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7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Napa
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7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

We're planning a trip to the big island the middle of June. This will be one of the few vacations I'll be able to take in my life that money isn't a huge object as I'm getting a medical settlement soon and haven't been on a real vacation for many, many years. We live in NorCal, so the "sunny & beach" thing isn't really a huge draw. We like weird stuff, historical sites, exploring the unbeaten path. But because of my 10 year old daughter, I want to spend a couple days at one of the disney type resorts, like the Hilton (but only a couple days). I do not want to do the dolphin thing because it seems so sad to be with captive dolphins. Maybe if they're in the ocean. I have neuropathy that is getting worse so a hike to see the lava is out. I'm sure we'll do that by helicopter or just a jaunt to one of the closer viewing stations.

I'm thinking a few days in Hilo, a few days in Kona, and then what? I want to spend a few days NOT cooking or cleaning. My daughter has mild autism, and her issues with "want want want" are hardest right now. I don't want her to have tantrums because she's overstimulated. Out in the middle of the forest is good for a tantrum, but not in the middle of a resort. I do want to go snorkeling, but not everyday. I'm super white and will burn easily so I don't need to be in the sun a ton. The husband loves to hike. The daughter loves water. When we went to Maui we loved the seven sacred pools, and a few places we stopped for waterfalls that nobody was at.

We don't like the touristy stuff. When we went to Maui we spent 1 night up in Lahaina and it was not a place I'd go again (we stayed in Kehai the other nights, which was nice). When I go to San Francisco with visiting friends I don't take them to Pier 39 because it's just a tourist trap. I actually live in a different tourist town. I know we'll go see the Captain Cook stuff though. We'll definitely want to do some of the stuff that brings everybody to Hawaii in the first place. But recommendations for the strange, unusual or creepy are bonuses. I'm a photographer, so I'd like some opportunities to take beautiful pics. I know there are zip line companies, I'm sure we'd like to try that. I thought I saw something about bioluminescent kayak trips. Is that okay for a 10 year old? My daughter and husband are vegetarians if that matters, not sure if we'd do a luau because of it.

I guess I"m looking for a "stay here for x nights, stay here for x nights and then stay here for the remainder" as well as "go to x town and see this really awesome thing".

LA
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1. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

"The Captain Cook stuff"

What do you mean by that? If you can't hike, then you will have to take the Fairwinds Cruise to Kealakekua Bay to be able to see the monument and that;s about all I can think of. You won't be allowed to actually land at the site.

LA
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2. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

How many nights of accomodation do you have to pay for?

What is your nightly accomodation budget?

The Hilton isn't in Kona, but in the Waikoloa region.

I assume you will be renting a car.

The stuff that brings people to The Big Island is the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea summit, the historical heiaus and Pu'unohonua O Honaunau Historical site:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/puhe/index.htm

nps.gov/history/…history6d.htm

As for creepy, everyone agrees Issac Hale Park gives off a very creepy vive. However, it is not a safe place to hang around

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Lol, Pareo re Isaac Hale You're funny!

I agree there isn't really any "Captain Cook stuff". I also agree that we need the info Pareo is asking for to give you more specifics re lodging and how to split a stay. Reading your post, I don't think you'd like Kailua Kona or Waikoloa Beach. I think you would enjoy staying in Volcano, Hilo, and North Hawaii. Perhaps Waimea or Hamakua depending on the time of year.

Unusual and interesting historical sites here include the Mookini and Puukohola heiaus, and Lapakahi and Puuhonua O Honaunau historical parks. VNP of course, Saddle Road also supplies unusual, surreal scenery. A horseback ride or wagon tour of Waipio Valley. The ancient fishponds, "rehabilitative" ponds with sharks, turtles and rays, and petroglyphs at the Mauna Lani resort area, fishponds, wetlands, turtles at Kikaua Point/Kukio Bay.

Napa
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4. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

I didn't know you couldn't just go to the Captian Cook site by car. Thanks for the heads up. 1.8 miles might be fine if it were paved and flat, but not up/down hill.

