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.

Home to 8 of the world’s 13 sub-climate zones, this is the land of fire (thanks to active Kilauea volcano) and ice (compliments of not-so-active Mauna Kea, topped with snow and expensive telescopes). At just under a million years old, Hawaii is the youngest of the main Hawaiian Islands. Three of its five volcanoes are considered active: Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Kilauea. The Southeast Rift Zone of Kilauea has been spewing lava regularly since January 3, 1983; another eruption began at Kilauea's summit caldera in March 2008, the first since 1982. Back in 1984, Mauna Loa's eruptions crept almost to Hilo, and it could fire up again any minute—or not for years. Hualalai last erupted in 1801, and geologists say it will definitely do so again within 100 years. Mauna Kea is currently considered dormant but may very well erupt again. Kohala, which last erupted some 120,000 years ago, is inactive, but on volatile Hawaii Island, you can never be sure.

Most of the more than 2,200 plant species found in the Hawaiian Islands are not native to Hawaii. The red-and-green lobster claw is originally from South America.

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Hilo 23

The Kona Coast 21

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North Kona 3

South Kona and Kealakekua Bay 18

The Kohala Coast 16

Kailua-Kona 13

The Hamakua Coast 11

Puna 7

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Vicinity 5

Kau and Ka Lae 5

Waimea 4

Mauna Kea 1

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 6

Bath/ Hot Spring 1

Beach–Sight 29

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 4

Building/ Architectural Site 1

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Cave 2

Cemetery 1

Farm/ Ranch 7

Forest 1

Garden/ Arboretum 6

Historic District/ Site 6

Hotel–Sight 1

Industrial Site/ Mill/ Factory 2

Information Center 1

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Local Interest–Sight 1

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Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 2

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Park (National/ State/ Provincial) 17

Park/ Playground 2

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 6

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Store/ Shop/ Mall 2

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Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 2

Volcano 1

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Big Island Sights

Showing 106 out of 106 Results

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Ackerman Gift Gallery

  • Store/Shop/Mall

In Kapaau, browse through this longtime gallery's collections of local art, including glass, woodworks, bowls, fine art photography,...

Ahalanui Park

  • Beach–Sight

There's nothing like swimming in this natural, geothermally heated tide pool next to the ocean with palm fronds rustling lazily overhead.

Akaka Falls State Park

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall

A paved, 10-minute loop trail (approximately ½ mile) takes you to the best spots to see the spectacular cascades of Akaka. The majestic...

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, classically fringed with coco palms, fronts the Waikoloa Beach Marriott...

Anna Ranch Heritage Center

  • Farm/Ranch

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

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

  • Neighborhood/Street

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

Captain Cook Monument

  • Memorial/Monument/Tomb

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

Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

  • Hotel–Sight

Stroll through the high-ceiling lobby of this Kailua-Kona fixture to view displays of Hawaiian artifacts and mounted marlin from Hawaiian...

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