Vacation Recap: The Big Island of Hawaii + A Target Gift Card Giveaway

I love all things tassels and pom poms

If you guys have been following my blog for the past few weeks then you already know we spent Spring Break on the Big Island of Hawaii. I’ve previously traveled to Oahu, Kauai and Maui, but this was my first trip to the Big Island. Each of the islands are unique in their own way and we were so excited to spend a lazy week checking out this sleepy island.

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My husband originally brought up going to Hawaii right after we got back from China in December. He found cheap flights we could redeem reward miles, which has turned into our method of selecting our vacation destinations. I didn’t hesitate for a second when he mentioned to Hawaii. Just let me know where and when and I’m in. However, because of my husband’s work schedule, we weren’t entirely sure if the dates would work. Since you can change award tickets for no charge, it turned into quite the last minute trip. As in we didn’t book a house until two days before we left. Not exactly the way my Type A personality likes to plan trips, but we did score a pretty awesome last minute deal on a rental house.

This striped swimsuit is too cute!

For all of our other Hawaii trips, we stayed at resorts. The resorts on Hawaii are AMAZING, but they are also amazingly expensive during Spring Break. We ended up with an awesome deal on a two bedroom house with a private pool and an ocean view in the Keauhou area of Kona. It was about a 5 minute drive to a beach, but the privacy and ease of pool access (aka no trips back and forth from the room with kids) made it a perfect solution for our family.

Click here for swimsuit details

The cutest tropical kimono

We are lucky because it is a pretty easy direct 6 hour flight from Phoenix to Kona. The kids were troopers on the flight and we had no problems getting into our rental house. Only issue we ran into for the first couple days was the weather. Everyone who goes on vacation in a tropical destination usually expects sunshine. Unfortunately, our first few days were filled with grey skies and drizzling rain. So we decided swimming in the rain (there was no lightening or thunder) and heading to Kona Brewing Company was the most logical next step. And it was.

Kona Brewing on the Big Island

These pink sandals are the cutest

Click here for outfit details. I’ll admit, a white cotton dress on a rainy day wasn’t a good choice. I was excited to wear this cute pom pom maxi that I didn’t exactly think through it. Also, the rain and humidity didn’t do good things to my hair. However, two good things did happen on this rainy day. I found out the Big Island has a Target (and a Costco, but we decided against buying in bulk). I also found this amazing pineapple hat in the souvenir section of the Big Island Target. Score.

How cute is this cover up?

I love the fringe on this cover up!

Outfit details: Cover up (under $50!) and my favorite beach jelly sandals

During our second day of rain, we decided to head to the beach anyway. We lucked out and only found a couple sprinkles here and there, spotted a few sea turtles and a ton of colorful fish. The rain also stopped for just long enough so my family could sneak in a few family photos. Click here to see all the family pictures, as well as my thoughts on traveling with kids.

Why my family travels together

Hawaii has the coolest sea turtles

Thank goodness, by day 3, the rain had stopped and we were met with the sunshine we had been craving. The next few days are a bit of a blur, as we spent them lounging by the pool and playing on the beach. We found an awesome spot on Magic Sands Beach, which was a short 10 minute drive away from our house. Anyone in the Kona area should check it out because it was just the right size for my kids. Carter tried out boogie boarding for the first time, Kenzie dug in the sand for hours on end and Kurt and I had time to actually relax. I even was able to enjoy reading a book (Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner in case you need a good beach read). Now this is really vacation.

The cutest black lace cover up

The best one piece swimsuits for moms

How cute is the ruffle on this one piece swimsuit?

The cutest pineapple sandals

Swimsuit details here, cold shoulder eyelet cover up here (white only available) and the best pineapple sandals ever here

Since we rented a house, we ended up going grocery shopping and ate quite a few breakfasts and lunches at the house. It definitely saved us money this way and we didn’t have to take a break from the pool to eat. We did go out to dinner most nights, except for one when we decided to be lazy and order in pizza. It was the best idea ever because, well, pizza, and it was nice to not have to rush around and get ready for an evening. I love those days where you have no plan and can just do whatever feels good at the moment. I need more of that in my day to day life.

