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Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

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Montreal
posts: 1,049
reviews: 73
Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

Hi: We'll be staying in volcano 2 nights and then heading up the East side of the island to get to Mauna Lani. We're 2 adults and a preteen boy. I was planning on visiting both places on our drive to M.L., but I read a reply from KK in another post stating both are similar, and she recommended breaking up the visits to both with an activity in between.

Opinions please from those who've been to both: is it worthwhile visiting both places? If not which do you prefer, and why?

Thanks so much,

Kay

Montreal
posts: 1,049
reviews: 73
1. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

I forgot to mention, the botanical gdn. I'm thinking of is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. I think there's another one nearby, but this one gets better reviews.

K

ON, Canada
posts: 9,228
reviews: 34
2. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

We did both in one day & DH & I both loved the Botanical Gardens, so I would highly recommend them. Akaka Falls was interesting, and quite different from the gardens. If both fit into your schedule for that day, I would do them.

Luggage in your trunk can be a concern, but I wouldn't worry about it at the gardens parking lot. At Akaka Falls there are security cameras, and there was an attendant collecting money when we were there (which might be a deterrent to would be thieves.)

I would allow about 2 hours at the gardens - you could do it in less time, but it's nice to have time to stop and admire the vegetation, scenery, etc. 45 minutes at Akaka should be enough time. If you find yourself with an extra 45 minutes on your way to the ML, I would take the detour to the Waipio Valley overlook ... it's a spectacular view!

Edited: 4:20 pm, May 15, 2013
Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 29,236
reviews: 4
3. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

I was talking to someone who was coming the other direction and wanting to do the farmer's market too. Lots of visitors do these back to back because it works out that is how they have a chance to do it. If you had more time n the area you might break them up, but if not no worries.

Re theft--don't leave your belongings unattended at the Onomea Bay trail as there is no security there and there have been break-ins on occasion there. Ditto if you were to stop at Honoli'i.

Denver, Colorado
posts: 2,240
reviews: 25
4. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

Luggage will be "safe" at Akaka Falls if there is an attendant at the parking pay kiosk. If so pay the full 5 bucks and pick a spot with in the gated area. If full you can choose to park along the road outside of the gate and pay just a buck but less secure. For Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens I wouldn't worry too much about luggage. However, in both cases never leave obvious valuables in plain site such as camera or I-phone.....as w/ my home town Denver, smash and grabs take only seconds and happen right out side my Health Club door all of the time.

If you want to do all of the sites heading north from Hilo make a full day of it. Other suggested stops are get a fresh fruit smoothie or lunch just north of the gardens at What's Shakin, Honomu town has some nice shops on the way to/from Akaka Falls, then Laupahoehoe Village has the nice 50's Diner Fountain that I like for a milk shake or full lunch, then Laupahoehoe Point is very scenic and you can park with in eye sight of the scenery, then up the road Honokaa town and Waipio Valley overlook are an easy side trip (just watch for residents walking their dogs along that road Route 240 w/o leashes).

Also, when heading north from Hilo watch the speed limit signs. I got a warning for going 60 in a 45mph zone and you can't really pick up speed to 55mph till you get past Akaka Falls cut off road.

Montreal
posts: 1,049
reviews: 73
5. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

Thanks, as always for your timely and helpful replies. A little more than 2 months to go!!

K

Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 29,236
reviews: 4
6. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

I donʻt think thieves would dare violate the HTBG parking lot. The gardens have a ton of pull in this area, and I could see them getting the full attention of the police if that were to become an issue. The police know who the lowlifes are, but they donʻt normally extend themselves over a few break-ins -- but they just might for HTBG.

Still never smart to leave visible valuables.

Youʻre welcome, Kay!

ON, Canada
posts: 9,228
reviews: 34
7. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

<<"Re theft--don't leave your belongings unattended at the Onomea Bay trail ...">>

I would add the advice to skip the Onomea Bay Trail if you're going to the gardens, because the trails through the gardens go down to the bay and provide wonderful views of it.

Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 29,236
reviews: 4
8. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

That is true!

The lookout offers a good photo op, but you can get that without leaving you car. The access is basically for people NOT going to HTBG. I heard recently that the community had to fight for that access, as the gardens were against it. I always recommend the HTBG, but Onomea Bay should be for everyone, including those who donʻt have $15 to spend to go down there. And now it is.

ON, Canada
posts: 9,228
reviews: 34
9. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

I agree KK ... if you're not going to HTBG, the Onomea Bay Trail shouldn't be missed. We did both, (the trail first) not realizing that we would see as much of the bay as we did from the gardens ... no regrets though, a bit of extra exercise and some different angles of the spectacular views!

10. Re: Akaka Falls and/or Botanical Gdn

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