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Big Island Suggestions

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by mapsd, Dec 3, 2017.

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  1. mapsd

    mapsd Guest

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    Staying at King's Land for a week in June with our 19 & 17 y.o. daughters.
    First time to Hawaii, and hope to visit Oahu for a few days before flying back to the states.
    Would love to get some island veterans' opinions
    1. What are the "don't miss" sites on the Big Island?
    2. If staying at King's Land, best nearby beach?
    3. A safe snorkeling location?
    4. Strategy for seeing volcanos/helicopter tour?
    5. Best transport option to Oahu?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  2. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    1. The biggest "don't miss" is Volcano National Park
    2. Best beaches are north of Kings Land. Either Hapuna or the beach at the Mauna Kea hotel.
    3. We used to suggest the beach in Kona, Kahalu'u, but the last time our dd was there with her husband they said the coral was getting destroyed.
    4. We always drive down to Volcano National Park and spend at least one night in the area. We like Kilauea Lodge in Volcano Village.
    5. Airplane
     
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  3. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Best Place for Gas is Costco. Can be a 50 cents to a dollar cheaper per gallon. Best place to buy alcohol is Costco. Swim with the Manta Rays at night. Two Options really. If Scuba there is a dive company that does it near the airport. They also have snorkelers, but the main action is down on the bottom with Scuba. For just snorkelers then Sea Quest south of Kona in Keauhou Bay. They also do snorkel trips to Captain Cook's and Two Step, etc. Hapuna Beach is a good beach for the day. Jump off the Cliff at South Point. Most expensive grocery store is at the Queen's Market Place. Reasonable grocery store is KTA Super Store at Waikoloa Village. Lava Lava for dinner. Drive to the top of Mauna Kea. Volcano National Park. This alone can take 2 days. Town of Hilo. Hike out in the evening to see lava flow into the ocean. This is an 8 mile hike round trip. Take flashlights. You can rent Bikes at the parking lot at beginning of trail. Can not advise on transportation to Oahu as we never go to that Island. Lots to do on Hawaii and at the end of 5 days you will be exhausted.

    We go to the Islands about every other year. Primarily Kauai or Maui.We stayed on Hawaii for 2 weeks last January and we did not get everything done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  4. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    A few more comments.

    We like Fairwinds for snorkel trips out of Kona. I thought they were the only company that could take boats into Keauhou Bay.

    Although the Island Market in the Queen's Shops is more expensive than other markets (for some things, not all) we found they had a wonderful assortment of meats ready for the bar-be-que. I also got quite fond of their poke.

    We own on Maui and that is where we go most of the time. We did have a few years where we'd go to the Big Island, usually for two weeks at a time. Last time dh and I were there was two years ago when we stayed at the Kohala Suites.
     
  5. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Do not miss Mauna Kea. Take the tour up. You will not regret it. And- if you can get to Hapuna Beach- it will be worth your while. And-Going to Hawaii Volcano National Park is a no brainer.

    https://maunakea.com/
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  6. mapsd

    mapsd Guest

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    Thanks, keep them coming!
    Since it's our first time, we feel like we need to visit Pearl Harbor, Poly. Cultural Center, etc..
    Guessing there are multiple regional carriers to make the hop to Oahu?

    Like the grocery suggestions since we like to do our own breakfast/lunch, then splurge for dinner.
    Guessing that eating on the Hilton property won't be cheap.

    Hoping Volcano NP can be done as a big day trip.
     
  7. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I'm not sure how many regional carriers there are. Island Air just shut down, so that leaves Hawaiian and Mokulele.

    There are SO many better choices that eating on the Hilton property (meaning the hotel). Here are a list of suggestions:


    Big Island restaurants, these are all places we’ve been and would recommend:

    Starting at the “North” end and working south:

    Havi:

    Bamboo Restaurant – we’ve only been for lunch, be sure they are open (I think they’re closed on Mondays)

    Kawaihae Harbor:

    Café Pesto – they also have a location in Hilo

    Waimea:

    Merrimans

    Lilikoi Café – this is a tiny little kind of take out place, some friends of ours who lived in Kona recommended it. Really good for lunch. Kind of hard to find, it’s hidden on the back side of a shopping center.

