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Enjoy a Family Vacation in Hawaii

Adventures Abound in Paradise

Destination: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Big Island)

Hawaii’s Big Island is home to the world-famous Kilauea volcano as well as many of earth's natural wonders. Experience island culture and the Hawaiian way of life in this premier destination.

Family-Friendly Amenities:

Arcade  
Activities Staff On-site X
Babysitting Services On-site  
Babysitting Services Nearby X
Children's Wading Pool X
Continental Breakfast  
Cribs (available upon request)  
DVD Player* X
Full Kitchen Available* X
Kitchenette*  
Microwave X
On-site Movie Rentals  
Playground X
Restaurant On-site X
VCR Player X
In-room Washer/Dryer X


*In Select Rooms 

15 Things to Do in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (Big Island)

Hawaii's Big Island is just that -Big! With many sights to explore, blue beaches and clear skies, there's not enough time to do it all!

  • Eat authentic Hawaiian sweetbread
  • Learn about Hawaii’s coffee growing industry
  • Learn to surf, or at least try to learn!
  • Visit the Kilauea Volcano and see molten lava
  • Snorkel in connected tidal pools
  • Walk in Coconut groves on the Kona's Kohala Coast
  • Walk in a bamboo forest to a stunning waterfall
  • Hike the Kazumura lava-tube cave system  
  • Take an exhilarating helicopter tour and see the Islands’ interiors 
  • Visit the world’s most famous observatory on Mauna Kea 
  • Visit Parker Ranch - one of the largest cattle ranches in the U.S. 
  • Go "urban snorkeling" 
  • Take a walk through a 1959 volcano eruption site 
  • Visit the Volcano winery 
  • Activities on Hawaii's Big Island
  • Play & Stay in the beautiful island of Hawaii! 

ADVENTURE

Surf, Scuba, Snorkel—on all the islands!
If you’ve come to Hawaii for the water sports you’ve chosen the right spot. This is a veritable outdoor playground with water and reef conditions perfect for everyone from toddlers to teens. The thrill of riding a wave or seeing a colorful fish for the first time in its natural habitat is beyond description. Dive in, folks. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Get on board a board in Kona and let Kona Mike Surf Adventures show you how. Instructors with at least 10-15 years of surfing experience will work with newbies to surfing to guarantee a safe, fun and successful day in the waves. Located in Kona Town, the shop is close to a variety of beaches; naturally the location where you surf will vary based on weather and wave conditions. Instructions begin with a safety briefing at the “Surf Shack” before heading out for your adventure. Prices start at $99 and go up from there depending on the size of the group and number of lessons. Wear a swimsuit, bring a towel and lather on the sunscreen. Kona Mike provides the rest of the gear. Get ready for the time of your life! (808) 334-0033, 74-5606 Pawai Place, Suite 103, Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740. Students must have their own transportation to the Surf Shack AND to the selected instruction beach.

Snorkeling at Kahalu'u Beach Park is an excellent idea — since that’s what it’s famous for. Kahalu'u Beach Park is a grey sand beach next to Ku’emanu Heiau and St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Think of it as “urban snorkeling.” Often you’ll see dolphin and marlin jumping around in the water! The bays are fed by fresh water from a spring and are almost always calm. Take an underwater camera with you. Head for the waves at the north end of the beach for bodyboarding and surfing. Facilities include restrooms, showers and shady picnic areas as well as excellent wading and swimming for the little ones. Take Ali'i Drive south from Kailua-Kona. The beach park is located at Mile Marker #5, south of St. Peter's Catholic Church. Small parking lot—or park on street.

Divers!! Skin dive at night and see Manta rays (180-300+ pounds, up to 23 feet long) gobbling up plankton at Hawaii’s Garden Eel Cove. Arrange in advance if you want to partake in a nighttime feeding by registering for a guided two-tank night dive led by Keller Laros with Jack’s Diving Locker ($115 /includes tanks and weights). 

In the Sky: Take a Helicopter Tour
One of the most popular ways to see Hawaii is from the cab of a helicopter. Why? Because a large swath of Hawaii’s most beautiful landscapes cannot be reached any other way. Not even jeeps and other 4-wheel vehicles can reach the Islands’ non-navigable valleys, cliffs, beaches and mountaintops. Also, touring by helicopter is probably the safest and most comfortable way to see lava flowing or craters spewing, especially if you are unable to hike long distances. The comfort and safety of a helicopter is hard to beat, even on a motor coach. The time efficiency is obvious. It’s the pocket book that says ouch.

