10 days on the Big Island in June 2022

Old May 11th, 2022, 05:56 AM
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10 days on the Big Island in June 2022

Hi everyone, we leave in a couple of weeks and I was just curious if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations for restaurants, beaches, or activities before we go. It will be my wife and I with our 3 daughters ages 11, 9 and 5. Anything with *** is already booked, which includes horseback rides with Dahana, an overnight stay at Volcano House cabins, Legends of Hawaii luau, day trip to Oahu to meet a friend, and Anelakai Manta night snorkel.

Day 1 - fly to Kona, arrive 6:39pm, car rental, check into hotel
Day 2 - beach day
Day 3 - ***Dahana Ranch horse ride*** Waimea (11am, arrive 30 min early), Waipio Valley lookout for lunch, Pololu Valley Lookout and hiking
Day 4 - drive to Volcanoes NP, Crater Rim Drive and Kilauea iki crater hike, Thurston Lava Tubes, overnight at ***Volcano House cabins***
Day 5 - The Kapoho Kalapana Road to Isaac Hale Park, Hilo, Kaumana Caves, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, drive back to Waikoloa
Day 6 - beach day, Lapakahi State Historical Park, ***Legends of Hawaii Luau***
Day 7 - drive to South Point and Punalu'u black sand beach (turtles), Coffee tour (Kona Joe?), Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park
Day 8 - ***flight to Oahu*** for the day, fly out in morning and return in evening
Day 9 - beach day, *** Anelakai adventures night snorkel***
Day 10 - Kanaloa Octopus farm or Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm (near airport), evening flight departs 8:13 pm

Thanks and I will follow up with a trip report when we return!
Scott
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Old May 11th, 2022, 06:30 AM
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Where are you staying?
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Old May 11th, 2022, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
Where are you staying?
Hi! We are staying at Fairway Villas in Waikoloa.
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Old May 11th, 2022, 07:24 AM
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We always stay there, too. I would probably build in more beach time. We've been to Hawaii seven times with our daughter, and the first time we took her she was four years old. Her favorite thing to do then was to dig holes in the sand. She's now 18, and honestly, I can't say that her favorite activity has changed very much. She still wants a lot of beach time and less time in the car or hiking.

We've been to the BI five times. Hapuna Beach is fun for boogie boarding. Mauna Kea beach is beautiful and quieter than Hapuna. We always see sea turtles there. I like Makaiwa Bay at the Mauna Lani for snorkeling and walking by the giant fish ponds.

There is a great ice cream shop in Kawaihae. There is also a very good fish shop across the road from the ice cream shop where we buy fish to take back to the condo and grill. We buy groceries for breakfast and for picnic lunches at Foodland at the Mauna Lani Shops. It's a better grocery store than anything in Waikoloa. We always do a stop at Costco, too.

Lava Lava Beach Club can be fun lunch or dinner near your condo. The wait times can be long, but they have bocce ball courts set up and ping pong tables. It's a great place to catch the sunset over the A-Bay. We also try to have lunch at Merrimans in Waimea.

We've done the manta snorkel and it was very cool. We always go to the Place of Refuge, and we make time to snorkel at Two Step while there. We have also snorkeled at Captain Cook and it is amazing. I believe that is by tour only now. Annie's Island Burgers in Captain Cook is usually where we have lunch on our way back from the Place of Refuge.

I would skip South Point and the black sand beaches. It's a lot of added car time. I would say that our daughter is not a fan of the hike down to the Pololu Valley. I like it because it's pretty, but as a kid, she wasn't a fan of walking and not being able to swim at the beach. Then climbing back up and getting in the car for more driving.

Our typical day: get up early, my husband and I go for a run, have breakfast at the condo, pack a picnic lunch and head to the beach, boogie board and snorkel, stop in Kawaihae for ice cream, see if there is a parking spot open at Mauna Kea beach for some swimming and boogie boarding, pick up whatever we want for dinner at Foodland, then back to the condo. Shower and maybe walk over to A-Bay for sunset. Have dinner. And go to bed. We always go to Waimea and as I said before, we make a trip down to the Place of Refuge and have lunch in Captain Cook on our way back. We try to build in an activity like the manta ray night snorkel, but we keep it pretty simple.