The Big Island with Kids

Gotta love black and white stripes

Love a comfortable cotton dress

Outfit details: striped dress (similar), sandals, bag, sunglasses, earrings

The prettiest Big Island Sunsets

The best pom pom maxi dress

I love the back of this pom pom dress

I love this colorful pom pom dress

I’ve always said my favorite time of day is around sunset. Especially after a day at the beach, it feels amazing to sit and watch the sky change colors with a cocktail in hand. The mai tais were good to me (no surprise there) especially when I was wearing the cutest pom pom maxi dress (C/O PitUSA) I’ve ever owned. This one did require one of those silicone sticky bras (I bought a two pack for $12 here), but it was worth it because this cotton beauty is pom pom perfection.

The cutest casual beach dress

I love the colors in this tropical dress

Outfit details: cotton dress (similar here), bag, shoes, hat

One of my favorite spots in Kona was a restaurant and shopping area called Coconut Grove. It had amazing spots with ocean views and just a cute little quaint feeling to it. We were huge fans of a little beach bar called On The Rocks, which had happy hour, a guy playing live music and hula dancers. We decided to skip the expensive luaus, so the hula dancers were just enough to make my tiny 3 year old dancer show off her moves to the whole restaurant. She definitely made a few people smile that evening.

I need this pom pom dress for summer

 The cutest blue and white summer dress

Similar pom pom dress here.

We left one of the coolest parts of the Big Island for the very last day – visiting Volcanos National Park. This park has a giant active volcano on it, which has lava flowing into the ocean to this day. From a distance, we could see lava explosions in the crater (see the bits of red in the photo below), which was one of those sites I’ll never forget. My son is super into anything science-related, so this was a big deal. We also loved checking out the steam vents, lava tube and lava fields scattered all over the park.

To be clear, we were never in any danger when we were in the park. The volcano is constantly monitored by scientists and we weren’t anywhere near hot flowing lava with our kids. However, seeing the lava fields where eruptions happened as recently as the 70’s and 80’s made the whole experience surreal. The volcano is a must-see if you ever visit the Big Island.

The active volcano on the big island

Make sure to visit the volcano on the big island

A lava field on the big island

The steam vents are a must see

Overall, we had a blast during our visit to the Big Island. Despite a little bit of rain, Hawaii is truly the definition of paradise. Now that I’ve seen four of the Hawaiian islands, I still think I like Maui the best, but the Big Island is so unique, especially because of the volcano. I’d go back in a second should my husband stumble across good flights again in the future (hint, hint). Have you been to the Big Island before?

Whew! Holy long post! Before you guys go, I do have an awesome Target gift card giveaway going on right now. I teamed up with a few amazing fellow bloggers to host this giveaway!

Enter to win a $400 Target Giftcard by earning points!

The more points you earn, the higher the chance is that you’ll win!*

*By entering this giveaway, you agree to opt-into the sponsor’s newsletters. More information can be found within the Terms and Conditions.



  1. It looks like you had a great trip, I like all of your vacation outfits, the pineapple sandals are so cute!

    ~xo Sheree

  2. All of your vacation outfits looks perfect for Hawaii since it has the tropical vibe to it! Looks gorgeous and relaxing trip for sure❤️

  3. So amazing! It’s been years since I’ve been to Hawaii, but these pictures have me craving it now. I really want to take my hubby and the kiddos there so they can experience how great it is. It looks like you guys made the best of the rain! I always say the only bad thing about Hawaii is the humidity. My hair wasn’t made for it either haha!

    xx Kristina ||

  4. I love Hawaii! Looks like you guys had a blast. All of your outfits were so so cute!

  5. Your photos are giving me definite vacay vibes! I loved all your picks and wow, nothing like last minute planning, lol!!!

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