10 Best Outdoor Activities on the Big Island

The Big Island is all about the outdoors, and with varied terrain and landscape it's easy to find a ton of things to do outside. Ocean lovers can swim, body surf, body board, and surf. Hikers can find plenty of options for trails that range from easy and light to tough. From ocean side hikes to vertical cliff side trails, there's a hike for everyone. The island also offers an array of beautiful, secluded locales for picnics, lazing about, games and watching sunsets.

At Honoli'i Beach Park in Hilo, the river is a lovely place  for beachcombing for sea glass and shells. During small surf the waves in front of the river mouth are perfect for surf novices. A grassy lawn by the lifeguard stand is a great place for picnics and suntanning.

One of the best places for snorkeling on the Big Island is Mahukona Beach Park along the Kohala Coast. It's not exactly a beach, being that a cement slab towers over the water which is accessible by an exciting leap into it or a ladder to clime down. The underwater world here is vibrant and bustling with tropical fish.

There's a number of things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hiking trails of various levels, picnics, and views of steaming craters will keep visitors busy for a day.

From the mountains to the ocean, the Big Island offers a wonderful rainbow of outdoor things to do.



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

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



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



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 Summit
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Towering over the Big Island at over 13,000 feet elevation is the summit of Mauna Kea, the largest mountain in the world. As the island's most prominent volcano, it is home to spectacular panoramic views, multiple observatories occupied by...  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

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

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

Green Sand Beach
Photo courtesy of Tiffany Mueller


Also known as Papakolea Beach, Green Sand Beach is a magical cove far off the beaten path in South Point. Located between Kau and Kailua-Kona, the beach is accessible only by four wheel drive, yet it's an easy drive out. The beach's sand is made...  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


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