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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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.

Haili Church

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Constructed in 1859 by New England missionaries, this church is known for its choir, which sings hymns in Hawaiian during services. In...

Hilo Coffee Mill

  • Industrial Site/Mill/Factory

With all the buzz about Kona coffee, it's easy to forget that coffee is produced throughout the rest of the island. The Hilo Coffee Mill...

Hilo Downtown Improvement Association

  • Information Center

An excellent and free self-guided walking tour to downtown Hilo includes historical information, a map, and directions to 18 historic...

Imiloa Astronomy Center

  • Observatory/Planetarium

Part Hawaiian cultural center, part astronomy museum, this center provides an educational and cultural complement to the research being...

Kalakaua Park

  • Park/Playground

King Kalakaua, who revived the hula, was the inspiration for Hilo's Merrie Monarch Festival. A bronze statue, erected in 1988, depicts...

Kaumana Caves Park

  • Cave

Thanks to Hilo's abundant rainfall, this lava tube is lush with plant life. Concrete stairs lead down to the 2½-mile-long tube. Bring...

Keawe Street

  • Neighborhood/Street

Buildings here have been restored to their original 1920s and '30s plantation styles. Although most shopping is along Kamehameha Avenue,...

Liliuokalani Gardens

  • Garden/Arboretum

Designed to honor Hawaii's first Japanese immigrants, Liliuokalani Gardens' 30 acres of fish-filled ponds, stone lanterns, half-moon...

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