Many tour companies on the islands (see a partial list below) provide safe, narrated tours of the most inaccessible terrains on the planet. If your budget permits, take off with the kids in a flying “sky taxi”—soaring over volcanic cliffs and craters, water-fed canyons and valleys, beaches, rainforests, waterfalls and towns. With 360-degree panoramas, the magnitude of the islands’ beauty and geologic character comes into clear, unbelievable focus.

Kids, teens and elders yelp with excitement as they gaze into craters of extinct and active volcanoes, cruise the Na Pali coastline, hover over Kauai’s rugged interior wilderness, or float above Hawaii’s north shore beaches. The thrills change dramatically at night—try a sunset flight! Many tour companies provide head phones so passengers clearly hear the guide’s tour points and insights; some provide mood-enhancing music that renders the scenic experience downright mystical. This is one ride you won’t want to end.

Most tour companies fly daily, weather permitting of course. Flight durations vary (usually 30-90 minutes in length) and costs vary accordingly. Don’t skimp if you can help it—stay in the air as long as you can afford or you’ll regret it. Helicopter cabins are not pressurized but your ears will pop and you may get chilled so carry a sweater. Naturally this is not an exploit for everyone—especially those with fear of heights, flying, or those who easily experience motion sickness. Tour goers can request specific seats when making reservations, but seating is usually determined after height and body weights of passengers are analyzed by an FAA-approved computer program that will determine the best weight distribution for your specific flight. Many companies fly charters if desired. Make reservations in advance on line and save money; watch for cancellation policy details, however. And, here’s a good hint, recommended by one of the tour companies: Wear dark clothing on your tour. This will cut down a lot on the reflections off cabin windows! And, be sure to take your camera and video equipment if possible. A few Island operators are listed below, but this is only a small representation of the companies available for hire:

  • Blue Hawaiian Helicopters 
  • Safari Helicopters

Stargazing Mauna Kea Observatories
Are the stars out tonight? They are at the W. M. Keck Observatory! Widely acclaimed as the best star gazing spot in the world, to actually visit the world’s largest optical and infrared telescopes requires commandeering a 4-wheel drive vehicle to the summit of Mauna Kea and touring the visitor center. Info: (808) 961-2180. At the summit are 11 telescopes representing at least 13 countries. Scientists watch the heavens day and night making remarkable, unbeliveable observations, photos and discoveries about our incredible universe.

More likely your family adventure will be heading to the Observatory’s seven-acre campus headquarters in Waimea Town. Visitors here view the same video featured at the summit—and once a month there is a lecture, so call in advance to confirm dates, depending on your schedule and interest: (808) 881-3814. The center’s informative interactive lobby displays are part of the administrative headquarters for the 13 telescopes at Keck Observatory. Besides being surrounded by a “relatively thermally-stable ocean,” Mauna Kea summit stands 13,796 ft. The air is dry, calm and crystal clear…idyllic conditions for stargazing. Come see what NASA and other astronomers are learning about space. Stargazing enthusiasts can take a tour to the top of Mauna Kea, starting with a dinner at Parker Ranch. 

HISTORIC & CULTURAL

Visit Volcanoes
Move over Galapagos Islands, the Hawaiian Islands are considered the most isolated islands on the planet and, therefore, at least 90% of its plant and animal life (evolving now for over 70 million years) exists only here. You’ll literally be visiting a laboratory for bio-geography and evolution research, not to mention one of the most unique landscapes and most popular tourist destinations in the world. To manage the various eco systems found in this immense park is no small feat for the National Park Service, especially considering they also accommodate 2.5 million visitors per year. Many of the park’s prized biologic species are highly threatened or have been compromised by disease, invasive plants, and feral or “introduced” animals and insects. 

What you do in the park actually depends on how much time you have. Save at least three hours to do it justice. For a shorter visit, cut to the chase and explore the summit of Kilauea and its caldera by driving the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive. This scenic road encircles the crater and puts varied eco systems on display while en route with its nice stopping points and short trails. If you have more time, drive the steep Chain of Craters Road (where the road plummets 3,700 ft. in 20 miles—amazingly from crater to sea level). Of course, there are many trails for hiking, biking, and lava viewing plus many Park events and Ranger Interpretive Programs to enjoy in the Park as well. Those lucky visitors to the Park on Mondays can participate in the free, easy-to-navigate, ranger-led, one-hour Niaulani Nature Walk through a lovely old-growth rain forest. Call (808) 967-8222 for details; hike starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.

