New larger pool, deck & communal hot tub!
Mike and Jan,
We wanted to express to you our gratitude for the most pleasant trip we've ever had. During our stay we kept very busy with what we feel is the coolest sightseeing we've done. We went kayaking and snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay, Kahakai State Park, and the Kapoho Tide-pools. The conditions were ideal at all three locations, and we spotted many fish and a big turtle. My camera was in a watertight bag, and we got great underwater shots. Our second day we took a helicopter ride over Hilo to the steam vents, also a great experience, the island is even more breathtaking from the air. Following the helicopter ride we hiked through Volcanoes National Park, out almost to the second steam cloud at the ocean. Returning at night through the lava was treacherous, and fun, it was worthwhile to wait for darkness. While watching the lava flow into the ocean I proposed to Linda, and she accepted, it was a great moment. The following days of our short stay we visited Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, Waipio Valley, Kailua, Kahaluu, and Honaunau. Kehena Beach became one of our favorite spots as soon as we found it. Being able to enjoy that beautiful black sands beach, and play in the waves nude was so much fun. All of our friends are very jealous of our trip. We kept almost 400 of our digital photos from the trip, and have been showing them to anyone who asks about our vacation. If any of them choose to follow in our footsteps we will send them your way, and you can count on hearing from us again. Happy holidays to you both, and thank you again. Your property is beautiful, and the accommodations, perfect.
Sean and Linda
Aloha Michael and Jan:
Thought you might like to read my "Trip Report" that I will be sending to Castaway Travels. I don't think I over stated anything...you have a beautiful place and I for one what others to know about it so that they can see and enjoy it first hand. Take care...
Mike and Annette
My wife and I just spent four fantastic days (31 July – 3 Aug ’03) in a "Garden of Eden" setting on the Big Island of Hawaii. A Clothing Optional "get away" located on 6 acres of beautiful secluded property (formerly a nursery) in Hilo, Hawaii. The place… "Hangin Loose", owned and operated by Mike and Jan Smith. Colorful flowers, plants, and beautiful palm trees surround you, which make for an exotic backdrop that would rival any Hollywood Movie set. If you are looking for that "Great Escape" to paradise where you and your mate can kick back Au Natural and relax and enjoy "Mother Nature" at her best, this is the place! They have three separate and secluded units, one being the "Sweet" of all suites, the Honeymoon Hale, a beautiful "round" cottage with a laundry list of amenities. Satellite TV, DVD/VCR, CD FM Radio, etc., just to name a few. Oh, I almost forgot…each unit has its very own Jacuzzi, lounge chairs and gas BBQ Grill. There is a small above ground pool with sun deck and bar (BYOB) in a common area behind the "Lodge" which serves as their private residence. As an item of interest, when you enter the Lodge, you will walk onto a Lava Rock floor that "flows" (figuratively speaking) into a very large Lava Rock Fire Place. The grounds are illuminated at night with discreet in ground lighting. Mike has a couple of Parrots that add to the atmosphere and Buck, Kiekie (Hawaiian for “baby”) and Cha Cha, three very friendly dogs, roam the grounds and check on you from time to time. Purrfect the cat shows up from time to time. There is a lot to see and do in and around Hilo, so check out their web site @ http://hanginloose.com and book your reservations. You will not be disappointed.
Jan and Mike, loved our stay in November and wrote this immediately afterward. I hope the editor of Australia's naturist organization will publish it but can't seem to get contact with him. John, Tucson
Surprisingly, for a land where topless and uninhibited young women welcomed European sailors in the 18th Century, Hawaii is not very friendly to naturists today. For example, Oahu, home to Honolulu and about 80% of the state’s population, has no authorized nude beaches or resorts. Thankfully, however, the other islands of the chain offer a few small but exceptional naturist opportunities, blending lush tropical settings with proximity to the warm Pacific Ocean. ‘Hangin’ Loose’ on the Big Island near Hilo is one of these opportunities.
Open only in early 2003, Hangin’ Loose’s hosts Jan and Mike Smith have built three exceptional cottages in the middle of what is almost a tropical rainforest, each cottage well equipped with a fully furnished kitchen, satellite TV with premium movie channels, DVD player, all the towels and beach supplies one can need, Jacuzzi spa for up to four, and funky outdoor shower. The grounds, including a small soaking pool, are completely clothing optional and are filled with seemingly every variety of exotic fruits and plants found in Hawaii including avocado, star fruit, lime, ginger, and orchids. Mike is clearly excited about strolling through the grounds with his guests, explaining the plants to them. Jan works in Hilo full time but she searches out her guests just as soon as he gets home and has time to shed her work clothes. They hosted a wonderful little ‘happy hour’ with light pupus for all their guests on our last night with them and, whether it was their intent or not, we enjoyed 3 1/2 hours of animated, interesting conversation. Just a bunch of interesting people, sitting around naked, drinking wine and snacking, sharing their views and experiences about important things in the world!
