Hawaii (Big Island) Journals

One Week Around The Big Island

A September 2003 trip to Hawaii (Big Island) by Jingo

Old Hawaiian B & B Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii More Photos
Quote: We drove around the Big Island in one week, seeing as much as we could. But it still wasn't enough! One thing is for sure: the Big Island has something magical about it and is incredibly diverse and rich in culture.

One Week Around The Big Island

Overview

Quote:
My absolute highlight and favorite place was Puuhonua O Honaunau, the Place of Refuge. Its location by the ocean and its history combined make it THE perfect place. In second place comes Hawi, the small town on the north tip of the Big Island in the Kohala district. I still can't explain it, but it had another one of those magical feelings about it. Definitely worth the kayaking to was Captain Cook Monument, where you can also take a boat tour. We rented our kayak from the host of the Edge: He charges a mere /day! My favorite snorkeling was the beach right next to the Place of Refuge, in Honaunau Bay. My boyfriend preferred the snorkeling at Captain Cook Monument. Quick Tips:...Read More

Old Hawaiian B & B

Hotel | "Old Hawaiian B & B"

Old Hawaiian B & B Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
The Old Hawaiian is ca. 20 minutes from Hilo airport, and is very easy to reach by car. The accommodation price is actually what is moderate, but what is offered is high-end. The rooms are beautiful and bright, and so is the Lanai. The breakfast was the best we have ever had! A+++++++, no joke! It consisted of coffee and tea, smoothies, fruit juice, fresh fruit, and home-baked goods. The host, Lory, was so nice and answered questions about where to go and what is in the area. You can find more info on the Old Hawaiian at:

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 23, 2005

Old Hawaiian B & B
1492 Wailuku Drive
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii
1 (877) 961-2816

A Beautiful Edge Of The World B & B

Hotel | "A Beautiful Edge Of The World B & B"

A Beautiful Edge Of The World B & B Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
The Edge is down a very small, nameless road in the small town of Captain Cook, ca. 17 miles from the Kona airport. The only marker for the turn to the Edge is a sign that reads "McCoy Plantation". The view from the lanai is extraordinary. We had the huge Pacific room with the big bathroom. Remember that the Edge is a working farm, so the hosts offer their own harvest, including the coffee! Two major sights are very close to the Edge: the Place of Refuge at Honaunau Bay, and Napopo Road down to Kealakekua Bay. You can find more info on the Edge at:

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 23, 2005

A Beautiful Edge Of The World B & B
PO Box 888
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii 96704
800-660-8491

Kohala Village Inn Photo, Hawi, Hawaii
Quote:
The inn is not so much an inn as a motel. Being the ONLY accommodation in this area, the prices are steep for what you get. The building is rather ramshackle and in desperate need of repairs and paint. It could be an awesome little place, once fixed up. But the rooms, at least, were super squeaky clean and nicely sized. Their breakfast offers are bagels and coffee, so skip on that and walk the 3 minutes down to the coffee mill. It is right behind the Kohala Ohana Grill.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Kohala Village Inn
55-514 Hawi Road
Hawi, HI 96719
(808) 889-0404

Cafe Pesto

Restaurant | "Cafe Pesto in Hilo"

Cafe Pesto Photo, Hilo, Hawaii (Big Island)
Quote:
We only stopped at Cafe Pesto for dessert and something to drink, but we loved it there right away. It is big, open, airy, friendly, and reminded me of European cafes, except for the furniture. The menu is fantastic, and so are the prices.

Their website is: www.cafepesto.com.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Cafe Pesto
Historic S. Hata Building - On the Bay - 308 Kamehameha Ave # 101
Hilo 96720
(808) 969-6640

Kohala Coffee Mill

Restaurant

Kohala Coffee Mill Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
I ate the best-ever ice cream at the Coffee Mill. It is a small coffee shop, but with enough character to keep you coming back. Eat breakfast there all day or have a snack, drink fantastic coffee, and get a souvenir. Outside, you can mix with locals who frequent the place and enjoy the peace of Hawi.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Kohala Coffee Mill
1 Akoni Pule Highway
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii 96719
(808) 889-5577

Kohala Ohana Grill

Restaurant

Kohala Ohana Grill Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
This is a family-owned and run restaurant (ohana = family) and has a simple but wonderful menu. Everything we ate was yummy. The restaurant is big and airy and has a very welcoming, warm atmosphere.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Kohala Ohana Grill
55-510 Hawi Road
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii 96719
(808) 889-5748

Auntie's Place

Restaurant

Auntie's Place Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
I thought I didn't see right. A German restaurant up here, in this desolate area? We just had to eat there. And were pleasantly surprised - the food really did taste like real German food! The owner, Gerda, has done a great job with the restaurant. There is a bar when you walk in, which probably serves good German beer.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Auntie's Place
Main Street
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Rainbow Falls

Attraction

Rainbow Falls Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
Rainbow Falls is very close to downtown Hilo, on Waianuenue Ave, on the right side just after Waianuenue splits into 2 roads, the other being Kaumana Drive. It is a very pretty waterfall, and when you are there at the right time in the morning when the sun is behind you, a rainbow forms down in the pool when the force of the falling water hits it. Behind Rainbow Falls, there are swimming holes; you need to walk past the falls into the jungle a bit, see the awesome Banyan trees, then follow the trail to the swimming holes.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 23, 2005

