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Things to do in Hawaii (besides drink on the beach)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by TyWebb, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    I'm taking Lacey Underall to Hawaii for a week next week. We're going to three islands - Oahu, Maui and Kona. The only things we have planned are a whale watching tour and a trip to Pearl Habor. Other than that, our week is pretty open. We were thinking about doing a bike ride down a volcano, but apparently you have to get up ass early in the morning to do it, it takes all day and it is very cold, so that idea was nixed.

    Any veteran Hawaiian travelers have any suggestions?
  2. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    We did the mountain/volcano thing at Maui, but drove it instead of biking, and also did it at sunset, as opposed to sunrise. Less crowded and we had no interest in getting up at 4am to make the sunrise show. If you go, dress warm--it is effin' cold at the top.

    Recommend driving the Road to Hana on Maui as well. At the end of it is a black sand beach that was one of my favorite memories of the trip.
  3. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Just drink on the beach! :)
  4. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Nailed it.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The Trilogy cruise to Lanai is expensive, but a real winner of a day. They take you to a marine sanctuary. (I haven't done the cruise to Molokini, but I recall that being more for the party crowd, very crowded once you get to the island and the jump-offs are in open unrestricted water.)

    If you gave me one place in the whole world to put down a blanket and take a nap, it would be under the banyan tree in Lahaina. So that's an afternoon.

    We did the ride up/bike down to Haleakala and found it to be a little bit overrated. Neato sunrise but you can get that anywhere. And frickin' cold.
  6. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I lived on the Big Island for a while, so I can give you some pretty detailed ideas about what to do there.

    I highly recommend renting a Jeep or other 4-wheel drive vehicle and driving from Kona down the west coast of the island to South Point, then to Kilauea in Volcanoes National Park and finally to Pahoa (where you can really see the lava from Kilauea pouring in to the ocean). It's a long day, but it hits some high points and you can drive there and back to your hotel. Or, you can continue on from Pahoa to Hilo, and stay the night there. Then the next day, you can take the northern track to Waipio Valley (think of the waterfall behind the helicopter as it descends onto the island in Jurassic Park), hit Parker Ranch or the summit of Mauna Kea and be back in Kona by dinner time. Akaka Falls is also gorgeous if you have time.

    While you're in Kona, Ali'i Drive is where you'll spend most of your time. Laverne's, Bongo Ben's, the Fish Hopper, Huggo's on the Rocks and Oceans are hotspots. Kona Canoe Club is a nice lunch spot. Huggo's usually has live music, the best view in town and you can sit with your feet in the sand. Bongo Ben's has probably the best breakfast and lunch menu. Laverne's used to be called Lulu's and was the best night spot, though I'm not sure what it's like now. Oceans was probably second best for nightlife. The Kona Brewpub is a great place for dinner and the beers are fantastic (and the pizza, too). If you like dive bars, Kona Town Tavern used to be great, but I think it closed. Might try Sam's Hideaway, which has karaoke.

    As for beaches, Magic Sands (south of Kona) was my go-to spot. It's close, the sand is gorgeous (when it's there), there's some decent snorkeling to sides of the beach and a hotel with a nice little bar right next door to grab lunch and cold one. Kua Bay in Kekaha Kai State Park, north of Kona off the Queen K highway is probably my favorite, though there's not much in the way of amenities (small parking lot, showers, bathrooms). Further north (I think a 45-min drive from Kona) is the largest sandy beach, Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, which has lifeguards, plenty of parking, etc. It's also near Mauna Kea Resort, which, IIRC, offers snorkeling with sting rays at night. It's a beautiful beach, but all tourists, no local vibe and was a bit too far for me to frequent it.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
  7. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Good shit, bigpern. Much appreciated.

    How many of those restaurants you listed are seafood? Unfortunatley, I'm allergic, so I'm always cautious about food when heading to a beach or island.
  8. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    Free diving, fishing, hiking, ocean kayaking?
  9. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    If it were me, I'd be planning:
    • Sit on the beach and drink.
    • Sit by the pool and drink.

    The woman would hate that, though, so it's lucky we are in no danger of vacationing in Hawaii soon.
    Dick Whitman likes this.
  10. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Shame you're allergic because some of the seafood there is really exquisite. There's not much better than a seared ahi straight off the boat at The Fish Hopper.

    They all probably offer seafood to some degree, but a lot of them offer a variety of dishes ranging from American pub food, to barbecue, polynesian and more. The Fish Hopper, obviously, is a seafood restaurant (though they do offer a variety of steaks) and Huggo's is also known for its excellent seafood (boats literally sell their catch to the restaurant right off the water), but it also has plenty of other good food. They're also two of the better dining experiences you can have in Kona, so I'd at least stop in for a drink.

    The Kona Brewing Co. brewpub is not seafood-centric and has some of the best food in town, so definitely check that out. Laverne's (formerly Lulu's) used to have a pretty normal American bar menu. Oceans is normal pub grub. Splasher's Grill had only just opened when I was there, so the food was just OK. It may be better now, but it's about half seafood, half land food, and an awesome second-floor view. Bongo Ben's has plenty of options and good food (four of five stars, I'd say), particularly for breakfast. Kona Canoe Club also has a variety of options.

    I'd avoid Don the Beachcomber's for a non-seafood dinner, but definitely get drinks there at some point. It's known for it's Mai Tais, it's got an amazing view and pool (it's part of the Royal Kona Resort).

    Not sure if you're a coffee drinker, but Kona coffee is some of the best in the world. Stop at Lava Java for a fresh cup.

    Also, if you want to save on wait times while getting takeout food or coffee (particularly on Oahu) download an app called Dodecki. It allows you to view menus, order and pay ahead so you can walk in and pick up your food.

    Lastly, some of my info could be a bit dated (though I looked a few things up to make sure restaurants are still open, etc.). I recommend getting a current guide book such as The Big Island Revealed or Lonely Planet or Froemmer's to help you find places that may have opened in the last five years or so. A quick Google check looks like things are pretty much the same, but I found those guide books to be pretty useful when I first moved there.
  11. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    1. Locate Jake Scott.
    2. Drink on the beach with Jake Scott.
    Tweener likes this.
  12. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Oh, and @TyWebb, you suck because now all I can think about is how long it will be until my kids can handle a vacation to Hawaii. Fucker. :D
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