BUCKET LIST DESTINATIONS: KONA, HAWAII

Bucket List Destinations: Kona, Hawaii

One place every man needs to visit before he turns 40 or gets married is the state of Hawaii. Only about a 5-hour plane ride from Southern California, Hawaii offers a great place to vacation with much to offer.

Recently, I traveled to Kona, Hawaii. Kona is located on the Big Island, the largest of the 8 main islands. During my stay at Kona I stayed as a guest at Kukio. Neighboring the highly rated Four Seasons hotel (by Conde Nast Traveler), Kukio is located on a beautiful private beach, carved into the lava of the Kona coast. On Kukio Beach, there were people snorkeling, enjoying the waves, surfing and body boarding and even sharing the sand with Hawaiian Green sea turtles. The turtles were resting in the sun and digesting their food before slowly returning to the ocean. I collected some beach glass, but the shells were mostly broken. The powerful surf and volcanic rock shoreline doesn’t allow for many shells to reach the beach intact.

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This community offers their residents a great world-class spa with a fitness room, lap pool, a steam room, a sauna room, a hot tub and a cold plunge. Since I’m not much of a sunbather, this is where I spent most of my time. I kept hydrated during the day by drinking Itoen, a Japanese green tea and Stevia with lemons and water, which is pretty much a recipe for organic lemonade. Both these drinks are healthy and nutritious. Now back home in New York, I plan on keeping both these drinks consistent in my diet and was happy to source Itoen at a local chain grocery store.


After exercising in the gym or running on the beach, I quickly learned about the health benefits of wet heat. Using a steam shower improves circulation, aids in skincare, helps reduce tension and combats the fatigue of exercising. I immediately felt more relaxed and noticed the difference in my skin after my 15-minute daily sessions.

One of many great outdoor activities Hawaii has to offer is the Kohala Zip line located just a half hour drive from Kona. As this was my first experience on a zip line, I was a little apprehensive. But after being outfitted with a harness and safety helmet I could sit back and enjoy the ride. For my first run, I was paired with an instructor that taught me how to properly zip so I didn’t get stuck or hurt and then went on another 7 solo runs. From the zip line course, I could see Maui in the distance and it was thrilling zipping through a tropical forest while being surrounded by great views. I would love to try this great outdoor activity again sometime soon and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it before.

Hawaii is part of the Hawaiian Archipelago, a series of hundreds of volcanic islands spread out over 1500 miles that offers many unique adventures. My suggestion: Add the “Aloha” state to your bucket list and have a tropical experience like none other.

Taylor Camp