10 Best Things to See and Do on the Big Island

Hawaii's largest island is big enough to fit the rest of the Hawaiian Islands inside of it - twice. And it's this abundance of land that creates the island's diverse beauty that varies with the changing terrain. Enhancing the diversity is the array of climates - the Big Island has the majority of all the climates in the world, bringing snowy volcanoes, lush valleys, sandy beaches, and a range of flora and fauna.

Whether you're looking for a day alongside a fresh valley river, or sunset atop a volcano, you can find it on the the Big Island, the youngest of the main Hawaiian Islands. To explore a sacred valley with a black sand beach, make the trek to Pololu Valley Lookout or Waipio Valley.

For some spectacular beach time to bask in the sun and sand at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. Here you'll be treated to a long crescent shaped beach blanketed in fine white sand. Another option just down the road is 69 Beach. This secluded white sand beach is a more peaceful option to Hapuna.

10 Best can also guide visitors about 13,000 feet up to the Mauna Kea Summit & Onizuka Visitor Center to gaze through telescopes across the island and end the day with the most amazing sunset you may ever see.

No matter what you're looking for - sand and surf, snow and sunsets, or flora and fauna - 10 Best will help you find it on the Big Island.



Over 200 vendors of all kinds frequent the Hilo Farmers Market. This outdoor market is like many restaurants combined into one. Thai food, vegetarian, coffee, desserts, Hawaiian food and other cuisines can be found here. Although it's open...  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

North Big Island


Mahukona Beach Park is a highly unique and intriguing place. Contrary to its name, there's actually no beach. It's a cement laden park along the water that blends naturally beauty and history. The underwater world here is one of the best...  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

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



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

Mauna Kea State Recreation Area


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

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


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