Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

  • Dragonfruit and mangoes
    Dragonfruit and mangoes
    by pacific_sol
  • Road blocked by lava from helicopter
    Road blocked by lava from helicopter
    by grandmaR
  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
    by leafmcgowan

Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

  • Beaches

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    The Big Island isn't the best island for pristine beaches but the snorkeling is great and I snorkeled every day I was there and very much intend to return and do the same. The best snorkeling spots are rocky and tricky to get into and out of the water but it's worth it for the wonders you see. Beach shoes are a must at least for my tender feet .....

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  • Waterfalls

    Hilo Things to Do

    We took a day to explore the other side. Our first trip to the island we spent the day on the other side with volcanos and walking to see lava . This time we explored botanical gardens and water fall on the Hilo side. unfortunately it was rainy and humid. so kept getting rained on and the sky wasn't blue. couple nice falls on Hilo side.

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  • Chain of Craters Road

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    I drove all the way down to the end (where it was closed by a lava flow) of Chain of Craters Road and I got out and went to see the Holei Sea Arch. It was just a short walk but the surface was VERY uneven and it was very hot and sunny so it was hard for me. I wanted to see the arch because a similar arch in Aruba has collapsed and that is always a...

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  • Hiking thru the rain forest

    Volcano Things to Do

    This is a short hike that brings you to the bottom of the Kilauea Iki Crater. You will descent via stairs (ccw) or path in to the crater (cw). This depends which way round you go. At the bottom follow the stone men to the other side. It is a strange feeling when you walk trough a crater that was in 1959 one big fire pot. Knowing that below you...

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  • Manini beach

    Hawaii, Island of Things to Do

    great snorkeling but it's super cold when you first enter ... natural springs. There are people ollfering kayak rental but it's illegal and if you get caught .. you will be the one the fine so do that at your own risk.

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  • Drive around the Big Island

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    We drove around every day we were there .. went across the island to see water falls, botanical garden and volcano national park. Went snorkeling several places ... the best was 2 step ... went to see painted church which was amazing. The sky between our resort at the Hilton and the airport was stunning at night .. the stars were just beautiful.

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  • Ali'i Drive

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    Ali’i Drive is where the major shopping and restaurants are located in Kona. This long stretch of seaside street has small shopping plazas and individual stores lining both sides of the street. Just about any type of item can be found here along with the typical ABC stores. There are some nice outdoor restaurants and restaurants that have large...

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  • Helicopter Rides

    Hilo Things to Do

    We went out on the pier to meet with our group. A black dude came into the terminal and weighed us on a scale. The rules said that if you were over 250 lbs that you would be charged extra. My grandson weighed 85 lbs - less than I had guessed (I guessed 100 lbs) and I was more than I had put down (but of course I'm usually weighing in the morning...

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  • Crater Rim Road

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    There are two main roads in the park. This is one of them - the Crater Rim Drive takes you along a portion of the summit caldera (large pit crater) of Kilauea. The road starts at Kilauea Visitor Center. The places we went on this road include the Steam Vents, the Jaggar Museum, the Kilauea Iki Overlook and the Thurston Lava Tube. The Lava Tube and...

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  • Volcanoes National Park

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    We went to visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National park. Boy, was it far - a really long drive from Kona. And, I'm not sure worth the drive. Do your research in advance if you want to check it out. Make sure there are no area closures and there will be something you can walk/hike out to see. Otherwise, you are limited to just seeing the visitor center....

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  • Black Sand Beach

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    Since a lot of the sand on this side of the island is lava based (basalt) you will find many areas with black sand. It is a beautiful difference from the white sand that you would normally see at most beaches. And dont forget! Keep your eyes peeled. There are certain areas where the beaches are not crowded. Most of them do involve hiking as they...

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  • Tropical Botanical Gardens

    Hilo Things to Do

    We stopped on the way back from the Volcano National Park at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. Going to the gardens is free. They had exhibits on how to grow your own orchids There was a basket of free flowers for you to put one in your hair (they even supplied bobby pins. Rules Do not place plants on the floor Do not move them around to take...

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  • Lava Flows

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    Hiking to watch lava pour into the ocean is a something to see but getting close enough to a slow moving finger of pahoehoe and feeling the heat and energy was a once in a lifetime thrill ! The hike is getting longer but is well worth the time and effort.

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  • City of Refuge

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    UPDATE: This park was damaged by a tsunami on March 11, 2011. As of April 2011, the park remains closed as officials assess the damage. Ancient Hawaiian justice was rather harsh. If you broke most kapu (laws), you faced the death penalty. One way to avoid this was to make it to a Place of Refuge such as this one. You certainly feel the peace and...

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  • Waterfalls

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    Diving 420 feet before crashing in a thunderous roar, Akaka Falls is surely an awesome sight to be hold. The grounds around the majestic waterfalls is covered by an impossibly lush layer of ferns. Akaka's sister falls, Honauma Falls, is nearby. The trail picks its way among luxuriant tropical growth, hanging vines, bamboo groves, and wild orchids....

