Say Aloha to Hawaii: The Big Island
So many islands and so little time? Hawaii is a great answer to the often asked question of where to spend your vacation time. In our previous post about Hawaii, we focused on Oahu, a great tourist destination with plenty to do. In this blog, we’ll turn our attention to The Big Island, perfect for adventurous nature-lovers who want to take in the unique beauty of the island.
1. Volcanoes National Park – Visit this nature-filled park for a day full of fun, learning, and activity. If you only have a few hours to spare, explore the Kilauea volcano by car via Crater Rim Drive. You can step out for some short walks into the crater and see the steam vents created by the underground pressure. If you have a little more time, spend the day at the park hiking, viewing lava from the Jaggar Museum observatory, and maybe even catching an eruption from the active Halema’uma’u Crater.
2. Akaka Falls State Park - For just $1 for walk-ins and $5 for a car load, you can explore nature on a one hour hike in Akaka Falls State Park. Along the path you’ll discover Kahuna Falls, a 100-foot waterfall worthy of your vacation photo album. Next, you’ll approach the 442-foot Akaka Falls, Hawaii’s most famous waterfall. If you approach the falls at the right time, you may even catch a rainbow.
3. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach – Because of the volcanic activity, Hawaii offers beautiful beaches with white sand, green sand, and black sand. Just south of the Volcanoes National Park, the famous Punalu’u Beach boasts jet black shores and huge Hawaiian sea turtles. While you can’t touch the sea turtles, you can get pretty close to them and respectfully enjoy their presence. The water isn’t ideal for swimming, but you won’t want to miss the unique opportunity to see and feel the black sand. Make sure to keep your shoes nearby because the sand can get pretty hot!
4. Mauna Kea Summit – Whether you’re staying on the less populated Hilo, or more touristy Kona side of the island, Mauna Kea Summit Adventures has a convenient pick up spot. You’ll embark upon an unforgettable journey led by professional guides with extensive knowledge of the mountain, the stars, and all that’s in between. You’ll see the sun set into the clouds beneath you and gaze through a telescope at the craters of the moon, and sometimes even the rings around Saturn. This eight hour excursion will provide a lifetime of memories.
5. Snorkeling Cruises – Leaving from Keauhou Bay, Fairwind Cruises depart in the morning or afternoon for a day of underwater adventure. A 15’ water slide or high dive are two of the exciting options you have to enter the water full of a variety of fish and sea life. Every excursion is different than the last, and to make sure you don’t miss anything, there will be an underwater camera capturing all of it. Enjoy snacks aboard the vessel and complimentary inner tubs and floatation devices for your safety. At the end of your trip, you’ll get to view the underwater footage of your crew and your newfound underwater friends.
Do you have favorite destinations on the Big Island? Tell us here!