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Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 10:11 AM   #1
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Need advice on Hawaii visit

Some of you live in Hawaii and many of you have visited Hawaii. I am traveling there with my wife and 20 year old daughter in August and could use some advice. We will be in Honolulu for a few days (wife gets a paid flight and hotel as rep to the ABA board), then we fly to the Big Island for three days and two nights, and then to Maui for a week. We are trying to set things up with suites/condos that give my daughter a measure of privacy. We have things set up in Honolulu (suite) and Maui (condo on the beach near friends in Kihei) but we haven't set up the big island yet.

Does it make sense to stay in the Kailua-Kona area and drive back and forth to the Volcano park. Fly into Hilo and stay a night at the Park, then move to K-K and fly to Maui from there? Some other pattern? Any suggestions on condos/hotels. We are sort of three starish -- we want nice accomodations on the beach or equivalent nice view, but don't want to double our costs for marginal increases in luxury.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Does it make sense to stay in the Kailua-Kona area and drive back and forth to the Volcano park.
No. Especially not after seeing Waikiki. IMO Kailua-Kona is a Waikiki wanna-be with more crowding, higher prices, clogged traffic, and way too much new construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Fly into Hilo and stay a night at the Park, then move to K-K and fly to Maui from there? Some other pattern? Any suggestions on condos/hotels. We are sort of three starish -- we want nice accomodations on the beach or equivalent nice view, but don't want to double our costs for marginal increases in luxury.
Flying into Hilo is much better, and frankly it shows more of Hawaii than Kailua-Kona ever will. If you have a choice then I'd skip Kailua-Kona completely, change your flights if necessary to fly to Maui from Hilo, and spend a day or two in Hilo. We enjoy walking around Akaka falls, strolling around "downtown" Hilo, and visiting the Pacific Tsunami Museum (Hilo was slicked in 1946 and again in 1960). Here's 101 other things to do on each island.

Hilo's also a shorter drive to Volcano and you won't be dealing with hordes of contractors commuting to all the Kailua-Kona konstruction projects.

If you have a military ID I'd highly recommend staying at Kilauea Military Camp (which is really recently-renovated cabins and a lodge). The Kilauea Lodge is another outstanding place to stay; spouse was flooded out by a huge rainstorm there in 2000 and they made incredible efforts to take care of their guests. If you want to enjoy a more rural experience then rent a vacation home at Kapoho Beach near Pahoa. We've stayed here and other Kapoho rentals are here. (Buy your supplies in Hilo.) You have plenty of privacy, a backyard tidepool heated by underground lava to snorkel in (the tidepool, not the lava!), a short walk to the ocean, and a short drive to Hilo. Honu are everywhere.

Volcano is about 30 minutes away from Pahoa. If you don't stay overnight at Volcano then at least try to drive Chain of Craters road and consider hiking out to the lava flow.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 07:30 PM   #3
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

nords,

i am considering spending a few months on big island (& visit cousin on maui) after losing mom. we've already been doing our share of pre-grave grieving so i tell the family we'll be sitting shiva on the black sand beaches of puna.

i was also considering (not from any visit as i haven't been there yet but from friends who loved it there) moving to hawaii one day. but my recent research has uncovered some sort of noisy frog infestation http://tinyurl.com/kls89

also i'm not so clear on the weather there. according to city-data.com the place doesn't get a whole lot of sunshine.

say it isn't so.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 07:45 PM   #4
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum

also i'm not so clear on the weather there. according to city-data.com the place doesn't get a whole lot of sunshine.

say it isn't so.
Hilo is on the rainy side of the Big Island. Wet, cloudy, lush vegetation. Kailua Kona coast is driest and sunniest in the state, I believe. Vastly different microclimates yet not that far apart geographically.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

We just stayed (in April) at Waikoloa, which is about 20 minutes north of Kona. We were there a week and it did not rain one single time. I've been to Hawaii several times and it's the first time I've never experienced any rain. We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa, which is like a Hawaiian Disneyland. There was a bit of construction in that area as well. We used miles and I would never have stayed there without them (very $$$$). We made the trek to the Volcano and it took us 2 1/2 hours, going North and then through Hilo. We'll be moving to Hawaii next month (windward side of Oahu), so I'm sure we will get our fair share of rain!!

