Since I moved to Hawaii I have been wanting to go to the Big Island to see some lava flowing.
Like the name suggests, the Big Island is well, big.
Big enough to have two airports.
So you have to choose whether or not you're going to fly into Kona or Hilo. When we were planning the trip everyone we mentioned it to (and I mean EVERYONE) suggested the Kona side over the Hilo side. So we chose a resort in this area to stay.
The Kona side is the resort side. So if that's what you're into, stay there. We soon learned however that the stuff we really wanted to do, like lava, was way closer to Hilo.
Also I had an opportunity to check out the observatory on Mauna Kea.
Which was also closer to Hilo.
I heard the boat tour for lava got really close to the stuff. So we made a reservation for the 5am tour. When we made the reservation we found out that we would have to leave our hotel at 1:45am to get to the spot where we catch the boat on time. But if we were in Hilo we could leave at 3:35am. At the time we were heading to Hilo for the day to check it out. (By the way, Hilo "for the day" is pretty much impossible to pull off. Hence the second airport.)
So we decided to just find a room in Hilo for the night. Hilo has a lot more charm for our tastes, it also has a lot more rain however. So if you need to have sun on your vacation, stick with Kona.
But we wished we had stayed in Hilo. Which basically told us that we are out of touch with our friends.