Big Island: Places to Explore

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Few visitors realize that in addition to "the volcano"(Kilauea)—that mountain oozing new layers of lava onto its flanks—there's also Volcano, the village. Conveniently located next to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Volcano village is a charming little hamlet in the woods that offers a dozen or so excellent inns and bed-and-breakfasts, a decent (although strangely expensive) Thai restaurant, some killer (although strangely expensive) pizza, and a handful of things to see and do that don't include the village's namesake.

For years, writers, artists and meditative types have been coming to the volcano to seek inspiration, and many of them have settled in and around the village. Artist studios (open to the public by appointment) are scattered in the forest.

If you plan to visit the Halemaumau summit crater at night (which you absolutely should if it's glowing), or drive down Chain of Craters Road to the coast to see the lava steaming into the sea, spending a night in Volcano village is the ideal way to go about it.

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