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Thread: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

  1. #1
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    Default Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Hoping to head to the big island for a few days mid month. Any recommendations?
    Tom

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    Hoping to head to the big island for a few days mid month. Any recommendations?


    Sounds like fun. Be aware they have a big problem with drowning (13 times the national average). Probably something about tourists and all that water.
    Last edited by bluedog225; 01-05-2019 at 09:15 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Volcanoes National Park. I don't know how much is open these days given the recent eruptions but it's definitely worth visiting - assuming that it's open at all with the government shutdown. My wife and I took a short hike across the Kilauea Iki crater that was an amazing experience.

    Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut visitors center was fun and quite delicious.

    Hilo is an interesting town and Rainbow Falls is nearby. We met a very interesting elderly woman at the Hilo visitors center who told us all about the 1946 tsunami that wiped out the town. I'll never forget her saying ' They come in threes ya know. The third wave they call the killer wave."

    Akaka Falls is worth a stop.
    I rather be an American than a Republican.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianY View Post
    Volcanoes National Park. I don't know how much is open these days given the recent eruptions but it's definitely worth visiting - assuming that it's open at all with the government shutdown. My wife and I took a short hike across the Kilauea Iki crater that was an amazing experience.

    Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut visitors center was fun and quite delicious.

    Hilo is an interesting town and Rainbow Falls is nearby. We met a very interesting elderly woman at the Hilo visitors center who told us all about the 1946 tsunami that wiped out the town. I'll never forget her saying ' They come in threes ya know. The third wave they call the killer wave."

    Akaka Falls is worth a stop.
    Thanks, I'll take a look into all. We are staying on the west side not far from the airport first couple nights then either Hilo or volcano for the last three, depending on what's available on airbnb. I have a coffee farm visit planned as an ex co-worker's sister owns one in Captain Cook.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Hawaii The Big Island Revealed is a good book to look through before you go. Not knowing what you enjoy doing that is about all the help I can give you.

    It looks like Volcano House (hotel in the park) has rooms available. The meals are good. The views are good. Even if you don't stay there, stop buy for the view.

    The road to the telescopes on top of the mountain was closed due to snow a few days ago.
    Life is complex.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    We honeymooned there 25 years ago and sprung for the helicopter ride. He put us within feet of erupting lava. Jumping powerlines in the fog was fun too.
    Last edited by Fitz; 01-05-2019 at 12:38 PM.
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Gallery: An Eating Road Trip around Hawaii, the Big Island

    https://www.seriouseats.com/2012/12/...slideshow.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    First stop - ABC store for supplies. at least 2 straw mats, cheap foam cooler and cheap hibachi grill ($15) with bbq coals. you'll want this for a sunset beach dinner. Also buy 2 cheap Hawaiian shirts and a beach cover up in Hawaiian print for spouse. You want to get as local as you can get. Then consider doing the island drive which is really good - pack a large lunch cause the food choices get scarce once below Kona. although there is this great chicken bbq place as you head south from Kona that only has chicken buy a cooked bird there - there will be little else. Try going to the black sand beach in morning. a helicopter ride near volcano is brilliant. Whale watching is good from there. Rent masks and snorkles and fins for the week. The Hilo farmers market is fun and full of local treats. The big island is laid back. Don't push and act nice. always say aloha to everyone. I mean everyone. Mahalo for thank you goes a long way.

    Seek out the good loco moco breakfast place often from a truck along the road. you'll get the vibe just smelling the breakfast plate.

    253dcb96b991650f6421b6ca861c3ad0--traditional-hawaiian-food-hawaiian-macaroni-salad.jpg

    have fun. Mahalo
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 01-05-2019 at 12:46 PM.
    A pictures is worth a thousand words but a challenging meme stumps the ignorant.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    We honeymooned there 25 years ago and sprung for the helicopter ride. He put us within feet of erupting lava. Jumping powerlines in the fog was fun too.
    She won't do a helicopter, which is ok with me. I did one years ago and enjoyed it but she has her reasons for opting out of that which I respect. It would be a great way to see lava flows.
    Tom

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    I would want to see lava flows. It is a different, more plastic lava than found in other places. Eat lots of local fish. See the offshore volcano that is starting the next island. As many of the indigenous animals as possible
    Good luck

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Rent masks and snorkles and fins for the week.
    I could have done this the whole time, but SWMBO is not as fond of some of the critters as I am.
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    I could have done this the whole time, but SWMBO is not as fond of some of the critters as I am.
    KC is like that too. Seeing the green turtles underwater is such a treat. hearing the shrimp and fish click and the whale songs even from the beach break is pretty incredible.

