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Sandra’s guidebook

Sandra

Sandra’s guidebook

Sightseeing
What Hawaii does best. Provide spectacular sights. Waterfalls, amazing hikes, ocean vistas, astonishing plants, lava caves, surfing, snorkeling, breathtaking sunsets, boating, beach walks, amazing star viewing, snowy mountains, whale watching, etc.
Walk through an extinct volcano, hike through the Thurston Lava Tube, visit the historic Volcano House hotel and chat with the rangers at the visitor's center.
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Hawaii Vulkánok Nemzeti Park
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Walk through an extinct volcano, hike through the Thurston Lava Tube, visit the historic Volcano House hotel and chat with the rangers at the visitor's center.
Black sand beach with clothing optional is beautiful but frequently targeted for car break-ins. Leave your belongings in your room for safety. If you can't take it with you don't take it.
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Kehena Black Sand Beach
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Black sand beach with clothing optional is beautiful but frequently targeted for car break-ins. Leave your belongings in your room for safety. If you can't take it with you don't take it.
White tigers are the favorite here. Also, orchids and a really great playground for kids.
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Panaewa Rainforest Zoo
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White tigers are the favorite here. Also, orchids and a really great playground for kids.
The park is very close by, easy to get to and easy walking. A must see for lava buffs.
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Lava Tree State Monument
Hawaii 132
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The park is very close by, easy to get to and easy walking. A must see for lava buffs.
Although not a good place to swim, the black sand beach is still growing and is great for lounging on the beach and watching the waves.
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Pohoiki Black Sand Beach
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Although not a good place to swim, the black sand beach is still growing and is great for lounging on the beach and watching the waves.
Funky downtown Hilo has lots of shopping, a farmer's market, lots of eateries, museums, scenic Banyan Drive with a beautiful park, and faces the Bayfront.
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Hilo
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Funky downtown Hilo has lots of shopping, a farmer's market, lots of eateries, museums, scenic Banyan Drive with a beautiful park, and faces the Bayfront.
The top of Maunakea has the most incredible views of stars, observatories, and awesome vistas of the entire island. At almost 14,000 feet it's recommended you acclimatize at the Visitor Center at 9,000 feet for 30 minutes before ascending to the top. Tours are available as 4 wheel drive is suggested to drive higher than the Visitor Center.
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Maunakea Observatories Support Services
177 Makaala Street
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The top of Maunakea has the most incredible views of stars, observatories, and awesome vistas of the entire island. At almost 14,000 feet it's recommended you acclimatize at the Visitor Center at 9,000 feet for 30 minutes before ascending to the top. Tours are available as 4 wheel drive is suggested to drive higher than the Visitor Center.
Since Mauna Kea summit is near 14,000 feet it is recommended you stop at the Visitor Center (at 9,200 feet) to acclimatize before trying to go to the summit. Not recommend for children. The Ice Age Area is available by hiking.
Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve
Since Mauna Kea summit is near 14,000 feet it is recommended you stop at the Visitor Center (at 9,200 feet) to acclimatize before trying to go to the summit. Not recommend for children. The Ice Age Area is available by hiking.
Sightseeing cliffs, fishing and tide pools lie at the end of Makuu Road in Keaau.
Makuʻu Point
Sightseeing cliffs, fishing and tide pools lie at the end of Makuu Road in Keaau.
Planetarium has free exhibits but a fee for the show. There is an extensive exhibit on navigation as the original Hawaiians did it. There is also a restaurant and gift shop.
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Imiloa Astronomy Center
600 Imiloa Place
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Planetarium has free exhibits but a fee for the show. There is an extensive exhibit on navigation as the original Hawaiians did it. There is also a restaurant and gift shop.
Awesome and so close to Hilo with easy access. You can hike a short distance to the top for a view of the "Boiling Pots".
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Rainbow Falls
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Awesome and so close to Hilo with easy access. You can hike a short distance to the top for a view of the "Boiling Pots".
A remarkable and stunning historic park that has ancient stone walls, tikis, totems, altars, tide pools, turtles, beaches, fish ponds, ranger talks, beach trails, picnicking, canoe building, and all round unsurpassed beauty.
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Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
State Highway 160
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A remarkable and stunning historic park that has ancient stone walls, tikis, totems, altars, tide pools, turtles, beaches, fish ponds, ranger talks, beach trails, picnicking, canoe building, and all round unsurpassed beauty.
A lot of people object to the cost, but how many times are you coming to the Big Island? This is one way to see it ALL, and it is awesome!!! From the Volcanos to the waterfalls to the ocean and beaches, I loved every minute! Ask about the doors off Hueys for unobstructed photo shoots.
Safari Helicopters
2220 Kekuanaoa St
A lot of people object to the cost, but how many times are you coming to the Big Island? This is one way to see it ALL, and it is awesome!!! From the Volcanos to the waterfalls to the ocean and beaches, I loved every minute! Ask about the doors off Hueys for unobstructed photo shoots.
Beautiful falls near the road is unspoiled Hawaii.
Peepee Falls
Beautiful falls near the road is unspoiled Hawaii.
