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Big Island 4 Night Itinerary / Lodging HELP

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Hi all my boyfriend I are visiting the Big Island end of July; we are a couple in our mid-20s so we are a bit cost conscious. We are flying into KOA and out as well. Our trip is for 4 nights.

I am trying to determine the cities we will be lodging in; I understand all the cities are very far proximity wise. Therefore , can someone please advise on if we should stay in the West Coast the first night or drive directly over to the East Side and how many nights do you recommend in each city?

We land on Thursday afternoon around 1pm at KOA ...departing Monday at 2pm out of KOA (4 nights total).

We do plan on visiting Hawaii National Park, hiking, snorkeling, doing the whole beach thing (esp excited about seeing the black sand beaches), any recommendations for particular beaches etc. is helpful as well!

Any advice will be very much appreciated!

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