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Big Island - Recommendations?

BingerFang

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Just arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii and I’m here for a week. Any must do’s for food or activities?
 
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c_land

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Mauna Kea and Hapuna beaches are some of the nicest on the island.
 

c_land

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This is pretty touristy but fun as hell with the right group. We ended up in a race with eachothers rafts. The guides said we were the fastest to ever finish the tour,

Edit: it looks like they closed, dang.

 

Husqy510

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Hawaiian style in Hilo has great breakfast. You'll probably pass it if you drive to the Volcano or water falls.

Ocean sports has a fun snorkel adventure which includes free beer and cocktails.

Lava lava is a must if you're in the area. Good food, great scenery and delicious drinks.

Where are you staying?
 

FreeBird236

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UFO para sailing in Kona, Kamanu Charters in Kona for swimming with the Manta's, there's a good Zip line over by Hilo and several water falls. Already mentioned the Lava Lava Club up in the Hilton Waikoloa area, usually at least a one hour wait.
 

UltraLucky

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if staying in a condo or house I’d start with a trip to KTA, for some local foods Grocery’s
Hilo side;
More local style and affordable places
SusIan fish market and cafe
Hilo Farmers Market
Miyo’s good place for Japanese lunch across form Big Island Cookie factory
Nori’s Saimin
Hilo Bay Cafe
Heading North out of Hilo,
Papa’aloa Cafe


Richarson Beach, good snorkeling and Body boarding lots of Turtles
Honoli’i Beach Park
Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pots
Aka Falls - short walk
Laupahoehoe Beach Park
Waipio Valley
Honomu just North of Hilo for the Zip Line Tour
 

BingerFang

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Hawaiian style in Hilo has great breakfast. You'll probably pass it if you drive to the Volcano or water falls.

Ocean sports has a fun snorkel adventure which includes free beer and cocktails.

Lava lava is a must if you're in the area. Good food, great scenery and delicious drinks.

Where are you staying?

Hilton in Waikoloa. Hitting lava lava tomorrow!
 

Ace in the Hole

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Kanakea aka hilo ice pond was always a good spot. If you are into sport fishing, there are several good captains over there as well.
 

Gelcoater

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Just arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii and I’m here for a week. Any must do’s for food or activities?
Portuguese sausage. Even McDonalds has a variant you won’t see on “the mainland”.
Not to mention the bowls.

For lunch, look around industrial areas for the ma and pa lunch joints that cater to the local workers.😉
Plate lunch😎👍
 

Ace in the Hole

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Portuguese sausage. Even McDonalds has a variant you won’t see on “the mainland”.
Not to mention the bowls.

For lunch, look around industrial areas for the ma and pa lunch joints that cater to the local workers.😉
Plate lunch😎👍

On the Mcdonalds note...the tea there is different too...its a local made tea (Hawaiian island tea co if I remember right)

The crappier looking the food truck the better the food, same goes for mom and pop places..the older the furniture the better the food.....if you see a pop up tent selling plate lunch, you best know that stuff will be amazing.
 

SPFRONTMAN

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Just arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii and I’m here for a week. Any must do’s for food or activities?
Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea ( expect to wait) Extreme Premier Entertainment Center for food (bowling alley) in Kona. 🤟
 

coz

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Surfing at Kahaluu bay, Banyans or Pine Trees. That would be my Itinerary.
 

Terry G

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Pineapples in Hilo for lunch or dinner. Fill your back pack and drive any direction, lots of cool spots for hiking with amazing views.
 

Taboma

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Certainly was amazing, both as I enjoyed it as a certified diver sitting on the bottom below the huge circling Mantas, and my wife enjoying it, snorkling above easily able to see the action below because it's so clear and it's illuminated from below.
The diver next two me was so captivated, he hadn't even noticed the Moray Eel that was slithering over his lap :oops: . I decided it was probably best not to alert and alarm him until he'd passed, only then did I tap him and point it out --- his eyes got really big. 😂

I'm going to edit this to add --- if you or yours are not certified divers, this island is an awesome location to do what's referred to as a "Recreational Dive". They give you a kind of quicky course, and you're under an instructors supervision. I did this a couple of trips before enjoying it so much I just had to get certified and this island is a perfect location to try it because there's so many amazing places to explore with rather easy shallow dives.
 

