What's not to miss
two adventures i enjoyed are
ocean rider seahorse farm (non food related) right near the kona airport. the only seahorse farm in the world, they supply all non wild caught seahorses for aquariums, home and business. they are environmentally conscious, raising their fish so that wild stock will not be depleted, and forward thinking, creating new strains of seahorses. it's truely an incredible time.
and volcano island honey farm tour - you will never eat regular honey again. much much thicker than molasses and pearlescent white, their standard kiawe honey is raw and unprocessed. you will have the opportunity to buy a large quanitity for an unbeatable price direct from the farm. there are also other honeys from different flowers, blended honey, and flavored honey. some are seasonal. i got to wear a bee suit and see an open hive box.
also, i forgot, i visited an alpaca farm, the owner was jenny brundage. i have to say, alpaca socks are like the honey, when i wear my boots, i only wear my alpacas. as wool socks are to cotton socks, so are alpaca wool socks to regular sheep wool. these alpacas are not for eating, but if you are curious about what they taste like, i suggest you try llama meat, they are related.
unfortunately the chow search engine is about as efficient as my great aunt going through her kitchen drawers looking for the pinking shears she kept in the spare bedroom.
My favorite all time restaurant is Kilauea Lodge in Volcano Village, just outside the park. And yes, its for sentimental as well as chowhound reasons.
here are a few links to look over, then come up with more questions perhaps.
merriman's is very good, and the lunch was priced reasonably. i recommend.
he has another, more casual, restaurant that we went to, it was ok, but not a must-go.
try the porkchops at manago hotel, i really like them. smothered with brown gravy and onions, they are the best (of that style) that i have ever had.
nonfood again, there is a small zoo in hilo, there is a scruffy old white tiger named namaste. if you go at feeding time, 3:30p, you can see him chow down up close. he is a beast!
there are a couple of geocaches in waikoloa area if you are into that (i am).