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Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

San Antonio, Texas
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Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

HI there - we are staying in Kailua-Kona this December and plan to drive up along the Kohala Coast then to Akaka Falls for a day trip. Where along the way is a nice spot for lunch? We like restaurants that are nice, open air and/or outdoor seating and views of the ocean :)

Suggestions?

Thanks

Lorio

LA
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1. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

There aren't any restaurants that meet your criteria after you leave the Kohala coast. You'd be better to go the southern route to Hilo and eat there.

I don't really consider Akaka Falls a single destination. It's an hour visit, max, then onward.

Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

For open air and ocean views you're limited to the resorts on the Kohala Coast, but many of them are worth the visit as they are beautiful destinations in and of itself. I would recommend going to the Mauna Lani. It has lovely ponds with turtles, sharks, and rays (the hotel has a sea turtle breeding and release program), and then you can walk among the ancient preserved and maintained fishponds to the beach club which has a very good open air little restaurant alled Napua overlooking the beach at Makaiwa Bay. Good sandwiches, wraps, salads, fish.

Back on the road, go through Waimea, which is a cute upcountry town. If you need any wine or spirits, Kamuela Liquors is a great stop. Continue on to the cute historical town of Honokaa and the Waipio Valley overlook. Then Laupuahoehoe Point and Akaka Falls.

By now if you've taken your time you can arrange it so you're headed back into Kailua Kona around sunset. Stop at the Four Seasons just north of their airport and enjoy the grounds as well as their wonderful beach bar where you can eat or just have drinks in the sand overlooking the ocean. Great sunset spot.

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

You would think there would be lots ... but no. Locals don't see to care about eating with a view or eating outside, so when you're out of the tourist centers you won't find that.

I wouldn't go the southern route, but I do agree that Akaka isn't exactly a destination that calls for a day long drive. OTOH, it's a lovely drive, so why not? I would go as far as Hilo though, as you're going to drive almost three hours and then stop 15 minutes shy of Hilo, seems odd.

You might want to return via the Saddle.

Be sure to get a weather report before picking your day. It's December, so make sure it's not storming on Hamakua. You will not know from looking at the sky ... the weather on the west side is that different.

Tex's Drive-in has a fine view of the ocean from the parking lot. I can't recall now if you can see the ocean view from the outdoor seating -- maybe. The food there is not recommended, but the malasadas are if you like those. Makes a good pit stop.

Be aware that the restroom options on this drive are limited, and plan accordingly. Waimea (Parker Center), Tex's, Laupahoehoe Train museum, rustic bathrooms at Akaka -- that's about it.

What's Shakin at Pepe'ekeo has outdoor seating. It is a nice setting. I haven't eaten there since I moved here -- prices are set for tourists, not residents -- so I can't recall if you have a water view. It's certainly near water views, but there might be trees obscuring the ocean.

Minneapolis...
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4. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

When going to Akaka Falls, go to your right when first starting out. There will be steps to go down. The rest of the grade will be level the rest of the way.

If you go to the left, you will have to climb the stairs on your way out. Easier going down steps then up.

Can't remember exactly where we ate when over by Hilo.

Charlottesville...
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5. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

Has anyone tried the 50's Highway Fountain Diner in Laupahoehoe?

Honokaa, Hawaii
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6. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

I like the 50's diner. Breakfast mocos are good, so are the burgers. Owners are nice, and the decor is divine.

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

The diner is fun. I thought about suggesting the diner, but didn't because of the request for outdoor seating and view-- it has neither. It serves 50's type diner food, meat and fryer centered, for the cholesterolly fearless. :)

San Antonio, Texas
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8. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

Thank you for everyone's reply on this. My December trip was cancelled due to work but I'm there in April - all booked :) Anyhoo - I'm back on this subject and do like finsihing the day with drinks and sunset at the Four Seaons :)

I do have a question on the route back. Will taking the saddle road on the way back save us that much time? We will have a convertable... is the road a good quality?

Thanks for yoru assitance as always :)

Lorio

Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

Just as an FYI, the Saddle isn't a top off road. It's freezing cold up there even without the wind chill from driving, and it is dusty. Top on it should be fine.

Lots of topics here on Saddle Road. Just put it in the search bar ...

Edited: 5:38 pm, February 15, 2013
Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: Day trip to Akaka - lunch spot?

My car recorded the temperature as 30 degrees on the Saddle last March. Top down? Uh, no :-)

Make sure your rental contract allows it, it's a fine road, with beautiful scenery, and unique to Hawaii.

Glad you were able to rebook!