Big Island

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 (Maunakea), and some seriously good coffee from the famous Kona district, and also from neighboring Kau.

Home to eight 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 Maunakea, 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. Maunakea 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.

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  • 1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Kilauea Volcano has been spewing lava rather dramatically since its current eruption began in 1983, and it shows no signs of abating. Hawaii...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 2. Kilauea Caverns of Fire

    Cave

    This way-out adventure explores the underbelly of the world's most active volcano via the Kazamura Lava Tube system. The longest lava tube system...Read More

  • 3. Volcano Farmers' Market

    Market/Bazaar

    Local produce, flowers, crafts, and food products, including fresh-baked breads, pastries, coffee, pancakes, fresh coconuts with straws, and...Read More

  • 4. 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 dotted...Read More

  • 5. 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...Read More

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