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In Hawaii you will be welcomed by a gallery of volcanoes, stargazing, whale watching and waterfalls. Welcome to the ultimate guide to the Big Island!
Which Is The Big Island Of Hawaii
Hawaii Island is larger than the rest of the Hawaiian Islands combined, and then some. They have a lot of fans on the Big Island and I am one of them. The Big Island is for coffee connoisseurs, astronomers, whale watchers, volcanologists, manta rays and tourists looking for white sand beaches.
Big Island Of Hawai’i
Do you want to go for a walk Use our handy index below to find what you’re looking for.
A step-by-step itinerary takes you to the best beaches, dive sites, restaurants and attractions. No matter how limited your time is, you’ll have six carefully planned days of travel so you don’t miss any stops.
Get all our travel information and downloads for an unforgettable and easily planned trip to Hawaii (Big Island).
Rock your plane seat or lose your night with these facts about the island of Hawaii:
Where To Stay On The Big Island Of Hawaii: Information, Tips & More
The Big Island is aptly named: it has 63% of Hawaii’s total land mass. This means it is bigger than all the other islands. The island gets bigger when a new volcano erupts.
The Big Island has five major volcanoes and six major regions: Kona, Kohala, Hamakua Beach, Hilo, Puna, and Kau.
Like all Hawaiian islands, it has two sides: the leeward and the windward. The coastal side of the island is drier and the windward side is wetter.
Welcome to Sunshine. The Kona area covers most of the island and includes beaches, dive sites, coffee farms and cultural attractions. Here you will find one of two airports, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA). Its proximity to the airport, activities and weather make it one of the most popular destinations on the island.
Best Hikes — Big Island Hikes
Protected from flooding, you’ll find warm weather, mostly clear skies, and calm beaches perfect for swimming (here are Kona’s best beaches). Among the cool hills, you can explore the coffee farms that are common in the region. Enjoy a beautiful historic site, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.
North of Kona is the island’s coastline, Kohala Beach, sometimes known as the Gold Coast because of the number of five-star resorts in the area. It is also home to some of the best beaches on the island, including Hapuna Beach with its white sand and beautiful blue water. Note that some of these beaches are affected by strong currents and waves during the winter months and are unsafe for swimming.
Head further inland and leave the resorts behind and discover the other side of Kohala County with the cowboy (paniola) town of Waimea, the charming town of Hawi and the sacred Pololu Valley.
Here you are off the coast of the island, now in a beautiful, tropical breeze. Hamakua Beach is known for its coastline, waterfalls and scenic views. Waipio Valley, known as the childhood home of King Kamehameha I, is also located here.
Things To Do On The Big Island + Most Popular Activities (2023)
The largest city on the north side, you’ll find Hilo International Airport (ITO), which serves airports between the islands and the west coast. This small town has a great downtown and is also the starting point for many attractions in the region, including Volcanoes National Park. Check out our Hilo day trip itinerary for things to do.
South of Hilo is the Puna area, known for its fertile land. Here you will find many farms growing flowers, macadamia and papaya. You can also visit the Kalapana lava viewing area, a historic site that was once partially destroyed by lava.
This southern region is quiet but home to two main attractions: the black sand beach of Punalu and much of Volcanoes National Park (including Kilauea). You can also find coffee farms, poppy farms and hiking trails. Great hotels, golf courses or an exciting city.
If you visit a place that has four seasons each year, Hawaii has only two: summer (kau) and winter (hooilo). Summer lasts from May to October and winter from November to April.
The Big Island Of Hawaii
Fortunately, the weather on the Big Island is warm and pleasant year-round, so there really isn’t a bad time to visit. But our favorite months to visit are May and October because there are less visitors, the weather is perfect and it is very cheap to travel during this season.
Get all the details on the best (and worst) time to visit the Big Island, plus our tips on when to visit for whale watching, ice cream, and the lowest prices!
The weather in Kona is sunny and warm all year round, although the winter months can be a bit rainy and a bit cold. It is an ideal place to plan a winter vacation. You’ll find drier conditions at Kohala Beach, but be prepared for some surfing in the winter.
However, if you plan to visit the windward side in winter, you will find it colder and rainier. But this is exactly what makes this side of the island so beautiful and beautiful.
T&c Travel Guide: Hawaii’s Big Island 2023
The Big Island has two (two!) airports to choose from. The main airport serving the largest number of visitors is Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA). The airport is located seven miles northwest of Kailua Kona and serves the islands as well as domestic and international destinations.
On the other side of the island, about two miles east of Hilo, is the Hilo International Airport (ITO). This airport serves inter-island destinations and some domestic airports on the west coast.
If you want to see all that the Big Island has to offer, having a car will be essential. Our favorite tip is to rent a car in Hawaii. We use it while living on the island and it has saved us thousands of dollars over the years.
Although the island is large, you can tour it in a day by taking the north road, the south road or the central road of the island. Driving north from Kona to Hilo will take about 2 hours. You can cut your trip down to 1.5 hours if you go overland, but you’ll miss out on some of the sights along the Hamakua Heritage Corridor.
Love Big Island: Local Travel + Vacation Guide For Hawai’i Island
The roads on the Big Island are mostly paved and easy to drive in any type of car – no four wheel drive required! There are places where a four-wheel drive vehicle is desirable or necessary, but many attractions can be visited with standard bicycles.
If you don’t want to rent a car but still want to get out and see the sights, a tour is a great option. Our favorite tour that will pick you up from your hotel is the Big Island Circle Tour.
Ready to book your Big Island stay? There are many different options: a vacation rental in coffee country, a tiny lava house, a five-star resort, or a boutique hotel. Whatever you’re looking for, the Big Island has something for you.
The island has something for everyone. The Big Island has five-star resorts, luxury hotels and luxury vacation rentals. But which is the right place for you?
Big Island, Hawaii: Our Essential Guide
The first thing you need to decide is whether you are looking for a hotel or a vacation rental. There is no bad choice. If you are looking for a traditional resort experience with large pools, nearby beaches and restaurants, look no further than the hotel. Whether you’re looking to get into the kitchen, looking for space, or just want to save money, choose a vacation rental.
If you’re still not sure what to do, learn the difference between choosing a hotel and vacation rental in Hawaii.
After reading our geography (above), you know that the island has a charming and windy side. The Leeward side is drier and includes Kailua-Kona and the Kohala Coast. Here are the most popular places for visitors to stay, but are they the right places for you?
Check out our must-see destinations for accommodation options in different parts of the island: from luxury resorts on the Kohala Coast to unique views on the windward side.
Best Things To Do On The Big Island Of Hawaii In 2023
When planning a trip to the Big Island, your must-see list will be long. The more you read about this beautiful island, the more you will add it to your list of things to do and see. Therefore, we recommend that you spend at least a week on the Big Island. This will give you
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