Into Another Dimension -- What could be better than 3-D? How about 4-D? The 24-seat Great 4-D Movie Ride at the Shops at Mauna Lani features films that not only look lifelike, they make you feel as though you're a part of the action -- think surround sound, full-range motion seats, and blown air and water spray for an experience that will trip all your senses. At press time, screenings included Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Journey to the Center of the Earth; visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com or call tel. 786/320-8884 for updated titles and show times. Tickets are $5 for rides and $6 for features.
A Desert Crossing -- If you follow Hwy. 11 counterclockwise from Kona to the volcano, you'll get a preview of what lies ahead in the national park: hot, scorched, quake-shaken, bubbling-up new/dead land. This is the great Kau Desert, layer upon layer of lava flows, fine ash, and fallout. As you traverse the desert, you cross the Great Crack and the Southwest Rift Zone, a major fault zone that looks like a giant groove in the earth, before you reach Kilauea Volcano.
A Special Arts Center & Gallery -- Part gallery, part retail store, and part consortium of the arts, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, 141 Kalakaua St., across from Kalakaua Park (www.ehcc.org; tel. 808/961-5711), is run by volunteers in the visual and performing arts. Keep it in mind for gifts of Hawaii, or if you have any questions regarding the Hawaii Concert Society, Hilo Community Players, Big Island Dance Council, or Big Island Art Guild. The art gallery and gift shop exhibit locally made cards, jewelry, books, sculptures, and wood objects, including museum-quality works.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.