FreeBird236

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We did the Manta's with Kamanu for about $90.00, but that was about 2 years ago.
 

Tank

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Grew up off and on in Kona / Big Island. Still go back regularly to use our place on Ali'i.

From where you are north of you there's a great drive up the 19 to the 270 and make your way to old school Hawaii, aka Hawi. Take this road all the way through Hawi to the Pololu Valley Lookout. We call it the cliffs of insanity (from Princess Bride) because you're on this road for a long time and it twists and turns and goes through these valleys and all this scenery and then you come around the corner and the road just fuckin' stops! Dead end and you're at the top of the valley looking out a thousand feet to the floor. You can hike down to the bottom, it's not horrible. Takes about an hour, once you're down there, there's a black sand beach. Only issue is the north end (this end) of the island is usually cold and rainy. So it's not like you'll be laying out.

On the way to Pololu Valley there's a super cool snorkel spot that is never crowded - Mahukona Beach Park. It's north of where you're staying up the 270. It's an old cattle pier load spot. Pretty cool history but really cool snorkling. Even parts of a very old wood ship wreck. No one is barely ever there as it's pretty far out and def. not a tourist spot.

I would recommend taking a day and driving the whole island. When we bring people that have never been to the big island we make sure to schedule a day to do this. It will take all day FYI but you will go from sunny hot tropical weather, to what seems like the desert in the volcano fields, to warm tropical rain on the Hilo side to high country cold farm lands of Hamakua Forest.

Go south from where you are, go down to Ali'i drive through Kona and keep heading south.
stop by "Da Poke Shack". Good stuff! It's in front of the Kona Bali Kai Condos on Ali'i about 3 miles south of down town Kona. Keep heading south, People love magic sands beach state park which is about 4 miles south of down town Kona. Its is cool and there's a wicked shore break that's fun to body and boogie board but again, usually crowded and small. If you keep going south from there, there's St. Peter's "little Blue Church" that is pretty cool old really tiny church with a beautiful etched glass window that shows Jesus walking on water using the ocean behind the church. It's cool. Right south of that is Kahalu'u Beach Park that is a very popular snorkel bay. Really good snorkeling. It's popular and gets crowded but cool spot.

Keep on trucking through Keauho and go up Kamehameha Rd to the 11 south. Stay on this bitch all the way to Hilo. There's a shit ton of stuff to do and see and explore.
Little grass hut is a staple of trinkets and cool little local sourced stuff. You'll see the signs for The Painted Church. It's nifty. You can park and hike down to the spot where Capt cook landed and was later killed (cool story) and there's a monument there. You get down to the Vocano, depending on where the flow is and how hard is flowing, you may be able to see it. But the whole park is cool. Keep on the 11 and it wraps around the south end of the island. Always rough as shit down there and blown out. When you get near Hilo you'll go through the fern forrest as others said, Akaka Falls is very cool. Hilo is a good little stop and snack spot. Then just keep on truckin' north up the 11 from Hilo which will turn into the 19 and you wrap back around the north side of the island where it's cold and windy usually.

Over the years, we've done pretty much every tourist atraction on the Big Island there is. Both Helicopter tours are bitchen. I actually like the valley tours better than the volcano tour though. Flumin' Da Ditch is BITCHEN. But it's not always open. Quading or SXSing the farms and valleys up near Hawi is bad ass. One thing we always do even though it's pretty touristy is the Fairwind snorkel cruise out of Keauhou Bay. It's pretty cool. they have their own can in Capt. Cook bay and you can snooba (scuba from a fixed tank). Lunch and drinks, crew are always cool (last time we were there we actually partied with them a couple days later down town). They usually catch Wahoo off the back while running the boat down or back. It's a really nice time.

I'd also swing by Alula Beach just north of the Kona Harbor. It's a really cool little secluded place where the turtles beach and hang out. You can walk out in the shallows and they swim right past you. Kids love it.

By the way, everyone loves Hapuna Beach next to you guys but that shit is crowded as fuck all the time.

And as stated above. Kona Brewing company was founded right there in Kona and the Pizza is OFF THE HOOK!! Get the pesto pizza. insane.

I'd also recommend a sport fish charter. Shit goes BIG off of Kona. World class sport fishing.

You'll have a good time. Get out and explore. There's KILLER shit if you just drive down roads off the highways. You'll find shacks right on the beaches, old towns, etc.
 

