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Big Island, Hawaii

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Kalapana - Kapoho Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. Her power still holds the imagination of people in Hawaii today as legends suggest that taking rocks from her home on the island of Hawaii will lead to bad luck. She is said to...
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Chain of Craters Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
There are several hidden treasures among the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. The one that I found most fascinating was a short (0.7 mile) hike from the Chain of Craters road to the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs. I was most fascinated that this land...
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Kīlauea Crater, Hawaii 96778, USA
The highlight of Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Crater. Nothing beats seeing the glow from the active crater at night—well, maybe the prospect of seeing a new explosive eruption. There are a couple of other lava flow viewing areas in the...
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The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the World's Only Drive-In Volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here,...
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Volcano, HI, USA
Why I was so surprised to find a food truck in the village of Volcano outside of Volcano National Park, I'm not sure. All I know is that it was one of the many culinary surprises on the Big Island. This truck was packed with all kinds of wonderful...
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Hawaii 96718, USA
For those seeking an education about the Hawaiian volcanoes, the Volcanoes National Park Visitors Center and Jaggar Museum have helpful staff and interesting visuals and maps. Visitors can see before and after photos, see maps of volcanic activity...
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Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii 96778, USA
There are numerous sites to explore within Volcanoes National Park, but the Thurston Lava Tube is certainly one of the most dramatic. Located at stop #6, exploring the tube is an easy half-hour walk to and through the extinct lava conduit.
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We stayed in Hilo—hot, wet, and tropical Hilo—in a rented, Japanese-style house. Since I'm an astronomy nerd, I had to take the tour up to the observatories on Mauna Kea—way up on the top of the Big Island. The van trip was fun and educational,...
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177 Makaala St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Winter snow can frost the tallest peak in Hawaii, technically measuring 13,800 feet. In fact, Mauna Kea holds the world record at 33,500 feet tall when measured from its submerged base to its summit (compared with Everest's 29,000 feet)! The...
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1815 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Carlsmith Beach Park in Hilo is known for turtles that hang out in the shallow turquoise water close to shore. Visitors can walk onto the rocks and simply look into the water to see a turtle. These magnificent creatures abound in Hawaii....
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68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
(Note: Google insists this is Kamuela, it is Kohala) The lava coast of Kohala on the Big Island is dramatic. Waves dash against the black rocks relentlessly until eons from now they will be sand. True, there are fewer white-sand beaches per square...
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State Hwy 160, Hōnaunau, HI 96726, USA
Catch a glimpse of what Hawaii looked like before European contact. An unmissable destination for culture buffs, this sacred area stretches along the lava flats of the Big Island's western coast. Behind a massive wall stands an ancient pu'uhonua...
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Cape Kumukahi, Hawaii 96778, USA
If you find the Cape Kumukahi Light, as it's labeled, be sure to not expect a true "lighthouse." We made our way to the corner of 132 and 137, and then continued on down Kapoho Kumakahi Lighthouse Road expecting something great. It's literally a...
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Hakalau, HI 96728, USA
While on the Big Island, we found lots of beaches and parks that were labeled and easy to find. But the place we liked the most, because we found it accidentally, didn't even really have a name. When I told some locals about it, they swore we were...
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2349 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Although many tourists head to Kona and Kohala of the Big Island, Hilo has something special to offer. It's a sleepy city where you can stay at a B&B on the bay, get a great meal, and follow it up with a long walk through Richardson Beach park....
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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...
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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...