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Big Island: Day-trip Recommendation/Experience (from Waikoloa)

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by NiteMaire, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are staying 13 nights on the Big Island. We arrived yesterday and will split our time between The Bay Club and Kohala Suites, both in Waikoloa Village.

    We've read most, if not all, threads regarding the best activities/places/restaurants to visit on the Big Island, so we have lots on our to-do list (activities, scenic locations, restaurants, etc.). We have an extra day available for a day-trip. I haven't seen recommendations for 1-day trips, so I'm asking for yours. I'll even throw in a reward...sorta. Inspired by the follow-me-on-vacation type posts by slip and DaveNW (and others I'm sure), I'll post pictures from the "winning" suggestion so you can experience (y)our day. Off-the-beaten-path and/or multiple activities strung together will be awarded extra points. Of note, Volcanoes National Park is closed.

    I've attached some pictures of The Bay Club, resort area, and several pictures of sunset from Lava Lava Beach Club (on property). The #s on the filenames are off. I planned on uploading 16, but 10 is the limit.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  2. crf450x

    crf450x TUG Member

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    One of the best day trips I had with my wife and kids while staying at Kingsland was a full day boat rental from konaboatrentals.com a few years ago.

    They provide all the fishing gear and tell you where you can and can not go. We got skunked fishing, as did most of the fisherman that day, but did go to Kealakekua Bay. So awesome. As we approached the bay where Captain Cooks Monument is, we were surrounded by dozens of spinner dolphins. This is something we will never forget. My daughter and I jumped in the water and got to see the dolphins in and spinning out of the water. So cool... the snorkeling around here was also spectacular. My kids were around 10 & 8 at the time and each got a turn as Captain of the fishing boat while we were in the open water.

    While your in the Kona area, make sure to stop by Umekes for lunch or dinner. One of our favorites on the big island. We will be at Bay club next summer and looking forward to another boat rental and Umekes. Hopefully the fish will be biting...

    Another great day trip we do is hike at Kiholo Bay. Pack in lunch and lots of water. Pretty much guaranteed to see tons of turtles close to shore, black sand beaches, lava tubes that you can swim in, the Bali house and Dr pacemakers mansion, a little island to hang out at, etc... lots of goats roaming the area also.

    After the Kiholo bay exploring we spend the rest of the day at Beach 69 (Waialea Beach). No signs to get there but look for a little post at mile marker 69 and head to the parking lot. A great white sand beach with tons of shade from the trees and decent snorkeling. We love one of the coves that has the rope swing. Kids can spend hours on the rope swing.
     
  3. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    (Thanks for the mention. I hope my long-winded Maui and Kauai trip wasn't too much for those more adventuresome than we were this time around. :)

    I don't know if you have an itinerary posted or even seriously planned, but something we've enjoyed doing from the Kona area is driving to Hilo to explore that area. We used to go through the VNP, but as you say, it's closed right now. So take the Saddle Road to Hilo both ways. It makes it a rather short drive, something a bit over 60 minutes each way, if starting at the Waikoloa area. Very doable. In Hilo town, the Tsunami Museum is pretty amazing - showing how easily people can be overwhelmed by Mother Nature. The several waterfalls in the area are always nice to see. https://www.lovebigisland.com/waterfalls/ And no trip to Hilo (for us) is complete without lunch at the Cafe Pesto. Yes, I know the one in Kawaihae Harbor is the original location, but the Hilo location has a great "old school" atmosphere. Makes for a great lunch experience. Try the Lilikoi iced tea. It's great!

    Dave
     
  4. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    I second the idea of a drive to Hilo, but instead of taking Saddle Road both ways, I would suggest taking the northeast side coastal road, Highway 19/Mamalahoa Highway along the spectacular Hamakua Coast one way or the other. That will give you a different view each way and allow you to stop at the waterfalls like Umauma Falls and Akaka Falls along the Hamakua Coast. For photos, morning light is best at Akaka Falls as I recall, so I would go to Hilo via Highway 19 and return via Saddle Road, but either way should be nice.
     
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  5. holdaer

    holdaer TUG Member

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    NiteMaire,

    For something really different and unique, have you visited the Seahorse farm in Kona? They are doing some wonderful things for seahorse conservation and increasing their population.

    It's fun, educational, close and an easy thing to do for a 1-day trip/activity.

    Here is the link to their website.

    http://seahorse.com/
     
  6. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    I just want to know if the road widening from Kona to the airport is finished yet! We were there in May and it was a holy mess with long backups every day.

    I read somewhere that cafe pesto was closed at w harbor, so the one in Hilo is the only one open.

    When we go to Hilo the must stops are the farmers market on the front there, Original Kens, and the BI Cookie Factory.

    This past trip we did a new activity, went to the cowboy bbq up in North Kohala, the bus picks you up at the Shell gas station there in WKL. It was a fun evening on a beautiful ranch.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
  7. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We had considered this...we'll see.
     
  8. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Status as of July 23, 2108.

    http://buildqueenk.com/announcements/

    I read that also, sadly it's true. Loved Cafe Peso, both locations.
     
  9. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Thanks gentlemen. Sounds great!

    Oh, Dave, we're currently at Kona Brewery. Can you say Lavaman?
     
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  10. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Still spots with construction.
     
