Just returned from eight wonderful days on the BI and Kohala Coast. Maybe it's early in the season, but we experienced no crowds. Seems fairly obvious that the tourism industry is taking a hit from concerns about eruptions and vog. Spent every day at the beach, and enjoyed every minute of it. The best for us - by far - was Waialea Beach (Beach 69) for its abundant shade, sand, and plentiful fish. We actually spent two days there (arrive before 9 due to limited parking). Parking is $5/day and also good for nearby Hapuna Beach. Witnessed sea turtles sunning themselves at Anaeho'omalu Beach (and gave them a very wide berth). Even had a wonderful laid-back dinner at the very fun Lava Lava Beach Club there one night as we were staying nearby in a condo at Hali'i Kai (Unit 15F has stunning oceanfront views). Hali'i Kai is recommended for being very quiet - the oceanfront pool is lovely and great for kids. They even have a full bar and grille right there. Night snorkeling with the Manta Rays at Mauna Kea is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, IMO. James and Martina are amazing at what they do in terms of conservation and explaining everything in detail. We also did a kayaking/snorkeling excursion with King Kayak out of Keauhou Bay near Kona. Kevin is a solid guide and was very patient with us newbies, taking us to a sea cave and allowing us ample time to snorkel. I would recommend Dramamine if the surf is up since two in our group struggled with nausea. IMO, Kailua-Kona is not worth your time - traffic is crazy and it just doesn't have a nice feel. If you have time, venture up to charming Hawi along the northern coast and then return along winding Kohala Mountain Road. The quaint farms and emerald meadows with grazing livestock is an out-of-Hawaii experience. The views of the Kohala Coast are breathtaking. There is a very good shave ice place in Kawaihae called Anuenue Ice Cream & Shave Ice. We drove out of our way twice to go there! The tropical hike at Akaka Falls was worthwhile as was stopping to see Rainbow Falls (go in the morning to possibly see a rainbow if it's sunny). As for dining, Merriman's in Waimea was superb and Kona Brewing's lunch was exceptional - as were the draft offerings! Too bad I had to drive or we could have sampled even more of their tasty brews, LOL. Don't miss the breakfast at the Mai Grille at Waikoloa Beach (at the golf clubhouse). Bennett only works on Sundays, and he is a wonderful conversationalist (ask him about Nebraska football)! Kids will have a blast spotting mongoose and wild goats while out and about. Lastly, we didn't experience any negative health effects due to vog, thank goodness (although I understand others have). I feel for them. Maybe we got lucky. Had three pretty hazy days - reminded me of a bad smog day in LA. And our hearts go out to the folks affected by the eruptions. We hated to miss Hawaii Volcanoes National Park this trip, but that's nothing compared to losing everything to Madame Pele. Mahalo nui loa!