Nature retreat with massages and lodging but private.
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Kalani
12-6860 Kalapana - Kapoho Road
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Nature retreat with massages and lodging but private.
Nice drive to the falls along the Hamakua Coast. Trail is not rigorous but bring water. Plants and view of falls are spectacular.
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ʻAkaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls Road
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Nice drive to the falls along the Hamakua Coast. Trail is not rigorous but bring water. Plants and view of falls are spectacular.
Beautiful gardens, birds, tiki, ocean views and great hike. Going down into the jungle canyon is a breeze; coming up, not so much. There is an entry fee, but worth it. There are a few minimal restaurants on the way there.
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Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
27-717 Old Mamalahoa Highway
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Beautiful gardens, birds, tiki, ocean views and great hike. Going down into the jungle canyon is a breeze; coming up, not so much. There is an entry fee, but worth it. There are a few minimal restaurants on the way there.
Historic building housing artifacts and telling the story of when Hilo was hit with a tsunami with much loss of life. Exhibits are interesting and explain modern alarm systems. Bayfront location.
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Pacific Tsunami Museum
130 Kamehameha Avenue
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Historic building housing artifacts and telling the story of when Hilo was hit with a tsunami with much loss of life. Exhibits are interesting and explain modern alarm systems. Bayfront location.
One of the telescopes atop Maunakea offering breathtaking views from the summit, or as near to it as you can go. Not only are the views stunning, but so are the observatories. A surreal place and one of the few on the planet where star gazing is unsurpassed from its lofty site above the clouds.
Gemini Observatory
One of the telescopes atop Maunakea offering breathtaking views from the summit, or as near to it as you can go. Not only are the views stunning, but so are the observatories. A surreal place and one of the few on the planet where star gazing is unsurpassed from its lofty site above the clouds.
Although it's on the Kona side, this unique dive gets rave reviews. You can either scuba or snorkel from the same boat.
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Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii
74-380 Kealakehe Parkway
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Although it's on the Kona side, this unique dive gets rave reviews. You can either scuba or snorkel from the same boat.
music scene
Not to be missed! Saturdays feature local bands, juice bar, alcoholic drinks, local merchandise. There is a night market. There is also a nearby beach. Parking can be difficult.
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Uncle Robert's Awa Bar and Farmers Market
12-5038 Kapoho Beach Rd
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Not to be missed! Saturdays feature local bands, juice bar, alcoholic drinks, local merchandise. There is a night market. There is also a nearby beach. Parking can be difficult.
The Palace Theater is an historic building that stages plays, musical performances, movies, and live entertainment. There is no air conditioning and modernization has yet to occur. It still has the original wooden seats.
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Palace Theater
38 Haili Street
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The Palace Theater is an historic building that stages plays, musical performances, movies, and live entertainment. There is no air conditioning and modernization has yet to occur. It still has the original wooden seats.
Great views, comfortable fun place. Various music. Inside the Noni Loa Hotel and upscale in food and prices, but well worth it.
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Hula Hula's
93 Banyan Dr
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Great views, comfortable fun place. Various music. Inside the Noni Loa Hotel and upscale in food and prices, but well worth it.
One of the few places that stays open late. Local groups. Relaxed atmosphere.
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Hilo Town Tavern
168 Keawe Street
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One of the few places that stays open late. Local groups. Relaxed atmosphere.
Food scene
Good food, nice venue. A little more expensive, but I've never gotten anything there I didn't like. Families welcome and can be a bit noisy. Very nearby and easy access with its own parking lot.
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Kaleo's Bar & Grill
15-2969 Pahoa Village Road
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Good food, nice venue. A little more expensive, but I've never gotten anything there I didn't like. Families welcome and can be a bit noisy. Very nearby and easy access with its own parking lot.
Nice informal spot where you can eat inside or out. Limited menu but nutritious food carefully prepared. It's far more than a bakery and very nearby.
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Tin Shack Bakery
Akeakamai Loop
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Nice informal spot where you can eat inside or out. Limited menu but nutritious food carefully prepared. It's far more than a bakery and very nearby.
Excellent pizza, but very busy on weekends. It's nearby and they do deliver, but you need to get your order in early.
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Boogie Woogie Pizza
15-2937 Pahoa Village Road
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Excellent pizza, but very busy on weekends. It's nearby and they do deliver, but you need to get your order in early.
No matter what I order I never found anything that I didn't like. Located in downtown Hilo on the Bayfront. Upscale and can be noisy.
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Cafe Pesto - Hilo
308 Kamehameha Avenue
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No matter what I order I never found anything that I didn't like. Located in downtown Hilo on the Bayfront. Upscale and can be noisy.
Local products and vegetarian. Has a "to go" restaurant and outside tables. Very popular with its own parking lot.
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Island Naturals Market & Deli - Pahoa
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Local products and vegetarian. Has a "to go" restaurant and outside tables. Very popular with its own parking lot.
Local products, deli, and grocery including meats. Located in a small shopping center conveniently close. Has a small bottle shop. Gas station and some to go restaurants in same center.
