View Full Version : The Big Island

09-20-2008, 02:43 PM
Hey guys, just found out I will finally be going to Hawaii! I will be flying out to the big island on the 14th of Feb. I just figured I'd post this to get some input of what uke related things are on the island of Hawaii!

Thanks guys!

09-20-2008, 03:07 PM
If you don't have enough ukes yet, check out Hilo Guitars and Ukuleles in, well, Hilo. :D


09-20-2008, 03:27 PM
I second Hilo Guitars, nice selection and great prices. Music Exchange in Hilo and Waimea also carry ukes. If you are looking for high end ukes, the Big Isle has a few excellent builders: Moore Bettah Ukes, Pegasus, Island Traditions to name just a few. Chuck Moore of Moore Bettah Ukes gave me a tour of his shop and home. Got to see his ukes being built, simply awesome. If you are looking for something in particular, PM me and I'll keep an eye out for you. Aloha!

09-22-2008, 05:17 PM
...not sure if you'll still be there, but there's an Ukulele Festival on March 7th in Waikoloa

Also, there's the Aloha Music Camp (http://www.alohamusiccamp.com/)...but it ends the day you land :(

01-06-2009, 06:08 PM
So my trip is coming up... Anyone else know of things uke related on the Big Island? :D

01-06-2009, 09:35 PM
If you fly up a few days earlier, you can go see Jake.

February 6, 2009
8:00pm. Call 808-885-6868 for details.

01-07-2009, 01:29 AM
There is a store south of Kona called Just Ukes. It is on the main road running north south. It is right across the street from a store called Donkey Balls or Bad Ass Coffee or something. when I was there they mainly had Kala and Lanakai ukulele. I personally would not shop there agian. There are some good shops in Hilo though. I would definatly try and meet up with Chuck Moore, I didn't have time when I was there.

Non uke related. If you never been go check out Volcanos National Park or find out where you can go veiw some lava.

01-07-2009, 03:15 AM
So my trip is coming up... Anyone else know of things uke related on the Big Island? :D

It's not uke related but seeing Mauna Loa is well worth it, it's an incredible landscape and like nothing else. Also check out the black sand beaches, they're crazy.

Chuck Moore lives/works on the Big Island, definitely check his workshop out, it looks incredible.

If you're able to spare a day, I'd recommend going to Oahu and checkout the Kamaka factory too.

01-07-2009, 03:33 AM
We ran out of time on our last day driving around the island, but there's a green sand beach on the south end of the island that I wish we'd made it too.

Assuming you're already going to hit the local sights (Place of Sanctuary, a coffee plantation, the volcano etc..) You've got to check out the Manago Hotel (http://www.managohotel.com/) and get yourself some pork chops. One of the best meals we had on the Islands. Super simple. Lightly breaded and fried, but damn that pig delicious.

Also the local tomatoes are amazing. Something about the volcanic soil...

01-07-2009, 04:22 AM
We ran out of time on our last day driving around the island, but there's a green sand beach on the south end of the island that I wish we'd made it too.

That would be cool to see. But a heads up, I think you have to walk a couple of miles to get there from a parking area.Here (http://www.to-hawaii.com/big-island/beaches/papakoleagreensandbeach.php) are some directions, there are several site with how to get there if you google it.

01-07-2009, 04:29 AM
Yeah, the little hike was what kept us from seeing it since we had to be back in Hilo for the flight back to Oahu, but I think it would have been worth it if we'd been able to budget the time...

And more food stuff. You're also required (by law, I think) to go to Cafe 100 when in Hilo and get a Loco Moco.

They're cheap and filling and I'm sure that if I'd had them available when I was in college they would have made the most perfect late night drunk food on the planet.

