Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thrifty Travel Tips: The Big Island

As I mentioned here, we recently returned from a trip to Hawaii. It was a fantastic trip. In case any of you are looking to plan a trip to the Big Island, I thought I'd share some of our favorite places and some thrifty tips.
View from Huggo's on the Rocks
Huggo's on the Rocks: This is the less-formal of the two Huggo's restaurants in Kailua Kona. They have a really good happy hour from 4-6pm that includes beer, some mixed drinks, and some food. The location can't be beat, it's literally right on the ocean, the floor is even covered in sand. We went to Huggo's on the Rocks twice, once with a large group for dinner and once just the three of us for happy hour. The sunset was gorgeous and there is live Hawaiian music every night. Our rental car company had given us a 10% off coupon, so we were able to use that for dinner, too.

Some of our farmer's market purchases
Keauhou Farmer's Market: We went to this farmer's market, which was right across the street from our condo, on Saturday morning. There were many local vendors offering everything from fresh fish to avacados to coffee to interesting tropical fruits. We even had a fresh-made California roll. It was really interesting to see and try several fruits we had never seen before. Everyone was friendly, and all-in-all it was a great way to spend a morning.

Kona Coast Resort: As I mentioned in this post, staying in a condo with a full kitchen and laundry is a great thrifty travel strategy. We were able to cook our own meals and the washer and dryer meant we could use our cloth diapers during that part of the vacation. The price was great, too. Kona Coast Resort had lovely grounds, gas grills for guests to use, and several pools and hot tubs. The pools could use a facelift, but all in all it was a wonderful place to stay.

Hapuna Beach State Park: This was one of the best beaches we visited. It was wide and sandy, with small waves. There was no fee to get in and there were places to change, restrooms, as well as a snack bar. The only downside was very little shade on the beach, but there were covered picnic areas nearby.

Harold H Higashihara Park: AMAZING park and playground for kids! We spent two mornings here with our toddler. It's the biggest wooden playground I have ever seen. There is a special toddler area, baseball diamond, picnic ground, and bathrooms. If you're looking for a place for your kids to run off some energy, this is the place to go.
Such a fun park, and the view isn't bad either

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