    Village Burger – order at the counter and pick up at the counter. There is seating in the center where it’s located, the seating is for all of the food court type restaurants there. It is highly rated and does have a decent burger.

    Waikoloa Resort area:

    Sensai Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar - in the Queen’s Shopping Center. Had the best sushi roll I’ve ever had there. They have a pretty extensive menu, not just sushi.

    Lava Lava Beach House – right on the beach, in fact you can sit in a table in the sand.

    Waikoloa Village:

    Pueo’s Osteria - very good Italian

    Island Lava Java – a coffee place, but they have a nice menu. Ate dinner there our first night on the island. Not a fancy setting at all. The outdoor tables have a view of the parking lot.

    Kohala coast resorts (these are all pricey, the food is good but we go for the atmosphere):

    Four Seasons Hualailai – Ulu Ocean Grill, there is also the Beach Tree Bar (I’ve been there for lunch, not dinner)

    Fairmont Orchid - Brown’s Beach House

    Mana Lani - Canoe House

    Kona:

    Huggo’s (this is not the same as Huggo’s on the Rocks. We’ve been to the On the Rocks one and it’s good, very casual, but we really like Huggo’s

    Kona Brewing Company & Pub – good pizza, nice local beer selection

    Fish Hopper Seafood & Steaks

    Kona Inn Restaurant – mostly for the atmosphere. We’ve only eaten lunch here.

    South of Kona:

    Keei Café

    Coffee Shack – for breakfast

    Volcano Village:

    Kilauea Lodge – make a reservation if you’re going for dinner

    Ohelo Café – Open for lunch and dinner, we’ve only been there for lunch.

    Café Ono – part of a complex that has a one unit B&B and a gallery. Only open for lunch, vegetarian menu…..but very good.

    Hilo:

    Café Pesto – same as the one in Hawi
     
  8. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We did the trip in one day our first time there. After that we always stayed overnight. However, we were on the island for two weeks, not just one.

    It's a couple hour drive each way. That doesn't leave you much time in the park. Also, some of the most spectacular viewing is at night.
     
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  9. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Friendly suggestion: I don't mean to split hairs, but I'd suggest you change your point of reference. Hawaii IS a state, and has been part of the United States of America since 1959. Being in Hawaii means you are still IN the United States. So there is no "flying back to the states." :thumbup:

    One of the best parts of seeing Volcano National Park is seeing the glow from the Halemaumau Crater from the Jaeger Overlook inside the park after sunset. The problem with doing that is that it is a LONG drive back to King's Land on a very winding road in the dark. You might want to consider staying overnight near the Park. There are several places to stay in the area. Maybe do it the day you check out of King's Land - drive down and see VNP, stay overnight, then the next day, make your way back to the Kona Airport, or drive down the hill to Hilo airport, and fly to Oahu from there for your few days of visiting there.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  10. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    This is a great suggestion. I would definitely opt for flying out of Hilo to Oahu as it is a much shorter drive from Volcano than going back to Kona.
     
  11. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    When we stay two islands I always book a 3 leg trip, a lot of the flights go to honolulu oahu direct then inter-island. There are some direct to Kona from certain airports so you could do your Oahu days before or after KL.

    For low cost dining there is a food court in Queens Marketplace, it has Subway, Pizza, Burgers etc. I like the fish (Ono) sandwich at the island grill.

    There is a really nice beach just south of the resort at Hualalai. My favorite snorkel spot.

    https://www.explore-the-big-island.com/kikaua-beach.html

    If you are in Kona they have a tour and good lunch at Kona Brewing Company.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  12. bagabonz

    bagabonz Guest

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    Join Konaweb and get to know the site. You can see music almost every night of the week for free somewhere. Don’t miss Sonny Lim at the Kohala pool on Thursday afternoons.
    The beach at the Mauna Kea hotel is awsome. Just get there by 8 am or the limited parking passes are gone. Go as far to the left as you can for a really nice little cove with a rock wall. You can rent paddle boards at the Mauna Kea. Kaunaoa Bay is the actual name.
    The beach access road across from the Veterans Cemetary has a good beach with showers and bathrooms. Lava Lava is great as is either Huggos. Last time there we did the atv ride the rim of Waipio Valley. I’ll do that again next time. Well worth the time and money. Again, join Konaweb.
     