Get your group psyched, oriented and educated at the Kilauea Visitors Center; here you’ll find current eruption and weather updates and can ask Rangers about hiking trails and off road excursions. Open 7:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily. View a fascinating film about the Park—it runs on the hour. The Center’s Jaggar Museum is open 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. daily, and there’s two bookstores to browse on site for specific subjects, postcards and souvenirs. Adjacent to the Visitor Center is the Volcano Art Center Gallery and across the street is the Volcano House, a historic building where families can take a break, have a quick bite to eat, use restrooms and shop for sundries and at the galleries. 

The energetic ones in your group will want to walk the famous Kilauea Iki Trail (4 mi.) to a 1959 eruption site that left strange “fountains of lava.” The super energetic in the clan probably want to go see lava flowing in real time—yep, right off the cliff. This is possible too, although it’s an all day excursion. Tours are available—or you can drive yourselves down Chain of Craters Road (20 mi.) to the coast. Rangers will point you in the right direction, walking the Napau Trail—a hardy 14+-mile roundtrip day hike over a glassy lava shield, around a gigantic belching crater, through giant ferns to as close to the point of the eruption as is reasonably safe to approach. This is a hot and rugged hike; shoes have been knows to incinerate on the hot lava surfaces, so take the journey seriously. (Also, be forewarned. Lava flow is extremely unpredictable and plenty of folks have made the hike without actually seeing the red stuff in action. It’s the risk you take.) But, think of the stories you’ll be able to share back home!

The Park includes tropical beaches and huge blackened lava fields. Rain forests, canyons, and active, erupting volcanoes are also “part of the mix.” The summit at Mauna Loa is nearly 14,000 feet high. More than 300 sacred ancient sites have been identified in the Park. In fact, visitors can easily view the Pu'uloa Petroglyphs (AD1200-1450) carved in the pahoehoe lava by native peoples, recording travels, party size, current events and marking trails and boundaries. It’s very cool to go on line and download what all the circles and dots mean before you arrive at the site. This way, the whole family will enjoy “interpreting” the glyphs! Look for a parking pullout on Chain of Craters Road, MP16.5. Then walk over somewhat uneven lava rock (.7 miles) to get to the petroglyphs viewing boardwalk.) While you’re “out there” communicating with Islanders from an ancient past, remember to take only pictures, NOT rubbings, and stay on the paths. This is a very fragile environment! (Travel directions to the Park: From Hilo: 30 miles southwest on Hwy. 11 (a 45-minute drive); from Kailua-Kona: 96 miles southeast on Hwy. 11 (2 to 2 1/2 hour drive), or 125 miles through Waimea and Hilo via Highways 19 and 11 (2 1/2 to 3 hours). You can take public transportation from Hilo, but it’s limited. Park Entrance Fee: $10.

Exploring Lava Tubes is “the rage” for those seeking an unforgettable experience. (The spelunker in your pod will just love the tubes!) Unless you have 4-wheel drive and know your way around well enough to locate remote, off-the-beaten path lava tubes, a guided tour is probably your best bet for exploring a natural lava cave in a manageable and safe way. 

Harry Shick started tours to prime areas in the Kazumura cave system in the 1990’s and offers expeditions into many of the more famous lava tubes. Tours range in time from one-hour informative walks to hard-core, very technical caving experiences that last 8 hours or more. Look at some of the pictures of hiking options on line. Many of the tours are not for claustrophobics. By appointment on most days, call Harry Shick, Kazumura Cave Guided Tours (808) 967-7208. Reservations are a must, as is 24-hour advance notice. There are other tour companies too: call Volcano Cave Adventures at (808) 968-0763 for reservations/info. (Starting from $35 pp/two-person minimum. Kids nine and older only. Lights and gloves are provided, wear boots long pants and carry a small daypack with water and snacks.) The Big Island’s Lava Tube Cave Adventure, Kilauea/Caverns of Fire offers a scenic, safe and easy walking tour ($29) and a more robust three-hour trip, intended for the physically fit only. ($79) Visitors must wear closed toe shoes. Lights, gloves and helmets are provided. Daily tours by appointment (808) 217-2363. Located just south of Hilo off Highway 11, between Mountain View & Kurtistown.