  11. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I'm a fan of a lot of their brews, even though I'm not a big drinker. (Shocking, right?) Lavaman is really nice. Longboard is a very good one. Wailua Wheat is a special favorite - if on tap and icy cold. Man, that's a good one! :)

    Jeez, now I'm thirsty... LOL! :D

    Dave
     
  12. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    If you want to do something fun that is basically free, head to the Sheraton at Keauhou for Happy Hour munchies. (You have to buy your food and drinks.) But then hang around on their balcony till dark - they turn on the big lights that attract the plankton, which attracts the manta rays. You can often see them feeding, and you don't have to get wet. It's a pleasant diversion, especially if you have a good camera to zoom in on them. The mantas don't get too close to shore, but if you know what you're looking for, it's a cool sight to see.

    Dave
     
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  13. slip

    slip TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Snorkeling at two step is a good trip to make if you are snorkelers.
     
  14. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We are and have it on the list.
     
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  15. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    We greatly enjoyed our trip up to the top of Mauna Kea but it was in January and there was a lot of snow. A long day's drive down and back is to South Point. The most southern Point of the USA. You can jump off the cliff into the ocean and there is a ladder inbedded into the rocks to climb up. While down there you can also visit Black Sand Beach.
     
  16. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    This makes the third great contender. All these were on the list...and you strung them together. Thanks!

    I just hope it doesn't rain too many days.
     
  17. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Forgot to take a pic of the first one, but got the second one :)[​IMG]
     
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  18. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Summary of today. I don't necessarily plan on doing this everyday, but will definitely include the day I pick from the recommendations. We woke up way too early, and went on a very early morning walk around the resort. We then went to the scenic overlook between Waikoloa and the airport. Next we picked up our friends from the airport, had lunch at Kona Brewery (DaveNW--the pineapple is in their parking lot), drove the Kona Coast (to include a look around the Kona Coast Resort since we had considered staying there), made the obligatory Costco run, went to Kekaha Kai State Park - Mahai'ula Section, stopped at scenic point again for our friends, then returned. Saw an interesting lonely tree in the sea (or desert) of black lava. Apologies for the choppiness and shortness, but we're finalizing some plans for tomorrow.

    Thanks for all the suggestions today.
     

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  19. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Many people drive right by it but between the Airport and Waikoloa is a Lava Tube just off the Highway you can explore.
     
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  20. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It was a planned stop yesterday; however, we passed on it due to the number of cars. We'll stop on one of our trips South.
     
  21. mpizza

    mpizza TUG Member

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    Heading to The Bay Club at the end of the month so I am following this thread with great interest!

    First time on the Big Island!

    Thank you for the suggestions, trip report and photos!

    Maria
     
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  22. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We mostly did this (see pics). It was a very long day. The main difference is that we went to Green Sand Beach instead of Black Sand Beach. It was unique. Photos attached. Here's a summary followed by a little more detail.

    Locations/activities:
    1. Green Sand Beach
    2. Cliff Jumping
    3. South Point
    4. Bought a surfboard! No kidding.
    5. Punalu'u Bake Shop

    We started the day by driving to Green Sand Beach. It's approximately 3 miles each way from parking to the beach! We passed on the $20 "shuttle" from the parking area to Green Sand Beach. The shuttle is a pickup truck they cram with 10 or so inside and in the cargo bed. Georgous views on the walk, but the return was slightly more challenges since we did it during the heat of the day. Bring lots of water if you want to walk it.

    The cliff jumping area and the southern most point in the US are just a couple of miles from Green Sand Beach parking area. The cliff you jump from is at South Point. After jumping from the cliff several times, I took the short walk to what I presume was the actual Southern most point. I didn't see it marked so maybe I was in the wrong area. In any event, I'm satisfied. We saw a very interesting tree. I've attached a pic. Can you guess the direction of the prevailing winds? :)

    One of our friends is a surfer who will definitely surf during our time here. Yes, we know Aug is not a great time, but Hector is on the way and may provide a good opportunity to surf. Instead of renting a surfboard, our friend used craigslist to buy a used one near South Point; purchase price was cheaper than renting.

    Before heading back to Waikoloa, we stopped at Punalu'u Bake Shop and had some malasadas. They were good, but we prefer the malasadas from Leonard’s on Oahu. I know Dave suggested Lilikoi iced tea in Hilo, but we had a Lilikoi malasada. The 3 others with me really liked it; I thought it was too sweet. We also had the guava and pineapple malasadas. The bakery has a Bonsai tree inside.

    We had planned on stopping at Captain Cook’s monument and also snorkeling, but we’ll have to do it another day.
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  23. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Sounds like a great day! I always think it’s kind of eerie driving past the wind farm on the way to Southpoint. :)

    Lilikoi iced tea is a very different flavor than a malasada filling. I can see why you’d think it would be too sweet. I don’t know if I’d care for it that way either. :)

    Dave
     
  24. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I have only had one malasada in my life, and that was a lilikoi one from the Punalu'u Bake Shop. I thought it was wonderful!
     
  25. NiteMaire

    NiteMaire Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It was a great day. We had more on the agenda, but ran out of time. We'll be back in that area for Cook's monument and snorkeling.

    We haven't forgotten about the (combined) suggestion you and Jim gave us. We'll most likely do the Hilo/waterfall trip.
     
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