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  • Big Island Candies Factory

    Hilo Things to Do

    On the afternoon tour, our driver Rob took us to a candy company where we could see candy being made and we bought some. I don't remember what we bought and we ate it before we got back to the ship. Their website says: Our ..original products – such as our Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies are world renown. All of our products are...

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  • Thurston Lava Tube

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    We visited the lava tube and there are lots of ferns and flowers .. and birds. .. Not to mention its not every day people from small town Ohio get to walk in a lava tube. It was interesting but wouldn't say it was on our top 10 for the island. If your in the area it's worth a stop .. also keep an eye out for the birds and flora.

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  • Mauna Kea

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    We did not go to the summit due to the fact that we had a rental car AND we had a 4 year old child. They do not cover rentals to go past the visitor's center and the visitor's center doesn't recommend anyone under the age of 16 to go past the visitor's center. Having said that, people can get altitude sickness at the visitor's center as well so...

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  • Churches

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    As my wife and I wandered Aliʻi Drive in Kona we came upon Mokuʻaikaua Church. We decided to enter the gates and take a look for ourselves. This church is the oldest Christian church in the Hawaiian Islands. It first founded in 1820 by Asa and Lucy Goodale Thurston, Christian Missionariesfrom America that arrived on the Thaddeus to...

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  • Akaka falls state park

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hilo Things to Do

    The walk to see the falls wasn't far but it was hot and humid ... and raining off and on. there were stairs and with the rain the path to the falls was a bit slippery. the falls was nice and take your camera. We saw a few cute lizards so keep your eye out. Short hike with a choice to walk directly to the falls or circle around the area...

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  • Kilauea Crater

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    My grandmother found from talking to one of the rangers (she talks to everyone) that there would be a ranger led walk to the Kilauea Crater that morning at about 10:30, so I did that. He gave us a talk at the visitor's center first and it was very interesting. We went through a tropical rainforest to the very edge of Kilauea Caldera

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  • Waterfalls

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    During our short stay on the Big Island we decided that waterfalls and volcanos would be the only things we would be able to see with our limited time. We did the waterfalls all morning long, chasing them up the coast before heading to Volcanoes National Park. Akaka Falls is a beautiful 420+ ft. fall. As you arrive to the parking area, take the...

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  • Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    We took Body Glove's Deluxe Snorkel and Dolphin Morning Adventure. The cruise is aboard Body Glove's boat, Kanoa II. The boat has 2 levels, both with shaded and unshaded areas. The bottom level had open fresh-water showers, bathrooms, a buffet serving area, bar, and sit-down tables. The bow of the boat was uncovered and had a few tall...

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  • Volcanoes

    Hilo Things to Do

    We did a couple of the Hawaiian islands and this was our first. It's not as lush and green as .. well all the other islands but we came for the volcanoes and lava ... as well as the snorkeling. We found things here we didn't know about prior to the visit .. seahorse farm, waterfalls, botanical gardens. But half the reason we came was the to...

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  • Halemaumau Crater

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    On the top of Kilauea is the Halema'uma'u Crater, the best view of which is at the Halema'uma'u Overlook, about halfway around the Crater Rim Road from the Park entrance. An additional depression in the Kilauea Caldera, the crater creates something of a lunar landscape with its most recent floor formed in 1974. Note that occasionally gases are...

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  • Punalu’u Beach

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    My family loved this. The waves are perfect (not too strong or too tame). There are lots of little play areas for kids, little ponds removed from the waves where the kids enjoy using buckets and shovels. Local teenagers are also constantly seen jumping off the cliffs. One word of warning though, wear shoes if you are going to walk around exploring...

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  • Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a must see when you are in this area. It is located 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona. The park service has tried to restore this refuge to the way it appeared in the 1700's. You will walk by numbered coconuts that designate points of interest as you stroll through the compound and canoe landing....

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  • Lili'uokalani Gardens

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Hilo Things to Do

    On Banyan Drive, right next to the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, there is a quanit Japanese garden, dedicated to Queen Lili'uokalani, who loved gardens. This offered a nice, short stroll from the hotel (about all I could stand in my condition). Unfortunately for us, it had rained more than usual, and much of the park was washed out, not allowing us to visit...

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  • Steam Vents

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    Rob (the tour bus driver) stopped at the steam vent which has a railing around it. I didn't see but one of the steam vents because I didn't walk past the one that is in the parking lot. Rob explained that ground water seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks in this area and returns to the surface as steam. It is warm, but it isn't hot like a steam...

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  • Lava Tubes

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    Located inside the Volcanos National Park, the Thurston Lava tube is a huge tourist stop during the trip around the Crater. I wasn't impressed. There is absolutely nothing, I mean nothing to this tube. It is an empty long tube which can be walked a short distance to the other end, and you are done. If you are short on time, ship this...you...