Or, visitors to Volcano’s National Park may want to tour the famous Thurston Lava Tube—especially if it’s going to be your only chance to see one. This tube and experience are related to the Park’s history but Thurston is not nearly as visually spectacular as the Kazumura tube system is. Kayaking to view lava tubes/caves from the ocean is possible as well. On the Big Island, go to the lava rock coast of Kealakekua Bay (where Captain Cook met his doom) and visit lava caves and magnificent coral “gardens” teeming with dazzling colored fish. 

Parker Ranch
To visit the “whole” of Parker Ranch you’ll have to saddle up an ATV, join an interpretive tour guide, and “gallop” around the place “on wheels.” Or you can tour the old fashioned way on horseback! What a fantastic way to see this 150,000-acre historic working cattle ranch with knockout scenic views that make even cowboys cry (or Paniolos, as they’re called in Hawaii). Less active types may want to tour the historic homes on the Ranch and luxuriate peacefully in the gardens of the most famous homes, Puuopelu (built in 1862 and home to generations of Parkers) and Mana Hale, located just outside of Waimea town. 

Around 90% of Parker Ranch is dedicated to cattle grazing; it is said to be one of the largest cattle ranches in the U.S. and has stats to prove it. 850 miles of fence, 650 water troughs, 45 corrals. You get the picture. The cattle are tended to, still, by skilled Parker Ranch Paniolos working 250 of the state’s finest thoroughbred and quarter horses. This is a totally awesome day of exploration and a “something new” round up for you and the kids. To buy tickets visitors must initially visit the Parker Ranch Visitor Center and Museum in Waimea Town. Here you’ll discover that Parker Ranch is about a lot more than just raising cattle. The Parker Family—realizing this ranch has always been, and remains, an integral part of the community, the environment and the area’s natural resources—has served as a catalyst in proposing economically-sustainable development options for the area. At the Visitor Center you’ll learn all about an historic ranch with a “forward-thinking heart.” Energy production and use, natural resources preservation, historic and cultural “integrity of place.” and sustainable tourism are key driving factors in the Ranch’s umbrella development plan called Waimea Town Center Plan. You can buy combo tickets for the Visitor Center and the Historic Homes tour, which might be the best way to thoroughly explore this legendary ranch site. Anyway you cut it, this is a fascinating adventure for everyone in your posse. (808) 885-7655 or toll-free 1 (877) 885-7999. Open 9-5 p.m., last tour at 4 p.m., Mon-Sat. 67-1435 Mamolahoa Highway. See the stars and the land on this journey by coupling this adventure with a tour of the Keck Observatory Headquarters.  

SHOPPING & DINING

Made in Hawaii:

  • Kawamata Farms, at Kamuela on the big Island award winning produce for vine ripened tomatoes. Available at grocery stores throughout the Islands. 
  • Volcano Winery, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: (808) 967-7772. Located at 30-mile marker near the volcano.
  • Volcano Art Center Gallery—Located in the historic 1877 Volcano House Hotel, now part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this versatile gallery features paintings, glass, wood work, prints, photographs, sculpture, pottery and crafts made by over 300 Island artists. As an added treat, guests also see historic points of interest while visiting the Gallery building, The gallery also offers a notable selection of Hawaiian inspired gifts, home furnishings, clothing, books, and music. Many items featured here are one of a kind and will not be found elsewhere. (808) 967-7565. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except Christmas.

Shopping Destinations

Hawaii/Kona

  • Waikoloa Queens' MarketPlace: Kona’s newest center features 135,000 square feet of upscale shops and restaurants at Waikoloa Beach. Stock up on goodies at the center's Island Gourmet Market, offering gourmet food and wines plus a vast selection of cheeses and delectable smoked seafood. Adults who enjoy sampling new wines will also appreciate the in-store wine tasting rooms. 
  • Mauna Kea Royal Kona Coffee Mill & Museum: Ahhh, smell the coffee! It’s easy to do once inside this funny little tourist trap where you’re given a free sample of home grown Kona coffee and rum cake. They brag about a photo gallery, but that’s sort of stretching it. There’s a video to watch and a gift shop where you can buy coffee to take back in your room but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for the really good stuff. Located between Kona and the Volcano. (808)328-2511, 83-5427 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, HI 96704. If you have time or interest, you can also visit the Kona Coffee Living History Farm just down the road —an award winning farm on the National Register of Historic Places where interpretive guides tell you all about Hawaii’s coffee growing pioneers and industry—the only place in the US that actually grows coffee. There are original buildings from the 1920’s on site, preserved and restored lovingly by the Kona Historical Society.

