You Absolutely Need To Book A Trip To - The Big Island!
Molten Lava "Waterfalls"
This isn't just about a fun vacation - this is about witnessing the Big Island grow. About watching Molten Lava "waterfalls" flowing into the ocean by boat - so close you can feel the heat from 2400 degrees feirenhight magma. So close you get a steem facical from the boiling ocean water just a few yards away...
It's about watching rocks rapidly forming from magma as they float past you briefly brushing up against the ship's hull. Sure you can watch something similar on your big flatscreen TV thanks to National Geographic but trust me when I tell you - it's nothing like the real thing, feeling and seeing it with your own eyes. No youtube video, no television special can even come close to experiencing Queen Pele in all of her magestic and wonderous glory. The LavaOcean tour was worth every single penny and then some...it was truly amazing. LavaOcean.com 808.966.4200
Nings Thai - Food Review
I don't know what it is about going out to sea ... but after your LavaOcean tour you will probably be starving. If you want a good insiders dining tip - I've eaten at Nings ( 15-2955 Pahoa Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778 - 808.965.7611) several times so I can varify that the service is always good and the food is always fresh, delicious and affordable. Ning's is located conveiniently near the tour. You could totally film an old western in Pahoa. Sort of has an "old goldmining town" or "Back To The Future" vibe to it. There are a few cute little stores, a surf shop, a gas station and a really cool smoke shop - if your into that sort of thing.
Mauna Kea - A Geological Wonder
Make the most of the geological wonder that is the Big Island by going to the top - it's exciting and magical to watch the sunset and moonrise from Mauna Kea. A hike to the green lake fed by permafrost from the last iceage is also fantastic. You will need to fully bundle up. Bring plenty of water and energy inducing snacks. (Those who are pregnant or have health conditions will want to avoid heading up to the summit.)
Farmers' Markets - The Heartbeat Of A Community
For me when I travel it's essential to support the local heart of a community ... to help keep it alive durring these difficult economic times. I love to support local artisans - local mom n' pops. The very people who depend on your patronage also offer the most unique and interesting gifts and foods made from local ingredients to take home. Not to mention, I've recieved more invaluable insider tips than I can count from local artisans that I could never have found in a guide book. One of the best ways to get your hands on locally made products is to stop at one of many farmers' markets on the Island. Not everything sold at the farmers markets is made locally - but enough to make this pit-stop more than worth your while. And there are some fabulous mouth watering eats at great prices to help fill you up for a day of play on the Island.
Some Of My Favorite Things - Hilo Farmers' Market
I have several favorite locally made artisanal foods and gifts that can only be found at the Hilo Farmers' Market Wendsdays and Saturdays. Where I stock up on locally made goat cheese, salsas, honey, macadamia nuts, locally grown and roasted coffee, raw chocolates and 5 papayas for $1. You can easily pack a cooler with the makings of a gourmet picnic with scrumptious eats and head out on a day of adventure.
Live Music And Hand-made Gifts - At the Makuu Farmers' Market
And I also love the live music and good vibes at the Makuu Farmers market (Keaau-Pahoa Bypass Rd, Pahoa, HI 96778 - 808.896.5537 Sundays 8am-2pm) - Amongst my personal favorite eats here are the fresh crepes made to order, Hawaiian food, and the smoothie/juice booth. Amongst my favorite gifts are the handmade soaps with hillarious names, handmade jewelry and carved bowls made from local wood.