I’ve visited Hawaii only once, but it was a fantastic experience. The people and sights are simply amazing. There are 7 main attractions of the Big Island listed below. If you are in the mood for some adventure, then take a look at these suggestions for what to do when you visit Hawaii. Once you see these attractions, hop on a short flight to one of the other smaller islands nearby. You won’t be disappointed!
7. Kealakekua Bay Marine Sanctuary
If you are into snorkeling, then this is where you want to be. There are coral reefs and tropical fish galore! The water is so clear and clean that visibility is around 100 feet. I find that to be amazing! Even if you don’t bring your own snorkeling equipment, that’s no problem. There are outfitters nearby who will rent out everything you need to enjoy Kealakekua Bay.
6. Mauna Kea
Not only is Mauna Kea a dormant volcano, it is also the highest point in Hawaii. The Mauna Kea Observatories can also be found on top of the magnificent summit of this sleeping volcano. There are four telescopes to view the night sky through; the Subaru, the Keck I and Keck II, and the NASA Infrared Telescope. Some tour groups visit these observatories in the evening and offer not only warm drinks, but snacks to enjoy while you wait your turn to take a peek through the telescope of your choice.
5. Waipi’o Valley Waterfalls
The entire Waipi’o valley is breathtaking. It takes up a portion of the Northeastern coast of the Big Island that measure six miles deep and one mile wide. The cliffs on either side of the valley are home to numerous waterfalls. These cliffs are nearly 2000 feet in elevation. The Kaluahine Falls, Hi’ilawe Falls, and Waiulili Falls are three very popular waterfalls visited in the Waipi’o Valley.
4. Big Island Candies in Hilo
If you’re looking for some tasty treats or just want to tour a candy factory, then Big Island Candies is the place to go. They have truffles, shortbreads, brownies, chocolate candies, biscotti, and many other yummy things to buy in the gift store. They even have gift baskets you can purchase to take home to a friend or family member.
3. Zipline Canopy Tour in North Kohala
I’ve always thought that taking a zipline tour in any part of the world would be an amazing experience. As you zip above the tree tops of the lush canopy, you’ll pass over waterfalls, views of the ocean, and fantastic Hawaiian landscape. One of the zipline courses I read about included an off-road safari to get to the course, there are a couple of cool bridges incorporated into the zipline course, and snacks and drinks are prepared by the staff. Sounds like fun to me!
2. Tour of the Lava Flow in Kilauea
In Volcanoes National Park, you have the chance to see lava in action. Being part of a tour, you won’t have to worry about being in danger. Depending on the time of year you visit, you may need to bring along a wind-breaker or rain jacket. It’s about a 20 mile drive to the lava flow and you can get right next to it. The videos I saw of it were phenomenal! It looks like the ground is alive and glowing with some intense hues of orange. There is also the Thurston Lava Tube in the national park that shouldn’t be missed either.
1. Jaggar Museum
This museum is also found in the national park and has tons of exhibits, as well as an excellent view of an active vent in Kilauea. This vent is called Halema’uma’u. Near this museum is an art center with a gallery and some fantastic historical displays. The Visitor Center in this same area has detailed information about the national park and its features.
Hawaii is a place that I would definitely visit again. These 7 main attractions of the Big Island aren’t all there is to do. If you are more into water activities, there is plenty of surfing, sailing, and deep water fishing or diving as well. What activities would you like to do if you visited Hawaii?
Top Photo Credit: Snuffy