Monday, July 31, 2017

hawaiian honeymoon: 5 things to do in volcano village

we stayed on the waimea side of the big island and had planned a helicopter tour over in hilo one day. the drive from waimea to hilo is about two hours long and it's an interesting terrain, very earthen and desert-like. we felt like we were driving through mars many times on the big island, rocky lava lines the highways with almost no vegetation. what the island lacks in vegetation, it makes up for in billy goats. seriously, we saw so many goats roaming the lava fields.

I highly recommend taking a day trip over to volcano village and volcano national park if you have the time. we spent a full day in volcano and hit all the stops!

1. helicopter tour
the tours technically leave out of hilo airport which is 45 minutes from volcano village. start with a morning tour of the volcano by air, read more here - then head over to volcano village afterward and enjoy lunch before all the activities. I won't talk too much about our helicopter experience since I've already posted about it - it was awesome!

2. lunch at historic kilauea lodge
if you google restaurants in volcano village, kilauea lodge is listed as the nicest restaurant in volcano. don't be intimidated though, it's casual. I am so glad we went here because of its special story! back in 1986, a couple visited on their honeymoon and felt so drawn to the restaurant - they bought it, despite no chef skills or really any of the necessary skills to run a restaurant. they ended up going to culinary school and the rest is history. the best part about the lodge is the international fireplace of friendship.

in 1938, four hundred people from around the territory of hawaii gathered at camp hale o aloha in volcano village for the dedication of a unique fireplace. the international fireplace of friendship with its stones and coins from all over the world was the inspiration of the Y.M.C.A. camp director in charge of construction at the camp, harold lucas. lucas’ dream was to create a hearth of world brotherhood using stones from 32 countries around the world. I was enamored by the fireplace.

3. hawai'i volcano national park: lava tube and chain of craters
after having lunch, drive over to hawai'i volcano national park. there is a visitor center and the jagger museum to check out, depending on the amount of time you have. admittedly, we skipped these items and drove straight to the volcano lookout at jagger first. from there, we drove the chain of craters and stopped at the lava tube (pictured below).

4. volcano winery tasting
you have to know that a winery will always make my list! volcano winery is a really cool spot to check out. while most of the varietals were a little too fruity for me, we bought a couple bottles of the symphony white blend and enjoyed the cheese spread plate. funny story - while we were enjoying our cheese plate, another patron came over to us, grabbed a cracker, looked at us and said, "can I get some?" stephen and I were totally taken off guard... but said "sure." she then realized that we had paid for it and was mortified haha!

5. kona coffee tour
one thing to make sure you do on the way back from hilo is to check out a coffee plantation. there are coffee spots lining the road, but I recommend greenwell plantation. they've been in kona forever and as a local put it, "didn't just pop up to make money." they offer an hour-long tour of the grounds, but you can easily pop in just for samples too.

bonus - greenwell has orange and avocado trees near the parking lot. I can honestly say I've never seen an avocado tree before - how cool is this!


  1. What a once in a lifetime opportunity! Those avocados look sooo cute hanging off the tree! Did the place smell like sulfur? I imagine by a volcano, it'd be smelly! Or maybe I have that confused with hot springs...

    Simply Lovebirds

  2. I had no idea that there was a winery on the Big Island! I'll definitely have to keep that in mind for when we make it there in the future!

  3. That's so awesome! I had no idea you could get so close and personal with a volcano.

    7% Solution