Husqy510

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Tropics Ale house is really close to the Hilton and has a good selection of craft beer and decent happy hour prices.
 

FreeBird236

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Grew up off and on in Kona / Big Island. Still go back regularly to use our place on Ali'i.

From where you are north of you there's a great drive up the 19 to the 270 and make your way to old school Hawaii, aka Hawi. Take this road all the way through Hawi to the Pololu Valley Lookout. We call it the cliffs of insanity (from Princess Bride) because you're on this road for a long time and it twists and turns and goes through these valleys and all this scenery and then you come around the corner and the road just fuckin' stops! Dead end and you're at the top of the valley looking out a thousand feet to the floor. You can hike down to the bottom, it's not horrible. Takes about an hour, once you're down there, there's a black sand beach. Only issue is the north end (this end) of the island is usually cold and rainy. So it's not like you'll be laying out.

On the way to Pololu Valley there's a super cool snorkel spot that is never crowded - Mahukona Beach Park. It's north of where you're staying up the 270. It's an old cattle pier load spot. Pretty cool history but really cool snorkling. Even parts of a very old wood ship wreck. No one is barely ever there as it's pretty far out and def. not a tourist spot.

I would recommend taking a day and driving the whole island. When we bring people that have never been to the big island we make sure to schedule a day to do this. It will take all day FYI but you will go from sunny hot tropical weather, to what seems like the desert in the volcano fields, to warm tropical rain on the Hilo side to high country cold farm lands of Hamakua Forest.

Go south from where you are, go down to Ali'i drive through Kona and keep heading south.
stop by "Da Poke Shack". Good stuff! It's in front of the Kona Bali Kai Condos on Ali'i about 3 miles south of down town Kona. Keep heading south, People love magic sands beach state park which is about 4 miles south of down town Kona. Its is cool and there's a wicked shore break that's fun to body and boogie board but again, usually crowded and small. If you keep going south from there, there's St. Peter's "little Blue Church" that is pretty cool old really tiny church with a beautiful etched glass window that shows Jesus walking on water using the ocean behind the church. It's cool. Right south of that is Kahalu'u Beach Park that is a very popular snorkel bay. Really good snorkeling. It's popular and gets crowded but cool spot.

Keep on trucking through Keauho and go up Kamehameha Rd to the 11 south. Stay on this bitch all the way to Hilo. There's a shit ton of stuff to do and see and explore.
Little grass hut is a staple of trinkets and cool little local sourced stuff. You'll see the signs for The Painted Church. It's nifty. You can park and hike down to the spot where Capt cook landed and was later killed (cool story) and there's a monument there. You get down to the Vocano, depending on where the flow is and how hard is flowing, you may be able to see it. But the whole park is cool. Keep on the 11 and it wraps around the south end of the island. Always rough as shit down there and blown out. When you get near Hilo you'll go through the fern forrest as others said, Akaka Falls is very cool. Hilo is a good little stop and snack spot. Then just keep on truckin' north up the 11 from Hilo which will turn into the 19 and you wrap back around the north side of the island where it's cold and windy usually.

Over the years, we've done pretty much every tourist atraction on the Big Island there is. Both Helicopter tours are bitchen. I actually like the valley tours better than the volcano tour though. Flumin' Da Ditch is BITCHEN. But it's not always open. Quading or SXSing the farms and valleys up near Hawi is bad ass. One thing we always do even though it's pretty touristy is the Fairwind snorkel cruise out of Keauhou Bay. It's pretty cool. they have their own can in Capt. Cook bay and you can snooba (scuba from a fixed tank). Lunch and drinks, crew are always cool (last time we were there we actually partied with them a couple days later down town). They usually catch Wahoo off the back while running the boat down or back. It's a really nice time.

I'd also swing by Alula Beach just north of the Kona Harbor. It's a really cool little secluded place where the turtles beach and hang out. You can walk out in the shallows and they swim right past you. Kids love it.

By the way, everyone loves Hapuna Beach next to you guys but that shit is crowded as fuck all the time.

And as stated above. Kona Brewing company was founded right there in Kona and the Pizza is OFF THE HOOK!! Get the pesto pizza. insane.

I'd also recommend a sport fish charter. Shit goes BIG off of Kona. World class sport fishing.