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Mālama Market
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Local products, deli, and grocery including meats. Located in a small shopping center conveniently close. Has a small bottle shop. Gas station and some to go restaurants in same center.
Fresh fried fish cooked to your order while you wait. To go or eat in house. Very fresh fish. Family atmosphere. Happy place.
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Pahoa Fresh Fish
15-2670 Pahoa Rd
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Fresh fried fish cooked to your order while you wait. To go or eat in house. Very fresh fish. Family atmosphere. Happy place.
American cuisine in a very comfortable setting. Easy access in Pahoa with the owner often on premises.
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Black Rock Cafe
15-2872 Government Main Road
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American cuisine in a very comfortable setting. Easy access in Pahoa with the owner often on premises.
Largest local grocery store has sushi bar, bakery and deli. Also a small bottle shop. Quick service and in the largest shopping center in Keaau across the street from McDonalds and also Longs Drug Store. Carries most brands. Parking lot is generally crowded. There are a few fast food places in the same center as well as Ace Hardware.
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Foodland Kea`au
16-586 Old Volcano Road
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Largest local grocery store has sushi bar, bakery and deli. Also a small bottle shop. Quick service and in the largest shopping center in Keaau across the street from McDonalds and also Longs Drug Store. Carries most brands. Parking lot is generally crowded. There are a few fast food places in the same center as well as Ace Hardware.
Similar to Peets with inside and a few outside tables. Good coffee and bakery concoctions. Wifi and plug in connections for laptops. Drive thru window for take out.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
16-586 Old Volcano Rd
Similar to Peets with inside and a few outside tables. Good coffee and bakery concoctions. Wifi and plug in connections for laptops. Drive thru window for take out.
Nearby farmers market open Sundays includes souvenirs as well as produce and items like turmeric honey. Also has prepared local foods and plants.
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Maku'u Farmer's Market
15-2131 Keaau-Pahoa Road
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Nearby farmers market open Sundays includes souvenirs as well as produce and items like turmeric honey. Also has prepared local foods and plants.
This is the largest local farmers market located across from Hilo Bay. There are souvenirs as well as groceries. Located in downtown Hilo so lots of restaurants, shops, and entertainment is within walking distance.
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Hilo Farmers Market
Mamo St & Kamehameha Ave
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This is the largest local farmers market located across from Hilo Bay. There are souvenirs as well as groceries. Located in downtown Hilo so lots of restaurants, shops, and entertainment is within walking distance.
This restaurant has live music and a killer view of Hilo Bay. It also has great food, including some umbrella drinks. Upscale and inside the Noni Loa Hotel.
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Hula Hula's
93 Banyan Dr
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This restaurant has live music and a killer view of Hilo Bay. It also has great food, including some umbrella drinks. Upscale and inside the Noni Loa Hotel.
Get the freshest fish right off the boat. Located directly on Hilo Bay you can buy fish to cook if you like.
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Suisan Fish Market
93 Lihiwai Street
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Get the freshest fish right off the boat. Located directly on Hilo Bay you can buy fish to cook if you like.
Good food, excellent view of Hilo Bay. Dining inside or out on the balcony. Elevator takes you to the second floor where it is located.
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Hilo Bay Cafe
123 Lihiwai Street
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Good food, excellent view of Hilo Bay. Dining inside or out on the balcony. Elevator takes you to the second floor where it is located.
Burgers and beer in the heart of HIlo across from the bay. Can get noisy.
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Cronies Bar & Grill
11 Waianuenue Avenue
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Burgers and beer in the heart of HIlo across from the bay. Can get noisy.
Ponds is located on the water with a nice ambience. Good tropical drinks, live entertainment. Food is good, but service can be slow so count on getting a drink.
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Ponds Hilo
135 Kalanianaole Avenue
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Ponds is located on the water with a nice ambience. Good tropical drinks, live entertainment. Food is good, but service can be slow so count on getting a drink.
Very Hawaiian food and atmosphere. Always busy, located in a strip mall with other small businesses. Delicious food including ramen, but I always get the banana macnut pancakes. Hmmmmm. Comfortable seating. Local hangout.
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Hawaiian Style Cafe Hilo
681 Manono Street
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Very Hawaiian food and atmosphere. Always busy, located in a strip mall with other small businesses. Delicious food including ramen, but I always get the banana macnut pancakes. Hmmmmm. Comfortable seating. Local hangout.
FREE chocolate samples! Lots of people load up with gifts here, like the chocolate dipped pineapple cookies. Big parking lot and very easy access.
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Big Island Candies
585 Hinano Street
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FREE chocolate samples! Lots of people load up with gifts here, like the chocolate dipped pineapple cookies. Big parking lot and very easy access.
Hawaiian shopping
The soap used here at the ohana made with all local materials and essences. Wonderful for your skin and a delight to smell. You'll probably want to take some home with you, or ship some.
Kona Natural Soap Factory location. Open to private tours and appoint only.
78-6749 Mamalahoa Highway
The soap used here at the ohana made with all local materials and essences. Wonderful for your skin and a delight to smell. You'll probably want to take some home with you, or ship some.