Mauna Kea Summit And Stars
A stargazing journey from sea level to the nearly 14,000 foot summit of Maunakea reveals the wonders and world-class clarity of the Hawaiian night sky. This tour lets you see the sunset among some of the world’s best telescopes and then takes you for a private star show at 9000 ft. with an 11 Celestron telescope.
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
Chase Waterfalls In Hilo
Even though Akaka Falls and Rainbow Fallsare probably the most accessible and famous waterfalls in Hilo, you can finddozens of others along the coast if youre willing to go exploring.
Some of the other waterfalls you might want to see includeKailuka River Falls, Umauma Falls, and Peepee Falls at the Boiling Pots.
Bodyboard At Magic Sands Beach
Magic Sands Beach is named for its “disappearing” sand. Depending on the ocean’s mood, you may arrive to find a soft powder, or you might find a rocky, volcanic landscape at the water’s edge. Even the locals can’t tell you when it might change, but usually you can find a few sandy spots to sit down on and admire the view.
It is located just south of Kailua Kona, and is most popular with bodyboarders, although you may see swimmers and snorkelers, too, if the conditions are right. Like all Hawaiian beaches, the waves can get rough in the winter, and caution should be used before entering the water. Be sure to bring sneakers or good water shoes, so you can explore when it’s rocky.
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Visit The Black Sand Beaches
Seeing a true black sand beach for the first time is a bit strange. It somehow doesnt feel right, especially when compared to the pearly-white beaches you are so used to seeing on tropical islands. But the black sand beaches on the Big Island are really beautiful, so you should check them out.
The most famous ones are Pohoiki, Kehena, Kaimu and Punaluu, on the southeastern coast of the island.
Explore The Art Village At Holualoa
The charming little Village at Holualoa had enough shops, galleries, and cafes to keep our little family entertained for quite a while!
There is everything you can imagine here. Ukuleles, gemstone creations, antiques, sourdough bread, and of course, lots and lots of Kona coffee!
You can definitely stick to your $10 budget here. Unless you find that perfect antique,ukulele, pottery piece, or anything else, of course!
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Cross The Bridge To Coconut Island In Hilo
Mokuloa, or Coconut Island, is located in Hilo Bay. It is a small island with beaches and a grassy area to spend a day relaxing and enjoying swimming. You can get to the island by crossing a bridge from Banyan.
The two sandy beaches boast calm waters and are perfect for family days at the beach. There is a vast green territory for a small picnic and the wonderful Hilo Farmers Market, where fresh fruit and snacks can be found.
If you travel with kids, they will love jumping from a small stone tower into the water.
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The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth’s five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area (as defined with a.
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Discover The White Sand Beaches
When compared to Maui, the Big Island doesnt have as many sandy beaches. However, it has a couple that are purely white. And purely white sand beaches you wont find on any other Hawaiian islands, so make sure you see them.
The first and most beautiful one is Makalawena beach, on the sleepy north Kona coast, which is really hard to reach, as youll have to drive on a very rough lava road. But its worth the effort.
The other one is and Mauumae, located between Spencer Beach Park and Mauna Kea Resort. To get access to this beach you have to go to the Mauna Kea Resort and request a beach pass at the guard shack. They only issue 10 passes at one time, so your best chance is toto come here early in the morning
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Best Things To Do On Oahu
16. Race in the Honolulu Marathon
For beginner and avid marathon runners, Honolulu Marathon is one of those activities on Oahu to do during your running career.
What better way to explore the tropical island of Oahu than to run through it for 26.2 miles in one day?!
The race occurs on the second Sunday in December and attracts over 25,000 runners from international locations, especially from Japan.
The course starts along Ala Moana Boulevard and continues along the hilly Diamond Head, calming ocean and palm trees, and ends at the Kapiolani Park.
Training for the marathon is recommended to prepare for the distance and physical exertion.
The course doesnt have a time limit which is perfect for the first-time marathoners.
If you want to walk through the whole course, youre more than welcome to do so.
While the race may not give you a personal best time due to the number of people, its a fun course to experience. Runners make the race more enjoyable by dressing up in costumes.
Pikachu was a popular choice during our race. A running couple also ballroom danced their way through the marathon. The volunteers at the water stations and cheering squad are also great to provide encouragement and high-fives along the route.
Once you cross the finish line, youll probably delirious and exhausted. After receiving the finishers medal, the best part is stuffing your belly with warm, freshly made malasadas .
