Suggestions from Frommers: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/newyorkcity/0021010007.html
I really enjoyed a lot of walking…Started early at the UN building, took subway down to Battery Park and heading back up on foot…SoHo, Tribeca, the Village… had lunch there near Washington Park, took the subway up to MoMA and The Met. Had friends there who got tickets to a Neil Simon play one night, had a nice dinner. Much to take in…also made it by a few other sights and neighborhoods and did most of it (the daylight stuff) as a lone female. I really did enjoy so much of the strolling.
Cafe Flora…tasty and reasonable:
Big Island snorkeling is great! Check out Akaka Falls north of Hilo and do see the volcano! Pololu Valley Lookout is stunning. My Frommer’s guide was very helpful http://www.frommers.com/destinations/hawaiithebigisland/. We also did a helicopter tour through Blue Hawaiian (we did their big one) and “Flumed da Ditch”. Info below from their website (we did the Fair Wind snorkel cruise which was great, and we were staying next to White Sands Beach so snorkeled there regularly using Snorkel Bob’s gear:
The cheapest place to get great rental equipment is Snorkel Bob’s, in the parking lot of Huggo’s Restaurant at 75-5831 Kahakai Rd., at Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona (tel. 808/329-0770; http://www.snorkelbob.com).
Great snorkel cruises in Kealakekua Bay, the marine-life preserve that’s one of the best snorkel spots in Hawaii, through Fair Wind crusies (tel. 800/677-9461; http://www.fair-wind.com/.)
Some of the best snorkeling areas on the Kona-Kohala coasts include Hapuna Beach Cove, at the foot of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, a secluded little cove where you can snorkel with schools of yellow tangs, needlefish, and green sea turtles. But if you’ve never snorkeled in your life, Kahaluu Beach Park is the best place to start. Just wade in and look down at the schools of fish in the bay’s black-lava tide pools. Another “hidden” snorkeling spot is off the rocks north of the boat launch ramp at Honaunau Bay. Other great snorkel sites include White Sands Beach, Kekaha Kai State Park, and Ho’okena, Honaunau, Puako, and Spencer beach parks.
Freshwater Fluming — Years ago, the best thing to do on a hot summer day was to grab an old inner tube and go “fluming” down the Kohala Sugar Plantation irrigation system. There were only two problems: You had to trespass to get to the elaborate ditch system, and the water was cold. But the opportunity to float past a pristine rainforest, over ravines, and under waterfalls was worth the risk of getting caught (and a numb rear end). You no longer have to worry about either problem. Flumin’ da Ditch (tel. 877/449-6922 or 808/889-6922; http://www.flumindaditch.com) offers legal access to this North Kohala area by way of guided tours in high-tech, double-hulled inflatable kayaks, with knowledgeable guides talking story about the history, culture, and legends of the area. The tour includes snacks. To ensure a good trip, tell them you want to be in the kayak with the guide (otherwise you will miss out on all the history, culture, and so on). Wear a swimsuit or bring a change of clothing, because the kayaks pass under waterfalls and through water pouring in from the intake systems.
A Bird’s-Eye View — The best way to see Kilauea’s bubbling caldera is from on high, in a helicopter. This bird’s-eye view puts the enormity of it all into perspective. I recommend Blue Hawaiian Helicopter (tel. 800/745-BLUE or 808/886-1768; http://www.bluehawaiian.com), a professionally run, locally based company with an excellent safety record; comfortable, top-of-the-line copters; and pilots who are extremely knowledgeable about everything from vulcanology to Hawaii lore. The company flies out of both Hilo and Waikoloa (Hilo is cheaper because it’s closer). From Hilo the 45-minute Circle of Fire tour takes you over the boiling volcano and then on to a bird’s-eye view of the destruction the lava has caused and remote beaches ($165 per person). From Waikoloa the 2-hour Big Island Spectacular stars the volcano, tropical valleys, Hamakua Coast waterfalls, and the Kohala Mountains (from $340, but worth every penny).
Only a couple of restaurants we went to required cash. All the rentals and tours we used accepted credit cards.
A few good places where we ate (all were very good):
The Coffee Shack (early breakfast through late lunch, Monday – Friday)
Nasturtium Café (breakfast through late lunch, Monday – Friday)
Merriman’s (went for lunch, less expensive then, lunch Monday – Friday, dinner daily)
Keei Café (cash only, dinner Tuesday – Saturday)
We’ve stayed at the Sylvia…it’s old, but at a GREAT location, and is a good value for a waterfront hotel:
If you go, try to book a room on one of the higher floors facing English Bay…nice views.
We walked to Stanley Park, the aquarium, etc. and up Denman to Robson…plenty to see and do very nearby.
Other than that, you might want to check out Pacific Palisades Hotel or the Westin Bayshore Resort…more expensive, but nice digs in good locations.
Good luck and have fun!
In May we stayed at the Hôtel de la Place des Vosges and it was a very small but really great little room and beautiful little bathroom with a huge shower! We would definitely stay there again. The location was also great! You can look it up at TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com (and book a room there), LonelyPlanet.com, Frommers.com, Fodors.com, and others.
Haven’t gone that route, but a good resource for outdoor rec:
Good luck. Bring back photos to share here!
We stayed at the Edward II on a trip shortly before our move here 7 years ago. It was a pretty good deal. It’s in the following list you should check out:
Yea…I listed the York under the related question with these others:
…all good locations at good bangs for the buck.