Rolling Around the Big Island of Hawaii: A Wheelchair User’s Travel Guide

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Hawaii is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations on the face of the Earth. Its beautiful exotic beaches, crisp clean air, and rainforest-like environment make for some stunning landscapes. It is also one of the easiest places to navigate if you’re a wheelchair user. They make an effort to go above and beyond in order for you to have a worthwhile experience while you are there. So besides taking in the natural beauty and lush surroundings, you will get to do some up close and personal activities too. Let’s take a look at a few of the things it will take to get you rolling around Hawaii.

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

Here’s a map of the Big Island

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

Lodging

For starters, Hawaii has some of the best hotels and condominiums that are ADA compliant. These rooms feature things like roll under desks, and roll in showers. They also have tilted mirrors so you will not have to struggle while getting ready for the day.

A few of the best hotels and condos that have featured accessibility accommodations are as follows:

Kona Islander Inn

Lava Lava Beach Club

Waikoloa Aston Shores Condos

Volcano House

These properties all feature friendly staff and world-class service. You will not be disappointed and the way that they tend to your needs really enhances everything about your vacation while you’re there.

 

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

Waikoloa Aston Shores Condos

Transportation

There are so many options regarding this category. Just looking at accessible van rentals can boggle the mind. Some offer door-to-door service including airport to residence, while others feature Mercedes lift vans with wheelchair tie-downs, etc. You can even rent one that has a ramp entrance and offers door-to-door service. Accessible vans have came a long way and are a mainstay in Hawaii. All fees are based on a per mile rate.

Many taxi companies also have a few cabs with accessible service. They feature four point ties for wheelchairs as well as seatbelts. A nice touch and very safe.

Buses are good as well, however they are very limited since they only run on set routes throughout the town. However the trade-off is the $2.50 you will spend per trip. That’s pretty cheap in comparison so you might consider taking a bus close to your tourist destination and rolling over the rest of the way if you can.

 

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

Beaches

Take a look at this list of 11 beaches that offer ADA amenities. This is practically unprecedented in other parts of the world. Hawaii certainly wants to make you feel welcome. They are listed in order of north to south and are beaches that are featured on the Big Island of Kona.

Hawi
Spencer
Hapuna Beach
Kua Bay Beach
Kaloko National Park
Pine Trees
Honokahua
Old Airport Park
King Kamehameha
Honls
Magic Sounds
Kahalu’u

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

Hapuna Beach

Tourist Attractions

Mokuaikaua Church
This church is actually functioning and holds services every week. However, a history talk is presented on Sundays directly following the 11 AM service. A great way to take in a little bit of culture as well as spend time worshipping should you choose.

 

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

Greenwell Store Museum
This place will take you back in time a bit to the 1890s where local Hawaiians focused on farming and ranching. It was known as a community hub and there is a living history program on site that really brings the time period to life.

 

Fair Winds Catamaran

Okay so this is true Hawaii here. Take a ride on a modified catamaran around the Big Island in a secure, accessible environment. On board, you will hear a narrator giving tales of various ocean species as well as a bit of history.

 

Manta Ray Sightings

This presentation is complimentary and is organized for guests of the resort as well as general public. It’s put on by Fairwind Big Island Ocean Guides. The talk begins with a discussion about the rays and then you are taken out to a viewing point to see if you have these amazing creatures in action.

 

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

 

Other Activities and Dining

Hawaii also features everything from all-terrain vehicle drives, wagon tours, air tours that will have you soaring above the sky in a Cessna 208, as well as accessible scuba diving. You can also dive with manta rays if you want to get even more up close than you did with the tour, go whale watching, try your hand at fishing, or take a blue sea cruise on a glass bottom boat that offers a meal while you watch sea life swim underneath your feet.

When it comes to dining, many restaurants offer wheelchair friendly environments featuring wide paths as well as accessible restrooms. Several restaurants will even have tables reserved specifically for wheelchair guests, just ask upon arrival.

 

hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

 

There’s just so much to do and see in Hawaii, and they really have gone above and beyond to make accessibility a non-issue. All of this to say, once you arrive on the Big Island of Hawaii, you should have no trouble rolling around. Aloha!


hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations hawaii wheelchair accessible vacations

*I have not yet visited Hawaii. All information was found online from various sources.

*A Note from Curb Free with Cory Lee: This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers.

 

 

 

3 Comments

  • fashion diy says:

    Congratulations Cory a brilliant site and so inspirational keep rolling and telling us about your travels …

  • Judy says:

    Hi Cory,

    I could really use help! We, a family of 7 with older adult kids and their aunt and uncle, will be coming to the Big Island of Hawaii on June 24-28. I, the mother, use a manual wheelchair but with assistance. Do you know of any wheelchair accessible coffee plantations (with free guides so we can buy the coffee) and where to get/rent a sand wheelchair for the P’u O H Historic Park with the totem pole like sculptures? Does Volcano House have ADA compliant bathroom rooms? Also, do all the beaches you listed have sand wheelchairs? Thank you!

    Judy

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