Recommendations

Where to Eat

Walk the footpath which starts at the end of the dead end street of the neighborhood. That's about a quarter-mile trot to the waterfront. Hang a right and walk about one-half mile. You'll see a small coffee shop across the highway called Green Flash. Nice spot for some coffee and a breakfast sandwich.

Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill is close to the house, a casual dining spot for lunch or supper.

Papa Kona is right on the water, and across the road from a cool little market set up in a parking lot.

Across the street from the water, right in the Kona downtown, are some delicious eats: Island Lava Java and Fosters Kitchen are great. Park behind the buildings for free. Let your food digest a bit, while you wander along the water and check out some shops.

If you want a special meal, ditch flip flops for nice shoes and head up to Merriman's Big Island. You might check in advance if reservations make sense.

Breakfast with a view? Take a short drive south to The Coffee Shack. They have excellent food and you cannot beat the ambience.

Sean's personal fave: Rebel Kitchen. Walk only a few doors down to check out the Donkey Balls store for some chocolate-covered macadamia nuts.

Anjali's personal fave: Lava Lava Beach Club. Head north to Waikaloa and enjoy a meal right on the beach. They also have live music!

Things to Do

Use GPS / Google Maps or car navigation systems to get around the island. It's mainly one highway, but you can easily miss a turn.

Hapuna Beach, in Waimea, about a thirty mile drive north of the house, ranks in the top ten beaches in the world on several lists. It costs something like five bucks to park your car. Plan to spend a lot of time there: bring water, although a few vendors hang out to sell refreshments at reasonable costs.

If you're up for a bit of a hike, check out Green Sand beach. You'll see where people park cars, because you cannot make it all the way out in a rental. Kids will take you in trucks or Jeeps for ten bucks per person. It's six miles there and back, if you want to walk it.

In the island's northeast (just drive the ring highway), are rain forests and waterfalls. Wear comfortable shoes. The hikes are easy to navigate and the number of stairs aren't too terrible. Akaka Falls are the most spectacular.

It takes a while to get up the mountainside of Mauna Kea, so make that a day light on other activities if you want to check out the fantastic view from the world's tallest mountain (measured from its base, rather than sea level).