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My First Trip to the Big Island

Hebron, Kentucky
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My First Trip to the Big Island

My family will be arriving in June and staying for about 8 days. I have listed our "plan" below. Please look over it and give any advise you can on recommendations you would add or take away. We love to travel and have never been to Hawaii before. I am an advid scrapbooker and we LOVE taking pictures. We just want to have a VERY memorable time in case we never make it back.

We are lucky enough to have a friend from high school open there house for us to stay with them while they are visiting themselves. Without their wonderful hospitality this trip might have been a few more years into the future.

Day 1: Arrive around 4:30 p.m. We plan to just pick up or car and head to our friends house

Day 2: Place of Refuge, Kona Keake Kua Bay or maybe Hula Daddy...it was on Tripadvisor.

Day 3: Palou Valley Lookout....Do you recommend the horseback ride?

Day 4: Mauna Kea

Day 5: Hapuna Beach and Mauna Kea Beach

Day 6: Hawaii Tropical Gardens....What else would you recommend

Day 7: Hawaii VNP. We do plan to get a hotel on this side of the island the night of Day 6

Day 8: OPEN but we do leave that night about 8:30

I would love to do the NIGHT SNORKEL.

Do you recommend I substitute anything for something else to get the best bang for our time? We are so excited.

We plan to rent a car and take in as much as we can without feeling too rushed.

Thanks in advance for your input

Sharon

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1. Re: My First Trip to the Big Island

Where is the house at where you're staying? Most of your activities that you want to do are on the Kohala Coast, so of you're staying in Kailua Kona, that's a lot of driving every day.

Pololu Valley doesn't have horseback tours, that's Waipio Valley. Highly recommended (Waipio horseback). Hula Daddy's is nothing special. The snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay is only accessible by tour boat or kayak, I don't recommend either since the bay is suffering from overuse.

Yes to a day trip to Puuhonua O Honaunau and snorkeling in the adjacent bay. Yes to the manta ray night snorkel. Drive to VNP via the southern route to see Punaluu black sand beach and Ka Lae, drive back via Hilo and the Hamakua Coast to see the botanical gardens, Akaka falls, laupahoehoe point.

Your other days are on the Kohala Coast: Hapuna, Kauna'oa, Waialea beaches; the heiaus and historical parks of Mo'okini,

Puukohola, Lapakahi; fishponds and snorkeling at the Mauna Lani,; Hawi and Pololu valley.

Best to take a tour if you want to visit the Mauna Kea summit.

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Hebron, Kentucky
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2. Re: My First Trip to the Big Island

There house is in Waikoloa. I would love to experience a luaua but they don't get much good reviews. What is your opinion? I just don't know if we will ever have the chance to come back so I want to soak it all in.

Thanks for your info,

Sharon

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Waikoloa
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3. Re: My First Trip to the Big Island

I personally don't think much of the commercial luaus on the BI and wouldn't bother.

I assume the house is in Waikolo Village? You will be about a 45 minute drive from there to the Hamakua coast and about 20 minutes to the beaches of the Kohala Coast. As your friends will probably tell you, the WV road is heavily patrolled so don't speed, etc. Yes, you will need a car the entire time. Don't try to do too much, you won't enjoy yourself as much as the driving here requires a lot of concentration.

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4. Re: My First Trip to the Big Island

I would recommend you look at a map and schedule your activities together, depending on where they are. For example, I would pair your day two with a snorkel in 2-step and with the manta night snorkel, since it leaves out of Kona town. You could pack a picnic and eat in the park, tour, snorkel next door, drive into Kona town and check out some sites, then meet at Jacks Dive Locker around 3 for your manta night snorkel. Be sure to wear a wetsuit or shortie as it gets cool out there. I always being a big towel and a change of clothes too.

If you plan to check out VNP, spend one night in Volcano. Be sure to go back to the park after dark to see the glow at the Jagger. Definitely worth double booking for one night,

Edited: 14 May 2012, 04:37
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Kailua-Kona
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5. Re: My First Trip to the Big Island

I would recommend a stop at the black sand beach if you can fit it in.

We loved the Luau at the Hilton Waikoloa but we were staying there so it was convenient to get to. If it's your first trip and you might not get back for a long time I would recommend a Luau. You get some Hawaiian history and I find show enjoyable. Our kids enjoyed it too. You also get a great family photo and that lasts a lifetime. We have ours up in the kitchen here and every day I look at it and remember our trip and smile.

The drive to Parker Ranch is really amazing and is listed as one of those things not to miss in a little Hawaii pamphlet I have.

Enjoy your trip!!!!!!!! Hawaii is amazing and you are going to love it!!!!!!!!!!!

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6. Re: My First Trip to the Big Island

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