10 Best Attractions near Big Island Cruise Ports

The cruise ports in both Hilo and Kona are centrally located near many things to see and do in both Hilo and Kona. Being in close proximity to the piers allows visitors arriving by cruise ship for the day to explore beaches and historic sites. Since the ports are close to the airports, visitors can rent a car, or even easier, book a taxi for the short drive into town. A day off the ship can be spent snorkeling, watch surfers, shopping, and relaxing in parks and secluded temples.

If you're looking to take a refreshing dip in the ocean, Coconut Island or Honoli'i is the place for you. Families will have fun relaxing at Coconut Island, while those who'd like to watch surfing will enjoy Honoli'i. For a picturesque beach experience, Hapuna Beach State Park along the Kohala Coast provides white sand and pavilions. 

History buffs and travelers intrigued by culture will love the Mo'okini Heiau. This sacred Hawaiian temple is three stories, and was crafted to worship the god Ku, the most revered by Hawaiian. This a place to take in history and serenity in this secluded place.

Visitors from cruise ships will have plenty of options for things to do, and can see and do a lot in Hilo and Kona in just a few hours off the ship. Just remember to bring a towel, bathing suit, and camera when reaching land.



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. A new playground has been added and coupled with the petting zoo, it's an ideal...  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

Volcano National Park
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Encompassing 520 square miles, this 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 landscape, which includes...  Read More



Coconut Island is a lovely beach, park and place to picnic and relax in Hilo. A small island connected to the Big Island by foot bridge, the park is a popular place for swimming, BBQs, gatherings and community events. The center of the...  Read More



Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo is a beautiful and tranquil 34-acre Japanese garden. The ornamental gardens are named for Queen Liliuokalani, a Hawaiian monarch and it is dedicated to the many Japanese immigrants living in Hilo. The garden was...  Read More



Scenic Banyan Drive, which loops around Hilo Bay's Waiakea Peninsula, is named after more than 50 Banyan Trees that line it. The ground roots of these eerie hardwood trees extend like Gothic snakes across the sand, and long, spindly aerial roots...  Read More

Mo'okini Heiau


This three-story stone temple, erected more than 1500 years ago, stands as one of the oldest structures in the state. Built to honor Ku (the Hawaiian god of war), it was the setting for countless rituals and observances, including human...  Read More

Kahalu'u Beach Park


Easily one of the Big Island's most popular beaches, Kahalu'u offers parking, equipment rental stalls, a covered pavilion, and a snack bar. A reef far offshore prevents the waters from getting too rough, making a terrific snorkeling opportunity....  Read More

Honoli'i Beach Park
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Honoli'i is a true Big Island Beach, meaning that it makes the best out of a lot of rocks and a little big of sand. But, Honoli'i is truly beautiful and provides a great experience. The beach is down a rather long flight of steps that weaves...  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


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