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

Big Island Sights

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  • Fodor's Choice

Ahalanui Park

  • Beach–Sight

There's nothing like swimming in this natural, geothermally heated pool next to the ocean with palm trees swaying overhead. Popular with...

Akaka Falls State Park

  • Park (National/State/Provincial)

An easy, meandering 10-minute loop trail (approximately 4/10-mile) takes you to the best spots to see the spectacular cascades of Akaka.

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden

  • Garden/Arboretum

Exhibiting a wealth of Hawaiian ethnobotanical traditions and some rare plants found only in cultivation, this 12-acre garden contains...

Anaehoomalu Bay

  • Beach–Sight

Also known as "A-bay," this expansive stretch of white sand fronts the Waikoloa Beach Marriott and is a perfect spot for swimming, windsurfing...

Anna Ranch Heritage Center

  • Building/Architectural Site

This stunning heritage property, on the National Register of Historic Places, belonged to the "first lady" of Hawaii ranching, Anna Lindsey...

Arnott's Lodge & Hiking Adventures

  • Tour–Sight

This Mauna Kea summit tour takes you to the summit for sunset, and then stops along the way down the mountain, where guides give visual...

Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center

  • Museum/Gallery

This informative museum, located at the airport, was opened as a tribute to Hawaii's first astronaut, who was killed in the 1986 Challenger...

Banyan Drive

  • Scenic Drive/Tour

More than 50 enormous banyan trees with aerial roots dangling from their limbs were planted some 60 to 70 years ago by visiting celebrities...

Big Island Visitors Bureau

  • Information Center

Marked by a red-and-white Hawaiian warrior sign, the bureau is worth a visit for brochures, maps, and up-to-date, friendly insider advice.

Captain Cook Monument

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

On February 14, 1779, famed English explorer Captain James Cook was killed here during a seeming misunderstanding with local residents.

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