The Island of Hawai‘i
“ Go big or go home” could very well be the unofficial slogan for Hawai‘i Island. Aptly known as Hawai‘i’s Big Island, this youngest of the Hawaiian Islands also is the largest, thanks in no small part to its mostactive volcano, Kilauea, which continues to add to the island’s mass through steady lava flows that travel from crater to sea.
According to Hawaiian mythology, the passionate and powerful volcano goddess Pele is the one responsible for these eruptions, and island visitors can witness the fiery goddess in all her glory through a magnitude of ways, be it on a awe-inducing boat ride to the edge of a red-hot lava field at night or during a heart-pumping bike ride that visits the rim of the caldera before descending into a tropical rainforest.
Hawai‘i Island’s other volcanoes are no small matter. At Mauna Kea, where snow covers the volcano’s mountainous peaks nearly year-round, lies the world’s largest astronomical observatory. On the other end of the spectrum, beneath Mauna Loa (which happens to be the largest volcanic mountain in the world!) hides a labyrinth of caves, canyons and coral reefs.
The Big Island also is home to a few other “big-ticket” adventures that are especially enjoyable during these leisurely summer months. Hike to secret waterfalls and along mountain cliffs; go ziplining on some of the state’s longest and most picturesque courses; float through a cloudless sky with a parasail tow; or get up-close with colorful marine life, including exotic fish, dolphins and manta rays.
In August, expect to find the best big-game anglers trolling the Kona Coast for the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. Catch every second of this thrilling fishing contest from tournament headquarters at Kailua Pier.
Or charter a fishing vessel yourself and see if you can’t hook a whopper!
Those who like things a little tamer should opt to take advantage of the longer days and go for a romantic stroll along a black-sand beach, escape to a seaside yoga retreat, soak in a natural hot spring or saddle up for an island tour on horseback.
And for those who are big on culture and food, don’t worry—from local farmers’ markets, fine-dining establishments, mom-and-pop stores, coffee plantations, historic homes and miles upon miles of coastal highway, there’s no shortage of things to do and see.
That’s where this guide comes in. To help make this very big island a little more manageable, we’ve sorted through all there is to do and compiled a list of the top 101 activities, destinations and attractions.
If your stay with us is just too short to jam everything in this time around, don’t worry—you can always return for another super-sized adventure! We’ll be eagerly waiting to welcome you back with 101 Things to Do.