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BEGINS IN: HILO (HAWAII), HAWAII

On the Road: Best of the Big Island--Hawaii

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Road Scholar
Program #1415RJ
15 Days | 14 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Spend 4 days in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at 4,000 feet elevation.

Itinerary for Feb 23 — Mar 9, 2014

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $99.00 + 11.67% tax.



Day One: Sunday, February 23 - Welcome Orientation and Registration
Arrive To: Hilo Airport (Hawaii Island, east side); independent taxi to Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, check-in 3:00 pm

Afternoon: Welcome and Registration 4:00 pm; Walk along Historic Banyan Drive 4:30 pm; Happy Hour 5:00 pm at Coconut Island Park (behind hotel)

Dinner: Dinner Buffet at hotel dining room, 6:00 pm

Evening: Orientation and Introductions 7:00 pm

Lodging: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $99.00 + 11.67% tax.



Day Two: Monday, February 24 - Lyman Museum & Historic Hilo Town
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Class: Introduction to Hawaiian History; Field Trip: Lyman Museum & Mission House where we "tell the story of Hawaii, its Islands, and its People" - guided tour of Earth Heritage, Island Heritage, Cultural Galleries, and Mission House

Lunch: Picnic lunch at nearby park

Afternoon: Guided Walk of Historic Downtown Hilo, including historic buildings of outstanding examples of Hawaiian design and architecture, temples and churches, anecdotes of life before and after the devastation of tsunami (seismic waves), etc. After that, visit Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots, geological features and examples of the power of water to shape the land.

Dinner: Dinner Buffet 6:00 pm

Evening: Hawaiian Story-telling - an important part of Hawaiian culture that shares the life of Hawaii's kings and queens, their deeds and legacies.

Lodging: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $99.00 + 11.67% tax.



Day Three: Tuesday, February 25 - Field Trip to North Shore of Hawaii Island
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Field Trip: North Shore Hawaii (15-passenger vans) - along the scenic coastline through old plantation towns; stop at Akaka Falls and walk on paved pathways to two waterfalls; brief stop at Laupahoehoe Point, site of devastating tsunami of 1946; and Honoka'a, the largest plantation town on the north shore.

Lunch: Lunch in Honoka'a town; sample this town's famous "malasadas" or Portuguese donuts.

Afternoon: Waipi'o Overlook - dramatic scenery of taro fields still used today in the largest valley on the island; Pu'ukohola Heiau (Temple on the Hill of the Whale) National Historical Park - includes Ranger talk of the history and significance of this temple to the eventual conquest of all the Hawaiian Islands under the rule of King Kamehameha.

Dinner: Dinner Buffet at hotel 6:00 pm

Evening: Preview of next day's activities

Lodging: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $99.00 + 11.67% tax.



Day Four: Wednesday, February 26 - Tsunami & Marine Discoveries
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Class: Introduction to Hawaiian Language; visit Hilo Farmers Market - the largest on the island, local farmers and unusual tropical fruits; Pacific Tsunami Museum - located across the street from Hilo Bay, hear first-hand accounts of Hilo's devastation in 1946 and 1960.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant

Afternoon: Marine discoveries at Mokupapapa Discovery Center or Richardson's Ocean Center - learn about the colorful critters that occupy the tidal zone and depths of the ocean.

Dinner: Dinner On Own (1 of 2) - chance to experience various local cuisines, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American, etc.; numerous places to eat within walking distance of hotel in Hilo

Lodging: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: $99.00 + 11.67% tax.



Day Five: Thursday, February 27 - Astronomy & Star-gazing
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: 'Imiloa Astronomy Center - situated on a hill overlooking Hilo Bay, self-guided and docent enhanced exploration of astronomy from both Western and Polynesian perspectives; bi-lingual exhibits in Hawaiian and English; inter-active, computer and 3D features. Includes Planetarium Show about the importance of Mauna Kea (White Mountain), the tallest mountain in the Pacific, to understanding our universe.

Lunch: Lunch at nearby restaurant

Afternoon: Native Hawaiian Plant Garden - brief stop to see some of Hawaii's rare and endangered native plants, some of them found nowhere else in the world. Late afternoon departure (15-pax vans) for ride up to Mauna Kea Visitor Center (9,000' elevation).

Dinner: Picnic Supper as we enjoy sunset at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center, 9,000' elevation.

Evening: Acclimatize to the high elevation by first viewing introductory film about Mauna Kea at the Visitor Center; after dark, go outdoors to join other visitors for star-gazing through telescopes set-up for public viewing. Astronomers on-hand to assist with identifying various planets, stars, moon, and other "out-of-this world" sightings. Warm clothes recommended for this "really cool" outdoor experience.

Lodging: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Mountain top rest and recreation center located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Newly renovated cabins spread around the camp. Facility is a military R&R center, not open to the general public.

