The Big Island

  Awesome rainbow 
  Originally uploaded by fredwilson.

We’ve spent the past week on the big island, Hawaii.

It was my first time in Hawaii. My dad lived here on an army base growing up but I’ve never made it here until now.

To be honest, I didn’t love it. We are headed for a day in Honolulu and then back to the states.

While I can’t say Hawaii is my favorite place on earth, we did have some great moments.

The Merriman’s Farm Trip

Deep Sea Fishing On Shogun

Surfing Lessons

Kona Coffee at Java On The Rocks and more surfing


Comments (Archived):

  1. Aaron

    I’ll bite – what is your favorite place on earth?

    1. fredwilson

      New York City, by a long shot. For ‘getting away from it all’, I really liked the southern beaches in thailand and the southern coast of portugalFred

  2. daryn

    I’ve never been to the Big Island, but my wife has, and for what it’s worth, rates it as her least favorite. We’ve been to maui several times, which is nice because there’s a wide range of dining and activities, resorts and towns, and lots to keep busy with. I also really like kauai, although it’s much quieter; it’s best if you just want to relax, spend time on the beach (or the links), and go for hikes, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.

  3. Ray Hernandez

    I think you’ll like Honolulu. It’s a nice mix of the city and paradise. I’ve lived in nyc, san francisco, and dallas my whole life, but honolulu is where I call home now. And it’s just enough city to get me by. Hope you like it.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ll let you knowFred

  4. Karen E.

    I get a kick out of these vacation snapshots! I am with the parents on Merriman’s – I adore farm tours complete with big fresh group meals (I spent six years in Seattle, two of them living on an organic farm. It’s a very foodie, “terroir” part of the US.) I appreciate Gotham Gal’s final comment “It certainly was not for the kids but again time will tell on that one.” True – they might appreciate it later. And I’m not surprised the Four Seasons food did not come close to Merriman’s. Finally, it’s great to read about your family trips in context of all the biz-talk on this blog. My very successful businessman 90-year-old grandpa, who made a few key errors in judgment re family life late in his life, always looked longingly at his (equally successful) neighbor’s home while remarking on what a good choice he had made: invest in the family.

  5. Alex

    I’m not a big island fan too.If you have not been to Lake Tahoe I highly recommend it. Living in the bay area we take it for granted. But, It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.

    1. fredwilson

      Strangely I have never been to tahoe. One of my goals is to ski the chutes at squaw in the warren miller filmsGotta do thatFred

      1. Brian Dear

        I love Big Island. My wife and I went there once for ten days. Five days based in Hilo, five days based in Kona. We rented a brand-new Izusu Trooper that had 7 miles on it when we picked it up. When we returned it ten days later, it had 1100 miles on it. The rental agency could not believe it. I still can’t. We did everything, saw everything, and loved every minute of it.I look forward to visiting Big Island again some time. Wouldn’t mind living there.Funny, my least favorite place on earth: New York.

        1. fredwilson

          To each his own. Maybe the big island is 180 degress opposite of nyc

  6. VM

    “We are headed for a day in Honolulu and then back to the states.”I don’t get the back to the states part?

  7. T. Wine

    Hi Fred -Unfortunately, you may have chosen the wrong island for a first visit. The four islands, Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of “Hawaii” which you visited, are extremely diverse.I’ve been to the islands a total of 5 times since 1980, hitting all 4 on my first trip, then returning to Oahu, Maui and Kauai. The topography of the Big Island, imo, is not nearly as dramatically exotic as the razor-edged sea cliffs and mountain ranges of Oahu and Kauai. A word to the wise, if you didn’t like the topography of the Big Island, you may not fully appreciate Mauai either, which has similar gradual inclines in elevation.I would highly recommend another trip, splitting your time between Oahu and Kauai, with possibly 1 or 2 days on Maui, and covering as much of the islands by car as possible as many times, especially on Oahu and Kauai, every turn in the road and every moutain crossed can lead you to a dramatic and totally different new vista. Another bit of info some tourists are not aware of is that, unless you are into the big city night life and high rises, you must get out of the Honolulu/Waikiki areas of Oahu. I usually stay there but jump in the car at the break of dawn (which is super easy with the time difference) and head to Kailua or the North Shore or the Pali Lookout to spend days eithe rbeaching, hiking, or simply soaking up the energy that is Hawaii. On Oahu, snorkeling is incredible at Hanauma Bay.Many people I know absolutely love Maui, but again, the scenery is quite different. If you return to Maui, be sure to do Haleakala at sunrise with a bike trip down the switch-backs, and a trip to Hana.On Kauai, be sure to do the North Shore (hike beyond the roads end over the famous Bali Hai Ridge) and also the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” (be sure to go beyond the primary lookout all the way up to where you can see the ocean on the other side of the island).On the Big Island, hopefully you were able to do a snorkel excursion at Kona and experience the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (granted, the volcanoes are not everyone’s bag and it’s a full day committment).To me, the essence of the Hawaiian Islands is the diversity of its topography, the diversity of its people and culture (both of which are beautiful and amazing), and the incredible spinner dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, angel fish, yellow tangs, exotic birds and the stunning plants and flowers (birds of paradise, hibiscus, bamboo forests, etc.).For anyone considering their first trip to the islands, go to your bookstore and pick up a copy of the coffee-table book “OVER HAWAII” by Steven Goldsberry, with a foreward by James Michener and incredible aerial photography by Reg Morrisson……’s a $40 or $50 investment that will let you see the beauty and diversity of the islands beforehand, so you can get a feel for which ones you are most attracted to you. Research your islands like you research your hotel or resort. It’s something some people don’t think to do, since many of us come from areas where you can drive for hundreds of miles in any direction and it all basically looks the same. Not so in the islands.Each of the Hawaiian Islands has its own unique attributes, as varied as different kinds of people or music or pie, so to speak – I would encourage you to definitely try another slice, my friend. :-)T. WineSyracuse, INHawaiian by Heart