Sure, there are a couple of beaches for lolly-gagging and suntan-oil-rubbing. But the real action on Kona, Hawaii's Big Island, is all of the exploring to be done. There are huge volcanoes, giant coral reefs, massive tropical fish and lots of delicious food to fuel the adventure.

This is more important for Alaskans now that Alaska Airlines started non-stop service between Anchorage and Kona, on the Big Island's sunny west coast. The new flights depart each Saturday, returning on Sunday. That means you have to stay a week. Or two. The weekly nonstops will fly between now and April 2013.

Full story: Sunshine, daydreams await Alaskans on Hawaii