We stayed in Kona, and our hotel ended up being super convenient. We were able to walk to all the little shops and restaurants along the coast line, as well as the pier and the neighboring hotel had a small beach in a little cove. The Kona coast only gets 10 inches of rain a year and the weather is nearly always perfect so a lot of the restaurants are open air-no windows, sometimes no doors, even when they are closed, if you really wanted to you could just climb in! This was great for me because the a/c in most restaurants during the summer freezes me out!
Here are some views from around Kona...
Of course we had to go to Volcano National Park, but unfortunately there was no active lava flow to view while we were there. But still we saw and did some cool stuff.
We passes this on the way there-lucky cows! There is no fence along the ocean-I guess there is not much concern the cows will swim away.
We spent a morning driving up to Pololu Valley lookout. It's really pretty from the top but there is a trail that takes you to the bottom-if you go here, don't skip the trail! It's totally worth it for the additional views you get and the black sand beach and view of the valley you get at the bottom. There are a lot of scary signs about dangerous cliffs and falling rock but just ignore these.
From the top
On the way to these places we stopped at Laupahoehoe. I thought this was one of the most beautiful places we went to and it was barely mentioned in any of our travel maps. We only stopped because there was one picture posted and I thought it looked cool. But really after being there, no picture really does it justice. But here are some that try!
We made another quick stop at Onomea Bay
We also stopped at a Black Sand Beach and saw this guy
Then we spent a few days on Oahu. There were a few things we didn't get to the there the first time around like Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. While here, we splurged and stayed at the Hilton-it was really nice, but really big. You probably need to spend a lot of time actually at the resort (we did spend about a day and a half just hanging out at the beach and pools there) to get your money's worth but it was fun to do at least once!
Some of the views around the hotel...