Now that we have experienced a part of the Big Island, I thought it would be fun to create an itinerary for a future trip. How would my trip look, if I were to do it again? Presuming I had a week, with no restrictions on where to lodge and rented a car, then my itinerary would look like this:

Day 1: Fly into Kona airport, pick up rental car, stay two nights in Kona in the Waikoloa area. Take it easy that evening with a local beach, grocery shopping and dinner at the Queens Marketplace.

Day 2: Rise early and drive north.

Day 3: Check out of hotel and drive south.

  • Sonny JJ would really enjoy a tour of the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm where he can see, touch and learn about seahorses.
  • Drive down to visit Kona Coffee Living History Farm. As coffee lovers, this would be a must-see in this area. However, we would have to time these two tours properly as the farm is only open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • Head to Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Park, unique for its historical and cultural significance as well as natural beauty. Spend a couple of hours here, enjoying the rich history. Snorkeling is allowed just outside the park, adjacent to the boat ramp. The park closes at sunset.
  • Drive to Volcano Village rental which will be our home for next two nights.

Day 4: Spend full day at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

  • The Jaggar Museum, Kilauea Visitor Center, the Thurston Lava Tube and the Chain of Craters are all on the top of the list. Back to rental to rest.
  • Return after dark to Jaggar Museum overlook to admire the glow from the caldera

Day 5: Drive to Hilo where we will spend the night.

  • Hit one of the beaches, either Carlsmith (four mile) or Richardson.
  • After lunch and rest, drive to Rainbow Falls
  • Then onto Mauna Kea Visitor Center. We want to be there in adequate time to get a parking spot. Spend evening at Mauna Kea stargazing.

Day 6: Leave Hilo to drive back closer to the airport.

Day 7: Relax and get ready to leave for airport

Dislikes about this itinerary:

  • amount of driving, but these distances are much shorter than what we have done in the past, like in New Zealand.
  • the packing and unpacking at so many hotels, but again, this can be managed with a bit more planning than usual.

Like about this itinerary:

  • Allows us to enjoy the variety of experiences this island has to offer.