Big Island Feature
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Top Things to Do on the Big Island
The Lava Show
Watch as fiery red lava pours, steaming, into the ocean; stare in awe at nighttime lava fireworks; and hike across the floor of a crater at Volcanoes National Park.
Green Sand Beach
It's a hike, but this is the only place in the world to see green sand. And it happens to be surrounded by turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs.
Exploring Waipio Valley
Whichever way you choose to get there—on horseback, in a 4WD, or on foot—you'll discover that the "Valley of the Kings" on the Hamakua Coast is full of sky-high waterfalls, lush green cliffs, and a mystical quality that can't quite be described or rivaled.
A Window on the Universe
Teams of astronomers from all over the world come to Mauna Kea for the clearest skies and best conditions anywhere. Head up the mountain in the late afternoon for the prettiest sunset on this island and the best stargazing on this planet.
Play at a Perfect Beach
Whether you follow the paved roads to Hapuna, Kaunaoa (also known as Mauna Kea), or Kua Bay, or brave the rocky routes to Makalawena, you'll find that the Big Island is full of postcard-perfect beaches.
A Swim Through Coral Gardens
Diving or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters off the coast is like being let loose in your very own ocean-sized aquarium. Bright yellow, purple, and rose-colored coral creates surreal kingdoms ruled by octopi, turtles, rays, dolphins, and fish in every color of the rainbow.
Watch rainbows forming in the mist, then take a refreshing dip in the cold, deep pools fed by the powerful waterfalls spilling over the dramatic cliffs of the Hamakua Coast.
Snooze with a Sea Turtle
Hang out at Punaluu Beach, where sea turtles surf the waves and nap on the black sands.
A Healing Lomilomi Massage
The lomilomi technique uses a combination of arms, elbows, hands, and breath to impart the overall sense of well-being associated with this ancient healing tradition.
A Kona Coffee Farm Tour
Spend an hour discovering why it is that Kona coffee commands those high prices. Watch as "cherries" become beans, enjoy the smoky coffee smell of the roasting process, then indulge in the freshest cup of coffee you'll ever have. Did we mention that it's all free? The annual 10-day Kona Coffee Cultural Festival November celebrates coffee with tours, tastings, and special events.
Whale the Day Away
From December to May, you can sit on any beach on the west side of the island and watch the humpback whale migration. The sight of their backs, glistening as they move through the water, or the occasional perfect fluke cutting through the surface, is a matchless experience.
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