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WHAT TO SEE

AT LEISURE ON THE BIG ISLAND

 

Ahu’ena Heiau

King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel 75-5660 Palani Road Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 96740 Phone: 329-2911

Hours: Tours conducted at 1:30 P.M., Monday-Friday

Ahu’ena Heiau was built by King Kamehameha I, who spent the last seven years of his life in this area. The four structures that make up the heiau are each made of different indigenous mate­rials. Visits to the heiau are only part of the hotel’s insightful property tours, which last between thirty minutes and an hour. Free.

 

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens

P.O. Box 220 Volcano, Hawai’i 96785 Phone: 967-8234

Hours: 8:30 A.M.-5 P.M. daily except major holidays

This six-acre garden located on Highway 11 just north of Volcano Village show­cases numerous orchid varieties as well as the latest strains developed by horti­culturist Mori Akatsuka. Free.

 

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

82-6188 Mamalahoa Highway Captain Cook, Hawai’i 96704 Phone: 323-3318

Hours: 7 A.M.-3:30 P.M. Monday-Friday This ethnobotanical garden, owned by Bishop Museum, grows more than 250 varieties of crops (many on the endan­gered species list) that the early Hawai-ians used for food and other daily neces­sities. Five of the garden’s ten acres have been preserved as an archaeological site. On the second Saturday of each month, a guided ninety-minute tour is offered at 10 A.M. In addition, plant sales are held twice a year. Free. Donations accepted.

 

Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center

Keahole Airport Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 96745 Phone: 329-3441

Hours: 8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day

In memory of Hawai’i’s first astronaut, the center features participatory and au­diovisual displays, including a Space Theater showing NASA videos, moon walks, an actual Apollo 13 space suit and several interactive computer exhibits, (especially popular is a twelve-inch model of a space shuttle that visitors can launch. Admission.

 

Big Island Candies

500 Kalaniana’ole Street Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 Phone: 935-8890 Hours: 8:30 A.M.-5 P.M. daily Hungry travelers can satisfy their sweet tooth at this self-guided tour, which takes place at the candy company’s retail shop. Large picture windows provide a behind-the-scenes look at how some of Hawai’i’s “yummiest” chocolate treats are made. Free samples are included! Free.

 

Eva Parker Woods Cottage

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows One Mauna Lani Drive Kohala Coast, Hawai’i 96743 Phone: 885-6622

Hours: Tuesday, 3-4:30 P.M.; Wednesday, 2:30-4:30 P.M.; Thursday, 1-2:30 P.M. Or by appointment.

Located on the hotel grounds, this cot­tage houses several interesting displays, including fishhooks, ti leaf raincoats, feather leis and old photographs of cattle shipments from Kawaihae. Free. A free historical/ethnobotanical tour is also of­fered Tuesday and Saturday at 9 A.M., and Thursday at 3:30 P.M. Along with Kaniela Akaka, the hotel’s resident Ha­waiian historian, you’ll visit shelter caves, a canoe landing, petroglyphs and natu­ral fish ponds. A fish feeding “tour” is held at the hotel on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10:30 A.M.

 

Farmer’s Market

Cooper Center P.O. Box 600 Volcano, Hawai’i 96785 Phone: 967-7121

Hours: 8:30-11 A.M. every Sunday Fresh produce, herbs, flowers and cof­fee grown by farmers in the Volcano area are the main attractions at this local-style market. Also available are used clothing, books, and fresh-from-the-oven baked goods, including date-nut bran muffins, cinnamon rolls and malassadas. Free.

 

Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden

Rural Route 143A Papa’ikou, Hawai’i 96781 Phone: 964-5233 Hours: 8:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M. daily Tickets are available at a converted yel­low church, seven miles north of Hilo on a well-marked four-mile scenic coastal road. A van transports visitors to the forty-five-acre preserve on Onomea Bay. Path­ways in this tropical rain forest lead through palms, bromeliads, heliconia and fruit trees collected from around the world. Admission.

 

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

P.O. Box 52

Hawai’i National Park, Hawai’i 96718 Phone: 967-7311

Hours: Visitors Center, 7:45 A.M.-5 P.M. daily. The park itself is open twenty-four hours year round.

Kilauea Visitor Center features a film of spectacular past volcanic eruptions, as well as entertaining and educational dis­plays of plants, animals and volcano lore. The latest information on current volca­nic activity is posted, and trail informa­tion is available for hikers. The nearby Volcano Art Center (phone 967-8222) fea­tures the work of Big Island craftsmen, photographers, woodcarvers and artists. The Thomas A. Jaggar Museum (phone 967-7643), situated at the edge of Kilauea caldera, has a variety of fascinating ex­hibits, including seismograph machines that measure the earth’s movement. Ad­mission.

