Exploring the Big Island
Exploring the Big Island is easy from the Kona condo. The “Big Island” is correctly named, as there is more square mileage than all the other Hawaiian islands combined. If you have the opportunity, it is truly worth visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hilo, Akaka Falls, Mauna Kea, Waipi’o Valley, Polulu Valley, the “Mega Resorts” on the the dry northwest coast and all the fabulous beaches between Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae. I will explore these areas later as well as some other hidden gems. When visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park it is a good idea to visit their website http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/ to check on the current status. I highly recommend getting the guide book “Hawaii The Big island Revealed” for in depth explorations and maps of the many Big island adventures. http://www.hawaiirevealed.com
Exploring the Big Island is a full day adventure and there isn’t enough time to see everything in one day. You may want to plan on just doing a few things that interest you. Most of the roads around the island are two lanes, with few passing lanes, so mileage can be a deceptive interpretation of travel time to those used to traveling on freeways. Also, on some Rental Car Maps, they state that the Saddle road and South Point road are forbidden to drive on. Saddle road used to be a one and a half lane, badly patched, dicey journey. The road has since been widened and resurfaced. I won’t tell you to ignore your rental car agreement, but I suspect that it shows up on maps to make the commute between Hilo and Kona less congested for the locals. The South Point road is still a bad road. It is a stark, windy (notice the trees bent horizontally with the prevailing wind and the rusting wind turbines), point of land mostly frequented by locals fishing off the cliffs. Cool to see, but not on the “A” list of things to do. Once again use your best judgment when taking your Rental Car on any side roads, as much of this island is forested with streams, and the possibility of flash floods and other dangers is always present. Remember to not leave any valuables in your car at the beach or on a hike.
Enough with the lecture. Exploring the Big Island is easy and there are many exciting things to do in Kona and elsewhere on the island. I would recommend that if you have the time you should visit the Hilo side, as it is entirely different from the Kona side.
Big Island Restaurants