The Big Island of Hawaii
The island of Hawaii is referred to as the “Big Island.” Hawaii owns this title as the biggest island because of its size – more than 4000 square miles and also the largest island in the United States.
However, the title of “Big Island” can also be attributed to the variety of things to see and do. On the big island of Hawaii, you have a host of options from viewing surface lava from a volcano to hiking through lush rainforests in Hilo. From snow-capped mountains to sugar-sand beaches, Hawaii earned the name of “Big Island.”
Volcanic Activity – On the big island of Hawaii, you have the opportunity to view surface lava flow. A visit to the Hawaii’s Volcano National Park will leave you speechless. Getting the opportunity to view volcanic activity is, in a way, a method to pay homage to what created Hawaii in the first place, not to mention it is a sight you will never forget.
Hawaiian Hiking – When you envision Hawaii in your mind, chances are you mostly think upon the endless stretches of beach. The big island is so much more than just sand and water. If you are an expert hiker or even if you are a first-time hiker, you will want to visit the Kilauea’iki Trail.
You can travel through the plush forest and get to climb in and out of the Kilauea’iki crater. How’s that for getting up close and personal with volcanic history in Hawaii?
Kau Desert – If you have adventure in your soul, you may want to consider a hike through Kau Desert. Within close proximity to a rain forest, this is an amazing sight to see. With ocean on one side and cliffs on another, you need to be a well-prepared seasoned hiker to cross through. This desert is the site of unfortunate historic happenings surrounding a volcanic eruption.
Of course, there are all the tourist attractions that are typical of Hawaii such as every water sport imaginable and sites that are steeped in history and culture, which Hawaii goes above and beyond to preserve.
If you get the rare opportunity to visit the island of Niihau, you are fortunate indeed. The island of Niihau is a privately owned island that has maintained its simple lifestyle based on Hawaiian tradition and culture.
While some travelers set off to go camping in order to soak in the idea of roughing it, a visit to Niihau is the real deal. There is no technology on the island with no plans of changing that any time soon either.
Known as the “Forbidden Isle,” Niihau is available to tourists on a limited basis. You can visit the isle either by receiving private invitation from the family or through one of the limited tours available to tourists. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in secluded waters or hope to spy some of the endangered species that call the island home.
Kauai gets to boast being the fourth largest island in Hawaii and also the fourth favorite of tourist visitors. Known as the “Garden Island,” Kauai is full of plush green vegetation and breathtaking waterfalls.
Na Pali Coastline – The miles of coastline that make up Na Pali coast are made up of millions of years of weather worn elements courtesy of Mother Nature. Here you can view breathtaking cliffs, plush greenery, exquisite waterfalls and secret caves.
Waimea Canyon – The Waimea Canyon is quite a sight to see being 14 miles long and more than 3,500 feet deep. You can take in panoramic views of the canyon as you stand on the overlook. If you are up for a hike, you can visit Kokee State Park where wildflowers wait to greet you as you make your way to view the breathtaking scenery of the canyon on your hike.
Hanalei Bay – If you love everything that involves water, then Hanalei Bay is where you want to be; with its mesmerizing bay and mountain backdrop, you can enjoy swimming and powerful surfing opportunities here.
Oahu is probably the most beloved of the islands with popular spots to visit such as Waikiki, Honolulu, and Pearl Harbor.
Diamond Head – Diamond Head is probably the most well-known volcano that is easily associated with Waikiki. The perfect combination of hiking and partaking in exquisite views, Diamond Head should be on every adventurer’s list of things to do.
Iolani Palace – Iolani Palace is part of what makes up the history and culture of Hawaii. If you need a break from volcanoes and beaches, then a visit to the palace is sure to be a breath of fresh air. You will learn about how royalty lived as part of Hawaii’s past.
Pearl Harbor – Just about everyone knows about the history of Pearl Harbor; however, knowing and seeing it are two different things. The USS Arizona is the most visited tourist attraction in Hawaii, and rightfully so as it depicts the history of World War II. As the final resting place of over one thousand men in the attack on Pearl Harbor, it is an honorable site indeed.
The Island of Maui gets to boast the title of second largest island. There is something mystical about the island of Maui from the winding roads to the sacred pools.
The Seven Sacred Pools – The seven sacred pools are part of the reason Maui is considered magical and mystical. These pools are beyond what words can describe. From the mountains to the ocean with reflective pools and beautiful waterfalls in between, this is a sight to experience. Swimming in these pools only makes the experience all the richer.
The Road to Hana – What would a destination be without a journey. Travel the well-known road to Hana and see why this winding road that carries you around the curves and over the bridges is so well loved. Stop by to see sights such as Wainapanapa State Park and Black Sand Beach, Hana Bay and the Seven Sacred Pools.
Kalaupapa Peninsula – Coming in at number five in size is the island of Molokai. A scenic visit is what you will get as you travel by mule down the Kalaupapa Peninsula. However, there is more than just beautiful scenery here. There is history steeped in compassion. Father Damien, a Belgian priest was the hero of this island. He devoted his life to the care of those stricken with leprosy. You can visit the National Historic Site.
Kamakou Preserve – If you are interested in off-the-beaten path adventures, hiking and rainforests, than this is the site for you to visit. Here you can view the surroundings, such as rare native birds, blossoms and plants.
Molokai Ka Hula Piko – As always, anywhere you go in Hawaii, there is culture and tradition. In May, there is a cultural festival that celebrates the origin and traditional folk lore that is Hula. You can enjoy music and dance Hawaiian style at this festival.
While Lanai might sound unfamiliar, it is actually in the top five islands to visit in Hawaii. The Lanai Culture and Heritage Center will give you more information that you had imagined about all the richness of Hawaiian culture.
Polihua Beach with its breathtaking scenery, golf courses that will entice you and art galleries to appeal to your intellect are all waiting for you on Lanai.
Last but certainly not least is the island of Kahoolawe. This island (among others) fits into the category of most likely to be unseen. This island is uninhabited and visitors are either limited or restricted; however, there is hope for the completion and funding of a restoration project.
So, if you thought Hawaii was only about hula, beach, sand and surf, you now have several other ideas to envision the next time you think of Hawaii.