Guest post by bvillegas
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
We flew in from LAX to Kona Airport (KOA) and landed around 9pm UTC. We where staying on the east side of the island in an Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1107180). We made a stop at Walmart got groceries and drove to our Airbnb which took about 2 hours and got some sleep.
- Kaimū Beach Park
- Kaleo’s Bar & Grill
- Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
- Steam Vents
- Thurston Lava Tube
On our first actual day on the island we decided to go to attractions closer to the house. First we stopped at Kaimu Beach Park. The water was really rough so we drove to Ahalanui Park (now closed due to eruptions) which is a volcanically heated swimming pool next to the ocean. After swimming we got a bite to eat at Kaleo’s Island Cuisine which had really good fresh seafood. We decided to drive to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where we went to the steam vents, Thurston lava tube, and the Jaggar Museum. The Jaggar Museum is where you get the best view of the volcano, I recommend you do this at night (now permanently closed as well).
- Kahalu’u Beach Park
- Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse
- Honaunau Bay
- Mauna Kea
This day we decided to go to the west side of the island because the weather was a little better on that side. Our first stop was Kahalu’u Beach Park. This beach is great for families and people who aren’t to experience at snorkeling or swimming. The next stop was Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse where we had lunch and stopped for dessert in a gelato spot next to it. We made another stop at Honaunau Bay which was a little more advanced for swimming and snorkeling. On our way back to the house we stopped at Mauna Kea but it was a raining on the mountain and they weren’t allowing anyone to go to the summit.
- Rainbow Falls
- Hilo Farmers Market
- ʻAkaka Falls State Park
- Kahūnā Falls
- Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center
- Carlsmith Beach Park
On day 4 we decided to do see the waterfalls on the east side of the island. First one was Rainbow falls, this waterfall involves no walking and also has a pretty cool tree if you go to the top view of the fall.
On our way to the next waterfall we ran into the Hilo Farmers Market and we stopped there for some local food and poke. The next stop was Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls. These two waterfalls are in the same park and they both require a bit of walking on a sidewalk path.
We then decided to go to Mauna Loa macadamia nut fctory for the free tour and ice cream. The last stop of day 4 was Carlsmith Beach Park where you can get really close to sea turtles that come into the bay.
- Pāpaʻaloa Country Store and Cafe
- Waipiʻo Valley Lookout
- Hiilawe Falls
- Carlsmith Beach Park
This day we woke up early had some breakfast at Papaaloa Country Store and Cafe then continued our drive to the North side of the island. We rode ATVs with Waipi’o Valley Ride The Rim ATV (http://www.ridetherim.com). They take you on a tour through the Waipi’o Valley you stop at 2 scenic views and you get to swim in a small waterfall area. After the ATVs we got a late lunch and took it to Carlsmith Beach Park.
- Kona Brewing Co.
- Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay)
On our last day we checked out of the house around 11am and drove into Kona. We had lunch at a bar near the brewing company before our tour. After lunch we went on the Kona Brewing Company tour. If you are interested in this make sure you sign up a day or two before you want to go. We got to sample a few beers and get a tour on how the beer is brewed. The last stop of the trip was at Manini’owali Beach (Kua Bay) where we got to see the sunset and some whales from the shore.
Traveled in February 2018