12 Must-Do Experiences on the Big Island
Collected by Andrea Rip , AFAR Local Expert
The Big Island of Hawaii is full of must-do experiences. You can catch a hula competition during Merrie Monarch Festival, walk the Kapoho tide pools, experience Kona “snow,” and see the lava fields of Volcanoes National Park. The Big Island is home to timeless resorts, cozy corner cafes, and grand adventure trips. The main thing you must do is experience the outstanding natural beauty of the Big Island’s volcanic mountaintops, verdant forested slopes, and sandy seashores.
865 Piilani St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
An annual event that you won’t want to miss on Hawaii Island is the Merrie Monarch Festival. The best hula halau (groups or schools of hula) in Hawaii gather for an internationally acclaimed competition for a week of remarkable performances...
Kapoho Tide Pools, Hawaii 96778, USA
The Kapoho Tide Pools are a distinct and different seaside phenomena. The pools stretch nearly a mile down the beach and reach into the sea. The pools are spring fed with fresh water and filled by the rising tide. The interesting geography of the...
Ninole Loop Rd, Naalehu, HI 96772, USA
Punaluu Beach attracts visitors and locals to its black sandy volcanic shore. The beach is out of the way (between Volcanoes National Park and South Point), but worth a stop. Punaluu is not overly crowded, but the green sea turtles and uncommon...
78-6772 Makenawai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
For a rare and wonderfully crafted chocolate experience on the Big Island, visitors who book a tour of the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Farm will learn about the chocolate making process from growing and harvesting to packaging. Only offered on...
Waipio Valley, Hawaii 96727, USA
Seeing the Big Island by air will have you sitting on the edge your seat anticipating what will turn up around the next mountain or valley. Waipio Valley, one of the most beautiful areas on the Island, is best seen from the air to really get a...
74-5467 Kaiwi St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
For an extraordinary experience that amazes both tourists and locals, take a trip out to dive (or snorkel) at night with the manta rays near Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Guides take tours out from Honokohau Harbor in the evening before sunset,...
88-2636 Papa Homestead Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
For a different view of coffee, visit the Big Island in February and March when the coffee plants are blossoming in white. Called Kona "snow" by some, the plants are covered with the beautiful white flowers that precede the arrival of the valuable...
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