Big Island Questions

Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 139
Big Island Questions

We're leaving tomorrow for the Big Island, and with your help I'd like to nail down a few loose ends. BTW, we're 2 adults, plus a (fairly well-behaved) 3 month old baby.

1. We're going to do a N Kohala day - up to Hawi (Bamboo restaurant!), Polulu Valley, Lapakahi Village, etc. We'd like to do this as a loop. Is it better to drive up Kohala Mountain Rd in the morning and back down Rt 270 along the coast in the late afternoon or vice versa? We're thinking up Kohala Mt Rd in the morning.

2. Has anyone recently hiked into Kohala Forest Reserve from Waimea to the west end of Waipi'o Valley? Is the trail open across the Hawaiian Homelands property? I hear conflicting things.

3. Restaurants in Hilo. We'll need 2 dinners and 2 lunches (although we could do one dinner in Puna). Cafe 100 looks like a winner for lunch. For dinner, we'd prefer nice seafood or Pacific-Rim cuisine. What do you all think of Harringtons, Cafe Pesto, Miyo's (or other places)? Should we do one lunch at the farmers market on Saturday?

4. We'll be down in the Captain Cook area one day. We're thinking about dinner at either Teshima's or Manago. What do you all think? Or should we go back up to Kailua-Kona for dinner?

Thanks in advance! Trip report will be coming up soon.
kbob88 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Posts: 139
And I forgot one other question: What's the best coffee farm to visit? I see a few messages indicating that people liked Greenwell. Is that the best?
kbob88 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:57 AM
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When you arrive, check to see if the Pololu Valley trail is open and safe. It suffered some damage after the last earthquake. If it's okay, hike down in the morning or noon. If I remember correctly it took us about 30" down and more time going up. That was back in December 2005.

The drive up Kohala Mountain Road is beautiful. Route 270 is less scenic, although you do have a terrific view of the ocean. Heading up on Kohala Mt. Rd. in the morning sounds good. Bring your sunglasses for the drive back.

We drove down the residential road listed in the Blue Book that supposedly leads to the trail to the back of Waipio Valley, but... I don't think the neighbors like the idea. There was a huge sign that said "Pit Bull Loose," and since we saw a few pit bulls in the area, we decided not to chance it. BTW, the neighbors we drove by were very friendly and gave us the shaka sign.

You'd could also hike down Waipio, but it's a hike and a half. Very steep, but if you're in great shape, it might be okay. (But you do have a baby, so... just be careful.) We were passed by two teenagers who were running back up! Just bring plenty of water, some munchies. At the bottom you'll turn right and walk along a dirt/muddy road for maybe 1/2 a mile until you reach the ocean. At that same junction where you turn right, you can also proceed ahead and veer to the left where there is supposed to be a waterfall (which we missed).

Don't know much about Hilo restaurants. We ate at a burrito place in a Hilo mall. There is a free zoo that has a white tiger around Hilo that is worth seeing. It's well-kept and pretty to walk around.

We ate at Manago in Captain Cook. Food was tasty, waitress great. But the place with the view is the Coffee Shack ( Zowie, what a view! You have to go there if just for coffee and the view. It's laid back and the food is good.

Don't know much about the coffee farms.

Have fun!
MarthaB is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 34
We just got back from Hawaii. When on the Big Island, we went to the Greenwell Farms. Great coffee and nice tour. It is one of the oldest and original (4th generation now) coffee farms in the Kona area. Enjoy your trip!
rphamy is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,299
I don't think the Coffee Shack in open in the evening--lunch and breakfast only.
If you go to Pahoa in Puna, Paolo's is the place to eat. Tuscan chef--I had the ahi special the night we were there--very, very fresh tuna in a wonderful sauce.
We also have enjoyed Kaikodo in Hilo
Have a wonderful time on your vacation!
martym is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,025
Good restaurant guide. You can sort restaurants by area or cuisine:

Coffee farm tour:
dusty56438 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Thanks you all. Kaikodo does look nice. Always helpful when you can actually see the menu online, although I was drooling a bit because it was lunchtime here in the Bay Area.

I have read a lot of good stuff on Paolo's. Since we're down in Puna for the day, but staying in Hilo, should we eat at Paolo's or drive back to Hilo and eat there? I.e., is Paolo's better than what we can get in Hilo?
kbob88 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I've never eaten dinner in Hilo so don't know the answer to your question. Pahoa is probably about 45 minutes from Hilo. So either plan would work.
If you decide on Paolo's, make a reservation after sunset (no a/c) and I believe they are closed on Monday.
martym is offline  

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