Rainbow Falls
Waianuenue Street
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Quote:
This was my favorite place for snorkeling, right next to Puuhonua O Honaunau. You put your belongings on the lava rocks and then descend into the ocean. It is very safe, and there are many people there, so you're probably never alone. It was my first time snorkeling and I felt comfortable after 10 minutes. We saw sea turtles and tons of colorful fish on the coral.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 25, 2005

Snorkeling at Honaunau Bay
Honaunau Bay
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Attraction | "The Place of Refuge"

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
I can't praise this park enough. It is as beautiful and historic as one can dream of. The former royal court borders the place of refuge, so you can walk from one to the other. But you have to see it for yourself, honestly. Then let me know how you felt about this place.

I highly recommend a picnic to watch the sunset at the picnic area by the ocean, to which you can drive (it's across the parking lot).

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 25, 2005

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

Pu'ukohola Heiau

Attraction

Pu'ukohola Heiau Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
This is another historic ruin north of Kona. It is very barren and hot there, so if you are walking around the entire park, wear a hat and bring plenty of water.

Go to: http://www.nps.gov/puhe/ for detailed info.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 25, 2005

Pu'ukohola Heiau
near junction of Highways 19 & 270
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Puako Beach Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
Some beaches, like Kekaha Kai (and beyond), are reachable only by a horrible dirt road. Others are not really beaches at all, like Kapa'a Beach Park, or Puako Beach, away from the hotels. But they are still nice and different. We discovered that snorkeling can be great wherever (Puako, Kapa'a--manta ray sighting!); of course, coral and rock have to be present. Kekaha Kai (and the other beach close by it) is a gorgeous, nearly empty sand beach. On the Hilo side, we were just at Kolekole Beach Park, where you cannot swim or sunbathe, but you can watch the crazy surfers and sit at tables or on the grass. I just saw on TV that Kolekole at that spot had been devastated by a tsunami many ye...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 25, 2005

Hula Festival in Waimea Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
We were lucky enough to get stuck in traffic during a parade on the streets of Waimea while on our way to the Hilo airport, but we had enough time. My poor boyfriend had to sit in the car while I ran around, taking pictures of the parade, and raced through the vendor booths. After about 45 minutes, the traffic moved again. An unintended but fun festival participation that was! That festival in Waimea seems to happen every year in mid-September.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 25, 2005

Hula Festival in Waimea
Streets of Waimea
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
The snorkeling at Captain Cook monument involves some work! First, you have to get there. If you don't want to take a snorkeling tour, you have to rent a kayak. Then you paddle over there from Napopo - for us kayak novices, it took about 45 minutes to reach the monument. At the monument, there is only a tiny beach and mostly lava rocks. You need to find a place for your kayak, and once you are set up, you can start snorkeling.

I also recommend you explore the trail, which has some overgrown ruins. And don't forget to locate the plaque that marks the spot where Capt. Cook was murdered (the monument is not the actual spot).

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay
Napopo Beach
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Quote:
This is the ultimate tourist area, and for us, only good for shopping and fancy eating out.

We dined at the Kona Village Restaurant, which is right by the ocean. I probably ate the best dessert of my life there, some kind of coffee-cheesecake. Otherwise, the food was fantastic.

The ambience is romantic, and you can watch the sunset during dinner.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

A trip to the Kailua-Kona area for dinner
Alii Drive
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Volcano Winery

Attraction

Quote:
If you are in the volcano area, stop at the Volcano Winery. Do the wine-tasting, and then buy! We bought macademia nut and guava wine. They are both delicious. The prices are steep, but these wines are a novelty. They pack the bottles for you in heavy Styrofoam packs, which you can check in with your luggage and they won't break!

Their phone number is 808/967-7772, and their website is at www.volcanowinery.com.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Volcano Winery
35 Pii Mauna Drive
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii 96785
(808) 967-7772

Hilo

Attraction | "Hilo (city)"

Hilo Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
Downtown Hilo is not very pretty, to be honest. But there are lots of good stores, restaurants, and markets, like the one on Saturdays. It's worth strolling through the Japanese Gardens and to the ocean.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 26, 2005

Hilo
East - Big Island
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Attraction | "Volcanoes National Park"

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
There is so much to see in Volcanoes National Park that I have to break it up into several sections. This section deals only with the current, active Kilauea volcano area, down at the end of Chain of Craters road. It is an experience to see and stand on an active volcano, and nothing else compares. Seeing evolution in action and the earth doing its work is both wonderful and a relief.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 29, 2005

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Highway 11
Hilo, Hawaii 96718
(808) 985-6000

The Magic of the Big Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
It was my first trip to Hawaii, and I had chosen the Big Island. The diversity of this island was just incredible, from what I had read before, but my expections were exceeded by far. To walk on an active volcano was a thrill that can't be explained. Seeing nature's and earth's forces at work like that was simply breathtaking. Down that Chain of Craters Road is also the largest petroglyph site on the islands, which is not to be missed! But it was Puuhonua O Honaunau which blew my mind, and I still don't know why. From the moment we entered this park, I was just stunned by its beauty, history, and vibe. We had our dinner picnic there the first night and again the last night. That place is t...Read More