Yes, we'll be renting a car. I've read the Hilton is great for kids, but I don't know anything more than that. A good place to be able to lounge, drink at the pool, let the kiddo do the water slides and play. I guess I should have said dry side vs. wet side. Somewhere I read that Volcano is better to stay in than Hilo. I don't care if we stay in 2 places on the dry side. I assume we'll fly into one and leave from the other, but there is a direct flight from Kona to Oakland and I don't care if we have to drive 2 hrs back to the airport to avoid flying to Seattle or LA and changing planes.

I don't have a budget, for the only time in my life. I don't want to spend a ton, but I want something decent. I would guess average of $200-250 is fine. If that means $400 for a few nights and $150 for few nights, that's fine. I've looked at the average prices for the hotels and they really don't seem that bad (to me, compared to SF).

We'll visit the volcanoes, I might have to send the husband and daughter off on a hiking trip of their own, but hope to see as much as I can without hurting myself too badly. I have actually seen a mountain blow up (Mt St Helens).

I'll check out the links later when I have more time to really read.

Healy, Alaska
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5. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Here is a link to accessibility at VNP - that may help you decide what you can do there, as some things would work fine for you - not everything is a hike. :)

nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

Have a great trip! :)

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Mo'okini hei'au is both spooky and awesome, but it's a good walk and there can be huge deep puddles. Put on list for husband?

Isaac Hale is not the creepy place. MacKenzie State Park is, down the road from it, said to be haunted by Night Marchers (google that).

Isaac Hale has had a big face lift, Pareo. Major money into improvements, and now Senator Ruderman is proposing to create a safe swimming area. It WAS a place to get stink-eye, but it's changing. Still, there isn't much to do there if you're not local, and locals there don't like to mix with tourists. As opposed to other parts of the island where locals are really friendly.

I don't think the Hilton is a good choice, I really don't. As you have some money, check out the Mauna Lani. The Hilton caters to big groups of Japanese tourists, big conventions, and it can be a real zoo. It is absolutely the candidate for over-stimulation, whereas Mauna Lani Bay is serene.

There are a few nice rentals down around Richardson's in Hilo that have direct water access. They are more expensive than some other rentals due to the location.

I think you will like the Hamakua Coast, and Hilo is close to it.

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

One option in Hilo is the four mile beach strip in Hilo, if you can find a house on it. Note they are not conventional beaches, and they have shade.

Here's a beautiful oceanfront house in Hawaiian Paradise Park, near Kea'au. The owner is Jack Acree, who is THE master of hardwood flooring, now retired. Real long time island owners. Gorgeous wood.

http://www.vrbo.com/1335

Here is a gorgeous waterfall-side house on Reed's Island in Hilo.

http://www.vrbo.com/6024

Here is a waterfall, stream, and huge koi pond retreat on Hamakua Coast, near Hakalau:

http://www.vrbo.com/149612#ownerprofile

There are some very interesting places if you look around Hilo rentals.

The hardwood floor guy house is Puna, an exceptional house though.

Edited: 07 March 2013, 09:11
Napa
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8. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Those homes are beautiful. I showed them to my daughter last night and she was in awe. Too bad the middle one is all booked. Definitley helps me focus on what to look for when getting a place to stay at.

Lake Forest...
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9. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Just remember that many vrbo places have minimum stays required and they are often a week. A week might be too long for Hilo. BTW, I don't think wanting to go to historical or cultural sites is "weird"! Lots of people want to learn about the place they are going to and the history and people of that place. Spooky, now, borders on weird in my book!!! From what I have read I think the Mauna Lani would be lovely since price is not a big problem. The places in Hawaii with historical associations have such a great feeling of peace and serenity. That's where I would stay if price weren't a big consideration and ocean front weren't a huge desire for me.

Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: 7 days on Big Island, mobility impared, 10 year old, wierd++

Hilo, Hamakua, and Volcano vrbos routinely offer shorter stay options, they know that most people are only staying for a few nights. 2-3 night minimums are common, a week not so much (although you do often get price breaks with longer stays).