    If you just soak in the Hawaiian waters, there is some health curing properties. Skin, hair, eyes, respirtory problems and stress issues can be washed away in just a few hours over the days of being there. Fastest way to get rid of a cold is a warm tropical swim in those blue waters.
    A pictures is worth a thousand words but a challenging meme stumps the ignorant.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    KC is like that too. Seeing the green turtles underwater is such a treat. hearing the shrimp and fish click and the whale songs even from the beach break is pretty incredible.

    If you just soak in the Hawaiian waters, there is some health curing properties. Skin, hair, eyes, respirtory problems and stress issues can be washed away in just a few hours over the days of being there. Fastest way to get rid of a cold is a warm tropical swim in those blue waters.
    We are looking forward to plenty of that! As well as local food. Hiking, waterfalls, snorkeling and just exploring is our basic agenda. Neither of us are big planners and when I travel with my kids we tend to just see where things take us. They aren't along for this trip but I expect the plan will be similar. Many suggestions here are great so keep them coming! Thanks all.
    Tom

  14. #14

    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Never been there so please take some pictures for those of us stuck in a New England winter. Have a great time Tom.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    This is a topic I know a bit about...

    Our favorite place to stay in Kona is across the street from Kahalu'u Beach Park, a few miles south of Kona town, but still on Ali'i Drive. There you will find vey protected snorkeling good for beginners and seasoned snorkelers alike.

    There are two condo complex's there... the 'Beach Villa's at Kahalu'u' are newer, and a few steps closer to the Park.

    Here's a link via AirB&B...

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/15611635?guests=1&adults=1

    The other is a bit older, but still excellent...

    Again, an Air B&B listing...

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3103930...s=1&s=JeMYUOGS

    Both places have multiple units for rent based on dates, bedrooms needed, and price.

    Last year we stayed a bit further north of town, in Puako. There's only one condo complex there...

    Here's one AirB&B listing for there...

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6992288...s=1&s=xAxVaZcQ

    So Puako is a very quiet part of the Big Island. No crowds walking the street, or cars cruising the road, just one way in, and one way out. The homes there range in the millions of dollars. There's an awesome place to snorkel at the end of the road. Plus several snorkeling option along the road.

    We have snorkeled several places between Puako and Captain Cook. If you like I can do a quick write up on our favorites with tips on getting there and entry points.

    I haven't been back to the BI since the last major eruption. But I know the Kilauea Crater is much different now. You'll have
    to wing that part I suspect.

    You can drive up to the top of Mauna Kea (13,000ft) in a normal car and check out the view from up there. In fact, I recommend that you drive from Kona to Hilo via Saddle Road, which goes up and over the island between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The road to the top of Mauna Kea is about the halfway point on that trip. Then when you drive back you can either go the north route through Wiamea which could include an nice side trip up to Hawi (take route 250 up to Hawi, then 270 back down towards Spencer Beach Park and the long road to Kona that the Ironman contestants use for the biking section.

    But, going the southern route from Hilo around to Kona will take you though Volcano NP, the Punalu'u Black Sands Beach just south of VNP where we've always spotted turtles (Honu.) Continuing you will come to the road to South Point. The true southernmost point of any US state. Don't believe those Key West losers. Then back around and up through Capt Cook.

    There's a lot more. Let me know if your interested.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    This is a topic I know a bit about...

    Our favorite place to stay in Kona is across the street from Kahalu'u Beach Park, a few miles south of Kona town, but still on Ali'i Drive. There you will find vey protected snorkeling good for beginners and seasoned snorkelers alike.

    There are two condo complex's there... the 'Beach Villa's at Kahalu'u' are newer, and a few steps closer to the Park.

    Here's a link via AirB&B...

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/15611635?guests=1&adults=1

    The other is a bit older, but still excellent...

    Again, an Air B&B listing...

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3103930...s=1&s=JeMYUOGS

    Both places have multiple units for rent based on dates, bedrooms needed, and price.

    Last year we stayed a bit further north of town, in Puako. There's only one condo complex there...

    Here's one AirB&B listing for there...

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6992288...s=1&s=xAxVaZcQ

    So Puako is a very quiet part of the Big Island. No crowds walking the street, or cars cruising the road, just one way in, and one way out. The homes there range in the millions of dollars. There's an awesome place to snorkel at the end of the road. Plus several snorkeling option along the road.

    We have snorkeled several places between Puako and Captain Cook. If you like I can do a quick write up on our favorites with tips on getting there and entry points.

    I haven't been back to the BI since the last major eruption. But I know the Kilauea Crater is much different now. You'll have
    to wing that part I suspect.

