We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

General BI advice - upcoming trip

Newfoundland
12 posts
Save Topic
General BI advice - upcoming trip

Hi Everyone,

I am staying at Hilton Waikoloa for 9 days and would REALLY appreciate some advice/comments on the activities I have planned or are considering:

1) We have planned a day trip to Volcano national park. Should I drive through Hilo or Kona? We want to view some falls in Hilo so thought it might be better to do that in morning? What is the best hike to do (nothing too challenging or too long - we have kids in our group)? Is it worth my while to drive down Chain of Craters road and hike out to see lava during day? Any other "must do's" while in that part of the island?

2) Which beach is best for boogie boarding/surfing. I have never tried it but want to - so will need lessons/rental.

3) Can anyone recommend a dinner/sunset cruise?

4) Where are some good family (read: moderately priced) restaurants around waikoloa? We are looking for "pub style" food.

5) This might seem like a really ignorant question but what are the laws about drinking in public. If we take a 6-pack to a beach will this be an issue? Also anyone know if the Hilton frowns on having your own alcohol on site?

6) Rainbow or Akaka Falls - or both?

7) Best place to get Hawaiian Attire near Waikoloa?

We have also booked a sea quest rafting adventure and lu'au with King K hotel - I have heard good and bad on both but I think we will stick with our choices unless someone has a very strong reason not to.

This forum is great - Thanks to Hawaii Dan and the other local experts for their time to help others enjoy the beauty that is the BI.

Newfoundland
12 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

As a follow up I am now considering the Lu'au at the Marriott (vs. The King K). I think it is called Royal Lu'au.

I am thinking of this one simply because I can enjoy the Mai Tai's and not have to worry about driving back from Kona to the Hilton - just walk or take shuttle!

I can't find much on this Lu'au...anyone have any feedback?

Thanks!

Colorado Springs, CO
Level Contributor
371 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

Akaka Falls, hands down. Rainbow Falls is fairly small... Akaka is huge! Plus the hike there is easy and really nice.

Chain of Craters - yes, if the lava is flowing somewhere where you can see it. Check the updates on the volcanic observatory website, and you can also ask at the Volcanoes National Park Visitor's Center. When we went out (a year ago), we did not get to walk right up to the lava, only saw it from afar, but it was still VERY cool, flowing into the ocean and down the hillside. I saw people doing it with children, but I'll tell ya, I was TIRED when we got back. The hike was about 2 miles out and and it's not like a leisurely stroll. You might ask people that you see there with kids they did it.

If you do go out there, I'd go out with enough time to get out there while it's still light and then see it in the dark too. Take a REALLY good flashlight that throws light far. Wear long pants, good shoes, and take leather gloves for the walk back in the dark in case you trip and fall. You can cut yourself up pretty good.

Keep an eye on the kids in the dark and don't let them stray.

Palm Springs...
Level Contributor
11,440 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

drive the road forget the hike... its closed now and for the future dur to dangers of collapse and it is not good for kids....

Try Hapuna for boarding... no lessons

best dinner crise is capt beans... used toi be a booze cruse but has changed and now gets my approval.

There is no pub food.... but the Kings Shopping center has a food court, Burgers deli sans, pizza Ice cream.....

Moderate price in Waikoloa Beach is 20 to 30 each for a plate. There are some places in Waikoloa Village but none very good.

THis is a resort and nothign is cheap

Akaka falls best... Raindow is so so

KIngs shops are the closest.... unless you drive to kona 27 miles away

the Best Luau is at the Sheraton or Royal kona.. the King Kam luau has problems....

Dolphin discoveries... same price as Seaquest... 3 times the tour for the same price..... better boat and more passionate that the others... when you see the two side by side you will Really understand what I mean

Newfoundland
12 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

Thanks for the insight. I have booked with Dolphin Discoveries after reading so many good reviews and the advice here.

I am still not sure if the drive into Kona to see a Lu'au would be worth it vs. going to the Lu'au at the Marriott. Has anyone been to that one?

What time of day and direction is the Kona traffic really bad? I have heard gridlock is quite common. Any roads worse than the others?

Will I get a ticket/get a dirty look from locals for bringing beer with me to a beach? (I'll make sure to leave only my footprints behind).

I was thinking of going one evening to Mauna Kea visitor center. I booked with Alamo so think its ok to drive saddle road. I don't think we will venture to the summit (we are trying to escape the snow) so would it still be worth the trip to see the sunset/stars?

Thanks again - we are so excited about our upcoming trip!

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
7,943 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

Stay at the Marriott for the Luau. The traffic is bad into and around Kona most of the time. It's OK, live with it and enjoy the scenery. Alcohol is not allowed in any County Parks but the law is not enforced. Get a cooler and put your six-pack there. Mauna Kea is cold! I mean COLD! Dress well if you venture up there.

Newfoundland
12 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

Can anyone suggest something to do (hike, beach, etc) up around Hawi and Wai'Po Valley?

We do not have a 4x4 so cannot drive down into the Valley.

We are looking for a 2-3 hour adventure.

Thanks!

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
7,943 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

You can explore the stores in Hawi and you can drive to the end of Hwy 270 after that and climb down to the black sand beach of Polulu Valley. (20 minutes down, 40 minutes up.) Have lunch at Bamboo in Hawi. Waipio Valley is different (and in a different area!) but you can take an organized tour down to the valley or just go to the overlook and go back to the little stores in Honokaa.

Level Contributor
687 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

I agree with totally tropical. The Pololu Valley hike was one of my favourite places! Just don't forget your camera like me!! My 11 year old made the hike up no problem. (My 8 year old would have, but he was in the car with grandma with sunstroke). There is a huge wooden plank swing at the bottom in some shade, and the beach itself is fantastic! We saw a whale splashing around in the same area for about 45 min. I would not swim at this beach though. I did see some brave surfers!

Just a note, if nobody has told you yet. DONT do the Luau at the Hilton! Sorry, but it was so lame! When they came out and did their "fashion show," no one paid attention, and the lady who did the commenting, almost put us to sleep! I was wondering, I paid 425 for this??? (and up here in Canada, we're not used to paying 7.75 for a beer) Based on this, I would tell people not to go to a luau, but I guess there are others that would say the Marriott is worth going to, as well as other luau's. To not be totally negative, the show was good.

Newfoundland
12 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

Thanks - we are definately going to do that hike! I will have digicam and camcorder ready to go.

wrt the lu'au...the open bar aspect was key...we are from Newfoundland so really not used to 7.75USD for beer! We did book with the marriott as it is walking distance from hilton rather than having to drive down to Kona.

We are leaving tomorrow am...so excited!!

Thanks again for all the great tips!

Rochester,NY
Level Contributor
357 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: General BI advice - upcoming trip

Don't bother with buying Hawaiian-style clothing- you'll never wear it again and it will end up being a waste of money- trust me, I've done it. Just wear your regular summer clothes and you'll be fine. Hapuna beach is great for boogie boarding but be careful and pay attention to any warnings posted. Akaka Falls is well worth the visit. You won't be disappointed. I don't think anyone will hassle you for having a beer or two on the beach as long as you don't get carried away. I would personally skip the sunset/dinner cruise as it will cost you an arm and a leg and you can get some great sunset pictures at A-Bay very close to where you are staying. Have a great trip!