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".