Had a great time, of course. Highlights:
Fair Winds 2 snorkel trip to Kealakekua Bay
Spending the day at Mauna Kea Beach
Honaunau (Place of Refuge)
Things i was underwhelmed with:
Most of the "beaches"
Kealakekua Bay was awesome. Fair Winds was great b/c we had a large group, many of whom were not really capable of kayaking the bay, and they bbq'd for us, which was nice.
Mauna Kea beach might be the nicest beach I've ever been to, and I was surprised at the quality of the snorkeling on the south (left) end of the beach.
Having backpacked Mt. St. Helens several times, I sort of figured I wouldn't be "blown away" by the volcano, and I wasn't. Still, I'm definately glad I went. The quick stop at Punalu'u on the way was definately worth it.
Kona reminds me a lot of Eugene, Oregon, very funky and bohemian, lots of hippies. Shopping was okay, parking was terrible food was so-so.
The great thing about this island is that it's quite vast and there's a lot to see. The bad thing about this island is that it's quite vast and nothing is close to you.
Also, the lack of nice beaches was a bit of a bummer. Kohala seemed to be the only place w/ large sandy beaches.
I guess I'm used to Kauai where the beaches have both excellent snorkeling, swimming and great sand all rolled into one. I did have a great time, however, and will definately return to check out more of the island. But, in my humble opinion, Kauai > Big Island.