When it comes to Hawaii trips, the Big Island is undoubtedly a must-visit destination. This stunning island boasts a diverse range of attractions, from breathtaking landscapes and beautiful beaches to rich cultural experiences and thrilling outdoor adventures. To make the most of your trip, it’s essential to explore the top Big Island attractions that are sure to leave you mesmerized.
In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the best Big Island sights that you simply can’t miss. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to plan your trip to perfection. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the wonders of Big Island.
- Big Island attractions offer a diverse range of experiences for visitors.
- It’s essential to explore the top sights to make the most of your Hawaii trip.
- This article covers the best Big Island attractions, including breathtaking landscapes, beautiful beaches, rich cultural experiences, thrilling outdoor adventures, and hidden gems.
Breathtaking Landscapes of Big Island
Big Island is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Hawaii. From towering volcanoes to cascading waterfalls, the island is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here are some of the top attractions you must visit on your trip to Big Island:
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
A visit to Big Island is not complete without exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Witness the power of nature as you walk through lava tubes and marvel at the stunning views of the caldera.
Mauna Kea Summit
For a truly awe-inspiring experience, drive to the top of Mauna Kea Summit. It is the highest point in Hawaii and offers some of the best views of the night sky. Take a guided tour to explore the observatories and learn more about the stars and galaxies above.
Waipio Valley is a lush, tropical paradise nestled between steep cliffs. The valley is home to a black sand beach, towering waterfalls, and stunning vistas. Take a horseback ride or hike down to the beach for a memorable adventure.
These are just a few of the many breathtaking landscapes that Big Island has to offer. Make sure to add them to your travel itinerary for an unforgettable trip to Hawaii.
Beautiful Beaches of Big Island
When it comes to beautiful beaches, Big Island has a lot to offer. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or an adventurous spot to surf, there’s a beach for everyone.
Hapuna Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island, known for its clear turquoise waters and soft white sand. It’s a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, or just soaking up the sun. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and beach gear!
Kauna’oa Bay is another must-visit beach on Big Island. With its calm waters and picturesque surroundings, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic beach picnic or a family day out. Don’t miss the chance to take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or enjoy a sunset stroll.
If you’re looking for something a little different, head to Punalu’u Beach. This black sand beach is truly unique and is home to honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles). You can often spot these majestic creatures basking in the sun on the beach.
Other notable beaches on the island include Manini’owali Beach (also known as Kua Bay), Kiholo Bay, and Makalawena Beach. Each of these beaches has its own charm and appeal, from scenic hiking trails to excellent snorkeling spots.
With so many beautiful beaches to choose from, you won’t be disappointed when you visit Big Island. Make sure to add some beach time to your itinerary!
Cultural Experiences on Big Island
Big Island offers a rich cultural experience for visitors. From ancient Hawaiian sites to Christian churches, Big Island landmarks tell stories of Hawaii’s history and traditions.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Located on the west coast of Big Island, Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a significant cultural landmark. It was a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiians who broke a law and faced punishment. Visitors can explore the park’s grounds and temples, learn about the Hawaiian culture, and enjoy a beautiful ocean view.
Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls State Park is a must-visit place for nature lovers. The park features a 0.4-mile hike through a lush rainforest that leads to the 442-foot tall Akaka Falls. Along the trail, visitors can admire the beautiful flora and fauna of Big Island. At the end of the hike, they can enjoy the breathtaking views of the falls.
The Painted Church in Honaunau is a unique cultural landmark. It is a church with colorful murals painted by a Belgian Catholic missionary, Father John Berchmans Velghe. The murals depict scenes from the Bible and Hawaiian history, with a blend of Hawaiian and European styles. Visitors can attend services or admire the beauty of the church’s interior and exterior.
These are just some of the cultural experiences that Big Island has to offer. By visiting these landmarks, visitors can appreciate the history, traditions, and art of ancient and modern Hawaii.
Hidden Gems of Big Island
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path and explore some unique destinations, Big Island has plenty of hidden gems to offer. These lesser-known attractions provide a glimpse into the island’s diverse landscapes, culture, and history.
