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Hawaii Big Island

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We are planning on going to the big island of Hawaii in August. We've never been there before. We are trying to plan out our trip now and have a few questions.

We plan on flying into Kona airport and we are staying for 7 days. We plan on renting a car too.

We don't want to do the resort thing. We would prefer to stay in a condo (with a washer/dryer). Can someone recommend a good condo place to stay in? Price range would be $150 + a night.

We can't decide whether or not to stay in the Kailua-Kona area or go up to Kohala. Aren't all of the condo's located in the Kailua-Kona area? I know the Kohala area is very expensive.

We plan on buying groceries...at least for breakfast and snacks. I know food is expensive there. What's the average cost of milk and cereal? Coffee?

What's the average price of gas?

Can someone please recommend some good restaurants to try in the Kohala or Kona area? Thanks Price is no concern.

We have several activities we would like to do. We want to go snorkeling, check out the volcano, tour a coffee plantation and go to a luau. Can someone recommend some good places to check out?

We would like to go through a tour company for most of the above activities. Suggestions are welcome.

I've read that the best beach is Hapuna beach. We plan on visiting there.

I keep reading about safety and rental cars. I've read that you're not to supposed to leave any valuable in the car trunk. Common sense. But, I've also read to leave your car doors unlocked so someone won't smash the windows. Is this a good idea?

We plan on booking our trip through Pleasant Hawaiian Holiday's. Is this a good idea or is there something better?

Thanks :-)
Debbie

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