I have written before about the incredible islands of Oahu and Maui. This time we are going to explore volcanoes, black sand beaches and snow capped mountains on the island of Hawaii better known as “The Big Island”.
Imagine hot lava flowing from an active volcano creating new land as it meets the ocean, quickly cooling into rock. The big island is home to Volcanoes National Park where you can see an active volcano and witness lava flows. You may want to go on a helicopter ride for a spectacular view of the park as well as more of the island.
Have you ever thought of bringing your skis to Hawaii? The big island has two peaks that reach up over 13,000 feet and in the wintertime they do have snow—not like Utah’s snow. On a clear day the sight of the peaks is amazing. The big island is not known for its beaches because a lot of the coastline is lava or rocky, but there are still some good beaches there. The water clarity is great and provides for some very good snorkeling and scuba diving. If golf is your way to relax, there are 18 courses on the island so you might have to make three or four trips to play them all.
The Island of Hawaii is much quieter than the other islands with limited night life and not as many tourists. This makes it the perfect getaway for someone wanting to avoid the crowds. There are exclusive resorts as well as some reasonably priced hotel options. You will need a rental car to get around the island and to your hotel. There is a road that circles the island giving you the opportunity to see great scenery and the small towns---plan on a full day it is about 225 miles. There are two airports on the island of Hawaii, Kona with flights from the mainland and Hilo with flights from the other islands. From Salt Lake you can fly Delta non-stop to Honolulu and then connect or you can take United to L.A. or San Francisco to connect to Kona.
When that temperature inversion sets in make sure you escape to Hawaii where the worst weather is usually a short rainstorm that freshens the air before you head for the beach again!
Travel Tip: The two weeks after Thanksgiving are a great time to travel for better air and hotel prices, and less people.
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Gary Sorensen is a Regional Manager for Morris Murdock Travel. For all of your travel information see Morris Murdock Travel in Bountiful at 320 W. 500 S. or call 295-9443.