One of the most distinctive hidden gems on Big Island is Papakolea Beach, also known as Green Sand Beach. This beach gets its name from the olivine crystals that give the sand its unique green hue. To reach the beach, visitors must embark on a challenging hike or hire a local guide.
Another hidden gem is Pololu Valley, located on the northern tip of the island. This secluded valley features a black sand beach and a picturesque hike through lush tropical rainforests. Visitors can also explore the nearby lookout points and take in breathtaking views of the valley and coastline.
Mauna Lani Petroglyphs
For a glimpse into Big Island’s rich history and culture, the Mauna Lani Petroglyphs are a must-see. Located on the Kohala Coast, these ancient petroglyphs were created by early Hawaiians and feature intricate designs and symbols. Visitors can take a self-guided tour and learn about the significance of these historic landmarks.
Exploring these hidden gems of Big Island is a unique way to experience the island’s beauty and culture. Make sure to add them to your itinerary for an unforgettable trip.
Outdoor Adventures on Big Island
Big Island’s diverse landscapes make it a playground for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure. From hiking to ziplining to snorkeling, there is no shortage of fun-filled activities.
Hiking in Waipio Valley
If you’re looking for a challenge, hiking in Waipio Valley is a must-do. The valley is home to some of the island’s most breathtaking landscapes, including waterfalls, black sand beaches, and lush greenery. The hike is steep and strenuous, but the reward is well worth it. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the valley.
Snorkeling with Dolphins in Kealakekua Bay
Kealakekua Bay is a marine sanctuary that is home to a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins. Snorkeling in the clear waters of the bay is an unforgettable experience. You’ll have the chance to swim alongside pods of spinner dolphins, as well as see an abundance of colorful fish and coral.
Ziplining through the Forests
For adrenaline junkies, ziplining through the forests of Big Island is a must-do. The island has several zipline courses that take you through the treetops, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. It’s a thrilling experience that is sure to give you an unforgettable rush.
Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time explorer, Big Island has something to offer everyone. Pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Historic Sites of Big Island
Big Island is steeped in history and culture, and there are plenty of attractions that showcase the island’s rich heritage. From ancient heiau to palaces and museums, here are some of the top historic sites to visit on your next trip to Big Island:
Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site is a sacred site that was built by King Kamehameha I in the late 18th century. The heiau was constructed to fulfill a prophecy that predicted the unification of the Hawaiian islands under one ruler, and it played a significant role in the unification of the islands. Visitors can explore the site and learn about its cultural significance through ranger-led tours and exhibits.
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is a 1160-acre park that preserves traditional Hawaiian culture and early 19th-century history. The park features a number of ancient fishponds, petroglyphs, and sacred sites, and visitors can also hike through historic trails and learn about the early Hawaiian way of life.
Located in the heart of Kailua-Kona, Hulihee Palace was once a royal vacation home for Hawaiian monarchs. The palace was built in 1838 and includes artifacts and exhibits that showcase the island’s past. Visitors can take a guided tour of the palace and learn about the history of Hawaii’s royal family.
Image: Historic Sites of Big Island
These historic sites provide a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Big Island, and are a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the island’s past.
Big Island is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable Hawaiian vacation. With its diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches, rich culture, and thrilling adventures, there is truly something for everyone. From the breathtaking Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to the historic Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Big Island attractions offer a perfect blend of natural wonders and cultural landmarks.
Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures like hiking and snorkeling, or want to immerse yourself in the history and cultural heritage of the island, Big Island has it all. Don’t miss out on exploring the hidden gems like Pololu Valley and Papakolea Beach, as they offer unique and charming experiences that will be treasured for a lifetime.
Explore Big Island Attractions Today!
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Big Island and discover its countless attractions. Relax on the beautiful beaches, take in the breathtaking views of the landscapes, explore the rich cultural heritage, and embark on thrilling outdoor adventures. Big Island has everything to offer and more, making it a destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.