17. Hike Diamond Head
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20. Skydive on the North Shore
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Bonus: Experience Life Like Hawaiian Royalty
The Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona was built to be a summer vacation home for Hawaiian Royalty. Since 1924, it has been restored and maintained by the Daughters of Hawaii, despite many efforts to purchase the highly valuable property.
Today, you can tour the palace as a museum, and feel what it would have been like to live there as a member of the Hawaiian Royal Family.
This is one of the best Kona Hawaii activities for families who like learning a bit about history and culture in Hawaii.
Admission is $10 per adult or $1 per child. Considering the amount of history contained in this one palace, I would consider this money well spent!
Taste Kalua Pig On The Big Island
The Big Island is known for its mind-blowing nature, beaches, natural wonders, and tasty cuisine. Regarding must-try dishes, kalua pork is an essential one to try on the island. Here are three amazing places to try delectable kalua pork.
Big Island Grill
Known for being one of the most popular spots for it, Big Island Grill offers some outstanding homemade Hawaiian dishes with a signature dish of kalua pork, teriyaki chicken with rice, and super loco moco for starving guests!
The restaurant is open Monday Friday from 10:30 am to 2 pm.
Address: 75-5702 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
The restaurants founder, Richard Miyashiro, a WWII veteran, named Cafe 100 as a tribute to his 100th Infantry Battalion.
Besides its exciting story, the cafe serves the best Loco Moco and traditional Hawaiian dishes, including kalua pork.
It is open Monday Friday, 7 am to 7 pm.
Address: 969 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI 96720
Ippys Hawaiian BBQ
Famous for its awesome selection of salads, sandwiches, and seafood, Ippys Hawaiian BBQ restaurant should also be visited for its special Furikake Beer-Battered Mahi Mahi and fresh kalua pork.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 am to 9 pm.
Address: 64-1067 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, HI 96743
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Try Some Traditional Hawaiian Fruits
Get ready to learn some Hawaiian, because in Hawaii youll find plenty of menuslisting the Hawaiian name for fruits. Two of the best fruits you need to trywhile youre in Hawaii are lilikoi and obviously paina .You can get pretty much anything in lilikoi flavor, ranking from margaritas tocupcakes and ice cream. There is no limit to lilikoi.
Puuhonua O Hnaunau National Historical Park
Just a stones throw from Two Step, this historic park has plenty of exhibits that take you through Hawaiian culture and history. Itâs easy to self-navigate and takes about an hour to walk through the exhibits. Bring your National Parks Annual Pass for free entry. You can also book a snorkeling tour that includes a stop at Puâuhonua O Honaunau.
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Take A Big Island Helicopter Tour
Explore the steam vents and Kilauea fiery lava streams from a birds eye view during a helicopter tour of the Big Island!
You will have a unique chance to see two great volcanos, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, flying over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with impressive panoramas of the rainforest and waterfalls cascading down from the Kohala cliffs.
The Big Island deluxe helicopter tour over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers the views of many natural wonders such as Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and Mauna Kea, the tallest sea mountain !
You also see Mauna Loa and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the largest park in the state known for its volcanic activity. Fun fact: you will witness 11 out of 13 climate zones present on Earth on one island!
The helicopter tour includes:
Top 10 Things To Do On The Big Island Of Hawaii
A holiday on the Big Island of Hawaii can certainly fill a few action-packed days. The largest of the Hawaiian Islands is abundant with fine beaches, rewarding hikes, scenic drives, tourist attractions and countless other culinary, cultural and adventurous highlights. I spent three months on the island, volunteering on the sunny Kona coast and thoroughly exploring its myriad of microclimates. Here are the absolute best, the top 10 things to do on the Big Island.
Visiting other Hawaiian islands? Sample itineraries, guides to the best beaches and the must-see highlights are all waiting for you in the Hawaii Travel Guide collection. Aloha!
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Explore The Cloud Forest
To see some truly incredible landscapes, simply make your way to the Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary. Encompassing 70 acres, this stretch of land is just 15 minutes from the airport but feels worlds away from the modern day, feeling like youve stepped through a portal into a mystical and very green world.
Its awash with native plants, with over 100 varieties of bamboo alongside enormous tree ferns that soar 30 feet into the air. There are also many endemic and exotic birds that live around this area, including the Hawaiian hawk.
Ooh And Aah At The Waterfalls
One of the more epic things to do on the Big Island with kids is visit a legendary waterfall. After all, it isnt a trip to Hawaii if you dont snap a few pictures in front of a waterfall.
422-foot Akaka Falls is one of the islands most famous and impressive. Even more impressive are the shrimp that make the annual swim up the waterfall to spawn- take that salmon!
