Things To Do Between Volcano Village and Hilo

My first day staying in Volcano Village, I spent exploring west of town on the Ka’u Coast and then ate lots of macadamia nuts at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Visitor Center before spending a peaceful hour in Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens in the late afternoon. I spent the entire second day in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

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Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Having been on the Big Island for four days now, I finally set foot in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, one of the biggest reasons for me visiting the Big Island. Though I researched the park before coming to make sure it was accessible due to the eruption of Kīlauea Volcano that damaged countless homes, I still wasn’t sure what to expect.

I learned 90% of the park is open, though a few popular places such as the Jagger Museum and the Thurston Lava tube are still closed due to instability. I was also surprised to learn that the lava flow was mostly northeast of the park in Leilani Estates.

In addition, the eruption drained the lava from the collapsed Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, so hiking at night to see the lava glow wasn’t an option. Though slightly disappointed by this, it made the logistics of when and where to go a lot easier!

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Hawaii’s Kohala Coast

The Kohala Coast

After a full 12 hour day driving the Hamakua Coast from Kona yesterday, I opted for the closer Kohala Coast today. It still felt like a lot of driving, and if I had it to do over again, I’d probably just stay in Waikoloa Village at one of the resorts and relax a little more given my short time here. That said I have a problem with FOMO, fear of missing out, so I had to see everything!

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Hawaii’s Hamakua Coast

The Big Island

My first stop on my six week adventure of island hopping was to the Big Island of Hawaii. I only allotted a week of time, and I quickly learned this was not enough. Each side of the island, Kona on the west coast and Hilo on the east coast each deserve a week with all the optional side trips and a few days of relaxation.

During my time in Kona, I spent a day exploring the Hamakua Coast. While I saw many places, each stop was very brief and it was a very full day of driving. If I had to do it over again, I’d limit my stops to about three places at which to spend more time rather than feeling like I was always in the car. Anyway, these are the places I visited.

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A Day in Waikiki, Hawaii

Well, I was right, 3:30 am rolled around and so did I. I was certainly a bit restless for the next two hours. I finally got up at 5:30 and went down to the coffee shop just before 6. It wasn’t open…hmmm. Then I remembered I needed to geocache! I’ve cached in every state but Hawaii and Alaska. According to my app, there was one hidden less than a quarter of a mile away from my hotel and across from the park. Continue reading “A Day in Waikiki, Hawaii”

A Night in Waikiki, Hawaii

Getting to Hawaii

It was a blizzard in Denver today. My plane got out before 500 flights were cancelled…Whew! We were delayed for de-icing but made up all the time in the air! I sat next to a father son pair that had gotten stranded in Denver overnight while trying to make it home from the east coast to the west coast. The older gentleman, who required a wheel chair and hearing aids, saw my Denver library book, Gone Girl, which I recommend, and asked if I skied…HA! I’m all about warm weather, and I’m glad I’m leaving it up to Sean to shovel my sidewalk, while I head to the Pacific (Hawaii, Palau, Japan, and Thailand). Continue reading “A Night in Waikiki, Hawaii”