10 Best Free Things to do on the Big Island

As the least developed of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island is home to an abundance of jaw dropping natural beauty, and it's mostly accessible free of charge. From vast valleys to white sand beaches and volcano craters, you'll find not shortage of things to see and do for free on the Big Island.

Visitors looking to be beach bums while on vacation will find satisfaction as gorgeous beaches such as 69 Beach and Hapuna Beach State Recreation area along the Kona Coast. While the former is smaller and offers more privacy, the latter is a full blown beach park will full amenities to make a long day at the beach comfortable.

Far inland lies the Jaggar Museum, resting along the edge of a still steaming volcano crater called Halema'uma'u. Inside guests can learn the complete history behind the volcano, along with scientific information, all free of charge. Down along the Puna Coast, the picturesque swimming spot known as the Champagne Pond is an adventure to be had as well as a gorgeous day at the beach.

Those looking for low budget vacations will be happy with the Big Island, since it's lacking in a lot of the shopping and entrance fee demanding attractions that are found on other islands.

Hamakua Coast
Waipi'o Valley

The Big Island version of the Valley of the Kings, Waipi'o has long maintained a special place in the hearts of locals. Steeped in legend, the deep, narrow valley stretches some 5-plus miles, flanked on either side by towering rock walls. The...  Read More

69 Beach
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt

A long crescent shaped beach with fine white sand, and semi private coves between trees reaching to the water, 69 Beach is a sort of off-the-beaten-path but still popular beach in Kona. It's come a long way over the years, and now has an...  Read More

Make it to the end of scenic Highway 270 and experience the majesty of the Big Island's dramatic Kohala coastline. High above waves that crash onto jagged rocks are several lookout areas that offer sweeping vistas of verdant cliffs and...  Read More

One of the Big Island's top beaches, A-Bay is known for metallic, yellow-hued sands that earn it the nickname "Gold Coast." The bay's crystal blue waters are ideal for snorkeling, scuba, kayaking, surfing, and wind surfing. Several popular...  Read More

This state park, hidden away in a dense forested area just northwest of Hilo along the gorgeous Hamakua Coast, features two of the Big Island's most majestic scenes: Kahuna Falls and 'Akaka Falls. The former, easily the smaller of the two,...  Read More

Lava Tree State Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt

Yes, trees covered in lava. Well, there aren't trees left in the lava, the lava gathered around them in the shape of the trees and the trees burned away, leaving hollow vertical lava tubes standing all over the park. The trail is just over a...  Read More

Hapuna Beach, nestled between Kawaihae and Puako, is known for being one of the cleanest, most family-friendly beaches on the Big Island. Its smooth, white sands extend far out into the surf, so wading in the shallows is easy on your feet....  Read More

Champagne Pond
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt

Nestled along the Puna Coast is perhaps the best swimming area on this side of the island, the Champagne Pond. A quite huge natural pond with a natural rock bottom, a rocky beach area on one side and backed by rock walls in the back, the pond is...  Read More

Just a short drive outside of downtown Hilo, the Wailuku River penetrates dense tropical undergrowth and cascades more than 80 feet into a picturesque gorge. The emerald green pool at the base of the falls used to be a popular swimming hole,...  Read More

Jaggar Museum at Volcano National Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt

As one of the busiest locations in the park, the Jaggar Museum is a hot spot with intriguing displays to view. The museum is all about volcanology with displays of equipment used by scientists in the past to study the volcano, working...  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade

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