Hawaii (Big Island) Journals

The Big Island of Hawaii

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A September 2001 trip to Hawaii (Big Island) by techflyer

Roys Waikoloa Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii More Photos
Quote: From lava deserts to lush and untouched rainforests, the Big Island gives travelers time to relax or time to play. In our week long vacation, we relaxed, went horseback riding, ate at wonderful restaurants and saw an active volcano. We only wish we had two weeks, instead of one.

The Big Island of Hawaii

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Overview

Hawaii Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
There are so many memorable things to do on the big island. The highlight of our trip was horseback riding in Waipio valley. We also loved watching the surf at Kihoho bay and snorkeling on Hapuna beach. You might take a helicopter or plane ride over the active volcano, or your kids might never forget meeting and playing with dolphins at the Hilton resort.Quick Tips: After having the experience of a week in Hawaii, we have several tips on how to get the most of your stay. -Bring good snorkel gear with you, or rent some by the week. There is snorkeling almost everywhere, and you'll probably want to do a little each day. Even if you take a chartered boat, you will still need your own...Read More

Hilton Waikoloa Village

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Hotel

Hilton Waikoloa Village Photo, Waikoloa, Hawaii
Quote:
This is a large luxury resort on the Kohala Coast. It has many excellent restaurants, beautiful pools, and the famous Dolphin Encounter program for kids and adults. The rooms were large and comfortable, if unexceptional. There are three towers. To get between the towers you can either walk, ride the tram, or take a boat. The boats and trams were extremely irregular, especially at night when you wanted them most. To walk from the lobby to the Ocean tower where we stayed took about 8 minutes. I loved the pools and the ocean fed lagoon. The Lagoon Pool has several waterfalls which you can swim through and two hot tubs to relax in. The lagoon is ocean fed, so you will be swimming wit...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2001

Hilton Waikoloa Village
425 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738
(808) 886-1234

Roy's Waikoloa

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Restaurant

Roy's Waikoloa Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
With its Hawaiian fusion cuisine, Roy's is one of the top places to go on the big island. The atmosphere is elegant and lively. As you enter the restaurant you see the open kitchen and a small brass and wood bar. The tables are almost always full by large windows overlooking a small lagoon. Have a drink at the bar and let the bartender explain the menu. Roy's Waikoloa has the best of both worlds: a classic menu developed by Roy himself, and a creative daily changing menu from the executive chef. We were steered towards the local menu, and told that the fish dishes were the specialties. At the table our service was prompt, informative and friendly. Some of the fish was unknown to this main...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 9, 2001

Roy's Waikoloa
250 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii
(808) 886-4321

Three Frog's Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
Yeah, it a snack bar at the beach, but it's good and cheap food. The Three Frogs Cafe is situated just above the beach at Hapuna, and it's fun. You order at a little window, then find one of the plastic tables on the patio. There is music playing and people milling around with boogie boards and snorkel gear. The food is spelled out on two big menus. They have burgers (beef, chicken or garden) and dogs, as well as a Mexican feast and surprisingly awesome salads. To drink they have smoothies, lemonade, and the usual fare of soft drinks. Right next door is the rental shop, where you can gear up for your day at the beach. Rent beach chairs and umbrellas, snorkel gear and a boogie b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2001

Three Frog's Cafe
3 Frogs Cafe
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii 96738
(808) 882-0459

Bamboo Restaurant & Gallery

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Restaurant | "Bamboo Restaurant & Gallery"

Quote:
Imagine a restaurant that you might see 30 or 40 years ago on the Big Island of Hawaii. It would probably be in a little town near the water. Would it be an airy place, with bamboo walls and furniture? Would you see tropical drinks served in coconut-shaped cups? Would the waiters and waitresses be dressed in Hawaiian attire? What would the cuisine be like? In the middle of the Pacific you would expect lots of seafood, but with influences from Asia as well as America. If you'd like to see the restaurant you imagined, it might be very similiar to Bamboo in the sleepy and quaint town of Hawi. It is about an 40 minutes from the resorts of Kohala. Lunch or dinner at the restaurant is...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2001

Bamboo Restaurant & Gallery
Hwy 270
Hawi 96719
(808) 889-5555

Hapuna Beach State Park Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
This is one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to. A soft white sand beach is surrounded by lava rock outcroppings on either side. There is excellent snorkeling. I recommend going all the way to the right by the Prince resort. Go around the rocks and you'll find a protected cove that has lots of submerged rocks and coral that hundreds of colorful fish like to hang out in.

