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Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

New York, NY
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Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

Hi,

I am visiting Hawaii for the first time and I am very excited about this. I will be visiting 3 islands and my first stop is the Big Island in Kailua-Kona. Can you please recommend to me the must-see things I should not miss while being in the Big Island. Is it possible to make a day trip to Hilo to see the big volcano? If so, how long is the car ride there? If its not possible, are there any other volcanos I can see? I really would love to see volcanos if i get the chance but I'm not sure if it is too far from the Kailua-Kona area. Please let me know. Thanks!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

Okay - how many days do you have for the Big Island and when are you coming? Also, what other islands and how long will you be on those? Is this already all booked?

It is possible to see the Volcano via day trip, but that is a long day in the car - often it is recommended to fly into Hilo and out of Kona to lessen your driving.

New York, NY
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2. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

I will only be staying in Kailua-Kona for 3 nights so I wanted to get some suggestions for the must-see things to do for the short time that I am there. Next stop is Kauai for another 3 nights and then Maui for 5 nights. So is the only possible way to see the big volcano is to fly there? Is that even possible for a day trip?

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

Personally, I wouldn't even attempt to see the Big Island in 3 days . . . I would visit one or two islands max with the time you have. You will need to rent a car on each island, pay for flights between each island, etc. Some folks do a day trip to the Big Island, but do realize that the volcano lava isn't always visable, if that is what you are hoping to see. :)

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

As coalminer asked, when are to coming and is this all booked? Coming from Hawaii with only 11 nights, three islands is way too much IMO, and it makes no sense to allocate the least amount of your time to the Big Island (which is the biggest island). If you only have three nights for the BI and VNP is your primary interest, fly into Hilo and stay in Volcano. Bear in mind that while VNP is very interesting in its own right, the only way to get to active lava flows at the moment is a guided, fairly strenuous 5 hour hike or with a helicopter tour. It is not the conical, Hollywood, spewing lava volcano many people expect to see.

If this is all booked and you can't make any changes we can try to give you some suggestions for a 3 night stay in Kailua Kona. What are your other interests? Who's traveling? Where are you staying?

Canada
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5. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

Sure sounds like everything is already a done deal.....due to the precise night assignments and Island sequence quoted.

Oh Well.... a 3 night stay on the Big Island (west side) with an expressed interest to visit the VNP (East side).....is as you can probably tell .... not anywhere near practical.

Sure you can do a day trip(7+ hours in the vehicle) from Kailua-Kona town by car to visit VNP for a few brief hours. You must be sure to come back in the daylight ( Treacherous, unfamiliar roads). It is an unbelievably long day with no guarantee of seeing what you hope to see.

A helicopter tour, which would give you a different vantage.....is pretty darned expensive....but significantly less time consuming.

A 3 Island Hawaiian visit in the few days you have allotted is not something that holds much allure. Lots of Airport time, checking out.....waiting to check- in etc etc...

Any way you can drop one Island???? ..(Big Island) and make it a wonderful 5/6 Kauai /Maui trip??

Oregon
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6. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

You can get an early start from Kona, go to Volcano NP which is 2 1/2 hour drive each way. spend a couple hours there. Vis center very nice then head back to Kona. You could go down chain of craters road and back. As noted you will see no active volcano.

If volcano your goal Hilo would be better

Edited: 5:52 pm, September 10, 2012
Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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7. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

Unfortunately, it sounds like you heard there was a volcano but didn't read much about it (or you wouldn't ask about other volcanoes). Then booked without asking questions.

Must see depends on the person, and you didn't tell us anything about you. When it comes to a rural island, the must sees are not so obvious as what are the highlights of Paris or London. There are lots of great things to do.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

We stayed at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and had no issues driving out to see Volcano National Park for a day. We went to see the displays at the Visitor Center, drove the Crater Rim Drive, tried to drive the Chain of Craters Road (it was closed part of the way), did about a one hour hike and got back to Hilo for supper while it was still light out. I think we were back at our hotel around 9pm (can't remember what time we left in the morning). Totally doable.

9. Re: Kailua-Kona Stay- first time in Hawaii!

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