Big Island: Getting Around June 18, 1998 Share 1 -- Getting around the Big Island of Hawaii is easy -- in fact, there are so many options, the only difficult part is choosing which one suits your client best. All of the major car rental companies -- Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, National and Harper Car & Truck Rentals -- operate on the Big Island. Inter-island air service is operated by Aloha Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, and American Hawaii Cruises calls at the Big Island.Around-the-island public buses connect Kona with Hilo ($5.45 each way). The Alii Shuttle bus runs daily from the Keauhou Resort to the village of Kailua-Kona at 45-minute intervals each way from 7:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fares are $2 one way or $5 for a day pass. In addition, the Keauhou Shuttle runs a free on-call service from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily to any location within the Keauhou Resort. Within the Hilo area, the Hilo Sampan Company operates small open-air buses from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Fares are $2 one-way or $7 for a daily unlimited pass. Fares are subject to change.For suggestions on getting around the island while enjoying the sights, agents can order the following informative driving tour map-guides available from the Big Island chapter of the HVCB:Hawaii's Big Island. Driving Tour includes suggested driving trips of the Kohala Coast, with its beaches, resort hotels and championship golf courses; the Kona Coast, where the world-famous Kona coffee is produced; the Waimea-Kohala region, the heart of the Big Island's paniolo (cowboy) country; Ka Lae, the southernmost tip of the U.S., with ruins of the oldest Hawaiian settlement; Hilo-Puna, the gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Hamakua, once the heart of the island's booming sugar producing industry. The guide also offers suggested one-, two- and three-day driving excursions.Hilo-Hamakua Heritage Coast Driving Tour is a 45-mile trip through picturesque villages, former mill towns and historic plantation districts -- a "must" for visitors who want to get a better understanding of the island's history and heritage. The route includes Hilo, with its delightful turn-of-the-century architecture; Akaka Falls; the plantation town of Honomu, now a charming village with shops and art galleries; the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens; Laupahoehoe Town and its Train Museum; the former plantation community of Paauilo; Kalopa State Park, with native flora and fauna, and Honokaa Town, the gateway to the Waipio Valley.Kona Coffee Driving Tour includes detailed maps and lists of the more than 40 sites associated with the production, processing and sale of Kona coffee. Drivers can, for example, enjoy a tour and tastings of organic coffee at Pele Plantations in Honaunau; take an espresso break at Kona Jacks Last Coffee Stop in Kealia; purchase sublime coffees to take (or ship) home at the Coffee Shack on Highway II; observe the workings of an original-style working coffee farm at Old Hawaiian Coffee on the Malalahoa Highway, and shop for Kona coffee -- as well as other Hawaiian products -- at Hilo Hattie's, in Kailua-Kona. The brochure provides a glossary of coffee terms for the uninitiated. TIP: From Nov. 7 to 14, Kailua-Kona will be the setting of the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Hilo includes descriptions of 18 landmark buildings and other sights along with a sightseeing map. Attractions include the Art Deco-style Palace Theater, built in 1925 by the son of the last Royal Governor of the Island of Hawaii; the Taishoji Soto Mission, established by Zen Buddhists in 1913; the S.H. Kress Company Building, which opened in 1932 and now houses a four-plex movie theater, and Kalakaua Park, dominated by the statue of King Kalakaua.