 

Hulihe’e Palace

75-5718 Ali’i Drive Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 96740 Phone: 329-1877

Hours: 9 A.M.-4 P.M. Monday-Friday; 10 A.M.-3 P.M. Saturday; 9 A.M.-4 P.M. Sun­day

Originally built for Governor John Adams Kuakini in 1838, the palace became a vacation retreat for Hawaiian royalty and was particularly favored by King Kalakaua and Princess Ruth Ke’elikolani. The restored two-story structure offers an enticing glimpse of monarchy life in the nineteenth century. Admission.

 

Kailua Candy Company

74-5563 Kaiwi Street Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 96740 Phone: 329-2522 Hours: 8 A.M.-6 P.M. daily Take a sneak peek at how this candy company’s chocolates (made with Kona coffee, macadamia buts and Island fruit) are made. And after the tour is over, en­joy some delicious samples! Free.

 

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

73-4786 Kanalani Street, Building 14 Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 96740 Phone: 329-6881 Hours: 8 A.M.-3:30 P.M. A settlement for the Hawaiians until the nineteenth century, this 1,300-acre park harbors more than 200 archaeological treasures, including fishing shrines, ca­noe landings, petroglyphs, heiau and achialine ponds. Free.

 

Kamuela Museum

P.O. Box 507 Kamuela, Hawai’i 96743 Phone: 885-4724 Hours: 8 A.M.-5 P.M. daily

This small museum in paniolo country showcases a diverse collection of histori­cal treasures, ranging from a stuffed black bear from Canada to an ancient Hawai­ian knuckle-duster. Admission.

 

Kona Historical Society

P.O. Box 398

Captain Cook, Hawai’i 96704 Phone: 323-3222

Hours: 9 A.M.-3 P.M. Monday-Friday; open sometimes on Saturday This twenty-year-old “history center” fea­tures a museum and archives spotlight­ing the rich history of Kailua-Kona. Tours, lectures and oral histories are part of the museum activities. A ninety-minute walk­ing tour of Kailua is held Tuesday-Satur­day at 9:30 A.M., and a Kona Coffee Farm tour takes place Tuesday and Thursday at 9 A.M. Admission.

 

Lapakahi State Historical Park

Highway 270

South Kohala, Hawai’i 96743 Phone: 889-5566

Hours: 8 A.M.-4 P.M. daily except on holidays

A self-guided tour wends through the park, which was once an important an­cient Hawaiian fishing village. House sites, heiau and fishing shrines may be seen. Free.

 

Lyman Mission House and Museum

276 Haili Street Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 Phone: 935-5021

Hours: 9 A.M.-5 P.M. Monday-Saturday, 1-4 P.M. Sunday

This house was built in 1839 for the first Christian missionaries to arrive in Hilo. In 1973, an adjacent museum was con­structed to’ showcase rare Hawaiian arti­facts. Admission.

 

Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory

HC01 Box 3 Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 Phone: 966-8612 Hours: 8:30 A.M.-5 P.M. daily Reputedly the best of the macadamia nut factories to tour, the Mauna Loa process­ing plant offers large viewing windows and a video program which describes the harvesting and processing of nuts. Or­chards, a nature trail, snack bar, espresso bar, gift shop and picnic area make this a pleasant stop. Free.

 

Nani Mau Gardens

421 Makalika Street Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 Phone: 959-3541 Hours: 8 A.M.-5 P.M. daily Established in 1970, this twenty-acre bo­tanical garden boasts 100 varieties of

tropical fruit trees and 2,000 varieties of ginger, orchids and anthuriums. Visitors can wander beside a man-made lake and waterfall on their own or enjoy guided tours if arrangements are made in ad­vance. Pavilions furnish shelter for pic­nickers. Admission.

 

Onizuka Center for International As­tronomy and Mauna Kea Observatory

Phone: 961-2180

Contact: Mauna Kea Support Services 177 Maka’ala Street Hilo, Hawai’i 96720

Hours: Open Friday-Monday. Call for times.

Take Saddle Road, Highway 200 to 9,200 feet elevation of Mauna Kea where the Onizuka Center offers graphic displays explaining why the 13,796-foot summit of the mountain proyides the finest con­ditions for astronomical research. The Mauna Kea Observatory at the summit is accessible only by a four-wheel drive vehicle. Free narrated tours of the obser­vatory are offered on Saturday and Sun­day. Meet the guide at the Onizuka Cen­ter at 1:30 P.M.

 

Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo

Mamaki Street, off Highway 11 near Hilo Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 Phone: 959-7224

Hours: 9 A.M.-4 P.M. daily except Christ­mas and New Year’s Day Bengal tigers, pygmy hippos, spider monkeys and giant anteaters are among the residents at this seven-acre attraction, where visitors can view rainforest beasts dwelling in their natural surroundings. Hawaiian birds are also on display. Free.

