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Where to stay in winter: South Kohala Coast or Kailua Kona?

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DH & I plan to snorkel in Kahaluu and the City of Refuge area so I was thinking of staying in the KKona area but have heard of its vog and that it's nicer further north in the Kohala area. Also hoping to kayak & snorkel around Kealakekua Bay, and visit Mauna Kea VIS. We plan to spend a day at the Mauna Kea Beach too so having a hard time deciding where to stay.

Will be arriving via the northern driving route from Hilo, and flying out from Kona if that makes a difference. It'll be 8 nights over the Christmas holidays so prefer to stay in just one place - hope to be renting a cottage/condo, instead of staying at a resort.

Any insights/thoughts much appreciated.

Enjoy-la!

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