Although it may be the youngest of its fellow islands, the Big Island of Hawai’i offers more than it’s age would give credit for.
Away from the city life of Honolulu on Oahu, Hawai’i Island offers a deeper look into the culture and a closer connection with tradition. Combine this with an active volcano, the traditional shops and restaurants of Hilo and the coffee of Holualoa, and you truly have a magical location.
Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
With one of the worlds more active volcanoes, a trip to Hawai’i would be incomplete without a closer look into the eye of the beast! A trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park provides historic information about this volcano state that you can literally see with your own eyes.
Explore the historic Kailua Village
Although it is now more tourist centered, Kailua Village still offers a great experience for visitors to immerse themselves into local culture. Simply turning down the wrong street can turn into a trip in itself, where you will find traditional customs maintained.
Get lost in the city of Hilo
The Big Island is not without a big city. The city of Hilo is one of the oldest in Hawaii, and as such is perfect for exploring, shopping and dining. You can also pay your respects at the Tsunami Museum, a popular attraction for tourists.
Go for a birdie at Kahili
It’s pretty simple, Hawai’i Island offers the best golf, hands down! One of the best golf courses is the Kahili Golf Course, where you can play a great game with a beautiful backdrop.
Catch a wave at Kauna Beach
Hawai’i Island continues to prove it has something for everyone. Kauna Beach offers the perfect water getaway. Just be sure to get in quick! There is a limit of 25 people on the beach at a time. However, if it is full, there are plenty of other beaches located on the big island and around Hawaii.
Gaze at the stars at Maunakea
Before heading off to bed, gaze upwards and appreciate the stars at Maunakea. You may be lucky enough to hear ancient stories and myths to leave you wondering more.
Other things to do on the Big Island — for free!
If you are a kind of a backpacker traveler or a tourist on a budget, you may think that going to Hawaii is all luxury. Yes, it may be expensive, but you may be surprised that you can enjoy some of the best of Hawaii absolutely for free! Check out all the possible options:
- Enjoy nature! – Hawaii is teeming with natural wonders and wildlife, and the Big Island is no exception. So why don’t you take your time to do something which surrounds you — enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty of the Big Island — for no cost at all? However, it takes some effort in order to behold all of these natural treasures. Hike a relatively easy footpath at the Akaka Falls State Park and you will be rewarded by its two majestic waterfalls. Watch a molten lava at Kalapana Lava viewing area, visit a forest of pillars of lava at the Lava Tree State Monument and get yourself caught in awe by Rainbow Falls in Hilo… the list is endless! Not to mention there are many wild beaches where you can enjoy peace and quiet at no cost, undisturbed by commercialism. All public beaches in Hawaii are public, so lucky for you!
- Learn about honey-making (and even get to taste honey!) – This is another opportunity that awaits you when you’re on the Big Island. Big Island Honey is glad to share their knowledge about everything honey and beekeeping. You are allowed to have an attempt of finding the queen laying eggs and at their live, interior demonstration. You can also learn about the history of beekeeping and how honey is made, as well as take a look at the beekeeping tools and exhibits at their museum, and the staff members are always ready to answer your questions. Aside from the museum, the honey-tasting is also free, where you can sample different varieties of honey culled form Hawaii’s native flowers. If you like it, you may bring some home.
- Tour a coffee farm – Kona coffee is available only in Hawaii, grown on the slopes of the Kona mountains. Whether or not you’re a coffee lover, this is another exciting opportunity to get to know Kona coffee, which is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Tour around its vast coffee plantation, enjoy the lush jungle areas and of course, sample a cup of Kona joe. There are many coffee farms and roasteries in the Kona district that offer free tours and coffee samples such as Rooster Farms (which offers all-organic Kona coffee) and Greenwell Farms Coffee.
- Sample macadamia nuts – You cannot go home from your Hawaiian vacation without bringing home macadamia nuts, which are one of Hawaii’s prized crops and top souvenirs. Hamakua Macadamia Nut Factory in Kawaihe allows you to try different kinds of macadamia, which are grown by local farmers, to whom the company provides support.
- Stargaze from the Mauna Kea summit – While paid tours are a good option, driving all the way up to the summit of Mauna Kea allows you to visit the Visitors’ Information Station. It features the astronomical observatories, which are one of the most important observatories in the world. On Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings, you are allowed to use their telescopes to stargaze… for free! Some warning though: driving up there would cause you altitude sickness, as the visitor information center itself is situated 9,200 feet above sea level.