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Volcano National Park/Big Island

Sandy Springs...
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Volcano National Park/Big Island

Our family of four, including 2 adult children, are planning a 2 week trip to Hawaii in May. We intend to spend 4 nights on Hawaii as our son really wants to explore Volcano National Park. We had thought about trying to split our time on Hawaii into 2 days near the Volcano and 2 days on the west coast of the island but after doing some research, I think we need to just stay somewhere on the west coast for all 4 days. Is this the correct thinking? And if so, where should we stay that would be close to the ocean and the Volcano?

6 replies to this topic
Bellingham...
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1. Re: Volcano National Park/Big Island

No, it's not correct thinking. Not sure what research would lead you to believe you should stay on the west side if the intent is to explore VNP, on the east side. Doing so would mean multiple days of driving back & forth, a couple of hours each direction and potentially in less than comfortable driving conditions (darkness, weather).

What's the big picture here? Why devote only four nights total to the Island of Hawaii ~ larger than all the other islands put together? It's an odd allotment of time, imo. If your one & only reason for going to the Big Island is to see VNP (though it has so much more to offer than that), then 2-3 nights at VNP would make the most sense. In that case, you'd fly in & out of Hilo (ITO) to make the best use of time. If you want to explore and enjoy the other many aspects to the island, a week (or more) would be ideal, with a split stay between the east and west sides.

~ Colleen

Healy, Alaska
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2. Re: Volcano National Park/Big Island

I agree - it would be very helpful to know what your entire plan for Hawaii is. Really 2 days minimum for Volcano park - and more for the Big island - a week is a good start. You may want to make future posts on the Island of Hawaii forum, which is specifically the Big island forum. :)

Sandy Springs...
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3. Re: Volcano National Park/Big Island

Sorry! I meant to say EAST side. We are coming to Hawaii for 14 days. We intend to stay on Oahu for 4 days, Hawaii for 4 days and Maui for 6 days. I know Hawaii is the bigger island and would like to spend more time there but this is the first time my children have visited so I wanted to give them a little taste of 3 of the islands. So,standing corrected, where on the east coast would you recommend staying to have better access to VNP?

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: Volcano National Park/Big Island

If I were staying JUST to go to VNP, I would stay right in Volcano - there are a few lodges and a bunch of great cabin and vacation rentals right near the area. :)

Bellingham...
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5. Re: Volcano National Park/Big Island

Well, I think you're trying to cover too much ground in too little time ~ quantity isn't quality, kwim? Having said that, Volcano is the best base for a VNP-specific visit. But again, I think four nights there is a bit much. If you absolutely want to devote four nights to the east side, you might do two in Volcano and two in Hilo.

~ Colleen

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Volcano National Park/Big Island

Too many islands. Just pick two. Because of jet lag and the travel distance your first couple of days will be nearly lost, or at least blurry, You’ll lose a half day to a full day every time you transit islands. And you won’t get to even the major highlights of any island except Maui with your current allocation.

As Colleen said, four nights is too long for the east side, much too short for the entire island.

I would split it 7/7 between either Oahu or Maui and the Big Island (end with the BI).

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