Last minute decision to double book a BRIEF stay for 5 people to visit HVNP/ Hilo area at the end of December.
Originally thought it would be doable to take a few day trips to the areas, but have since realized from reading these forums that at least an overnight stay would be prudent (night driving issues, etc.) Have recvd 3 quotes in Volcano which we find acceptable to our needs/budget. All three in the $200-$300+ range. It's last minute, so you take what is available. We would like to try to see the evening glow at HVNP in addition to touring the park during the day. That was the basis for my decision to inquire in Volcano.
Our tentative plan is to leave early (from Kohala Coast area) on Day 1 travel the Saddle Road via Hilo to Volcano where we plan to spend the day and evening. On Day 2 we would leave early from Volcano and hit various stops in Hilo. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be on a Saturday or Wednesday for the Farmers Market (due to vacancy issues in Volcano). Then meander along the Hamakau Coast for the day back to the Kohala Coast. Intending to hit the highlights Akaka Falls, Botanical Garden, etc. as time allows focusing mainly on the far side of the island.
We intend to take at least a few additional day trips to explore other areas closer to our home base (north and south of our rental) while on the BI.
I guess my question is actually twofold: Can we hit the highlights on the East side in two days/one night? And ... is my decision to stay in Volcano (mainly to see the evening glow) a sound decision given our limited time. Or would Hilo be a better base camp for one night? The reason we are placing a premium on the evening glow is because it may be our only opportunity to experience "evidence" of lava. I know we won't be seeing lava firsthand.
I'm double booking ... and it kills me to just ignore the $350+/night I have already committed to our rental in Kohala. So far I have secured the option of one or two nights. Too late for rental/airfare changes, etc. so trying to make the best decision with the situation.
Checked the SEARCH function first and didn't see any recent inquiries that resembled my situation.