Usually when deciding where to stay on the Big Island, you’re debating between Kona and Hilo, as they offer the easiest access to the two airports.

With most travelers heading to the East or West Coasts, the Southern and Northern sections of the Big Island are often overlooked or forgotten. Big mistake, this is where the real Hawaiian gems are. If you prefer an off the beaten path adventure, here are 4 reasons you should forgo the more touristy Hawaiian towns and stay at the #1 rated Hapuna Beach Prince Resort near Waimea up north. 

1. Easy access to one of Hawaii’s best beaches

The largest of Hawaii Island’s white sand beaches, Hapuna Beach State Park is regularly rated one of the best beaches in the world on international Top Ten lists. It also offers consistently ideal conditions for swimming, body boarding, sunbathing, and snorkeling (all offered at virtually no cost at the hotel) so  any time of the year is a good time to go. And if youre not a big beach person, their sprawling pool is ideal for lounging and grabbing a bite or drink at the pool bar area. Highly recommended!

2.  Two resorts for the price of one 

Despite an already sprawling property, there is a complimentary shuttle between Hapuna and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, their sister property next door to double your dining and recreation options where you can also charge it to the room. That’s 1,839 acres at your disposal with easy access to tennis, golf, infinity pools, world-class fitness facilities, and everything in between. Dont miss out on the Sunday brunch at Mauna Kea either. Delicious food with a beautiful view. A must!

3. Ocean-front rooms, guaranteed

Forget paying extra for oceanfront views. At Hapuna, you’ll enjoy some of the largest guest rooms on the Kohala Coast, all with balconies, which just so happen to all be ocean-facing. If you want to spread out, there are 36 well appointed suites with pullout sofa beds that are ideal for families needing even more extra space.

4. Farm to table. Literally.

The Coast Grille restaurant has an on-site vegetable and herb garden, lovingly tended to enhance just about every dish on the menu. Furnishing plates with beans, eggplant, bitter melon, squash, and tomatoes, it doesn’t get more freshly picked than straight from the garden. Menus are inspired by local seasonal ingredients and ever-changing to highlight the plentiful seafood caught nearby on the coast.