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  • Volcanoes National Park

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    A great place for backpacking in Hawaii is Volcano National Park and specifically the Puna Trail. If you look wilderness snorkeling I suggest looking at Halape Iki and Keauhou Landing. Keauhou Landing has the best coral on all the island and probably in the Islands.

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  • Hula Festival

    Hilo Things to Do

    Every year in April, Hilo becomes over run with hula fanatics from around the globe. Some cities honor potatoes, chili, raspberries, tofu, or even bull testicles. Hilo honors hula for a week. The competition pits various halau (hula schools) in a week long celebration in honor of former King Kalakaua. At the end of the competition, the winners are...

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  • Helicopter Tours

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    I understand that there used to be helicopter tours right from the park, but they are no longer available as there were safety concerns. The tour I booked from the cruise ship left from the Hilo airport. Since we didn't do the Tora Tora Tora tour where black clothing was suggested for lack of reflection, I wore black for this one. I was right to...

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  • Polu Valley Lookout

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    Pololu valley is breath taking. I wish this would of been one of the first places we went to which would of given us more time to explore. Pololu has very lush vegitation, high mountains sides, views of the ocean cliffs, pond and a black sand beach. Getting here is easy driving wise however when you get to the look out in order to get down to the...

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  • Island Tours

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    Although we did not do this, I have friends that have and highly recommended it. Needless to say, I chickened out due to high winds. They fly over scenery not visible by car such as active volcanoes, lava flows, lush rainforests, hidden waterfalls, and spectacular sea cliffs. Blue Hawaiian has a heliport in the Waikoloa area. 2 set tours and one...

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  • Rainbow falls

    4 out of 5 stars

    Hilo Things to Do

    Our last stop before heading back across the island to our resort was rainbow falls, The walk was short to view the falls .. you could walk up stairs to get other angle but it was HOT and Humid and raining off and on so we took the easy way. no rainbow at the falls when we were there.

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  • Ohia Lehua trees

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    As we drove along the road in the park, the guide told us about the ‘ohi’a trees and I took photos of the fronds of giant hapu’u, a tree fern. Everything looked very green and the color almost glows in the photos.

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  • Hilo.

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    Hilo’s rep for rain is a little exaggerated, since most of the rain falls at night, gently on the roof, lulling you to sleep. We have our share of spectacular weather, and when such a day comes during the week, I take my dogs for a dish of Tahitian Vanilla at nearby Hilo Homemade Ice Cream (1477 Kalanianaole Avenue), and then for a crab-hunt among...

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  • Hulihe'e Palace

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    As my wife walked along Ali'i Drive, we came upon the Hulihe'e Palace. This was the former vacation home of Hawaiian Royalty and is now a museum open to the public. Inside the house is furniture, dishes, paintings, rugs and clothing used and worn by the family of the Hawaiian Monarchs who used this house. The house is situated on a beautiful...

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  • Banyan Drive

    Hilo Things to Do

    Banyan Drive See the Banyan Trees that Fannie Hurst and Amelia Earhart planted in the 1930's Walk or bike around the peninsula Play golf! Walk to Coconut Island Take a horse carriage ride See a fish auction Swim!

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  • Jaggar Museum

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    Once the bus tour from the ship at Hilo got to the Hawaii Volcano National Park, our first stop was the Jagger museum. This time I had brought the NPS passports and we each got a stamp. We looked at the seismographs and exhibits. The Museum is next to the main crater, Halema'uma'u. We took pictures of it. The Hawaiians believe Kilauea and...

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  • Kilauea

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    Kîlauea is one of the most spectacular volcanoes existing on Big Island in Hawaii. Rising 4,091 feet above sea level, the summit caldera is a broad shelf of uplands well beneath the long profile of Mauna Loa. It is a very low flat shield volcano lying against the southeast flank of the larger volcano known as Mauna Loa. It is one of 5 shield...

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  • Sunsets

    Kailua-Kona Things to Do

    Dinner options were kind of limited - and it wasn't as well organized as it should been, but the sunset dinner cruise on the Fair Winds II was still one of the highlights of our family's week in Kona. It's hard to criticize too intensely once you are out on the ocean waters observing a magnificent Hawaiian sunset on a perfect summer's eve, Really,...

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  • Kilauea Visitor Center

    4 out of 5 stars

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Things to Do

    When we were at the visitor's center I was primarily interested in taking photos of the petroglyphs. Later I got a chance to walk to the trail and see them in person. I was also interested in the exhibits on island formation but I didn't take photos of them.

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  • Snorkeling and SCUBA

    Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

    Honaunau Bay (Two-steps), Hawaii's Big Island is some of the best snorkeling on the big island. there is limited free parking ... you can pay to park or drive 100 yard to the park. We always found free parking. As always don't leave valuables in the car to invite theft, Getting in the water can be tricky .. we did it both ways ... got in at the...

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Hawaii (Big Island) Things to Do

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