    You can drive up to the top of Mauna Kea (13,000ft) in a normal car and check out the view from up there. In fact, I recommend that you drive from Kona to Hilo via Saddle Road, which goes up and over the island between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The road to the top of Mauna Kea is about the halfway point on that trip. Then when you drive back you can either go the north route through Wiamea which could include an nice side trip up to Hawi (take route 250 up to Hawi, then 270 back down towards Spencer Beach Park and the long road to Kona that the Ironman contestants use for the biking section.

    But, going the southern route from Hilo around to Kona will take you though Volcano NP, the Punalu'u Black Sands Beach just south of VNP where we've always spotted turtles (Honu.) Continuing you will come to the road to South Point. The true southernmost point of any US state. Don't believe those Key West losers. Then back around and up through Capt Cook.

    There's a lot more. Let me know if your interested.
    Thanks Brian, that's great info, and more would certainly be appreciated, especially snorkeling spots between puako and captain cook.
    Tom

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    If going to Hilo, take an umbrella. I hear they get two hundred days of rain there.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Definitely would recommend hopping on a small charter boat for some snorkeling at Capt. Cook. Would also suggest buying one of those tee shirts impregnated with UV protection. I‘ve only had two sunburns in my life, but one happened on the big island while snorkeling and not realizing that while my limbs and undercarriage were in the water my back was getting full sun for the better part of three hours.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    We must see if I canít fit into your suitcase...

    Peace,
    Have Fun!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Here's the Puako Condo and main snorkeling locations. The condo is the upper right circle, the snorkel site the lower left circle. The road at the south end, just past the snorkeling site does not connect to the huge resort area just further south. You can walk the beach to there though, not that we ever wanted to do so.


    puako1.jpg


    View from a top floor condo we stayed at...

    GOPR2743.jpg

    Close up of the snorkel site with an arrow showing where you drive in and park, then a circle around the 'keyhole' which is great for entry and exit into the water.

    puako2.jpg

    At low tide the keyhole has some sand at the bottom, at high tide it fills up, but still is a good place to get in. Here' a pic at high tide...

    41510016_Unknown.jpg

    We snorkeled there at least 3 times, and while there might be a few folks under the trees, in the water there was never more than 5-6 other people.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    I highly recommend snorkeling a Kealakekua Bay/Capt Cook Monument. It's a lot more commercial down there because permits are required for tour operators. Even visiting on your own requires paying attention to the rules. A lot of the boats leave out of the Kona harbor just north of town, but it's much quicker to leave from Keauhou Bay Harbor next to the Sheraton Kona Resort. We went with Sea Paradise Tours on their 45ft Trimaran "Hokulani." Which just happens to be Becca's middle name...

    fullsizeoutput_1763.jpg

    GOPR2749.jpg

    Good crew, the Capt'n shared some good history on just why the Hawaiians killed Cook there, and the boat was not overloaded with passengers. Maybe 15 of us total. Some of the big boats have two or three times that number of snorkelers onboard. Yuck.

    GOPR2812.jpg
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Two step is the local name for the snorkeling spot at the Place of Refuge/Pu'uhonau O Honaunau...

    You can drive down highway 160 obviously. What's not obvious is that while paved, it's narrow.

    Capt Cook to Two Step.jpg

    The arrows indicate the road is one way...

    Two Step 2.jpg

    The circled area is paid parking. But I believe the money goes to a local church, it was cheap, and well worth it.

    Two Step 3.jpg

    It's called 'two step' because the entry/exit point consists of two steps of lava rock. Timing the wave can be a bit critical if swelly, but it's very doable. A Google search will come up with better pictures. There's no charge or rules for this place. The last time we went there some other tourist had just pulled a local up onto the rocks who was unresponsive. We did CPR right away, but he never recovered. After the EMT folks showed up and took over, we went snorkeling.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Some pics from the drive up Mauna Kea Summit in 2015...

    Yep, snow.

    snowdrift1.jpg

    That's Mauna Loa in the background...

    girlsonmaunakea1.jpg

    familymksummit.jpg

    Oh, the Jeep being a rental wasn't suppose to go up there. Stupid rule, as it's paved most the way. Don't tell.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Punalu'u Black Sand Beach. South of Volcano NP...

    punaluu1.jpg

    mehonu1.jpg

    Regine talking honu pictures...

    reginehonu.jpg
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Hawaii Big Island must sees??

    Up in the north point of the Big Island is Keokea Park. We found it just driving around. After we parked we noticed a group of people gather around some barrier tape. Turned out that a female Hawaiian Monk Seal with her pup was resting on the small beach down there. Some big waves crashing into the breakwall were impressive.

    fullsizeoutput_1dc7.jpg

    Attachment 29378
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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