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Big Island in August - help with what to do!

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Greetings! We are a family of four trying to plan a possible trip to the Big Island for this August. We have vacationed in Maui several times and are looking for something new, but I have a few questions for those in the know:
- How much of a drive is it to beaches and other sights from the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, which is where we'd need to stay (because that's where we can use points)? In Maui, we're spoiled because we can just walk out of our hotel onto a great beach with good snorkeling - I know this isn't the case at that hotel, but how much of a haul would it be?
- Have you gone to see volcano stuff as a day trip from the Kona area? If so, did you hate yourself for doing it? I'd rather not switch hotels and wouldn't mind a long day, but if everyone tells me it's awful to do it that way, I will believe them.
- What's your favorite thing to do on the Big Island? (We are big fans of snorkeling, playing on the beach, and food-related stuff like markets and farms.)

Thanks for any advice!
-m

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