Tips on Miloli'i, Big Island?
May 30, 2007 11:47 AM   Subscribe

The SO and I have rented a house on the Big Island of Hawai'i in "the last authentic Hawaiian fishing village," Miloli'i in October. There is very little substantive info I can find on the web (it's mostly real estate listings). I know it is on the dry, lava side of the island and I know it is somewhat remote. Can anyone here who is familiar with this community and the area provide some tips? FYI and FWIW, we are not beach junkies but like hiking, traditional Hawaiian culture and "local color." Help?
posted by Mmothra to Travel & Transportation around Hawaii, HI (3 answers total)
I've been "through" there, briefly, when I visited the Big Island two years ago. The reason I was there was to get to Honomalino Beach, which is just south of Miloli'i; to get there, we had to park our car at a sort of town park at the end of the road, and walk along a footpath about a half-mile to the beach. (Said footpath was partially submerged at high tide, when we came back.)

Honomalino Beach was very nice, not at all crowded, and I probably could have spent a full day or two there just snorkeling along the reef, swimming, reading books, and trying to crack open the coconuts that grew there. My impression of Miloli'i itself was that it was somewhat run-down, and that there wasn't much to do there other than enjoy the beach. It's possible that I didn't see the nicer part of the town, though — as I said, I was really just passing through.

Despite the name, the Island really isn't all that Big; anywhere you'd care to name is two hours of driving away at most, so the whole island is open to you for day trips. You might check out some of the previous Hawaii threads for advice on what to see & where to go.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:21 PM on May 30, 2007

Another one who was near but not in the village. For what it's worth, not-very-substantial entries from the two books we took on our trip - note this was 5+ years ago:

From The Maverick Guide to Hawaii: "About nine miles [past the fingers of the 1950 Manau Loa lava flow on Route 11] is the turnoff to to a five-mile bumpy road to the Hawaiian fishing village of Milolii. Allow two hours if you go. It's one of the few examples left of a slower pace of island life."

From Hawaii Off the Beaten Path: "At the 89 mile point [of the Mamalahoa Highway on the Kona Coast], you pass the turnoff to Milolii, a traditional Hawaiian fishing village. Local fisherman still use traditional outrigger canoes, (powered by nontraditional outboard motors) to net opelu (mackerel) that have been tamed and fattened by repeated feedings. It's a steep 5-mile descent to the village. From the end of the road, a fifteen-minute hike leads to a secluded black-sand beach at Honomalino Bay"

General thoughts about the Big Island - as Johnny Assay notes above, it doesn't take long to get anywhere on the main highways that ring the island, though as the Maverick note above indicates, getting to features in the interior can take much longer due to the condition of roads. If signs say roads are restricted to 4WD, heed those signs, don't take ordinary vehicles on them.

We found the hospitality industry in Hawaii first rate and recommendations on hikes, restaurants, sights etc. we solicited from people where we ate and stayed were uniformly good. There are lots of amazing hikes and sites on the Big Island. I'd recommend getting a good book or two - the two I cited served us well on our trip.

Other threads on AskMe. I'd note that, in books, online etc. more often than not, accent marks are not used in the names.
posted by nanojath at 2:27 PM on May 30, 2007

I blogged about our trip last year.

You're just south of the Captain Cook memorial. You pretty much have to go there, and you pretty much have to go by water. Rent a kayak and assorted gear at Kona Boys, and spend the day looking at sea turtles and dolphins. Other rental places will quote you cheaper prices, but then they'll add on the extras.

There are fantastic fruit stands all along the highway, including the best around mile maker 103, the Soth Kona Fruit Stand. That's where you'll get the best food on the island. We ended up buying tupperware containers at the Walgreen's in Kona so we could take fruit along on our various outings. Don't miss the white pineapple!

Volcanoes National Park is an easy day trip. You don't have to do the major lava-field hike, but, man, that's one of the top things I've done in my life.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:21 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

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