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Big Island Areas?

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Our family (girls 12, 13, 14, 16) will be making our first trip to HI in the summer of '13. I've found some rental homes that would work for our family, but I just don't know about areas. Would love to be within an hour or so of great places to visit, and 15 minutes to beaches, and have nice weather, of course. :) I don't know much about vog or how bad it is. We'd be there end of June or beginning of July, probably. (Do we need a/c?) I've found houses that would work for us in these places:

Puna-Pahoa (oceanfront but not swimmable)
Puna-Kehena Beach
Kona-Captain Cook
Ka'u-Ocean View
Hamakua Coast-Laupahoehoe

Thanks in advance for any insight or help narrowing things down!

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