Explore volcanos, beaches, valleys and exotic gardens on the Big Island



Considering that the Big Island is more than twice the size of all the other islands combined, it's no surprise that sightseeing on Hawaii Island is a seemingly endless venture. Luckily, 10Best is here to guide you to the best sights all over the island. From the mountains to the ocean, beautiful sights can be taken in and enjoyed, many of them in seclusion.

If you're the type who enjoys a four wheel drive or a steep walk to be rewarded with a secluded black sand beach and waterfall, then Waipio Valley along the Hamakua Coast is for you. A huge valley housing history and culture, Waipio is a haven from the busy outside world and offers a peak at what once was on the Big Island.

Up at the Mauna Kea Summit Visitors Center at the top of the highest mountain in the world (from the bottom of the ocean), the most exquisite sunset views can be taken in, as well as a celestial show from the large telescopes available for guests. The drive up alone is beautiful, winding by views you wouldn't expect from the island. And hey, you're on a volcano.

For ocean lovers, Anaeho`omalu and Waikoloa Beach are made up of long stretches of fine sand and surfing waves. Come here to tan and play in the waters of Kona.

Take advantage of the ease we're providing to hunt out the ten best sights on the Big Island.


Nani Mau Gardens
Photo courtesy of Mark McElroy


Makato Nitahara, owner and masterful green thumb behind this exquisite garden, began planting tropical flowers in this former papaya patch more than two decades ago. Today, he estimates that his 2000-plus species of plants and flowers represent...  Read More




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




One of the more unique zoos you'll visit, Pana'ewa Reserve allows a glimpse of life in a tropical rainforest, making it the only such facility in the United States. More than 80 species of animals call the reserve "home," including Namaste (a...  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 windsailing. Several popular resort...  Read More


Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park


In times of yore, those in trouble � women, thieves, and escaped prisoners trying to evade capture � could find safe haven within the walls of this sacred burial ground, wherein lie the remains of Keawe, forefather of the legendary...  Read More




Founded in 1974, VAC is dedicated to preserving � and promoting worldwide awareness of � the Hawaiian Islands' rich artistic history. The center hosts a variety of monthly exhibits and art sales that showcase paintings, wood...  Read More


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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area
Mauna Kea Summit & Onizuka Visitor Center
Photo courtesy of Makuahine Pa'i Ki'i


From the ocean floor to Mauna Kea's 14,000 foot summit, this majestic mountain is the world's tallest. Its elevation, combined with its relative isolation from air pollution, also makes it one of the world's foremost locations for stargazing, a...  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


Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Encompassing more than 350 square acres, this tumultuous national park is one of the most photographed locales in the Hawaiian chain. For more than 70 million years, volcanic heat and pressure from inside the earth have molded the dramatic...  Read More


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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


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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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