Hilton Waikoloa Village

If your family loves the feel and attractions of Disneyland, you'll flip over the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii's Big Island. Our family visited this resort last August and was overwhelmed by the size and activities offered at this property. Here you'll find 62 acres of tropical gardens, waterways and exotic wildlife. Guests can take a tram to your room or ride one of the many boat taxis making their way around the resort. The boat taxis look like something you'd find in Venice, and the kids couldn't wait to ride them each evening.

One of the big attractions at this Hilton property is the Dolphin Quest program. Six adult and five young bottlenose dolphins make their home in the resort's four-acre lagoon. Our kids loved the Dolphin Quest "Swim with the Dolphins" program, and I thought it was one of the most educational, informative, and well-run programs I'd seen. If you want to take part in this event, call the Dolphin Quest office as far in advance as possible. You don't have to be a guest at this property to take part in the program. Don't despair if the spaces are all full, though. We put our children on the waiting list and there were "no shows" and cancellations on the first day.

In addition to Dolphin Quest, you'll find a variety of restaurants, shops, golf courses, tennis courts, and a health spa on the property. There's also a rather lively nightclub as well. Children ages 5-12 can attend the resort's Camp Menehune from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include hula dancing, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts and swimming. Don't miss seeing the green turtles in the resort's snorkeling lagoon!

For more information on the Hilton Waikoloa Village, call (800) HILTONS or visit their web site www.hilton.com

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