|erupting Kilauea volcano at night (c) 2017 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved|
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park — definitely worth the journey, and the magic begins after dark. Sitting in the lounge of Volcano House, right on the rim of the crater, we had a panoramic view of the Kilauea Caldera, and it was very cool seeing smoke coming out of the eruption.
But the magic begins at sunset when you begin to see a rosy glow within the grey smoke. We had dinner at 6 at The Rim, the restaurant at Volcano House — truly enjoyed our meal, by the way — and if you reserve a table by the windows, you can watch the view unfold. Make your reservations well in advance, as Volcano House is always fully booked, and tables by the windows are always reserved first.
After dinner, we drove three miles on Crater Rim Road to the Jaggar Museum Overlook. It was completely dark and close enough to the eruption to see molten lava bubbling up. We were treated to the stunning view pictured above.
We're staying just outside the park at Volcano Forest Inn, a simple but comfortable inn. Don't book on the web — phone and talk with Daniel, the innkeeper. He gave us a rate of just $100 per night. Our room is spacious and comfortable with a large walk-in closet and an adequate bathroom (single vanity, shower in the tub). It's not luxury and doesn't pretend to be a five (or even four) star property, but is a good value that includes breakfast and free WiFi.
copyright (c) 2017 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.