Updated: Jul 12, 2018
I think sometimes there is a point in your life where you are between having a family of your own and almost being too old for awesome Christmas gifts. Let's face it, you probably buy yourself everything you NEED throughout the year. When it comes to Christmas, I have found myself struggling with what to ask for that I still need. More clothes? Probably not. Though not everyone agrees, I would much rather have an experience or travel rather than spending money on meaningless items on a retail holiday. Several years ago, I went with my mom and brothers on a Christmas getaway to the Big Island of Hawaii. We rented a car and explored the island for a week. I am here to tell you all the benefits to escaping the cold and gifts for a tropical Christmas.
The Big Island
There are two drastically different sides to the Big Island.
Kona is the dry side of the island. Much of the lower land driving will be between lava fields. You can drive up the mountain a bit and find some of the lush landscape you would find on the other side of the island.
Hilo is the must more tropical feeling side of the island. You will find a lot more lush greenery, but that lush landscape comes with a big more rain and humidity.
5 Reasons to Visit the Big Island During Christmas (+ 1 Bonus!)
1. Less crowds
When we visited we went from 12/23 - 12/29. If you have been to the Big Island before, the Kona side of the island is the more populated side and even then, it's not terrible. Grocery stores, beaches and restaurants were not crowded. Don't forget to take advantage of a luau while you are here. Nothing like a luau during the holidays!
2. Wouldn't you rather have sand between your toes and not snow?
Trading 30 degrees for 80 degrees has its perks. We got to enjoy the sand between our toes and didn't have to be bundled in layers and layers of clothes. Visit Hapuna Beach on the Kona side or Richardson's beach for great snorkeling on the Hilo side.
3. But, if you still need snow, you got it!
However, if Christmas isn't the same without snow, you can still get that too. We took a tour up to Mauna Kea Summit! Believe it or not there is snow! We saw some crazy people with their snowboards walking up the mountain just to snowboard down. You get some amazing views from Mauna Kea both at the base and at summit. They will stop you at the base so you can get use to the altitude change before climbing to a much higher altitude. We did this excursion on Christmas day which worked out well because a lot of other activities and restaurants were closed.
4. You can wear swimsuits and flip flops
I don't know about you, but there is nothing better than swimsuits and flip flops during the winter. There is so much less thought that goes into summer clothes which I really like. I also find that the Hawaiian laid back lifestyle rubs off on me. I wear less makeup and natural hair!
5. Sleep at a coffee plantation
There are some pretty cool options for places to stay on the Kona side. I have seen tree houses on Airbnb. When we went, we chose to stay up the mountain on a coffee plantation. We had our own guest house and pool. We made this location our starting point and were able to explore the island each day.
6. Hawaiian Christmas music
Bonus reason - a good excuse to listen to amazing Hawaiian Christmas music. There is something about Hawaiian music. You can't go wrong. Check out this Hawaiian Christmas music playlist