Day 4: Big Island Style

Today we decided to go driving and venture more parts of the island.

Since we were starting kind of late in the morning, we decided to grab an early lunch.

But first, let me take a selfie!

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As we waited for our car, Bob’s friend was back in the lobby again!

As we approached him, he immediately jumped down to be closer to him on the bar and flipped up his arm to be petted.  He definitely remembered Bob.  After giving the bird another massage for a few minutes, we had to head off to eat.  Every time he would stop though, the bird would move closer and closer to him.

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Now, time to eat!  We ventured up North to a placed called Kohala Burger and Taco.  I’m so glad we chose that place.  We were greeted as we walked in, lots of options on their menu, and they even had a few specials for the day.

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I chose the Island Fish Tacos and Bob got the Carne Asada burrito “California Style” (which was one of the specials.)   They make their own taco sauce in house!  It was amazing!  I actually dipped my fries in it, it had a nice kick to it.  Plus, you can purchase bottles of the sauce, which I did to take home!!

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I also ordered a Pineapple Passion Cooler, which was another special of the day.  OMG – it was so good.  I almost wanted to buy another one for the road!

It was made out of Authentic Dole Pineapple Whip, floating in Hawaii’s favorite Passion, Orange, and Guava Juices, fresh pineapple slice.  Definitely a must!!!

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Right across the street, there was some of the best ocean views we have seen during our trip.  We spent some time there just taking in the beauty.

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Next Stop:  Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

It was only about a 1 mile away from where we were at too!

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Depending on the time of day, you can see them processing and canning the nuts.  They weren’t working during our visit.

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When you first walk in, you are greeted by the employees with an “Ahola” and encouraged to try all the different samples they have.

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My favorites that I purchased was Lightly Salted, Honey Roasted, Coconut Nut Brittle, and Mac Nut Brittle.  I happened to purchase all of these to take home.  I also purchased a Mac Nut Pancake mix.

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Good News:  A sample of their Mac Nuts will be part of my Little Taste of Hawaii giveaway!  Stay tuned for details on my Facebook page!

Next Stop:  Pu’ukohola Heiau – National Historic Site

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Heiau = temple

Basically you can walk a trail to see where all the warriors and builders were 200 years ago.  This is one of the best preserved and most significant heiau sites in Hawai’i.  Pu’ukohola is associated with King Kamechameha I and was the site of a pivotal event in Hawaiian history.

We didn’t get a chance to walk the trail, as we knew we had a lot of items on our list today.  However, we did spend some time at the visitor center reading up on the history.

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We even learned about Mongooses, which we happened to see two of underneath a car next to us.  Apparently, they have sharp teeth and non-retractable claws that are excellent for digging up insects.  They are known for raiding eggs of ground-nesting birds, and are a serious threat to the survival of endangered Hawaiian Nene goose.  We couldn’t get a good shot of them underneath the car, but here is what one looks like.

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Next Stop:  Waipio Lookout

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If we had a 4WD, we could have gone on a different trail closer for a better view.  However, the view that we did see on top was amazing.

Note:  It’s a short, steep hike to the bottom of the hill.  We did it, but it’s definitely hard to do in flip flops, especially on a rocky surface.  But it was worth it.

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Next Stop:  Akaka Falls State Park

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This was not on our initial agenda, but added it to our list while we were driving.  Once you arrive, there is about a 0.4 mile hike to see multiple waterfalls.  They said it would take about 45 minutes to complete.  We just took pictures from afar since it was already approaching mid afternoon and we still needed to head to the 2 destinations we definitely wanted to see before sundown.

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Next Stop:  Rainbow Falls

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Wonderful view.  You can even hike towards the top of the waterfall.  We just enjoyed the view from a far.  Very pretty!

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Our final stop:  Liliuokalani Gardens

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Absolutely beautiful.  Blink and you may think you are in Japan as you stroll through the  peaceful garden.    The garden is named after Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani.  It’s located on Hilo’s Banyan Drive.  It’s a 30 acre Japanese Garden – dedicated in 1917 as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants who worked in the Hawaii Island sugar cane fields.

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It features arching red bridges over fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas, Japanese stone laterns, and a teahouse.  You get a great view of Hilo Bay and Moku Ola (Coconut Island).

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Since it was already getting late, instead of eating dinner in Hilo, we decided to make the drive back over towards our resort.  We knew the drive back in the dark (in potential fog) could be rough in our not so great rental.

It was pretty to watch the sunset during our drive.

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Dinner:  The Three Fat Pigs (King’s Shops)

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After our long day, I was definitely starving.

Appetizer:  Charcuterie

We chose Prosciutto di Parma, Manchego, Parmigianio Reggiano, House Bread and Butter Pickles, Fig Jam served with Crostini.  The server actually messed up our order, so we ended up getting Jamon Serrano and Triple Crème Brie extra.  (This was actually my favorite part of my entire meal.)

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Dinner:  Fresh Catch of the Day (which was Mongchong, so I was excited) served with Lilikoi Butter and Coconut Infused Purple Molokai Sweet Potatoes.

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It was okay – definitely not as great as I would have hoped.  Plus, they messed up Bob’s meal and had to re-do a portion of the dish.  Because of this issue as well as the issue from the appetizer, they offered us a dessert for free.

Dessert:  Pear Brown Betty with Cranberries and Vanilla Ice Cream

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Unfortunately, that was not one of my favorites either. It was very dry – maybe if the ice cream was Lappert’s brand, that would have helped!  :)

Overall, I would recommend this place as a good cocktail / appetizer place.

That was a long day.  We were both exhausted and immediately went straight to bed when we got back to our room.

I can’t believe this trip is going by so fast.  We definitely will not be able to hit all the sites we wanted to see.

So, where will Day 5 take us?  Tomorrow you shall see…

** Sorry about any grammar errors, as I didn’t have a chance to fully spell check before posting.


In case you missed my other posts — Check out my other Day Adventures (click on links below):

Hawaii, Here we Come!

Day 1:  The Big Island Adventure

Day 2:  The Big Island Adventure

Day 3:  The Big Island Adventure


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  1. Looks like a beautiful day!! And those fish tacos looked bomb!!


  1. […] Day 4: The Big Island Adventure […]

  2. […] If you missed my blog post about my trip to Big Island Bees – check out my previous post HERE or my visit to Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company HERE. […]

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