01-07-2009, 08:42 AM
The hike to Green Sand Beach can be difficult for some, especially on a hot day. We fish out there and 4x4 in and out. We see tourist huffing and puffing walking in. Rainbow falls in Hilo is nice, if you never saw a waterfall. The hike to the lava flow is most definetely worth your time, just don't expect to see lava shooting hundreds of feet in the air. You may see the lava entering the ocean though. Wear comfortable sneakers and bring water and a hat. And by all means, listen to the warnings and stay on the path.

As for grinds, Cafe 100 is okay, but there are other less known hole-in-the-wall eateries. For Loco Moco, I go to Koji's. They are right next to Hilo Guitars, how convenient! For local/asian plate lunch style, go to Nori's. For Japanese, to Restaurant Nihon.

02-09-2009, 05:55 PM
Well I just found out I am actually staying in Kona and not Hilo. Haha, completely across the island. Anybody know of good stuff in Kona? :D Thanks again guys.

02-09-2009, 06:08 PM
Oh and I'd love to have a mini UU get together! That would really complete the vacation. :D Anyone from Kona around?

02-09-2009, 06:53 PM
I've never seen anyone from Kona on this. I'd love to drive over but have plans for the weekend. Kona is only 100 miles away from Hilo, 2 hour drive.

I know a lot of tourist like to dive with the manta rays at night, if you are comfortable in the ocean. I'm a fisherman, so I would suggest a fishing charter, but that could be quite costly. Helicopter rides are cool too, a nice way to see the island from a bird's point of view, again though, it aint cheap. You can dive with the dolpins at the Hilton. There's whale watching tours. For free stuff, you can go down to City of Refuge and get some Hawaiian history. Drive to the Volcano, perhaps even take a hike to the lava flowing into the ocean. Check out Hapuna beach for a nice day in the sun. Check out the Honokohau boat harbour in the afternoon to see if any big catches are weighed in.

Check out Kona Web for a list of other things you can do http://www.konaweb.com/

02-10-2009, 05:15 AM
Kona is my favorite tourist town out of all tourist towns I've ever been to. Nice, clean, small enough to walk Ali'i drive in one go.

My wife and I fell in love with the breakfast at Bubba Gump's - not Hawaii specific, but fun. Lunch and dinner are average.

There is an awesome cafe south of Kona called the Aloha Angel. It's on the right side of the highway in Kainaliu just south of Keauhou. Go for breakfast, and only if seating is available on the lanai (I read a review or two that said the lanai was closed, which would be weird). Food was great, service friendly, and the kids loved feeding papaya to the geckos...

The last time we were in Kona we gritted our teeth and did the timeshare presentation to get helicopter rides cheap. Not fun, but the 1.5 hour investment was worth it in the helicopter ride (which took off from the airport in Hilo). The volcano was cooperating that day and we got to see flowing lava, fly all the way around the Pu'u O'o vent, saw the lava flowing into the ocean. We flew with Blue Hawaiian and the pilot was great - fun, nice, informative, but also knew when to be quiet and let us appreciate what we were seeing.

If you want to laze the day away on the beach it would be hard to beat Hapuna in the Kohala district. Spectacular white sand beach looking out toward Maui.

There's a cool botanical garden on the windward side, north of Hilo - can't remember what it's called, but when we checked in they gave us a huge bunch of apple bananas and some juice to enjoy while we wandered the garden.

Kahalu'u Beach Park just south of Kona is our preferred place for snorkeling. I'm sure there's better snorkeling on the island, but my wife is very nervous around the water and Kahalu'u has a very old breakwater that keeps things calm (I've heard it was built by King Kamehameha, but I'm not sure of that). We've seen lots of fish there and had some great face-to-face encounters with sea turtles. It's the only place locals ever gave me shakas :shaka:. A guy weaving palm baskets liked my Bugs Bunny tattoo.

I think I need to go back...

On my list for next time we go is getting in touch with Chuck Moore to see if he'll show us his operation...

02-10-2009, 08:39 AM
Place of Refuge is probably one of my favorite places on this earth. It's a must see. It's south of Kona.