 

Parker Ranch Visitor Center and Mu­seum, Parker Ranch Shopping Center

P.O. Box 458 Kamuela, Hawai’i 96743 Phone: 885-7655 Hours: 9 A.M.-5 P.M. daily The Parker Ranch Museum documents the history of the Parker family and the largest individually-owned ranch in the U.S. through displays, photographs, memorabilia and a fifteen-minute film-strip. Tours are given at nearby Pu’u’opelu and a replica of Mana, the Parker family homes. Admission.

 

Petroglyph Tours

The Kings’ Shops P.O. Box 384330 Waikoloa, Hawai’i 96738 Phone: 885-8811 Hours: 8:30 A.M.-9;30 P.M. daily The Kohala Coast boasts more than 12,000 well-preserved petroglyphs lo­cated at easily accessible fields. Comfort able walking attire and adequate sun pro­tection and drinking water are recom­mended when exploring these sites. A guided free walking tour (generally forty-five to ninety minutes in duration) is con­ducted through the petroglyph fields along the Kings’ Trail of ‘Anaeho’omalu. Meet in front of the food pavilion at the Kings’ Shops. The shopping center also features dioramas, murals and exhibits depicting the history and geography of the Kohala Coast. Or you may explore the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Pre­serve at the Mauna Lani Resort any day on your own. This 1.4-mile walk provides close-up views of more than 3,000 petroglyphs.

 

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

P.O. Box 129 Honaunau, Hawai’i 96726 Phone: 328-2326

Hours: 7:30 A.M.-5:30 P.M. daily for the visitors center; park opens until midnight. A self-guided tour of this historic site explores Hale O Keawe Heiau, built in 1650, as well as wooden ki’i images, ca­noe sheds, and other ancient structures and artifacts. Admission. An annual cul­tural festival is held during the weekend closest to July 1, and features arts and crafts, lau hala weaving demonstrations, Hawaiian games, hula performances, food tastings and more. 10 A.M.-3 P.M. Free.

 

Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

P.O. Box 44340 Kawaihae, Hawai’i 96743 Phone: 882-7218 Hours: 7:30 A.M.-4 P.M. daily Prearranged guided tours are available for groups of ten or more. A park ranger briefs visitors on the his­tory of two heiau in the area, Pu’ukohola and Mailekini, which are both a short walk from the visitors center. Pu’ukohola was originally constructed in 1550 and rebuilt by King Kamehameha in 1790. A third heiau, Hale o Kapuni, is underwa­ter and not visible. In mid-August, the park’s annual cultural festival features arts and crafts workshops, hula performances, a royal court and warrior regimen pro­cession, Hawaiian games and food tastings. 9:30 A.M.-3 P.M. Free.

 

The Royal Waikoloan Historical Grounds Tour

P.O. Box 5000

Kohala Coast, Hawai’i 96743

Phone: 885-6789

Hours: Call for times

Tour the grounds of the Royal Waikoloan

Hotel with an expert guide, who shares

insightful and fascinating facts regarding the life and uses of Hawaii’s endemic plants. Free.

 

Sadie Seymour Botanical Gardens/ Outdoor Circle

76-6280 Kuakini Highway Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i 96740 Phone: 329-7286

Hours: The Outdoor Circle’s education center is open from 9 A.M.-3 P.M.; the garden is available for daylong viewing. Beautiful landscapings and exotic flora and fauna are among the delights to be discovered on this self-guided tour. Plant life from all parts of the world are here, including Hawaiian, Pacific region, Indo-Asian, Asian, Central American, South American, African and Mediterranean.

 

Suisan Fish Market and Auction

85 Lihiwai Street Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 Phone: 935-9349

Hours: 7:30 A.M. Monday-Saturday Buyers from restaurants and stores around the state participate in a lively auction for the day’s freshest catches, including marlin, tuna and broadbill swordfish. Consumers can buy fresh fish next door.

 

Uncle Billy’s Farmers Market

Kona, Hawai’i 96785

Phone: 329-1393

Hours: 6 A.M.-2 P.M. every Wednesday,

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Held in the parking lot across the street

from Uncle Billy’s Kona Bay Hotel, this

popular event features fresh produce,

flowers and Kona coffee for sale. Free.

 

Volcano Winery

P.O. Box 843 Volcano, Hawai’i 96785 Phone: 967-7479 Hours: 10 A.M.-5 P.M. daily Visitors are invited to walk through this fourteen-acre vineyard bordering Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Also located here is a tasting room where visitors are invited to sample guava, starfruit and liliko’i wine, all of which are blended with chablis in a fifty/fifty ratio. Wine and sou­venirs may be purchased at the winery’s gift shop. Free.

 

Wakefield Botanical Gardens

P.O. Box 18

Honaunau, Hawai’i 96726 Phone: 328-9930

Hours: 11 A.M.-3 P.M. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. This five-acre botanical garden and mac-adamia nut orchard located on City of Refuge Road boasts more than 1,000 va­rieties of plants and flowers. Free.

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