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Volcano area advice

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Washington DC...
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Volcano area advice

We're staying in Waikola for 9 days this coming August and are planning a one night side trip to Volcano. Two adults, two young teenagers. Our goals are to hike the Iki trail and drive the crater rim drive/chain of craters road loop. Maybe see the thurston lava tube if time. We've been looking at the Volcano Inn as a possible overnight spot.

The current working plan is to drive over in the morning (via saddle road), arrive hopefully around lunch time, eat a picnic lunch, do the iki trail, then grab some dinner and hit the BnB. The next morning we'll do the drive, then head back via the southern route, stopping at the black sand beach.

Specific questions:

- should we stay in Volcano or go to Hilo (I'm concerned that dinner options will be severely limited in Volcano)

- if we stay in Volcano, where should we grab dinner?

Thanks in advance!

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Volcano area advice

I'd be staying in Volcano for sure. That would make is so much easier to return to the park in the evening, to see the glow. Jaggar Museum is the best place for this. Lots of parking there as well.

Know that the Thurston Lava Tube is a very short stop. it won't take you long to walk through it at all. Of course, if a tour bus pulls up, all bets are off! We had that happen to us, but when we realized how short the walk was, we did it again, as soon as the bus load was gone. Very cool in there.

Can't help you with the dinner. We took groceries back to our vrbo rental and cooked in. There was a Thai place there, but it was closed when we were there.

Forgot to mention, the black sand beach you are referring to is most likely Punaluu. It makes for a nice stop on the southern route. A little further is the town of Naalehu. There is a bakery there, called Punaluu Bakery, and it is a great stop for some baked goodies, or a lunch stop. Wonderful gift shop too.

Edited: 26 May 2014, 04:33
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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2. Re: Volcano area advice

Stay in Volcano; you don't want to miss the glow from the crater. Kilauea Lodge serves dinner, although it's not cheap.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: Volcano area advice

With your limited time I would stay in Volcano. Kilauea lodge is an excellent dinner option. The Park will take about 7-8 hours total with what you want to do. I wouldn't miss the northern (Hamakua) route. I would drive that on the way there instead of the Saddle, and then spend most of the next day in the Park and head back across on the Saddle. Or vice versa.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Volcano area advice

Yes, I would take the northern route and the Saddle, not the southern route, unless you have a separate day trip to Hilo in the works. Leave early from Waikoloa.

Yes the dinner options are severely limited in Volcano, but it's only one dinner, so just eat at the Lodge, but make reservations for sure. They are on Open Table.

We have a Top Question that includes links to many Volcano lodgings options, including one that is specifically for places that allow one night stays. Lots of choices.

Pickings are slim for picnic lunch fixings in Volcano, but are plentiful in Hilo, so just pick up what you need before heading up the hill. Either route mentioned takes you through Hilo.

United States
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5. Re: Volcano area advice

A low cost restaurant that teenages should like is the Lava Rock Cafe in Volanco on the road that runs parallel to the road from Hilo. The Hawaiian Delight hamburger, grass fed beef, fresh pineapple, onion, sauce, etc was delicious. Click on my name for a link to my Volcano review.

6. Re: Volcano area advice

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