Beautiful view of Papakolea Green sand beach in the big island of Hawaii, USA.

14 Best Things to Do on the Big Island, Hawaii

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Discover the 14 Best Things to Do on the Big Island, Hawaii, and experience the magic of this tropical paradise. From breathtaking landscapes to cultural experiences, we’ve got you covered!


Welcome to the Big Island, Hawaii, a destination that promises unforgettable adventures and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or someone seeking pure relaxation, this island has it all. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the 14 best things to do on the Big Island, ensuring you make the most of your visit and create cherished memories.

Hiking Adventures in the Lush Rainforests

The Big Island boasts diverse ecosystems, and its rainforests are a true marvel. Embark on a hiking adventure through the lush trails of Akaka Falls State Park and witness the majestic Akaka Falls, plunging 442 feet into a gorge. Don’t miss the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can hike through the Thurston Lava Tube and marvel at the Kilauea Caldera.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Pristine Waters

The crystal-clear waters surrounding the Big Island offer some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving experiences in the world. Head to Kealakekua Bay, a marine sanctuary teeming with colorful marine life and vibrant coral reefs. Snorkel alongside dolphins and sea turtles, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Embrace the Magnificence of Manta Ray Night Dives

For a truly unforgettable experience, take part in a Manta Ray night dive. Witness these graceful creatures glide through the waters, illuminated by underwater lights, as they feed on plankton. It’s a surreal encounter that will leave you in awe of nature’s wonders.

Experience the Cultural Richness at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Delve into Hawaii’s rich history and culture at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. This sacred site served as a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers seeking forgiveness. Explore the beautifully restored temples, royal fishponds, and wooden carvings that offer a glimpse into the island’s fascinating past.

Sunset at Mauna Kea Summit

The summit of Mauna Kea offers a breathtaking vantage point to witness one of nature’s most stunning displays: a radiant sunset. As the day comes to a close, watch the sky paint hues of orange, pink, and purple over the vast horizon.

Explore the Green Sand Beach at Papakolea

Papakolea Beach, also known as the Green Sand Beach, is a rare gem on the Big Island. The beach gets its distinctive hue from the presence of olivine crystals. The trek to this secluded beach is an adventure in itself, making your arrival even more rewarding.

Coffee Plantation Tour in Kona

Indulge in the world-renowned Kona coffee by taking a tour of a local coffee plantation. Learn about the art of cultivating coffee beans and enjoy freshly brewed cups of this aromatic beverage.

Experience the Thrill of Waterfalls

The Big Island is home to numerous stunning waterfalls, each with its own allure. Don’t miss Rainbow Falls, where you can see rainbows form in the mist. Also, visit the stunning Umauma Falls, surrounded by lush botanical gardens.

Stargazing at Mauna Kea Observatory

Mauna Kea’s high elevation and clear skies make it a prime location for stargazing. Join a stargazing tour at the Mauna Kea Observatory and witness the mesmerizing night sky unfold before your eyes.

Marvel at the Wonders of Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, a paradise of rare and exotic plants from around the world. Walk along scenic paths, admire vibrant blooms, and breathe in the refreshing scents of nature.

Experience Authentic Luau and Hula Dancing

Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by attending an authentic luau. Indulge in traditional Hawaiian cuisine, witness captivating hula performances, and join in the celebration of Hawaiian traditions.

Visit the Hulihee Palace

Step back in time with a visit to the Hulihee Palace, a historic site that once served as a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Explore the regal artifacts and learn about the island’s royal history.

Relax on the Pristine Beaches

No trip to the Big Island is complete without spending some quality time on its beautiful beaches. From the black sands of Punaluu Beach to the white sands of Hapuna Beach, you’ll find the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the sun.


Is the Big Island safe for tourists?

Yes, the Big Island is generally safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s essential to remain vigilant and practice common-sense safety measures. Avoid leaving valuables in your car, stay away from risky areas at night, and be cautious while swimming in the ocean.

When is the best time to visit the Big Island?

The best time to visit the Big Island is during the dry season, which typically runs from April to October. This period offers pleasant weather and optimal conditions for outdoor activities.

How can I get around the island?

Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore the Big Island. However, there are also public buses and shuttle services available for certain routes.

Are there any volcano tours on the Big Island?

Yes, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers guided volcano tours. These tours allow you to witness the volcanic landscape up close while ensuring your safety.

Can I swim with dolphins in the wild?

While it’s possible to encounter dolphins while snorkeling or swimming in the ocean, it’s essential to remember that these are wild animals. Respect their space and refrain from approaching or touching them.

Are there any restrictions when visiting sacred sites?

Yes, when visiting sacred sites like Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, it’s crucial to respect the cultural significance and follow any posted guidelines. Avoid touching artifacts or climbing on structures.


The Big Island, Hawaii, is a dream destination for travelers seeking unparalleled beauty and adventure. From exploring lush rainforests and snorkeling in pristine waters to witnessing breathtaking sunsets and immersing yourself in the rich Hawaiian culture, this island has something to offer every visitor. Embrace the magic of the Big Island and create memories that will stay with you forever.

So pack your bags, put on your adventure hat, and get ready to experience the 14 best things to do on the Big Island, Hawaii, for an unforgettable journey in paradise.

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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.