Welcome to Big Island
adventure awaits on Hawai‘i Island, known appropriately enough as the Big Island of Hawai‘i.
This youngest of the Hawaiian Islands chain also is the largest, thanks in no small part to its most-active volcano, Kilauea, which continues to add to the island’s mass through
steady lava flows that travel from crater to sea. Those with enough courage—or maybe just a bit too much curiosity—can witness the passionate and powerful volcano
goddess Pele in all her fiery glory through a magnitude of ways, be it on an awe-inducing helicopter ride over a red-hot lava field at night or during a heart-pumping bike excursion that visits the rim of the caldera before descending into a tropical rainforest.
Hawai‘i Island’s other volcanoes are not lacking on thrilling opportunities, either. 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 begging for exploration. Other “big-ticket” escapes not to miss out on are as vast and varied as the island itself: Hike along mountain cliffs that end with a colorful rainbow at a secret waterfall; go ziplining on some of the state’s longest and most picturesque courses; get upclose with colorful marine life, including exotic fish, dolphins and manta rays; or saddle up on a horseback ride through a cattle ranch that also is home to historic Hawaiian sites.
Those who like things a little tamer won’t be regulated to the hotel pool. Why not go for a romantic stroll along a
black-sand beach or escape to a seaside yoga retreat? Other low-key ways to unwind during your trip could involve a soak in a natural hot spring, a glass of wine enjoyed from a vineyard located 4,000 feet above sea level and a day spent in a hip upcountry town where the past melds seamlessly with the present. Big buzz always surrounds the annual Kona Coffee
Festival, an iconic, award-winning celebration of the 600-plus independent farms that make up the Kona coffee belt. Those who happen to be on-island Nov. 1-10 should check it out.
And for those who are big on culture and food, don’t worry—there’s plenty of local farmers’ markets, finedining establishments, mom-and-pop stores, historic homes and miles upon miles of coastal highway to satisfy the largest of appetites.
If you’re still hungry for more, then that’s where this guide comes in. We’ve sorted through all there is to do on this very big island 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.