellent for smoothies and organic fruit. There is also Cooks Bounty fruit stand right in town which has an excellent selection of produce and fresh coconuts.
It was dinner time so we stopped at Loko Wraps which is mostly Vegan with a lot of Vegan options. The taco plate with veggies and BBQ pulled jackfruit was incredible and we ate dinner there the next day.
We stayed at a beautiful B&B called Mermaid Dreams which I highly recommend to anyone in the area. In addition to the B&B exceeding our expectations, the owners were top notch hosts and very nice people.
The next morning after a fabulous breakfast of made to order smoothies and fresh fruit, we took a strenuous hike on the Ka’Awaloa Trail to Kealakekua Bay where there was excellent snorkeling. The hike was not for the faint of heart, however. The trail ascended from the bay back up to the trail head at 1200 feet and took a little over two hours. There also aren’t any facilities or much shade. Still, many people, young and old were smiling all the way up and we finished feeling great.
During our last sunset in Kona I was buzzing from our three weeks there. I felt sad and also so thankful that I had the opportunity to explore this beautiful, rugged place. I’ve travelled to many incredible places in the world but there is something special about Hawaii. I always feel a lot of healing and synchronicity when I’m there and just like before, I know I’ll be back again one day.