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Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Chula Vista...
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Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

It's our first time to Hawaii! And my brother in law got us a room at the Hilton.

My hubby wants to see a volcano, but we can't really afford the tour for a family of four.

Is there somewhere we can go to see the lava/volcano from a distance?

Thanks in advance!

26 replies to this topic
Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

When are you coming, how many nights are you here for, will you have a rental car, who is "we", ages of kids, etc.

In the meantime, read the Top Questions on the right hand side, particularly the one about lava viewing. You don't need a tour to go to VNP, it's just a long drive from the Hilton and generally it's better to spend at least one night in Volcano. Many people double book a night in Volcano, it's affordable there.

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Thanks for the quick response! We are a family of 4, kids are ages 13 and 9. Staying 5 nights at the Hilton and yes, renting a car. I did see the VNP and that it's about 2.5 hrs drive. So that would be the only place? Thanks for the suggestion to stay overnight near there.

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Yes, VNP is the place to go to visit the active volcano, Kilauea. However, what if any lava is visible changes all the time. Pretty much the only easily accessible live surface action most of the time is the glow from the lava lake inside Halemaumau, which you can view after dark from simply driving up to the lookout platform at Jaggar Museum within VNP.

If you're expecting viewing a lot of surface lava or an erupting "Hollywood" volcano, that's not what you'll see. The Park itself has lots of interesting aspects aside from merely lava and takes a good 8-9 hours to cover. Kilauea Lodge is always good for a one night stay.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Each island in the Hawaii chain is made up of volcanos! That is how the islands are formed. Sitting at your hotel, you are sitting on lava. Driving, you are driving on old lava flows. The KOA airport is on a relatively new one. Look around. If you have a clear day you may be able to see 4 or 5, including Haleakela over on Maui.

Look at the different colors of the lava. Brownish is older, oxidized flow. Look at the textures. Look for the lines of cinder cones.

California
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5. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Simply do a day trip from the Hilton. Literally dozens of people from the Hilton (and other hotels) do the exact same trip every single day. You might not have time to actually see the lava flowing into the ocean but you certainly have enough time to tour Hawaii Volcano's National Park and have a fun experience.

Just leave in the morning and plan to be back at sunset. Pretty easy.

Bellingham...
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6. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Take Shea's advice and double book one night in Volcano.

~ Colleen

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

We are also booked on the West coast and considering if we should do an overnight in Volcano or just a day trip. I appreciate the local expert's advice, however, for late July/early August, the rates for lodging in Volcano are quite high - especially for what you get - and this makes it an extremely expensive endeavor if double booking.

Edited: 17 May 2017, 02:38
Bellingham...
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8. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

How many nights are you on the Big Island, Ozzie799? Are you able to rearrange and spend a night in Volcano at the front or back end of your west side stay, so you can avoid double booking?

Also wondering what options you've looked at in Volcano. Rates there are pretty steady year-round. Quite a few reasonably-priced listings on VRBO, and Kilauea Lodge includes breakfast in their rate.

~ Colleen

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

Thanks for your reply Colleen. We are on the island for 9 nights and wanted to have the same home base the whole time we are there for convenience. I've looked at pretty much every option available in Volcano, including vrbo and places like Kilauea Lodge/b&bs. Vrbo properties are simply not cost effective for one night because of the housekeeping charge, even the less expensive options that are in the low $100/night price range (jumping up to around $200 with tax and housekeeping fees for a decent 1-2 bedroom). The Kilauea Lodge is around $230-ish+ all-in for one night for 3 people, but their basic rooms don't look particularly nice and I would expect more at that price point. I checked a number of the nicer looking b&bs and again I'm seeing high prices for average looking rooms. All in all, the prices are quite high for what you get and when you're already paying $300/night for a condo on the West coast, an additional $200 per night is a lot!

Bellingham...
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10. Re: Staying at Hilton, where can we go to look at a volcano?

I hear you; the taxes & fees are a pile-on! Otoh, your thought process doesn't make sense to me. Staying nine nights in one place and either double booking or squeezing an east side trek into one exhausting day is a lot less convenient than staying on the east side at the beginning or end of your trip. And if you do that, you can stay two nights ~ preferable in terms of the weather, making the most of your time at VNP, and spreading out the cost of the cleaning fee. A 7/2 split between west/east makes great sense, imo. : )

~ Colleen

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