Kailua Kona Journals

What an Amazing Experience

A November 2002 trip to Kailua Kona by JimandBill

Topical Paradise - ALOHA Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: WOW! This was an incredible experience, and I've fallen in love with the Hawaiian islands. The Big Island had so much to see and do -- worth every penny.

What an Amazing Experience

Overview

Topical Paradise - ALOHA Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
There were too many memorable moments! Kona Airport is like no other I've seen. The landscape is incredible, with all the various old and new lava flows. The roads are good, but the island is big (thus "The Big Island"), and it takes a while to see everything -- you definitely need a rental car for this trip. Snorkeling is great -- beautifully clear water and lots of marine life (south of Kona/Captain Cook area). The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens are incredible on the northeast side of the island. Everyone needs to see the volcano park just once (check out Kilauea Lodge). The Waipio Valley is worth the trip to see lush taro fields and dramatic waterfalls. I loved this trip!Quick Tips: We...Read More
Paniolo Greens Photo, Waikoloa, Hawaii
Quote:
This was a very nice two-bedroom townhouse on the ground floor, with a full kitchen and patio. Paniolo Greens has a golf course surrounding the complex, which makes for a very green backyard view of the area. Townhouse buildings include ground floor units, all one level, and two-story, second floor units with balconies. We decided that next time, we'd prefer the second floor units, so we could leave our sliding glass door open with the screen for sleeping at night, and privacy. The complex is not too big, and it's within a reasonable distance of the coast. The staff is very helpful, and the on-site activities include lye-making, etc.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Paniolo Greens
68-1745 Waikoloa Road
Waikaloa, Hawaii
(808) 883-0600

Kilauea Lodge: Country Inn and Restaurant Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
When visiting Volcano National Park, you must finish off your day with dinner at the Kilauea Lodge/Restaurant. Dinners are served alongside the historic fireplace, and the service is excellent. The chef has a European heritage and has signature dishes such as "duck l'orange", "lamb provencale", "hasenpfeffer", and "medallions of venison", as well as Pacific fresh-catch dishes. There were several items to chose from for my vegetarian partner, as well. The lodge and restaurant are about 27 miles from the Hilo airport, or a scenic two-hour drive from the Kona coast area. Take a look at the website or email them at stay@kilauealodge.com. We may have to try th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Kilauea Lodge: Country Inn and Restaurant
P.O. Box 116
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
(808) 967-7366

Outrigger Waikoloa Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Outrigger Waikoloa Beach Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
No trip to the Big Island is complete without attending The Royal Laua at the Outrigger Waikoloa Beach. It begins as the sun sets over beautiful Anaehoomalu Bay and includes classic Polynesian entertainment, featuring live music, traditional dances of the South Pacific, and a selection of contemporary and Hawaiian fare, including Poi and Roast Pork. Held on Wednesday and Sundays at 5:30pm Adults $65, includes full open bar Children 6-12 $33 (5 and under free) Call for reservations. This is a lovely hotel/resort on the beach, and the event takes place on the large, garden-style lawn area in the center of the grounds. Open seating allows the guests to get to know ot...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Outrigger Waikoloa Beach

Kailua Kona, Hawaii
(808) 886-6789

Fair Wind Cruises: Administration

Attraction | "Fair Wind - Snorkel & Dive"

Fair Wind Cruises: Administration Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
We took the Afternoon Snack Cruise, a 3.5 hour cruise with scenic coastlines, 1.5 hours of snorkel time, snacks, and beverages. It was really just enough time on the water and in the water for us. This was the first time I had ever snorkeled like this. This cruise took us down the coast to Kealakekua Bay, the historical site of the Captain Cook Monument and ancient burial caves. This company has an exclusive permit to moor in the breathtaking bay and give you the unique opportunity to explore this tranquil and secluded cove. This was a spectacular marine sanctuary (protected -- you cannot touch the coral, etc.) and included an excellent selection of tropical fish, coral beds, and sunken tava tubes. Th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Fair Wind Cruises: Administration
78-7130 Kaleiopapa Street
Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740
(808) 322-2644

Waipio Valley Tour

Attraction

Waipio Valley Tour Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
We paid for a jeep tour of the Waipio Valley, for a local guide's perspective. A bit rough, but the roads are steep and pot-holed. We saw the more adventurous people who had parked at the top (scenic look-out) and hiked down to the canyon floor, but they didn't look too thrilled about the hike back up. Usually, there are generous souls that will give you a lift back up. This majestic side of the island includes a 900-foot perch (The Waipio Valley look-out) that affords the visitors a peek at the valley's black sand beach, emerald floor, and ocean cliffs. The guide was a bit of a nut, but it added to the long tour. Sites included taro fields in various stages of growth, crossing rivers/creeks, wild ho...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Waipio Valley Tour
End of Hwy 240
Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Attraction | "Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, National Historic Park"

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
Royal Hawaiian grounds, temple model, fishing cove, great wall, and fish pond. Very informative and real -- this recreated village is very well-laid-out, and the self-guided tour provides you with all the information concerning the original village life. A must-see for all travelers, especially those with children.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Off Highway 160
Honaunau-Napoopoo, Hawaii
(808) 328-2288

Puukohola Heiau, National Historic Site

Attraction | "Pu'ukokola Heiau, National Historic Site"

Puukohola Heiau, National Historic Site Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
A walking tour -- a temple, the ruins of Mailekini Heiau (war or agricultural temple used by ancestors of Kamehameha), a temple converted to a fort with the help of John Young, beach morning glories, the temple of the shark god (black-tipped reef sharks frequent the bay in front of the heiau year-round, and sharks were believed to be 'aumakua', ancestral deities), and the site of John Young's homestead (a British sailor who was stranded on Hawaii in 1790 and became a trusted military advisor to Kamehameha, who made him governor of the island).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Puukohola Heiau, National Historic Site
Hwy 270
Kailua Kona, Hawaii

HONU!

Story/Tip

Turtles on the Beach Photo, Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Quote:
This was an incredible trip. We flew into Kona airport, checked into the resort, and then headed for Hilo, where we had reservations at a gay-owned and operated, clothing-optional bed-and-breakfast located south of Hilo. The accommodations at the B&B were questionable, but the daily breakfast, which included fresh papaya, was great! The Lava Steam Vents on the property afforded us some unusual exploring, including a steam vent shaped like a bee hive -- much like an American Indian sweat lodge. The lava formations can be dangerous (I accidentally fell into a old, inactive lava vent -- cuts like glass slivers). From that side of the island, it was easier to visit the Volcano National Park and enjoy ...Read More

About the Writer

JimandBill

JimandBill
Pittsburg, California