Experience Big Island


The active volcano as seen from the Jaggar Museum | Photo by @mikecloom

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park-No trip to the Big Island is complete without visiting Volcanoes National Park.  This park is home to two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive subaerial volcano. The topography of the park offers dramatic landscapes through 150 miles of hiking trails.  At this moment, there is NO ACTIVE LAVA FLOW to be viewed. However, much of the park is open for day hiking, back country hiking and sightseeing including Chain of Craters Road. In addition, the Volcano House has reopened so stop in and have a morning coffee or sunset cocktail! For more information on Closures check out HVNP Area Closures.

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea Sunset above the clouds at 13,800ft | Photo by @mikecloom

If you like mountains and stars, Mauna Kea is a must see, unique experience on the Big Island.  As you ascend from 0 feet to 13,800 feet rising above the cloud line, you will feel like you are on the moon, looking down on small craters and the observatories below.  Back at the Visitor's Station, as the sun sets and the stars come out, the free star gazing program allows you access to telescopes and staff to point out objects visible in the night sky.  For more information check out the Maunakea Visitor Station Information website.

Update: The Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS) on Hawaiʻi Island will adjust its closing time from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Sunday, December 9, for an infrastructure project that will improve visitor safety and to better protect natural, historic and cultural resources. Construction is slated to start in January 2019 and is expected to take about six months.

Nighttime stargazing at the VIS will be suspended during this period, but the VIS will remain open seven days a week with the same opening time of 9 a.m. The VIS restrooms will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Waipio Valley

Waipio Valley as seen from the Lookout | Photo by @mikecloom

You are remise to leave the Big Island without taking in the breathtaking views and awesome hikes that Waipio Valley has to offer.  If you are pressed for time (or lazy) you can simply stop at the Waipio Valley Overlook and gaze your eyes upon the iconic cliffs and ocean below.  However, for those looking for more adventure Waipio Valley provides a range of hikes.

Green Sand Beach

Green Sand Beach at South Point | Photo by @mikecloom

Also known as Papakōlea Beach or Mahana Beach, Green Sand Beach is one of only four green sand beaches in the world.  On the hour long hike to the beach you will experience the windy southern coast and see some ancient sites along the way.  As you arrive at the rim of the cinder cone that formed the beach you will look down on a short span of glistening green olivine.  At this point you will be ready for a refreshing swim but take heed of the potential currents at this beach.  For more information on the hike check out Big Island Hikes.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Hawaii.  This black sand beach, located just east of Naalehu, is especially amazing because of the green sea turtles that can often be found basking on the shore.  It is convenient to stop at this beach on the way to Volcanoes.  After leaving the beach don't forget to stop at the Punalu'u Bake Shop for a snack of traditional malasada!

Big Island National Parks

See green sea turtles or black tipped reef sharks or learn about Hawaiian culture at one of the Big Island's four National Parks. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park- Also known as the City of Refugee, this park is just adjacent to Two Steps, one of the Island's best snorkeling spots.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park-Visit this park to check out traditional Hawaiian fish ponds, see how white sands of Honokohau Beach contrast with the black lava rock coastline, and local wildlife including honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles), native birds and maybe even a Hawaiian monk seal, sunning on the shore.

Pu'ukohola National Historic Site

Big Island Camping

Of course we want you to stay with us for as long as you can, however, we also know that camping is a great and affordable way to explore the rest of the Island.  Hawaii County parks are made up of 10 beach parks located on the pristine beaches of the island of Hawaii. These campgrounds offer camping sites and access to amenities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. However, to camp on the Big Island you must purchase camping and cabin permits through the County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation.  For more information on camping and parks check out the Love Big Island travel site.

And much more...!  Just ask our staff for recommendations!