Other must-see and easy-to-reach waterfalls include Rainbow Falls, PeePee Falls , and Hiilawe Falls.
Another great option is taking a zipline tour to see some less accessible waterfalls. Umauma Falls Zip Line Tours are surely an experiences your family wont forget.
Umauma Falls Zip and Dip combo is available for kids as young as four. It take you soaring across the canyon with stunning views of the falls and also includes a chance to swim and kayak at their base. There is also a giant swing on property and hiking trails throughout the grounds.
If you would like to take a tour which visits several of Hawaiis major waterfalls and includes a stop at Waipio Valley, this small group waterfall tour is a good choice. Your tour will travel along the Hamakua Coast to Akaka Falls, Hiilawe Falls, Rainbow Falls, and even includes a swim at a private waterfall.
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Best Things To Do On The Big Island
This guide details the best things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii. Just a few notes we have opted to leave out one of the most popular activities on the island, stargazing at Mauna Kea, as it is controversial and deemed unethical tourism to native Hawaiians.
Mauna Kea is one of the most sacred sites in Hawaii and going to its summit goes against the cultural values and beliefs of the locals.
So, please do your research and find out if it is really necessary to go there. We dont personally think it is !
A few places on this guide have frequent regulation/fee changes and we will do our best to update accordingly.
We have also included places that are usually able to be visited but might be temporarily closed for whatever reasons .
If we left Big Island bucket list activities off of this guide, please let us know in the comments. Thanks!
Sunset On Mauna Kea Volcano
Did you know that it actually snows in Hawaii? And that Hawaii is technically home to the tallest mountain in the world? Well now you do!
Mauna Kea Volcano is Hawaiis tallest mountain, at 13,796 feet . But most of the volcano is actually underwater. If measured from the sea floor, Mauna Kea towers 33,476 feet .
Thats even taller than Mount Everest!
At the summit of this long dormant volcano lies the Mauna Kea Observatory, a collection of 13 high-powered space telescopes.
Driving up to the observatory for sunset is a popular activity, and so is late-night stargazing trips. There are also a few short hikes around the top of the volcano. In the winter, the summit can be covered with snow.
Volcano Star Gazing Tour
Observe the deep sky through a large aperture telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea with a professional astronomer.
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Amazing Things To Do In Kona And On The Big Island Of Hawaii
Life may be moving at a slow pace on the Big Island, but is surely isnt boring! There are so many attractions around, that you wont know where to begin. We know because weve seen them all many times, over multiple visits.
The Big Island is separated into 6 main regions: Hamakua Coast, Hilo, Kau, Kona, Kohala and Puna. Ideally, should explore each one of them, as they are all different and very beautiful. If this is your first time here, let me tell you what are the best things to around the Big Island.
Find Your New Favorite Waterfall
I dont know what is so calming about a waterfall, but I know that I could sit and watch/listen to one all day.
One of the most popular Big Island waterfalls is Rainbow Falls. It is an 80-foot tall waterfall located in Hilo and its one of the best waterfalls on the Big Island.
The hike leading to the falls is moderate and the journey is full of adventure with beautiful forests, lush vegetation, and flowers to keep it interesting.
Theres also Akaka Falls, which is located inside the Akaka Falls State Park in Hawaii. Its a 422-foot natural waterfall.
And before you get to Akaka Falls, you can also visit Kahuna Falls inside the state park. Its a 100-foot waterfall that youll pass by on your way to Akaka if you follow the footpath.
Pick any of the amazing waterfalls from this list, and then just dont forget your camera. You will want to use it!
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16. Go Whale Watching in Winter. Considered a must thing to do on the Big Island from December through May, whale watching is a bucket list activity in Hawaii. Without a.
Explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. One of the most popular attractions on Big Island, Hawaii, is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This beautiful park features two active.
Hiking is one of the best free things to do on the Big Island. You can choose from caldera rims, desert-like lava fields, cave-like lava tubes, gorgeous lookout points, and lush rainforest. A favorite is the waterfalls. The Kings Trail was built by King Kamehameha using criminal labor in the 19th century.
Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers visitors a front-row seat to the regions striking natural beauty. Home to everything from lush rain forest and.
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Swing By The Oldest Christian Church In Hawaii
Mokuaikaua Church is the oldest Christian church in Hawaii. Dating back to 1820, it is connected to the first ship of American missionaries to land on the shores of the island, who were given permission to teach Christianity by King Kamehamaha II.
The church continues to be in use to this day, but if you just want to check it out you can join a tour of the island which includes the church. A tour will give you the opportunity to learn in more detail about the history of the church, and the people who ran it from its origins.
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