Suggestions for itinerary, Big Island


Feb 27th, 2000, 07:30 PM
Igal B.
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Suggestions for itinerary, Big Island


We are a family of 5 (3 children) and will be spending 7 or 8 days at the big island, next August. Does anyone have suggestions for a possible itinerary? We'd like to stay at condos, so I'll appreciate if you have suggestions for those too.


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Feb 28th, 2000, 11:29 PM
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Aloha! I live on O`ahu, but lived on the Big Island for three years. One thing you can count on is not finding a condo. The Big Island is mainly country. The Volcano National Park is a nice place to visit--be sure that no one is allergic to sulfur. I am and had to stay locked up in the car. If you do go to see the volcano, don't build your hopes up on seeing a beautiful, active volcano spewing up lava--it's not. There's lots of trails, though. The Volcano House is a hotel in the Park. As for other things to do, driving through Waimea is a must--do you like to ride horses? Please keep in mind that there is only one mall (very small) on the entire island--in Hilo. Are you traveling to Hilo & Kona? FYI: Hilo always rains & Kona never rains.
Good luck & enjoy yourselves! Feel free to email me!
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Feb 29th, 2000, 04:51 AM
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Aloha Igal,

Just wanted to give you an update on the Big Island and list of activities, in no particular order.

Kona Coffee & Mac Nut Plantation Tours
Dolphin Quest
Visit Black Sand Beach, if you're a hiker also Green Sand Beach.
Water activities abound.
Helicopter rides, for a bird's eye view.
Waipo Valley tour.
If you're a golfing, some of the best rated courses in the US.
Deep Sea Fishing.
Tour Hulihe'e Palace, royal vacation home.
Keaalakekua Bay and Place of Refuge.
Volcano National Park.
Star gazing at Mauna Loa.
Lyman Museum.
Rainbow Falls & Akaka Falls.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens.

The best way to familiarize yourself with Hawaii is to purchase "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed" by Andrew Doughty & Hariett Friedman. This guidebook can be purchased online from for about $13. & S/H. It's the best!!!

As far as condos go, there are approximately 2,377 (in Kona alone)- of those am sure there are plenty available for vacation rental. Do a search on your favorite search engine (Yahoo, Altavista, etc.) using the words "kona hawaii vacation rentals". I'm sure you'll find something that will suit your family.

The "Big Island" presently is not as built up as say Oahu and Maui. But I believe that the charm of the island!

Have a wonderful vacation.
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Feb 29th, 2000, 05:46 AM
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What is your budget like, what are the ages of your children, and what are your interests? Our kids were 9 & 7, and they loved to both the water activities and the hiking. We did a lot of both. My first suggestion is to break up your trip into 2 parts. 5 days in Kona area, and 2-3 days in Hilo/Volcano area.

We stayed in a wonderful condo just south of Kona at a resort called Kanaloa at Kona. There are many other options also. We also stayed in a lovely cottage near the Volcano at Kilauea Lodge. It was absolutely charming, and we wish we had stayed there longer.

Let us know more details about your situation and you'll get lots of great advice. Or e-mail me.

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Mar 8th, 2000, 05:46 PM
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I wholeheartedly recommend Dolphin Quest at Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kona side. It may be hard to get into if you're not staying at the resort, but you should contact the resort to find out your chances. My husband and I stayed there, and he was able to experience the dolphin encounter. It was an experience of a lifetime for this "big kid," and the looks on the younger kids is pure entertainment.
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Mar 8th, 2000, 11:40 PM
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Just curious, but when you stayed near the volcano at Kilauea Lodge, did you stay in Tutu's Cottage? (If I remember correctly, that's the name of it.) I stayed in that cottage on 2 separate trips and it was awesome! Spent several nights there both times and it was just SO enjoyable! 2 bedrooms (one with a double or queen bed??? and the other with 2 twins), 1 bathroom, a fully furnished kitchen and living room (with fireplace, TV/VCR, VHS tapes, books and board games). Nice yard and your own private driveway. Free breakfast at the lodge is included; it's a short drive down the road. This place was a real find!
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Mar 10th, 2000, 05:14 PM
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I'm going to be a bit different and tell you what NOT to do. If you buy that book, "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed", it will tell you about a "secret" trail to the volcano (pg.199 in my book). Yes, it's the quickest way to the volcano (4+ miles each way) but DON'T DO IT. A friend and I took it and got lost, not to mention we had mud up past our knees and several bad cuts. After much swearing and pondering, we finally made our way back out (without ever having made it to the volcano). Was that the worst of it? No. When we got back to our rental car, someone had smashed the driver's side window in. To get to the beginning of this trail, you have to drive a few miles down a side road and park your car in the middle of nowhere. You know you're at the beginning of the trail when you arrive at a rusted-out car. (I wonder if it belonged to someone who never made it back out??? ha!) There's a REASON why the rangers at Volcanoes National Park took that book off the shelves in their gift shop. When we told them about what happened to us, they got rather irritated with us and said they had rescued some people off that trail by helicopter the week before. But how were we to know? All the other trails we hiked in the area were well-maintained by the park. Don't mean to scare you. Definitely get some hiking in, just not THAT trail.
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