I wasn’t actually planning on doing a blog post about our trip to Hawaii because it was such a quick work trip and we weren’t there to capture content for the blog. But when I get home and realized how many photos we had and I got SO many DMs asking for recommendations on the big island I thought I’d share some tidbits from our experience.We didn’t have a lot of time, but we still had an amazing trip, thanks to Hyundai and Hawaii which became one of my favorite  destinations shortly after we arrived. The only thing is, it’s SO far. It took us about 18 hours to get there, so if we went back I’d want to spend at least 10 days to make it worth such a long travel day. That said, it is SO worth it, Hawaii is absolutely beautiful, lush tropical landscapes, crystal blue waters, perfect weather and super friendly people. We both loved it and are definitely planning to get back and explore some of other islands for our next visit.

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Outfits

Ribbed Bikini Top (s) + Stripe Pants (xs)

Free People Sweater (XS) + Denim Shorts (23)

Blouse (xs) + Denim Shorts (23) + Sunglasses

One Piece (s long) + Scarf + Denim Shorts (24)

Solid & Striped One Piece (small) + Scarf

Maxi Dress (XS) + Tote

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Jess Ann Kirby wears Faithfull the Label summer wide leg pants on the beaches of Hawaii

Where We Stayed

Craig and I typically like to stay in rentals when we travel but we both REALLY enjoyed our stay at the Mauna Kea. The best part about the hotel was hands down, the beach. It was absolutely beautiful and a great place to relax, snorkle, stand up puddle, swim, etc. It was the PERFECT beach for kids, with little waves rolling in it was ideal for a little one learning how to surf. We would wake up every morning (since we were 6 hours ahead from the time change) and walk the beach for sunrise. It was so quiet and peaceful. The resort was pretty big and our room was HUGE. We had two patios, one off of our bathroom which had a massive soaking tub and shower and one with lounge chairs and a dining table off our bedroom. It also had a walk in closet and double sinks in the bathroom area. The food was also really good, we had several meals at the hotel including breakfast every morning and a lunch on the beach. Hyundai also organized some incredible meals for dinner outdoors at two different locations on the property.

Jess Ann Kirby wears a Free People sand dune pullover and Agolde denim shorts in Hawaii
Jess Ann Kirby styles a Revolve blouse with denim shorts in Hawaii
Jess Ann Kirby throws on a one piece bathing suit from Aerie and Levis with a silk hair tie for a day at the beach
Jess Ann Kirby explores Hawaii with an afternoon paddle boarding on Mauna Kea
Jess Ann Kirby soaks in the sun in a Solid and Striped Anne Marie One Piece bathing suit in Hawaii
Jess Ann Kirby enjoys the beaches of Hawaii in a Solid and Striped one piece bathing suit and Anthropologie silk bandana
Jess Ann Kirby visits the Waipio Valley Lookout on the Big Island of Hawaii
Jess Ann Kirby takes in the sites of Hawaii in a Hemante and Nandita Blouse

What We Did

We didn’t have a ton of time, but Hyundai did an amazing job planning the itinerary. The first day was a drive from the hotel to Waipio Valley Lookout and then to lunch at The Cliff House Inn. It was honestly such a fun way to experience the island and I highly recommend getting a car if you’re on the Big Island. The Hyundai Kona was SO much fun to drive. Craig and I basically convinced each other we need it, haha. But it was super roomy, handled all of the back and side roads really well, felt great on the highway and was just overall really comfortable. Plenty of room for the pups in the back too, I can’t wait to have it back home for a week this summer as part of our collab with Hyundai. One of the really cool things about the Big Island, according to our driver who picked us up at the airport, is it has 11 micro climates. We definitely saw multiple during our stay and it was pretty unreal to see how quickly the weather changed on our drive the first day. On the side where we stayed, it’s super sunny and warm, and on the Hilo side it was rainy, foggy and very lush. The second day we were able to take the cars and do a variety of activities, there was snorkeling, zip-lining, volcano tours, etc. Craig and I took the car and explored some beaches near the hotel, walking through some incredible lava fields and spotting turtles, seals and other sea life. There really is no shortage of things to do and if we had more time I would definitely hop on a plane and visit some of the other islands since they are so close. Hoping we can make a trip back soon, I really want to see Maui and Kauai. A huge thank you to Hyundai and their entire amazing team for creating such a memorable experience!

Jess Ann Kirby goes on a Hawaiian adventure in the Hyundai Kona
Jess Ann Kirby explores Hawaii in the Hyundai Kona suv
Jess Ann Kirby recommends the Hyundai Kona for adventurous escapes
Jess Ann Kirby attends a tropic wedding in a Rococo Sand Maxi Dress
Jess Ann Kirby attends an outdoor events on Mauna Kea
Jess Ann Kirby enjoys the sunset at an outdoor dinner on the Hawaiian island of Mauna Kea