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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 09:36 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

just checked city-data.com sunshine graph on kona. looks as gloomy as (it shows) hilo. maybe not such a good source for such info.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-26-2006, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
i am considering spending a few months on big island (& visit cousin on maui)
Experiential learning is the best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
i was also considering (not from any visit as i haven't been there yet but from friends who loved it there) moving to hawaii one day. but my recent research has uncovered some sort of noisy frog infestation http://tinyurl.com/kls89
Yep, coqui. Don't buy a place without seeing what it sounds like at night. The state is working through the environmental implications of applying pesticides like caffeine and citric acid, but the process is going to take a few more years to eradicate the little suckers. (Either that or they'll be hyperactive & scurvy-free.) They've invaded Oahu as well but luckily they're still a few miles north of us. When (not if) they arrive here I'll be doing a little personal non-EPA-approved pesticide applications of our own.

Loud coqui die faster than quiet coqui and the mongoose think they're yummy. Eventually Darwin will work its magic and things will settle down... until the next pest stows away on an aircraft or a ship. It's a constant battle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
also i'm not so clear on the weather there. according to city-data.com the place doesn't get a whole lot of sunshine.
say it isn't so.
The rule is: If you don't like Hawaii's weather, wait 15 minutes or walk a half-mile. We routinely have rain in the front yard and sunshine in the back.

Hilo gets a torrential downpour in the morning (4 or 5 AM for a few minutes) and another one in the afternoon (2-3 PM) but the rest of the day is rain-free. Clouds are highly dependent on your location and there's just no way to do it over a website. More experiential learning required...

One nice thing about Maui and the Big Island is that you can go snowboarding in the morning and surfing in the afternoon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57515799@N00/105718374/
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-27-2006, 01:02 AM   #8
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Lived in Hilo for 8 months, loved it. It rains a lot, but just for a couple hours a day. The air smells so good.

Nords said it all, definitely hike out to the lava flows. I've been out to them several times. DW counts her one trip as one of the greatest moments of her life:

[img width=750 height=562]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/laurencewill/HawaiiTrip1041.jpg[/img]

[img width=750 height=562]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/laurencewill/HawaiiTrip1051.jpg[/img]
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-27-2006, 06:43 AM   #9
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
One nice thing about Maui and the Big Island is that you can go snowboarding in the morning and surfing in the afternoon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/57515799@N00/105718374/
Wow, thanks for all the info. But the above tidbit really caught my attention. I didn't get my full dose of snow boarding this year but I never thought of Hawaii as a place to catch up. Is this for real? Commercial operations, or off-the-beaten-path DIY?
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-27-2006, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Is this for real? Commercial operations, or off-the-beaten-path DIY?
Duh -- ignore this post. I hadn't clicked on Nord's link. Now I can see that it is for real.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-27-2006, 09:36 AM   #11
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

wow, nords, that cone up in those clouds is amazing. i'm going to love seeing that one day. donheff, be sure to take pics and report on your return.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-27-2006, 11:07 AM   #12
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
donheff, be sure to take pics and report on your return.
Will do. I keep a family photo gallery on a website in the basement. Anyone going to the Galapagos can check out photos from a trip last November:

http://www.heffernans.org/gallery/index.php
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-29-2006, 07:29 PM   #13
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

donheff -
One suggestion of a great, unadvertised, view of lush foilage and waterfalls:* Around mile marker 18-19 (although my wife remembers it being closer to 16) on Route 19 north of Hilo there is a bridge that has a small, unpaved parking area at the south end.* I strongly suggest pulling off there and walking to the middle of the bridge (there are sidewalks on both sides) and I guarantee you a view that has a little bit of everything (all beautiful).* I don't think it is a coincidence that there is a parking area there.* Just be careful while you're on the bridge, the traffic moves quickly past you.* You'll know that you're on the right bridge if it has a "Nanue" sign on it.
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit
Old 05-30-2006, 06:14 AM   #14
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Re: Need advice on Hawaii visit

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donheff -
One suggestion of a great, unadvertised, view of lush foilage and waterfalls:
Thanks. I am still digesting Nord's list of 101 essentials, but this one sounds easy. I will add it to my Big Island list.
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