Contact info:
P. O. Box
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 USA
phone: 808-967-8333
Facility amenities: Fireplaces, telephones, television, refrigerators in every cabin. On-camp facilities include general store, post office, health center, fire & ambulance, etc.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Friday, February 28 - East Hawaii to Volcano
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Check-out, load luggage & depart for East Hawaii's Puna District (15-passenger vans), includes stops at historic sites and Cape Kumukahi, the easternmost point of the island.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at local park en route

Afternoon: Continue exploring Puna's geothermal features; arrive at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, at 4,000' elevation. Check-in at KMC Lodging, mountaintop cabins with fireplaces, in the national park; located across the street from the rim trail in the summit area of Kilauea volcano.

Dinner: Dinner Buffet at KMC Cafeteria 6:00 pm

Evening: Hawaiian Hula and its Role in Ancient Hawaii

Lodging: KMC Lodging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Mountain top rest and recreation center located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Newly renovated cabins spread around the camp. Facility is a military R&R center, not open to the general public.

Contact info:
P. O. Box
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 USA
phone: 808-967-8333
Facility amenities: Fireplaces, telephones, television, refrigerators in every cabin. On-camp facilities include general store, post office, health center, fire & ambulance, etc.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Saturday, March 01 - Geology of Hawaii & Kilauea Visitor Center
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at 7:00 am

Morning: Class: Pele, Hawaiian Goddess of Fire; followed by Morning Lecture: Geology and the Formation of Hawaiian Islands by volcanologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Lunch: Lunch at KMC Cafeteria

Afternoon: Nature Walk along Crater Rim Trail (2 miles round-trip) - view geological features and native plants in the region; Kilauea Visitor Center - film and exhibits; return to KMC on different segment of Crater Rim Trail

Dinner: Dinner Buffet at KMC Cafeteria 6:00 pm

Evening: Preview of next day's field trip

Lodging: KMC Lodging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Mountain top rest and recreation center located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Newly renovated cabins spread around the camp. Facility is a military R&R center, not open to the general public.

Contact info:
P. O. Box
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 USA
phone: 808-967-8333
Facility amenities: Fireplaces, telephones, television, refrigerators in every cabin. On-camp facilities include general store, post office, health center, fire & ambulance, etc.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Sunday, March 02 - Field Trip: Crater Rim Drive & Lava Flow Area
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Field Trip: Crater Rim Drive (15-passenger vans) - stop at Jaggar Museum of Volcanology, with view of Halema'uma'u Crater, site of most recent volcanic summit activity; walk through Lava Tube; time permitting, walk along Devastation Trail to see area of 1959 eruption of 2,000' high fountains, tallest eruptions on record.

Lunch: Lunch at KMC Cafeteria

Afternoon: Field trip down to lava flow area - since 1983, Kilauea Volcano has been erupting and sending lava flows into the ocean creating hundreds of acres of new land. Depending on where it's flowing and accessibility to the flow front, we may have to drive one or more hours to get to the area. Once there, we may have to walk/hike several miles on rugged, uneven terrain, to witness the current activity.

Dinner: Brown Bag Picnic Supper at flow front area on the "newest land on earth."

Evening: Views of lava glow at night; best time to view activity is at night in the dark. Flashlights required.

Lodging: KMC Lodging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Mountain top rest and recreation center located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Newly renovated cabins spread around the camp. Facility is a military R&R center, not open to the general public.

Contact info:
P. O. Box
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718 USA
phone: 808-967-8333
Facility amenities: Fireplaces, telephones, television, refrigerators in every cabin. On-camp facilities include general store, post office, health center, fire & ambulance, etc.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Monday, March 03 - Crater Hike
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Kilauea Rainforest Hike - 2-4 miles, depending on weather conditions and participant stamina. This is a guided hike through some of the national park's volcanic terrain and forested landscapes.

Lunch: Lunch at KMC cafeteria

Afternoon: Free afternoon

Dinner: Dinner Buffet at KMC Cafeteria 6:00 pm

Evening: Hawaiian Music

Lodging: KMC Lodging

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Former Hilton Hotel located downtown Kailua-Kona, hotel has swimming pool, own beach, outdoor dining areas, and is within walking distance of shops along the main street of town.

Contact info:
75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
phone: 808-329-3111
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: $125.00.
Inquire about special Road Scholar rates; have credit card ready in order to confirm reservations.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Ten: Tuesday, March 04 - South Point & Kona
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Check-out, load luggage, and depart for Kona, going south along Highway 11, with stops along the way including Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, where we may have a chance to see Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles swimming in the bay; Na'alehu, the southernmost town in the USA; etc. This southernmost district is the largest on the island, but the least inhabited. Historically, it's probably the first place that the Polynesian explorers landed some 2,000 years ago, after weeks of sailing across the Pacific from the southern islands of Marquesas and Tahiti.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch en route

Afternoon: Arrive in Kona, check-in Royal Kona Resort (former Hilton Hotel), seaside hotel in Kailua-Kona. Time for quick swim or sunset drink on the ocean terrace.

Dinner: Dinner in dining room 6:00 pm

Evening: Hula Class - learn simple hula with steps and hand motions

Lodging: Royal Kona Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Former Hilton Hotel located downtown Kailua-Kona, hotel has swimming pool, own beach, outdoor dining areas, and is within walking distance of shops along the main street of town.