But what about when we decided to do a little clothed sightseeing? One notices the most important characteristic of the Big Island of Hawaii in the flight approach to Lyman Airport in Hilo - the majestic, sometimes snow capped slopes of the dormant volcanoes, Mauna Kea at 13,796 feet and Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. Not seen on the approach flight but Just east of Mauna Loa is the Kilauea Volcano which has been in an ‘active’ phase since 1983, spewing molten lava from several vents on its slopes. This lava flows inexorably at 2,100 degrees F to the sea below, covering or burning everything in its path. For example, in the past decade, a park service information center, black sand beach, the famous ‘Queen’s Bath’ natural pool, and, most tragically, 140 homes, businesses, and churches in the village of Kalapana have been consumed by the lava. The Hawaiians’ legendary goddess Pele, the goddess of fire, still lives on the Big Island and its people live at her whim!
Visitors may get a sense of the power of Kilauea in a tour of the Hawaii National Volcanoes National Park, 230,000 acres beginning 30 miles southwest of Hilo. The park offers an excellent information center with Park Ranger presentations and their suggestions about hiking and driving tours in the park. ‘Crater Rim’ Drive circles the volcano’s caldera for 11 miles, passing through desert and rainforest and allowing scenic stops and short hikes. ‘Chain of Craters’ Road is a 40 miles roundtrip which descends to the sea and dead ends where lava has covered the highway. The park is also home to Kilauea Military Camp, a ‘R&R’ camp solely for military families only 200 meters from the crater. Volcano Village is less than a mile from the information center and also offers a variety of dining and lodging options for those who might wish to experience Kilauea at its most vivid, at night.
But what about the old port of Hilo and other attractions in the southeastern Big Island? With a walking tour map from the town’s Information Center, Hilo proved to be fascinating, good enough to justify stopovers by the large Norwegian Cruise Line ships which cruise through all the islands. A visitor unfamiliar with Hilo’s history might first wonder about the wide strip of park land between the first row of buildings and the small port but a visit to the Pacific Tsunami Museum located in a sturdy, old concrete bank building explains this strip of land. The Hilo downtown was devastated in 1946 and 1960 by tsunamis (tidal waves) generated by earthquakes in Alaska and Chile, respectively, suffering massive property and human losses. Understandably, the town chose not to build so close to the sea again! A docent spent 40 very interesting minutes with my wife and me, explaining the geology behind tsunamis and the tragedy suffered twice by Hilo.
The Lyman Museum is housed in the 1839 home of David Lyman, one of the first missionaries from New England to the Big Island, and his wife Sara. The home is filled with many original pieces of furniture, kitchen utensils, and family personal items from the Lyman family in that era. An adjacent exhibition describes Hawaii’s volcanic history and presented a videotape detailing the protracted efforts of the people of Kalapana to save their town from the lava. The Lyman museum is a must!
The Hilo Farmers Market from 6:00am to 4:00pm daily is a small but colorful opportunity to experience many tropical fruits, vegetables, and flowers not easily found on the U.S. mainland. The variety and color of the many anthyriums especially impressed my wife. I was impressed by avocados bigger than softballs and the quality and price of kiwi and star fruit! Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Mall is home to one of the Hilo Hattie’s stores filled with every form of aloha attire possible and other manner of Hawaiian souvenirs.
The island is famous for its macadamia nuts and the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company processing plant is only 10 miles south of Hilo. Here one can view the processing plant where the wonderful chocolate-covered macadamia nuts are made and packaged and, of course, purchase in the gift shop any variety of macadamia nut imaginable. I don’t think my wife can pass up any opportunity to buy those (and consume them almost immediately!). Luckily, we had dined well in the Café Pesto, an Italian restaurant right on Hilo’s harbor front, so she didn’t have much ‘room’ for candy. Hilo has several great restaurants with ethnic food from around the Pacific, too, plus we saw two Mexican restaurants! We chose not to compare them with Tucson.
The southeastern part of the Big Island is known to be ‘laid back’ so I wasn’t surprised to find in this small town several herb, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and massage businesses. In fact, marijuana is apparently a major crop in the area as proven by the several law enforcement helicopters we saw in the air during our stay. The small town of Pahoa, about 15 miles south of Hilo, has the look of a ‘60s ‘hippie haven’! It’s also the home of many greenhouses growing awesome anthryiums so everything will grow here. Not surprisingly, Kahena Black Sand Beach (created when ancient lava is eventually pounded into sand) only 5 miles south of Pahoa had swim suited, topless, and nude sunbathers and swimmers commingling without problem. It was pretty rough surf when we were there but I survived it with only a few bruises and some of my dignity!
Hawaii is a great vacation destination even though it’s not as naturist friendly as one might expect. Never the less, Hangin’ Loose is a wonderful little resort for those who want to enjoy Hawaii as naked as possible.