Eagerly planning a visit to the big island of Hawaii in late Feb, coming from Seattle. Plans are still in flux but will have 2 nights at Volcanoes NP, 1 night in or near Hilo, and 7 days somewhere on the Kohala coast, probably near Puako.
We eat virtually anything tasty, but we'd rather cook at home than go to chains. That said, we are interested in poke, plate lunches, sushi/Japanese, fine dining and other local delights, and would greatly appreciate all related advice.
It appears from a glance that the big island is perhaps a step or more behind Oahu in terms of sophistication/variety but that would not be all bad. Have read older posts and heard pretty good things about Merriman's, Senigawa (sp?), and some chef-driven place owned by New Zealanders, the name of which I cannot recall. Is the fish market in Hilo worthwhile? If you had one night with childcare and price was no issue, where would you go on the island?
The other thing I am considering is a coffee farm tour, but only if there is something of quality that is tuned into "third wave" coffee principles, as opposed to a generic tourist trap with nothing behind it but the name "Kona Coffee."
Thanks in advance.