Things to Do on the Big Island

The Big Island offers visitors white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters; there are also rainforests full of waterfalls, exotic flowers, and the island’s varied bird species to explore. A trip to the Big Island has everything you’re looking for!

Must-Do Attractions in Big Island


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Golfers on the Big Island will be met by the sound of waves crashing against the nearby shore and pristinely kept greens. The Big Island is recognized as the Golf Capital of Hawaii, and there are courses along the Kohala Coast and some in Puna, Kau, Kona and Hamakua. Golfers shouldn’t miss out on a chance to visit the Ocean Course and the Mountain Course at Kona Country Club.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii is atop a mid-ocean ridge, and as a result, the islands are comprised of many volcanoes. Many of the volcanoes remain active, and the natural wonder of flowing lava is definitely something to be seen. Don’t miss exploring the summit of Kilauea. You can get there via Crater rim Drive, which is an 11-mile road that winds up the volcano and sends you through the desert as well as a tropical rain forest. There are several scenic stops along the way where you can step out of your car for an amazing panoramic view.

Hamakua Coast

North of Hilo sits the Hamakua Coast on the northeastern side of the island. This area gets approximately 84 inches of rainfall a year and its well-known for the Hamakua Heritage Corridor Drive. This route travels along the coastline by tropical rainforests, waterfalls and seaside views. On your trip on the Hamakua Coast, you can stop to see the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and World Botanic Gardens, where you can find both the Umauma and Akaka falls. There’s also the Waipio Valley Lookout, where you can get a 180-degree view of the coast.

Punaluu Beach

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Punaluu Beach is a unique destination because the constant volcanic activity has turned the sand here a luminous black and green. The beach is located on the southeastern Kau Coast and is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Hawaii. Visitors can find this park not far from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, so why not tackle two attractions at once with a stop at both destinations?

Shopping and Dining in Big Island

Shopping and Relaxation on Big Island

Shopping on The Big Island offers everything from books, art, clothing, wines, flea markets and local specialties. If you’re looking to bring home some Hawaiian art, head to the Gallery of Great Things in Waimea or pick up a locally made craft at the Hilo Farmers Market. Travelers who want to enjoy a day at the spa should head to Spa Without Walls or Mauna Lani Spa along the Kohala Coast.

Dining on The Big Island

There’s a good combination of locally grown produce and five-star chefs on The Big Island. Gourmet chefs have made their way to Hawaii, and are attracting food writers from national magazines. Foodies are now flocking to the island to try the inventive cuisines that incorporate the island's cultural heritage and culinary traditions.