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.LET’S GO
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!LET’S GO
Upon my arrival on the Big Island of Hawai’i, I spent three days exploring the Hamakua Coast, the Kohala Coast, and the Kona Coast before I transferred over to the east side of the Island near Hilo. Since I was most interested in hiking in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, I rented a VRBO near Volcano Village. I ended up in a little piece of paradise.LET’S GO
For my third day and final day in Kona, not quite long enough, I strolled the downtown and then headed south along the Kona Coast. The downtown is basically one street that travels about a mile along the coast. It is complete with old Royal Palaces, churches, cafes, shops and a few unappealing, tiny beaches.LET’S GO
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!LET’S GO
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.EXPLORE!