Dining Destinations

You must eat, right? Well, absolutely no problem in the Islands. A rich heritage of authentic multi-cultured cuisines is found on every island. Be aware that while you are touring the islands you’ll have access to numerous roadside fruit stands. Stock up on snacks! No reason you can’t have fresh fruits and other tasty Hawaiian dishes while you’re cruising in the car or back in your room. And, the prices are reasonable. It doesn’t get any fresher than this! Try a fruit you’ve never eaten before and meet the islanders.

Here are a few suggestions of dining spots that are unique, in unique places and/or are off the beaten path. All family-friendly, of course!

On your way from Kailua-Kona to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park schedule in a stop midway at the renowned Punaluu Bake Shop & Visitor Center. Grab a hot or iced Ka’u coffee or ice cream, or a full lunch, featuring fresh salads and sandwiches. The kids will gobble up the free samples of delicious Hawaiian Sweetbread—and select from a treasure trove of other bakery treats to enjoy on site or later in the car. Look around the gift shop; need a hat or sunscreen? Maybe stock up on postcards and Macadamia nut sweet bread cookies? Yum! If you have time, work off a few calories by sidetracking to the Punaluu Black Sand Beach. It may be your lucky day and you’ll see a sea turtle. They seem to like it here. 1(866) 366-3501, Route 11, Naalehu, Hawaii 96722.

Want to go out to eat with the entire family and not break the bank? Big Island Grill (808) 326-1153, 75-5702 Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 and earby Kona Mix Plate (808) 329-8104, 75-5660 Kopiko Street, Kopiko Plaza, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 are two affordable local eateries where you can sample delicious foods in unpretentious family diner-style atmospheres. Go where the locals go and you can’t go too wrong. The Kona Mix Plate specializes in Japanese and Korean foods. 

Kona Brewing Co. —Chosen “Green Company of the Year” in May 2007 this sustainability-oriented Kailua-Kona Pub and brewing company has introduced homemade beers and ales to the Islands ever since its modest family beginnings in 1994. Touching the spectacular Koa wood bar—crafted from a huge mahogany log that washed ashore—makes the brew seem that much more authentic. You won’t see many bars like this. Created with recycled materials from previous buildings, the pub serves Longboard Lager, Pacific Golden Ale, and Fire Rock Pale Ale plus local beers on draft that you won’t find elsewhere. The kids will love the hand spun pizzas and fresh organic salads. 

PLAY OUTSIDE

Kapoho Tidal Pools
These inviting lava tidal pools are protected from the surf and offer clear water snorkeling for younger kids and weaker swimmers. What’s very neat for little and big kids alike is that many of the pools are connected. Pools closer to the ocean have more sea life, but you’ll also experience stronger currents here. Sunbathe on lava shelves or enter the calm waters to see coral, fish and even sea cucumbers up close! From Hilo, head South on Route 11. At Keau, turn left onto Route 130 (Pahoa Road, toward Kalapana. Just after Pahoa, look for signs for Kapoho. Left on Route 132—after Lava Tree State Park. Follow Route 132 until at a four-way intersection. Do not go down the dirt road straight ahead. Turn right at Route 137 (paved road) to Kapoho Kai Road; then left into the Vacationland subdivision. Follow to Ho'ola'i Road. Turn right. This road curves left and takes you to the Kapoho Coast. Park on the side of the road when you reach the large open area on the right. You should see the ocean and tide pools here. Parking is limited.)

Horseback Riding
The Hawaiian cowboys are the stuff of legends. You’ve seen sunset horseback rides on the beach on TV? Right? Well, this is your chance to jump in the saddle. On Hawaii families can get out on horseback (dressed like actual paniolos!) and take in an active, working cattle-grazing ranch while experiencing “knock your boots off” views of the ocean and island volcanoes. Pack the camera before anything else! Paniolo Adventures has operated on the Ponoholo Ranch for more than 25 years. Ride the open range experiencing 3 different climate zones, from ocean to rain forest. At any given time the ranch is typically grazing 6-8,000 head of cattle. For fun, ask your guide about the red lei lehua on the company’s logo. FROM KAILUA-KONA: Drive North on Hwy 19 to Junction of Hwy 19 and Highway 270. Turn Right on 19 towards Waimea. Turn left (north) on Hwy 250 towards Hawi. Look the Red Barn on the left, 300 yards past mile marker 13 on Hwy 250.