One other tip, we always book the condo for an extra night as our flight home typically doesn't leave until 10 pm. We do whatever we want that day, come back to the condo, shower and have dinner, pack and then head to the airport around 8 pm. It's worth having the condo that extra night.
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Old May 11th, 2022, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
We always stay there, too. I would probably build in more beach time. We've been to Hawaii seven times with our daughter, and the first time we took her she was four years old. Her favorite thing to do then was to dig holes in the sand. She's now 18, and honestly, I can't say that her favorite activity has changed very much. She still wants a lot of beach time and less time in the car or hiking.
Thanks for all of the suggestions for beaches and shops, we are Costco members so that is a good idea. I figured we'd fill in some days with beach time as well. Really just the two days going to the East side of the island and our Oahu day that are fully booked.

Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
We've done the manta snorkel and it was very cool. We always go to the Place of Refuge, and we make time to snorkel at Two Step while there. We have also snorkeled at Captain Cook and it is amazing. I believe that is by tour only now. Annie's Island Burgers in Captain Cook is usually where we have lunch on our way back from the Place of Refuge.
Our youngest is only 5 so I wasn't sure how she will take to snorkeling, so it will be nice having the small boat next to the light in case she just wants to stay in the boat. I love snorkeling, but not sure how much my daughters will want to do it, but I have a couple of masks/fins/snorkels that they can try out.

Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
I would skip South Point and the black sand beaches. It's a lot of added car time. I would say that our daughter is not a fan of the hike down to the Pololu Valley. I like it because it's pretty, but as a kid, she wasn't a fan of walking and not being able to swim at the beach. Then climbing back up and getting in the car for more driving.
I was going back and forth on whether to drive this route on the way to Volcanoes or to take the saddle road since it is a little quicker to have more time in Volcano NP. I was planning to skip Papakōlea green sand beach. I didn't think we'd do the entire hike to Pololū Valley, but maybe just a little of it - the woman from Dahana said there is some sort of rope swings or something at the begining (?) so maybe we'll just see how tired they are after horseback riding.

Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
Our typical day: get up early, my husband and I go for a run, have breakfast at the condo, pack a picnic lunch and head to the beach, boogie board and snorkel, stop in Kawaihae for ice cream, see if there is a parking spot open at Mauna Kea beach for some swimming and boogie boarding, pick up whatever we want for dinner at Foodland, then back to the condo. Shower and maybe walk over to A-Bay for sunset. Have dinner. And go to bed. We always go to Waimea and as I said before, we make a trip down to the Place of Refuge and have lunch in Captain Cook on our way back. We try to build in an activity like the manta ray night snorkel, but we keep it pretty simple.
All of that sounds good! Really just the 2 volcano days, the horseback riding and the 1 Oahu days are fully booked so we can be flexible to set the pace for our other days.

Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
One other tip, we always book the condo for an extra night as our flight home typically doesn't leave until 10 pm. We do whatever we want that day, come back to the condo, shower and have dinner, pack and then head to the airport around 8 pm. It's worth having the condo that extra night.
This is a really good idea! I'm not sure if our place is still available the last day, but I can check. If not I was thinking we could maybe move the coffee tour to that morning, have lunch and go to the seahorse farm in the afternoon.

Thanks!!
Scott
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Old May 11th, 2022, 07:15 PM
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I have not been to the octopus farm, but I loved the seahorse farm. It was great for kids.

From Lapakahi State Historical Park, continue on to Hawi, where you can stop for goodies at the little coffee shop and shopping. Then go on to the Pololu Overlook. The hike might be too challenging for your kids, but the overlook is still worth seeing.
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Old May 12th, 2022, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
I have not been to the octopus farm, but I loved the seahorse farm. It was great for kids.

From Lapakahi State Historical Park, continue on to Hawi, where you can stop for goodies at the little coffee shop and shopping. Then go on to the Pololu Overlook. The hike might be too challenging for your kids, but the overlook is still worth seeing.
Thanks for the suggestions! I think we will be going in opposite direction as we will probably get breakfast in Waimea, then we have an 11-12 reservation for horseback riding past Waimea, packed lunch up at Waipio Valley lookout afterwards and then head to Pololu lookout, and could stop in Hawi either before or after Pololu. I doubt we'd make it to Lapakahi State Historical Park before it closes at 4pm, but we could drive up there another day if you think it is worth the 30 minute drive.

Thanks! Scott
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Old May 12th, 2022, 10:35 AM
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I love Lapakahi State Historical Park. It is smaller and more off the beaten track than Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park and has a very beautiful setting. But if you don't have time for it, you will get much of what it offers at Puuhonua O Honaunau. Enjoy!
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