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4 nights in Kona

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central coast
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4 nights in Kona

We will be arriving in Kona in a little over 2 weeks time after spending sometime in Waikiki and Vegas - we arrive lateish on the Sunday evening around 8pm.

We will be staying at the Courtyard Marriott for 4 nights departing early on Thursday morning back to Waikiki - we would like to swim with the Manta Rays one evening - not too sure and dont have much planned for the rest of the trip any suggestions on nice restaurants to eat would be great

We also plan to visit the Hilo side one day we cant change our accommodation we have already booked and paid for all 4 nights on Kona side suggestions would be appreciated.

Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: 4 nights in Kona

OK. you have three days to work with. Sunday is over when you arrive, and Thursday is checking out and airport.

A trip to the east side will be one entire day. There are many topics here on driving to the east side on a day trip, just look around.

I am not sure if you want a do nothing day, but you could give one day to Kohala and one to Kona.

For short trips, it is best not to backtrack a lot if you want to use your time to the fullest.

There is a Top Question on the must sees and dos for a first visit, check it out for ideas.

Tons of topics here on Manta snorkels, just put manta in the search bar for the Island of Hawaiʻi forum.

"Nice" is too broad a term to guide us much with what you want in a restaurant, but all the eateries are reviewed here. The best way to see restaurants for a specific area is to go to the sub-forum for that area and then click on restaurants.

There are also tons of topics on restaurants. Just put dining or restaurants in the search bar to get lots of recommendations.

After you do some reading and get some more specific questions, we can be more helpful.

Canada
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2. Re: 4 nights in Kona

4 nights with a late arrival day and early departure day on the BIG Island ...does not translate into seeing both sides of the Island ...IMO You will spend almost the entire time in your rental vehicle.

I would stick with seeing the sights this trip up and down the west side...and Waimea.

Ideally, if 4 nights was the maximum allotted....I would have done ...fly in to KOA x 3 nights, quick visit to the East x 1 night....flyout of ITO.

Any chance you can change that Inter-Island?

"Nice " restaurants near where you have chosen to stay are few and far between. Reviews here:

http://www.konaweb.com/restaurant/

3. Re: 4 nights in Kona

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Columbus
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4. Re: 4 nights in Kona

We just returned from spending 3 days on the Big Island and 7 on Oahu (Waikiki). You can definately explore the high points of the Big Island in 3 days (including Hilo). We stayed at the King's Land Hilton resort in Waikoloa (Kona side) and took 1 day to drive to Hilo via the northern route (19). While in Hilo we took a doors off helicopter ride over the Kilauea volcano and went ziplining near Rainbow Falls. You can also opt for driving to Hilo via the southern route (11) to spend a few hours at the Hawaii Volcanos National Park. Another must see on the Big Island is Mauna Kea. You can drive your rental car up to the visitor center at 9,000 ft get out and enjoy the sunset view from above the clouds. That was an incredible sight! It is about 20 degress cooler here than at sea level so dress warmly and wear tennis shoes if you want to hike up the hill to see the sunset. The visitor center sets up high powered telescopes for people to view various stars, planets (we were able to see Saturn fairly clearly) and the moon.

The Big Island is so diverse in its landscape and climate zones that the time you'll spend driving will not be wasted time because you have a chance to see the uniqueness of the island. We loved it! Pay special attention to the road signs as you are driving - we got a kick out of them.

As far as where to eat, we went to the Kona Brewing Company and loved it. A friend also recommended Cafe Pesto and Sensei but we did not have a chance to try these places.

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: 4 nights in Kona

You cannot explore the "high points" of the BI in three days. It's great that you had a good time but you didn't even scratch the surface of the high points.

I'll also add that KBC is pub type food that you can get in a zillion places in the U.S, there's nothing Hawaii unique about it, and they don't even use mostly local produce and meats. There are much better options.

Birmingham, Alabama
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6. Re: 4 nights in Kona

Agree with changing your second flight if possible but if not i'd still dedicate a day to going east. I have done it plenty of times in a day, but prepare for a long one. Start EARLY! i'd make a circle ...south route one way and north route another. you won't be able to do everything and you probably shouldn't stay late enough to see the lava glow (I have done it but it was a while ago and people regularly advise against driving back in the dark) but you can see the various climate zones, a lot of beautiful scenery and the amazing volcano. Worth it IMO.

Edited: 12 August 2013, 21:24
Minneapolis...
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7. Re: 4 nights in Kona

I would highly recommend Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill. One of my favorites in many years of visiting the Big Island.

Big Island, Hawaii
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8. Re: 4 nights in Kona

I did think of another nice restaurant I can recommend, while not in Kailua Kona, just up the hill in Holualoa. Holuakoa Gardens is quite good and supports local farms with simple but creative food in nice sized portions.

Edited: 12 August 2013, 23:27
Fortaleza, CE
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9. Re: 4 nights in Kona

Too bad you planned so far ahead in booking rooms. I'd agree to not go all the way to the Hilo side. The town of Hilo isn't much. There's some nice scenery along the coast, but it'd involve a lot of driving to get there and back. I'd use the day to see as much of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as you can. That would easily take up a full day, just staying in the main park areas, and if you wanted, you could certainly add other side trips along the way. If you really want to see more, consider a helicopter ride out of Hilo or other locale.

Edited: 12 August 2013, 23:56
central coast
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10. Re: 4 nights in Kona

thanks for the feedback probably wont venture across to the HIlo side - cant change dates / flights back to Waikiki have to be there for set dates.

Thanks for the feedback on the restaurants and will definitely be checking out the Volcanoes for a full day.