5 Areas You Should Know About on the Big Island

So, you’re planning a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii? Excellent choice! This island is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, unique towns, and incredible experiences. With so much to explore, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to go first. Fear not! I’m here to give you the lowdown on the five must-visit areas on the Big Island: Volcanoes, North Island, Kona, Hilo, and Puna.

1. Volcanoes: Nature’s Fiery Playground

First up, we have the Volcanoes. If you’re a fan of dramatic landscapes and raw, untamed nature, this is your spot. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is where you’ll find Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Picture this: walking on hardened lava fields, steam vents hissing around you, and if you’re lucky, seeing molten lava flowing (from a safe distance, of course). It’s like stepping onto another planet.

Kilauea Iki

2. North Island: The Green Escape

Next, let’s head to the North Island. Think lush green valleys, towering waterfalls, and charming little towns. Waipi’o Valley is the crown jewel here. You can view this breathtaking valley with its black sand beach and stunning scenery. It’s like a slice of untouched paradise. Then there’s the town of Hawi, where you can grab some local goodies, check out art galleries, and feel the laid-back vibe. Pololu Valley is another must-see, with its breathtaking lookout and a trail that takes you down to yet another gorgeous black sand beach. Trust me, your camera will get a workout here.

3. Kona: Sun, Sand, and Coffee

Now, let’s talk about Kona. Ah, Kona – land of sunshine, beaches, and world-famous coffee. Start your day with a cup of Kona coffee, brewed fresh from one of the local plantations. You’ll never look at your regular coffee the same way again. Then, hit the beaches. Magic Sands Beach is perfect for some sunbathing and bodyboarding, while Kahalu’u Beach Park is a snorkeler’s dream with colorful fish and honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) galore. And if you’re into history, the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park gives you a glimpse into ancient Hawaiian culture with its well-preserved artifacts and stunning ocean views. Oh, and don’t forget to catch a sunset – it’s pure magic.

4. Hilo: Waterfalls and Rainforests

Hilo, on the east side of the island, is a whole different vibe. It’s rainier, yes, but that’s what makes it so lush and green. Plus, the rain brings waterfalls – lots of them. Rainbow Falls is right in town and easily accessible. If you’re up for a bit of a drive, head to Akaka Falls State Park to see the majestic 442-foot Akaka Falls. It’s like nature’s version of a grand spectacle. Hilo’s also home to some cool attractions like the Liliuokalani Gardens, a beautiful Japanese garden that’s perfect for a peaceful stroll. And the Hilo Farmers Market? A must-visit for fresh produce, local crafts, and some serious tropical vibes. Just don’t forget your umbrella!

5. Puna: Off the Beaten Path

Last but definitely not least, we have Puna. This area is a bit off the beaten path, but that’s part of its charm. It’s rugged, quirky, and full of surprises. The Kapoho Tide Pools used to be a snorkeler’s paradise before they were covered by lava in 2018. But fear not – you can still explore the new black sand beaches and geothermal hot ponds. Lava Tree State Monument is another quirky spot, with tree molds left behind by old lava flows. And then there’s the town of Pahoa, where you can grab a bite at one of the funky eateries and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Puna’s also a great place to see the island’s newest landscapes – where fresh lava meets the sea, creating new land before your very eyes. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s pure Hawaii.

Now That You Know…

There you have it – five areas on the Big Island that you absolutely need to know about. From the fiery volcanoes and lush northern valleys to the sunny beaches of Kona, the waterfalls of Hilo, and the rugged beauty of Puna, each area has its own unique charm and adventures waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or just someone looking to soak up some island vibes, the Big Island has something for everyone. Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey.



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