The white sand beach extends into the ocean and is extremely soft. The three days we were there the surf was gentle.

Be sure and try out the Three Dogs Cafe, or if you didn't bring snorkel gear, you can rent very good equipment there are very reasonable prices ($6.00 for 4 hours).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 9, 2001

Hapuna Beach State Park
Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway
Kona, Hawaii

Quote:
This little shop is up in Wailoloa Village, about 6 miles east of Hwy 19. You can rent snorkel equipment for the week. They also have baby equipment. The equipment is of fair quality. Be careful, as they are only open from 9-1.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2001

Dorkel's Snorkel Rental
Suite #129 Highlands Shopping Center
Waikoloa, Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii 96738
8088833675

Huggo's on the Rocks

Restaurant | "Huggo's"

Quote:
Huggo's has a memorable view of the ocean from its open windows situated above the rocks. You can see manta rays going out to sea as you enjoy drinks and music. The drink prices match the scenic location, but the jazz music is pleasant.

We also ate dinner at Huggo's. The menu was mainly fish. The preparation was fair but not memorable. Our table was right next to the open windows that looked out over the ocean. However, given the prices, I wouldn't recommend dinner.

The restaurant is just south of the main part of town on the main Ali'i Dr right next to Snorkel Bob's.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2001

Huggo's on the Rocks
75-5828 Kahakai Road
Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740
(808) 329-1493

Ackerman Galleries

Attraction

Quote:
Koa wood art, jewelry, lithographs, fine clothing and other fascinating artwork awaits you at Ackerman Galleries. Across the street from the historic King Kamehamea Statue (the original), this friendly shop has very high quality finds throughout. In business for 18 years, the store is run by the Ackerman family, who is also the featured painter. While my knowledge of art is limited, I admired the many limited edition lithographs created by Gary Ackerman. My wife tried on many pieces of locally made jewelry. We both enjoyed talking with the two people who ran the gallery and got some goods tips as to activities and places to eat (see Bamboo). For a preview of the artwork, go to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 11, 2001

Ackerman Galleries
Hwy 270
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Royal Kona Lu'au

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Attraction

Royal Kona Lu'au Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
You're in Hawaii, so you need to go to a Lu'au. We went to the one at the Royal Kona Resort. You experience a Hawaiian feast under the tiki torches and stars just off the ocean's edge. After feasting on the expansive Hawaiian buffet you are treated to a Polynesian revue that takes you through the customs and dances of the Pacific Islands. Throughout the performance you can enjoy Mai Tais and other drinks from the open bar. The feast starts with a picture with two of the performers in local dress. (You can purchase this after the show for a nominal fee.) You can then get a drink, listen and admire the crashing surf, find a seat at the table, and get to know your neighbors for ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 11, 2001

Royal Kona Lu'au
75-5852 Ali'i Drive
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Waipio Valley

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Attraction | "Waipi'o Valley on Horseback"

Waipio Valley Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
As you fly into Kona, most are surprised by the barren volanic desert that permeates Kohala on the west side of Hawaii. Where is the lush tropical paradise that I saw as we circled the Island? Waipi'o, the Valley of Kings, is about 90 minutes from Kona on the Northeast side of the Island. Surrounded by 2000 foot cliffs, the valley was once a favorite retreat of Hawaiian royalty. More recently, Taro was cultivated by farmers. In the seventies, however, a 50 foot tidal wave hit in the valley. The tiny village and all the farms were wiped out. Today, very few farmers have returned. The valley floor is only accessible by 4 wheel drive, horseback, or foot. It is a place of lush tropical vegetation...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2001

Waipio Valley
Off of Highway 240
Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Attraction | "Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park"

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Photo, Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii
Quote:
Home of the active Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not to be missed. The park is the most popular attraction on the Island. About 2 years ago Mauna Kilauea erupted treating everyone to a fiery display of lava. It is now the most active volcano in the world, although it is not erupting. Unless you take a helicopter, you will not see much of Mauna Kilauea, however you do get to see the smoky crater of Mauna Loa. Of all the sights, my favorite was the Thurston Lava Tube. It is a 10 foot high tunnel that was formed by lava flowing to the sea. Chain of Craters road is also creepy as you drive from crater to crater imagining huge lava flows and pools and how they made their wa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 15, 2001

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