You'll have a good time. Get out and explore. There's KILLER shit if you just drive down roads off the highways. You'll find shacks right on the beaches, old towns, etc.
Last year me and the wife spent about half a day in the Captain Cook area, finally found the painted church and a pretty decent flower garden, but never did find the place to hike to the monument, or a beach, after I finally found the Hwy we were out of there.😅 I usually navigate pretty good, but that area got me good.🤣
 

BingerFang

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Grew up off and on in Kona / Big Island. Still go back regularly to use our place on Ali'i.

From where you are north of you there's a great drive up the 19 to the 270 and make your way to old school Hawaii, aka Hawi. Take this road all the way through Hawi to the Pololu Valley Lookout. We call it the cliffs of insanity (from Princess Bride) because you're on this road for a long time and it twists and turns and goes through these valleys and all this scenery and then you come around the corner and the road just fuckin' stops! Dead end and you're at the top of the valley looking out a thousand feet to the floor. You can hike down to the bottom, it's not horrible. Takes about an hour, once you're down there, there's a black sand beach. Only issue is the north end (this end) of the island is usually cold and rainy. So it's not like you'll be laying out.

On the way to Pololu Valley there's a super cool snorkel spot that is never crowded - Mahukona Beach Park. It's north of where you're staying up the 270. It's an old cattle pier load spot. Pretty cool history but really cool snorkling. Even parts of a very old wood ship wreck. No one is barely ever there as it's pretty far out and def. not a tourist spot.

I would recommend taking a day and driving the whole island. When we bring people that have never been to the big island we make sure to schedule a day to do this. It will take all day FYI but you will go from sunny hot tropical weather, to what seems like the desert in the volcano fields, to warm tropical rain on the Hilo side to high country cold farm lands of Hamakua Forest.

Go south from where you are, go down to Ali'i drive through Kona and keep heading south.
stop by "Da Poke Shack". Good stuff! It's in front of the Kona Bali Kai Condos on Ali'i about 3 miles south of down town Kona. Keep heading south, People love magic sands beach state park which is about 4 miles south of down town Kona. Its is cool and there's a wicked shore break that's fun to body and boogie board but again, usually crowded and small. If you keep going south from there, there's St. Peter's "little Blue Church" that is pretty cool old really tiny church with a beautiful etched glass window that shows Jesus walking on water using the ocean behind the church. It's cool. Right south of that is Kahalu'u Beach Park that is a very popular snorkel bay. Really good snorkeling. It's popular and gets crowded but cool spot.

Keep on trucking through Keauho and go up Kamehameha Rd to the 11 south. Stay on this bitch all the way to Hilo. There's a shit ton of stuff to do and see and explore.
Little grass hut is a staple of trinkets and cool little local sourced stuff. You'll see the signs for The Painted Church. It's nifty. You can park and hike down to the spot where Capt cook landed and was later killed (cool story) and there's a monument there. You get down to the Vocano, depending on where the flow is and how hard is flowing, you may be able to see it. But the whole park is cool. Keep on the 11 and it wraps around the south end of the island. Always rough as shit down there and blown out. When you get near Hilo you'll go through the fern forrest as others said, Akaka Falls is very cool. Hilo is a good little stop and snack spot. Then just keep on truckin' north up the 11 from Hilo which will turn into the 19 and you wrap back around the north side of the island where it's cold and windy usually.

Over the years, we've done pretty much every tourist atraction on the Big Island there is. Both Helicopter tours are bitchen. I actually like the valley tours better than the volcano tour though. Flumin' Da Ditch is BITCHEN. But it's not always open. Quading or SXSing the farms and valleys up near Hawi is bad ass. One thing we always do even though it's pretty touristy is the Fairwind snorkel cruise out of Keauhou Bay. It's pretty cool. they have their own can in Capt. Cook bay and you can snooba (scuba from a fixed tank). Lunch and drinks, crew are always cool (last time we were there we actually partied with them a couple days later down town). They usually catch Wahoo off the back while running the boat down or back. It's a really nice time.

I'd also swing by Alula Beach just north of the Kona Harbor. It's a really cool little secluded place where the turtles beach and hang out. You can walk out in the shallows and they swim right past you. Kids love it.

By the way, everyone loves Hapuna Beach next to you guys but that shit is crowded as fuck all the time.

