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Sightseeing Tours- Land

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OK folks, get up off that couch, get into the car, and get out and see Hawai’i!  You don’t go to Hawai’i ONLY to “veg out” at the beach or pool (that’s pretty nice, I’ll grant you), so now it’s time to see more of this spectacularly beautiful place.  Give one of these outfits a …

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National Astronomical Observatory

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As one who has been interested in Astronomy all his life, I look forward greatly to the day I can visit the Subaru Telescope atop Mauna Kea. I would love to kearn more about this instrument, as I am one to ponder the “where did we all come from?” and “where are we all headed?” …

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Kona Historical Society

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 Step back in time to an authentic living history experience where our historical sites present you with a vivid and unforgettable story of Hawai’i’s past.  Come experience the 1880’s in the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum where the shopkeeper will help you gather your supplies for your trip up Kona mauka.  The mingled aromas of coffee …

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Palolo Valley Overlook

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Palolo Valley, most simply, is just a beautiful sight!  It is located in the island’s northwest sector and is as pretty a place as you’ll ever see.  I’m not aware of any special significance to the area, but I sure could just sit in a chair and look at it all day long!  Blue skies, blue …

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Wai’pio Valley

wai'pio

This sacred valley was once home to many Hawaiian rulers and is home to a number of ancient heiaus (sacred temples forkahuna and ali’i or high chiefs). Access to Wai’pio Valley is somewhat difficult, requiring 4WD transportation or a laborious hike to the bottom. However, visitors who make the difficult trek will find a stunning …

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Captain Cook Monument

Captain Cook Monument

Viewed from Pali (cliffs) along Highway 11, this monument salutes British Captain James Cook, landing in 1778 with his ships Resolution and Discovery, and considered the first European to arrive in Hawaii. The white monolith, along the shore of Kealakekua Bay, commemorates Cook’s 1779 death when he and his crew got into a fracas with Polynesian …

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Kona Coffee Plantation Tour

coffee

OK, folks, here is where I start feeling kind of addle-brained.  Some years ago my wife and I took a tour of a rather rustic (made in the early 1900s) coffee plantation and production facility in the Kona area, but I can’t recall the specific name of it…  But my point is that it was a …

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City of Refuge

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Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park (“City of Refuge”) is located on the west coast of the island.The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could avoid certain death by fleeing to this place of refuge or pu’uhonua. The offender …

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Kailua-Kona

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For us, Kailua-Kona was a “good news, bad news” situation.  We love Hawai’i and all things Hawaiian, but I’m afraid Kailua-Kona was just too crowded (people and traffic) to be fun.  When we were there, there is one two-lane road through town, and boy, was it pretty much jammed any time of the day.  I …

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Parker Ranch

parkerranch

Hawaii’s largest private cattle ranch, Parker Ranch highlights the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) and Parker family history at two historic homes for touring, Puuopelu and Mana Hale. John Parker’s home, Mana Hale (“house of the spirit”), was once the ranch nerve center, and later was known for the lavish hospitality of John Parker’s…

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Volcano National Park

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Positively the “number one” attraction on the island, Volcano National Park is one of the country’s most interestingnationalparks.  As an enthusiastic “natural history” buff and a lover of earth sciences, I find the park fascinating and wish I could go there every day to look around and learn more about the Islands in general and …

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Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve

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Along the Kohala Coast, the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve features more than a thousand petroglyphs, or kii pohaku, lava rock carvings etched into stone centuries ago by Native Hawaiians. Although the true meanings of the petroglyphs are unknown, it is generally thought these carvings are records of births and other significant events in the lives

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Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory

Macadamia Nut Plant

OK folks, we all love macadamia nuts, we’ve all seen the “Mauna Loa” nut products in every possible venue throughout the Islands. Given all that, don’t you just have to take advantage of the opportunity to see how the nuts are grown and harvested? Of course you do! We saddled up and made this visit in December 2009. The factory is easy to get to from…

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Lyman Mission House and Museum

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We have visited the Lyman House and enjoyed it very much. A History major in school (and lover of Hawai’i, of course), I was delighted to learn more about the missionary aspect of the Hawaiian “story.” Very interesting, indeed, and I hope you go there when you’re in Hilo…

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Hilo Farmer’s Market

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Open Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, the Hilo Farmer’s Market is known as one of the best on the island.  While not the largest such market you’ll ever see, it certainly is one of the most diverse and interesting.  I bought one of my favorite aloha shirts there in December 2009 for $15.00.  Tried my very best to …

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‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i

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I feel badly that we did not visit the Center during our last visit. Among my many other interests I am also an amateur astronomer, and I should have visited the Center. Another reason to return soon! Their website is very colorful…

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Naha Stone

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There is a large (7,000 lb!) stone not far from the center of Hilo called the Naha Stone. Legend has it that Kamahameha I once found himself in the position of having to move it, or die. Not sure of the details, but that’s the situation, we’re told. And lo and behold, he did move it, supposedly the only human ever to have

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Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center

Ellison S. Onizuka

Established to honor U.S. Air Force Colonel Ellison S. Onizuka who perished along with six other astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28 1986, the Center is dedicated to furthering understanding of science and space. I can’t let this Center get away with such a short mention. As a career

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Akaka Falls

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A drive north of Hilo brings visitors to stunning Akaka Falls, another of the major Big Island attractions. Akaka Falls and its counterpart, Kahuna Falls, are both easily reached by a car. A moderate path leads to both sights with Akaka Falls being the more majestic of the two.  Click here for some pics we took …

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Akatsuka’s Orchid Garden

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My wife came across Akatsuka’s in a travel guide, and we just had to stop in as we drove by one day. I’m glad we did! It’s quite an expansive operation, with many types of orchids under cultivation and for sale. Even I thought it was interesting and fun, and I’m a gnarly old sea dog who never fancied himself as being particularly interested in flowers (my, how…

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Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls After Heavy Rains

Found on the island’s eastside near Hilo, Rainbow Falls got its name from the rainbows that can be seen in its mist during most mornings. Located at Wailuku River State Park, visitors will also see a popular Big Island attraction called Boiling Pots, which consists of large pools connected underground which gives the impression of the …

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Lili’uokalani Gardens

Lili'uokalani

Lili’uokalani Gardens is located off of Banyan Drive next to the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, near the “main” Hilo waterfront.  I have never seen a more beautiful municipal park than this one, in my entire life.  The next closest I can think of is the city park in Coronado, Calif., but this one takes the cake, given its …

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Pacific Tsunami Museum

Keeper Of The Clock

Pacific Tsunami Museum (808) 935-0926 www.tsunami.org This is one of those “good news, bad news” situations.  The museum is really interesting (and timely!), but too bad it’s about a “bad news” situation for anyone who gets involved.  The museum has interesting and thorough exhibits about what tsunami’s are and how the have affected Hawai’i in general and Hilo …

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Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden

hawaiibotanicalgarden

Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden www.htbg.com My wife visited the Garden in December 2009 when we were in Hilo, and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.  My knowledge is strictly second-hand, but she was totally wowed by, so I (we!) recommend it highly.  Click on the pictures below to see some pictures from her visit.

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