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Hawaii - The Big Island & Optional Oahu
Enjoy both or just the Big Island
Depart at 11:05am and arrive in Kona at 4:35pm, after a layover in Honolulu (3 hour time change). The King Kamehameha is the only hotel our company has ever used on the island. It's now a Courtyard by Marriott. The hotel is right on the bay, and a short walk (2-3 blocks) into the village where shops and restaurants await. Relax and dine at your leisure at the hotel or in town this evening. Courtyard King Kamehameha Hotel - 5 nights (D)
Our first history lesson is this morning at Kealakekua Bay where Captain James Cook first landed in the islands in 1778. Lunch is included at the Hotel Manago, said to house the oldest restaurant in the islands. You'll hear the story, then enjoy a narrated swing through Kailua-Kona, to get acquainted with town. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. The Ghost Walk (3/4 mile, flat walking) is included this evening (FB, L)
A late morning cruise takes us whale watching! The whales come down from Alaska in the winter to mate and play in the waters off the Hawaiian coast. The afternoon is open for optional sightseeing, relaxing at the hotel, or hanging out in town. (FB)
Today is a free day to enjoy and /or schedule an optional activity. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Luau at your hotel. It's a great package with King Kamehamaha landing on shore, abundant food and beverages, and a great show, all on the grounds of your hotel! (FB, D)
Today, a trip up the coast to learn about macadamia nuts, how they are grown, harvested and packaged for you to buy, and to visit a couple of "off-the-beaten-track" communities. Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company is one of our destinations. We'll check out the Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site.
Did you know there are only a few places in the world that cultivate vanilla? One of them is right here in our Hawaiian islands. We'll travel to Hawaiian Vanilla. You'll hear how vanilla beans are grown and the amazing story about how they are pollinated and produce that long, precious "bean." Our visit includes lunch with all things vanilla. (FB, L)
This morning ride by coach across the island to Hilo, making a stop at Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. Kilauea is still an active volcano, and here's your chance to learn more about eruptions. Arrive in Hilo mid-afternoon. Let's learn a little about those magnificent flowers found all over the islands, especially the orchids. Doubletree Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo (FB, L)
A mid-day flight takes us back to Oahu. For some, their travels are over and they will continue to Sacramento. Your flight will arrive in Sacramento at 11:50pm (5 hour flight, 3 hour time change).
The rest of us will catch a ride to Honolulu. Our home is Waikiki, towards the east end of the beach. We'll transfer to our hotel and the evening is at leisure. Plenty of shops and restaurants right outside your door. We'll dine together this evening at a popular Waikiki spot. Courtyard Waikiki - 3 nights (FB- for those headed home, FB & D for those continuing to Oahu)
Pearl Harbor is often high on many lists. We have made it optional because many people have been to Pearl Harbor previously, and might prefer to do something different. Our visit gives you a chance to go into the Visitors Center and ride the launch to the memorial. Eighty years later this is still a site that causes people to reflect.
If you prefer, take an island tour of Oahu today and skip Pearl Harbor, including waterfalls and a stop at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where you can explore six different Hawaiian villages. (FB)
Enjoy a Honolulu excursion this morning, including a look at part of the life of our 44th president, Barrack Obama. He grew up and went to school in Honolulu. The tour includes everything from Don Ho stories to the opportunity to add a tour of Shangri La, Doris Duke's historic house, in the afternoon. Or make an advance reservation and hike Diamond Head. (FB)
Our two-island group heads for home this afternoon. On the way to the airport, stop at Iolani Palace for a guided tour. Built in 1879, it was the official residence to Hawaiian Monarchs.
Our Southwest flight leaves at 3:30pm, arriving in Sacramento at 11:50pm (5hour flight, 3 hour time change). (FB)
|B||Generally a limited buffet or menu|
|FB||Full buffet or choice of menu|
|BR||Brunch, often buffet-style|
|L||Lunch, often several menu options|
|HT or AT||High or Afternoon Tea|
|D||Dinner, often several menu options|
Big Island & Oahu - $5465 p.p./dbl.occ., $6620 single