Where to Stay in Hawaii

I had five days on the Big Island. And I wanted to see it all. The exploding lava. The Jurassic-size clefts. Enormous manta rays. The Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay would be my conduit to Hawaii's natural wonders, and to the photos that follow. — Jon Whittle

What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Sheraton
The Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay recently went through a renovation and has come back strong with a beautiful façade, excellent amenities, and great access to the Big Island's most iconic activities.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Kohala Coastline
The Kohala coastline is simply stunning. It may not have the striated colors of Na Pali in Kauai, but it has every bit of the drama (and more waterfalls).Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Sunset
Crowds gather nightly to watch the sun sink into the Pacific. You’d be hard pressed to find a better spot to watch the show.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Menehune
This tree on the Sheraton property is rumored to have once been a home of the legendary menehune, the muscular dwarves of Hawaiian lore. As the stories go, the menehune were expert craftsmen, and mischievous spirits. Trees like this one that develop a knotted trunk are said to be reminiscent of the bulging muscles on the menehune’s bodies.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Blue Paradise
Just down the street from the Sheraton, catch a ride with Blue Paradise helicopters for an unforgettable flight over the Big Island.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Crash
The tale of this crashed bomber comes with a happy ending: everybody lived! Out on a training mission it supposedly ran out of gas and crashed in the hills. The area where it went down is usually shrouded in clouds, so it’s quite a treat to get to see this from the air.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Kohala
On the Kohala coast, waterfalls plummet thousands of feet to the green valley below. There’s no other way to get this close (without descending rapidly) outside of a chopper.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Volcano
If flying over an active volcanic crater doesn’t get your blood pumping it might be time to ask a medical professional to check for signs of life.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Lava Sea
The colorful coastline of the Big Island may look like coral reef, but it’s actually fingertips of old lava crawling its way into the sea. Don’t think that means there isn’t an abundance of sea life…there is!Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Kona
Back on the ground, the Kona coastline looks just as beautiful as it does from the air, especially when using a long exposure to capture the ebb and flow of the waves.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Kona Sunset
Driving inland from Kona rewards you with a view from on top of the world. Watching the sun set underneath the clouds is unforgettable experience, especially when doing so alongside massive telescopes aimed out at the universe beyond our little planet.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Mauna Kea
Twelve telescopes decorate the summit of Mauna Kea from organizations that represent countries as far out as Chile, Argentina, France, the Netherlands and Japan.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Milky Way
There’s no better place to see the Milky Way than on top of Mauna Kea on a night with a new moon.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Manta Rays Boat
After the sun goes down, a five minute walk from the Sheraton can have you at the marina boarding a boat to visit Hawaii’s manta rays.Jon Whittle
What to See in Hawaii | Where to Stay in Hawaii | Big Island | Manta Rays
No, this shot didn't make the gallery on the basis of quality. But this manta ray seen near the Sheraton was as big and mysterious as a UFO and, well, I think you get the picture.Jon Whittle