Contact info:
75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
phone: 808-329-3111
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: $125.00.
Inquire about special Road Scholar rates; have credit card ready in order to confirm reservations.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Eleven: Wednesday, March 05 - Historic Kailua-Kona
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Snorkel Class at Kahalu'u Bay - group instruction at local beach popularly known as "the snorkel beach." Chance to see colorful reef fish, coral, and maybe turtles. Snorkel equipment available at the beach and cost is included in the program. Participants should bring their own footwear, such as water shoes or old pair of sneakers.

Lunch: Picnic Lunch at the beach

Afternoon: Walking tour of Historic Kailua-Kona Village, including visit to Hulihe'e Palace, summer palace of the royalty; Moku'aikaua Church, the first Christian Church in Hawaii established by the missionaries; Ahuena Heiau, Hawaii's first capitol established by King Kamehameha in 1810.

Dinner: Dinner at Thai Restaurant in town

Evening: After dinner, enjoy the sights and sounds of the town as we stroll along the seawall back to the hotel.

Lodging: Royal Kona Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Former Hilton Hotel located downtown Kailua-Kona, hotel has swimming pool, own beach, outdoor dining areas, and is within walking distance of shops along the main street of town.

Contact info:
75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
phone: 808-329-3111
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: $125.00.
Inquire about special Road Scholar rates; have credit card ready in order to confirm reservations.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Twelve: Thursday, March 06 - Kona Coffee Country
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Field Trip to South Kona - visit historic coffee farm to learn how coffee was grown and processed, taste genuine 100% Kona Coffee, recognized as gourmet coffee worldwide. The Kona Coffee Living History Farm brings the coffee pioneer’s story to life by depicting the daily lives of early Japanese immigrants during the period of 1920-1945. Visitors may walk through the coffee and macadamia nut orchards, tour the historic farmhouse, and visit with the donkey and chickens.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at park

Afternoon: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park - Sanctuary of Hawaii’s past where traditional Hawaiian lifestyle is preserved. Ancient temples and ki’i (wooden images) whisper stories from the past. This place provided refuge to Hawaiians who came here. Today, the park continues as a sanctuary for visitors seeking a peaceful place and as a safe haven for all of the native wildlife living here.

Dinner: Dinner on own (2 of 2) - chance to sample the variety of seafood and ethnic flavors in town; numerous options for dining within walking distance of our hotel.

Lodging: Royal Kona Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Former Hilton Hotel located downtown Kailua-Kona, hotel has swimming pool, own beach, outdoor dining areas, and is within walking distance of shops along the main street of town.

Contact info:
75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
phone: 808-329-3111
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: $125.00.
Inquire about special Road Scholar rates; have credit card ready in order to confirm reservations.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Thirteen: Friday, March 07 - North Kona & Lu'au
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Field Trip to North Kona - visit the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii (NELHA) at Keahole Point, the westernmost part of the island. Learn how NELHA and its tenants are using sunshine, seawater and ingenuity to bring economic development and diversity to the State of Hawaii; hear about the state's most innovative ocean science and technology park where NELHA is growing sustainable industries for the 21st century, including Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).

Lunch: Picnic Lunch at nearby park

Afternoon: Field Trip continues along West Coast to include visit to petroglyph fields, some of Hawaii's oldest and most extensive reminders of ancient Hawaii.

Dinner: Lu'au and Polynesian Show at the hotel - oceanfront setting, sunset views, all-you-can-eat buffet, and award-winning show of music, costumes, and dances of the Pacific, including famous champion Fire Dancers.

Lodging: Royal Kona Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Former Hilton Hotel located downtown Kailua-Kona, hotel has swimming pool, own beach, outdoor dining areas, and is within walking distance of shops along the main street of town.

Contact info:
75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 USA
phone: 808-329-3111
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: $125.00.
Inquire about special Road Scholar rates; have credit card ready in order to confirm reservations.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Fourteen: Saturday, March 08 - Kohala & Ranching
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am

Morning: Field Trip: Kohala - head to the northernmost tip of the island, Pololu Valley, and the isolated valleys where cool climate allowed apple and pear trees to grow; on clear days, it's possible to see the island of Maui across the channel. This area is also famous for the constant winds, experienced as we encircle the district on the mountain road.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at the King Kamehameha Statue park in Hawi

Afternoon: Field Trip: continues to Waimea - home of the famous Parker Ranch; visit Parker Ranch visitor center and museum and learn about the history of Hawaii's paniolo (cowboys). Hawaii had cowboys ("vaqueros" from Mexico) who came to help control cattle long before cowboys appeared in the "wild" West.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel 6:00 pm

Evening: Aloha Program and Lei-making - chance to make a souvenir lei of fresh flowers and leaves that you can take home to show family and friends, as well as a reminder of your visit to Hawaii.

Lodging: Royal Kona Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Fifteen: Sunday, March 09 - Aloha & Mahalo
Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet 7:00 am. Program officially ends after breakfast around 8:00 am. Independent departures to airport by taxi. Hotel check-out at 12:00 noon.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Currently selected:Prices Starting At:

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
14 nights of accommodations
39 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
22 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
3 Performances

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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