Botanical Gardens
Now is the time to discover a tropical paradise. Plant- and flower-lovers will blossom with happiness at all the opportunities there are on the islands to get close to exotic tropical plants and ferns. Here are just a few suggestions to get you in the mood for your overdose of green and lush: 

Queen Liliuokalani Japanese Gardens located next to Coconut Island in Hilo just off of Banyan Drive. The 30-acre Japanese garden, named after Queen Liliuokalani, who was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands, locals and tourists alike treasure this spot and the gorgeous walkway down Banyan Drive. Here you will succumb to manicured lawns, beautiful walkways, ponds, bridges and pagodas. You can picnic and play or walk over to Coconut Island for a swim. Hilo Bay serves as your backdrop, fishermen and joggers your company. Needless to say, the people watching is great, as are the views. (Directions: Route 11 South (Kanoelehua) turns into Banyan Drive. Follow the road past the Hilo Hawaiian hotel where you will take a right. Queen Liliuokalani Japanese Gardens will be on your left, and the Coconut Island parking lot will be on your right.)

Waterfalls
If you have a car and wish to relish the falls in your own time and space, take the kids and grandparents to visit not only famous, but accessible, falls. Morning mist creates lovely rainbows, thus the name for 80-foot Rainbow Falls, the legendary home of Hina, Mother of the demigod Maui. With abundant Hilo rainfall, the Wailuku River produces thunderous volumes of water, feeding a mystical landscape of fern and tropical greenery. Facilities include a scenic lookout, paved parking lot, and restrooms. Go early to see rainbows and to avoid tour buses! Rainbow Falls is located off Rainbow Drive in Hilo. Drive up Wainuenue, bare to the right on Rainbow Drive —the parking lot will be on your right.

Akaka Falls, a 442-foot waterfall is located in Akaka Falls State Park and can be viewed from several vantage points along a relatively easy hiking trail in the park. Along the path you hikers will also delight in seeing Kahuna Falls—less dramatic with a 100-ft. drop. The hike is simply magical, winding through bamboo woods and lush tropical ecosystems brimming with gorgeous, fragrant blossoms. Take your camera—and an extra roll of film. Also, expect very humid conditions and many insects. Located at the end of Akaka Falls Road, off Hawaii Highway 220, about 15 miles north of Hilo. There are no facilities along the trail.

STAY INSIDE

Why leave paradise when you’re already there? Tropical breezes, snacks by the pool, relaxing in a hot tub. Sounds pretty inviting doesn’t. It’s time to unplug and “smell the coffee!” The Hawaiian coffee, that is.

Brew a nice pot of Hawaiian coffee, cut up some fresh fruit and take breakfast—and the paper—on your private lanais or patio. No hurries, no worries. Some of the family may already be out and about, having booked a round of golf at nearby Kona Country Club to coincide with the sunrise. Not a bad way to begin the day, either. With paradise at your footsteps it’s hard to wrong. Scramble up some eggs for the kids, complete with fresh fruit and homemade pastries.  

If you’ve opted to spend the day “at home,” there’s no telling what fun you’ll get into. The kids undoubtedly want to go to the pool. Out to the pool you go—sunscreen, sunglasses and hats in hand, ready for splash time, relaxing time, laughing time. You check with the resort’s Activities Staff to see what is planned for the day…you’re feeling creative now that you’ve had time to unwind and you know there’s always something going on. 

By early afternoon you and the kids are feeling refreshed if not bit water logged. Did someone say, “nap time”? Back at the room you and watch local TV. It’s always interesting to “compare notes” with the programming back home. The older kids settle in to watching a movie, the toddlers fall into swim-induced sleep and Mom slips off to the fitness center for a quick workout. It feels so good to “do nothing,” doesn’t it? 

By late afternoon the family satellite units have returned to home base. Hopefully. You discuss your options for the evening. Why not stay in, cook the fresh fish and vegetables you bought at the Market on the convenient outdoor grill and later stroll the beautiful grounds enjoying the weather, exercise and conversation? You can brainstorm plans for tomorrow’s day trip. See the front desk for suggestions—or read our suggestions above. However, if you’re up for something more lively and more social, but don’t want to go far, then window shop the Keauhou Shopping Center and grab dinner and a movie there! You’ll find good ol’ pizza, Subway and a variety of full-service dining options. Don’t worry; They’re casual. Pick up groceries and swing by the natural foods store. Or, see a flick on the big screen in those luscious big stadium seats? Regal Keauhou Stadium 7, Box office: (808) 324-0172. 

Day Trips in Big Island, Hawaii