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10 days on the Big Island, how to break it up?

10 days on the Big Island, how to break it up?

Old Feb 24th, 2009, 12:27 PM
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10 days on the Big Island, how to break it up?

We'll be spending 10 days on the Big Island in September, and I'm trying to decide how to schedule it. We're most interested in snorkeling and scenery, and a little bit of history and local culture (I want to see some of the petroglyphs). I'ma bit of a "less is more" traveller, and prefer not to change accomodations too much if not necessary.
I'm definitely planning at least 5 days in the Kona area, and 3 days near Volcano. So the question is, shall I try to spend a bit of time near Hilo, or the north shore of BI? or should I just go with a 6/4 split in those 2 locales?

I guess I should put this in context of the overall trip. We're spending most of the month of September in Hawaii, flying into Maui and out of HNL.
4 days Maui
10 days BI
7 days Kaui
4 days Oahu

So I'm trying to figure out the BI part of it here.
china_cat is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2009, 05:14 AM
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topping, as it dropped too fast.
any suggestions?
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 05:25 AM
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Depends on how much of Hamakua (i.e. north shore)you want to see. If you stay in Kona and drive the northern route to the Volcano area and start early in the day, you can visit Waipio Valley, Akaka Falls, Hawaiian Tropical Botanic Gardens on the way. You probably could even visit the petroglych field near the Mauna Lani Hotel in Kohala on the way. It would be a full day-but is doable.

Some of the best snorkeling on the BI, per my husband since I do not snorkel, is in south Kona. Kealekakua Bay (there are a couple of places to get into the bay--the easiest is at Manini Beach in Napoopoo).

Another good area is one that people call Two-Step (there is no sign anywhere, as far as I know, that says Two-Step) on Honaunau Bay, by Place of Refuge (which is also worth a visit http://www.nps.gov/puho/). (As you go toward the parking lot for Place of Refuge but before you get to it, turn right-follow the road a little way until you see an area on the left where people are going in the water--park along the road.) Two-Step is quite popular and does get crowded, especially on weekends. Another area with nice coral and fish is in front of the little village of Ke'ei-which is at the south end of Kealekakua Bay. If you'd like directions (there are no signs), let me know.

If you would like to stay in south Kona (which is way more laid back than Kailua Kona) here are a couple of websites to check for cottages and b&b's--http://www.renthawaiihome.com/ http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/accom/bivkons.htm

On the Volcano side of the island, there is wonderful tidepool snorkeling in Puna--the best is in a residential area called Vacationland http://www.letsgo-hawaii.com/kapoho/
We always spend at least a few days in Kapoho. It is only about an hour from Volcano-so it makes for an easy day-trip. Plus right now where the lava is flowing into the ocean is closer to Kapoho than to Volcano. It is usually sunny in Kapoho, where Volcano tends to be cooler and rainy/misty.

Here are a couple of websites with houses/cottages in Kapoho--http://www.apoparadise.com/ we've stayed at both Lagoon House (my favorite) and Lagoon House II and the cottage. http://www.hpvacationrentals.com/ we stayed at Rabbit and Dragon one year--about 2 blocks from the Champagne Pond.

If you want to spend more time in Hamakua, a nice B&B is Waipio Wayside B&B between Honokaa and the Waipio Valley. http://www.waipiowayside.com/ A stay there would allow you to visit North Kohala--go to Hawi, have lunch at Bamboo Cage or Sushi Rock, drive out to the Pololu Valley overlook, hike into the valley, if you're so inclined.

martym is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2009, 07:13 PM
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this is great stuff martytm, thanks so much.

any other opinions? BI visitors, how would you split up 10 days, to see the most, and also get some relaxing time in?
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 07:03 AM
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If it were me, I'd do 5 in Kona, 2 in Volcano (Kilauea lodge, specifically) & the rest in Kapoho ( which I didn't do before but the day trip convinced me).
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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OSB, how far apart were Volcano and Kapoho? I was thinking I could spend 2 or 3 in Volcano and daytrip from their, then potentially spend the last 2 somewhere north of Hilo.

I actually had no thought at all of staying in Kapoho until I saw Martytm's recommendations above, and went back an re-read your trip report. those Lagoon House properties look rather cool.
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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I sent you an email, cc. Hope the map helps!

Dennis would be much better at the distances than I.
We drove from Kilauea to his home & then he toured us around before ending up at the Tidepools.
I suggest you email him for input.

Depending on how much you'd like to just stay two places, maybe Kona & Kapoho? It would be trading extended driving for one more check-in/out. However, you could do Hilo & above as well as Volcano from there.

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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 03:00 AM
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We did a week at the Hilton and a night at in Volcano. I'd still do that split - 7 nights in Kona and two in Volcano. We spent a full day doing a clockwise drive from Kona to Volcano, stopping for sight-seeing and hiking. Really enjoyed the north end of the island. There's a secluded cottage I wanted to try so if that kind of stay is of interest to you then maybe 4 nights in a Kona hotel, 2 nights in a cottage with a great view and then over to an overnight in Volcano.
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