And as stated above. Kona Brewing company was founded right there in Kona and the Pizza is OFF THE HOOK!! Get the pesto pizza. insane.

I'd also recommend a sport fish charter. Shit goes BIG off of Kona. World class sport fishing.

You'll have a good time. Get out and explore. There's KILLER shit if you just drive down roads off the highways. You'll find shacks right on the beaches, old towns, etc.

You are the man @Tank thanks for the recommendations. We have a mini van rented and going to try and hit the entire island.
 

highvoltagehands

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The snorkeling in Kealakeklua Bay aka Cooks Bay is great day trip. The night dive Watching the Manta Ray’s perform their under water ballet just off the Kona coast next to the Kona airport is like “Close encounters of the third kind” in person. It’s Totally EPIC! This is a worthy check off the ol’ bucket list. In March We stayed in this rental at the South end of Cooks Bay facing the obelisk Monument for Capt James Cook‘s Massacre. This bay is considered a dolphin sanctuary and every morning around 7-8am or around sunset we paddled kayaks or P-boards out a few hundred yards into bay and swam/snorkelled with literally hundreds of Spinnernose Dolphins As they headed in or out for the day. The entire family can easily share and enjoy this experience. Btw Don’t bother trying to hike to Capt Cooks obelisk, there’s no bathrooms and all the tourists shit everywhere and leave their garage behind.
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BingerFang

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The snorkeling in Kealakeklua Bay aka Cooks Bay is great day trip. The night dive Watching the Manta Ray’s perform their under water ballet just off the Kona coast next to the Kona airport is like “Close encounters of the third kind” in person. It’s Totally EPIC! This is a worthy check off the ol’ bucket list. In March We stayed in this rental at the South end of Cooks Bay facing the obelisk Monument for Capt James Cook‘s Massacre. This bay is considered a dolphin sanctuary and every morning around 7-8am or around sunset we paddled kayaks or P-boards out a few hundred yards into bay and swam/snorkelled with literally hundreds of Spinnernose Dolphins As they headed in or out for the day. The entire family can easily share and enjoy this experience. Btw Don’t bother trying to hike to Capt Cooks obelisk, there’s no bathrooms and all the tourists shit everywhere and leave their garage behind.
View attachment 1030531 View attachment 1030533 View attachment 1030534 View attachment 1030535 View attachment 1030537
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That is amazing!! Went to book a night tour but it was all booked up.
 

highvoltagehands

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That is amazing!! Went to book a night tour but it was all booked up.
Most of the dive venders also take snorkelers. Might try signing up for snorkeling and as alternate diver if a cancellation comes available. Peeps cancel or no show their dives all the time. The snorkelers in our group loved the show as the water depth is only like 35-50’ so the view is still great looking down. I think You can see some of the Snorklers in this video with their lights shining down. MR’s are attracted to the food illuminated in all lights facing up or down.


B1D94AAF-2F2A-4FEA-9880-7D1675B275D5.jpeg
 
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Tank

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You are the man @Tank thanks for the recommendations. We have a mini van rented and going to try and hit the entire island.
Have fun! Post some pics. Pretty sure we'll be heading over soon. Maybe Christmas.
 

Tank

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The Tsunami's are no joke in Hawaii. It's not a huge wave or anything just a tidal surge that floods everything. Our pool has been flooded numerous times from hurricanes or tsunamis.

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Waterjunky

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Lots of cool things on the big island. Been many times. The Manta's are truly epic. I have both dove and snorkeled it. The biggest thing is to get out of the resort and explore. Kona Brewing is great. They have live music several days a week. huggos on the rocks is fun, Don's mai tai bar is one of the best sunset locations on the island. Most of the stuff we do has already been mentioned. The one that has not shown up is the green sand beach. A couple of 4wd trails that lead interesting places are well worth it but not reasonable to try to explain here.
 

BingerFang

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Lots of cool things on the big island. Been many times. The Manta's are truly epic. I have both dove and snorkeled it. The biggest thing is to get out of the resort and explore. Kona Brewing is great. They have live music several days a week. huggos on the rocks is fun, Don's mai tai bar is one of the best sunset locations on the island. Most of the stuff we do has already been mentioned. The one that has not shown up is the green sand beach. A couple of 4wd trails that lead interesting places are well worth it but not reasonable to try to explain here.


Visited green sand beach yesterday, it was epic!!
 
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