  13. RichardL

    RichardL TUG Member

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    VOLCANO AT NIGHT IS REALLY A 30 MINUTE EXPERIENCE, AND WORTH WHILE BUT DRESS FOR THE EXTREME COLD AND BRING 2 EXTRA BLANKETS OR ELSE IT IS A 3 MINUTE EXPERIENCE.
     
  14. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We did Hawaii Volcano NP in one day trip. (We stayed at Paniolo Greens). We did not stay for night viewing, but it was awesome just the same.
     
  15. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    If you are active duty or retired or Military Reserve there is the Kilauea Military Camp located inside of the Volcano National Park. They have Cottages for rent for reasonable rates. Go on line to register and reserve. Also there is a Cafeteria at KMC that is open to all that. We rented a Cottage last January so we had a place to stay after doing all the night stuff associated with Volcano Narional Park then left the next morning after breakfast.

    I know this is your first trip to Hawaii. Hopefully there are more in the future so you can get to Maui and Kauai. If possible try for 2 weeks.

    Where you live on the Mainland will affect the time you arrive in the Islands and what time your flight out will be.
     
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  16. chellej

    chellej TUG Member

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    We did a joint charter for deep sea fishing which for $100 pp was good fun...only got a couple of bites but still enjoyed being on the water. The most fun thing we did was the night snorkel with the manta rays. We went with eka canoes but wish we had gone with one of the bigger companies. In this case, More people means more lights and more Mantas. They all go to the point in front of the Sheraton. I did not know that the hotel was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and he but in the lights at the point. Attracting the mantas was an unexpected result.

    We also did the tour to captain cook and two step....It was excellent.

    For a quieter day, the vanilla farm tour was very interesting and the included lunch was excellent. Also stopped at Tex's for Malasadas.
     
  17. Tucsonadventurer

    Tucsonadventurer TUG Member

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    TWO STEP AT HONAUNAU is my favorite snorkling spot. The reefs are amazing and entry is very easy. Much better than Captain Cooks Monument though I like to kayak there to see the dolphins.
     
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  18. bagabonz

    bagabonz Guest

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    Two step and Place of Refuge are right next to each other. Good combo visit.
     
  19. geoand

    geoand TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    This is just my opinion, but the beach at the Mauna Kea Hotel is the best beach on Island. We discovered that if the parking lot is full, you can still use the beach. Ask at the gate if there is parking and if none available ask if you can drive to the parking lot and drop off the carload. They will allow for this. Then the car can be driven to Hapuna Beach, pay $5 or $10 for parking. Walk to the north end of the beach and look for the trail around the point to Mauna Kea. I am in my late 60's and I had to walk this last year and I had to use a cane when walking. It is an easy walk up and down hills to the Mauna Kea beach. You end up in the location that bagabonz mentioned. That is our favorite spot on the beach. There is plenty of shade available and plenty of sun too. There is easy access to rest rooms from this area. At the north end of the beach, you can also purchase lunch and drinks and never actually leave the beach.
     
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  20. Chrispee

    Chrispee TUG Member

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    My favourite big island beach is Makalawena. You have to endure a 15 minute walk along a trail from the parking lot, but this quells the crowd.
     
  21. 1Kflyerguy

    1Kflyerguy TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I will second most of Luanne's recommendations for places to eat. We really like Browns Beach house and Cafe Pesto.

    With regards to Helicopters, we have gone with Blue Hawaiian a couple of times. The tours are quite expensive, but do provide a views you won't get any other way. You see places and things you won't find via car or easy hiking in the park.

    They offer tours from both Waikaloa resort and the Hilo Airport. The tours from Hilo are shorter, and less expensive. I am taking my sister to the Big Island for the first time next March and she really wants to do a Helicopter tour. We will take the tour of Hilo to save the bucks.
     

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