Big Island Sights

Nicknamed "The Big Island," Hawaii Island is a microcosm of Hawaii the state. From long white-sand beaches and crystal-clear bays to rain forests, waterfalls, valleys, exotic flowers, and birds, all things quintessentially Hawaii are well represented here.

An assortment of happy surprises also distinguishes the Big Island from the rest of Hawaii—an active volcano (Kilauea) oozing red

lava and creating new earth every day, the clearest place in the world to view stars in the night sky (Mauna Kea), and some seriously good coffee from the famous Kona district, and also from neighboring Kau.

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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Kona Coast 29

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North Kona 1

South Kona and Kealakekua Bay 17

Hilo 25

Kailua-Kona 13

Hamakua Coast 12

Kohala Coast 8

Puna 6

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 5

Kau 5

Mauna Kea 4

Waimea 4

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Category

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 4

Beach–Sight 25

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 4

Building/ Architectural Site 1

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Cave 2

Cemetery 1

Farm/ Ranch 7

Festival–Sight 1

Forest 1

Garden/ Arboretum 6

Historic District/ Site 6

Hotel–Sight 1

Industrial Site/ Mill/ Factory 2

Information Center 4

Island 1

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 2

Market/ Bazaar 1

Memorial/ Monument/ Tomb 3

Military Site 1

Mountain–Sight 1

Museum/ Gallery 8

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 1

Observatory/ Planetarium 3

Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 13

Park/ Playground 2

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 6

Scenic Drive/ Tour 1

Store/ Shop/ Mall 1

Tour–Sight 5

Town/ Village 7

Trail/ Path 2

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 2

Volcano 1

Winery/ Brewery/ Distillery 1

Zoo/ Aquarium 1

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Family 19

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Big Island Sights

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Volcano Farmers' Market

  • Market/Bazaar

Local produce, flowers, crafts, and food products, including fresh-baked breads, pastries, coffee, and homemade Thai specialties, are...

Volcano Garden Arts

  • Garden/Arboretum

This delightful gallery and garden lend credence to Volcano's reputation as an artists' haven. Located on beautifully landscaped grounds...

Volcano Winery

  • Winery/Brewery/Distillery

Volcanic soil may not seem ideal for the cultivation of grapes, but that hasn't stopped this winery from producing some interesting vintages...

W. M. Keck Observatory Headquarters Vistors Center

  • Observatory/Planetarium

Visit the Waimea-based headquarters of the twin Keck Observatory 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes (the largest and most scientitically...

Wailoa Center

  • Museum/Gallery

In Wailoa State Recreation Area, this circular exhibition center mounts monthly shows featuring local artists. Work ranges from photography...

Wailuku River State Park (Boiling Pots)

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

Four separate streams fall into a series of circular pools here, forming the Peepee Falls. The resulting turbulent action—best seen...

Wailuku River State Park (Rainbow Falls )

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

After a hard rain, these falls thunder into the Wailuku River gorge, often creating magical rainbows in the mist. Sometimes known as...

Waiolena and Wailua Beach Parks and Richardson Ocean Center

  • Beach–Sight

Just east of Hilo, almost at the end of the road, three adjacent parks make up one beautiful spot with a series of bays, protected inlets,...

Waipio Valley

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Bounded by 2,000-foot cliffs, the "Valley of the Kings" was once a favorite retreat of Hawaiian royalty. Waterfalls drop 1,200 feet from...

World Botanical Gardens

  • Garden/Arboretum

Just off the highway, this garden park is on more than 300 acres of former sugar cane land. With wide views of the countryside and the...

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