Travel to Hawaii
(Big Island, Hawaii)
The Big Island of Hawaii is an island of extremes--and of constant change. Ski or stargaze on Mauna Kea, or view evolution in action while sipping honey wine at fiery Kilauea. Hike through Hilo's rainforests and waterfalls, or view the black lava desert of the Kohala Coast...
The Island of Hawai`i is the furthest south of any in the island chain, and it's larger than all the other islands put together. It's also the home of the world's highest mountain (Mauna Kea), though much of the base is submerged. Nearby Kiluaea is the most active volcano in the world and the most popular visitor attraction in a state that's full of visitor attractions. The Big Island, as it's called, is the only place where one can ski in the daytime and walk barefoot in a warm sea at sundown. More...
While the oldest above-water Hawaiian island (Kaua'i) was formed some 5.1 million years ago, the Big Island is the newest addition, and is still growing. There were once five active volcanoes contributing to the island's growth: Mauna Kea, Kohala, Hualalai, Kilauea, and Mauna Loa. Hualalai last erupted in 1801, while Kilauea and Mauna Loa are still considered active. More...
Entertainment on the Big Island, Hawaii
Jungle tours, lava flows, humpback whales, stargazing, Kona coffee-the Big Island is a smorgasbord of sensory delights. Give yourself plenty of time to explore Waipio Valley or to hike the trails of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Take in a sunset over cocktails or a sunrise over fresh island juice. Enjoy traditional Hawaiian-style entertainment at a luau. Experience the best of Hawaii: eco-adventures, art, culture, and genuine Aloha spirit. More...
Dining and Drinking in Hawaii
Thanks to the size of the Big Island of Hawai'i, dining to one's satisfaction can be somewhat challenging. Unlike Maui or Honolulu, there aren't dozens of restaurants within a stone's throw of each other, and usually the ones that are close to each other are also similar to one another in price and quality. As far as most people are concerned, there are two bar/restaurant scenes on the island: West and East. West is Kona; East is Hilo. There are other regions to the North and South of the island, but people tend to group everything within one category or the other. Even regular travelers to Hawaii or longtime residents usually don't venture off their side of the island too often; the drive is simply too long. For that reason, most popular restaurants have two locations, one in Hilo and one in Kona, Kohala, or Waimea.
Where To Stay in Hawaii
Accommodation options on the Big Island range from $10 hostels to pleasant, family-owned B&Bs to outrageously priced luxury hotels. Most hotels are located in one of a few districts, but the B&Bs and guest homes are sprinkled all around the island. Consistent with the normal Hawai`i layout, the populated areas are along the coastline; the majority of the inland area is designated park area or ranch land. When planning a trip to the Big Island, start by deciding what exactly you want to see and do. Figure out the district that is most appropriate, and make that district your home base. Each area has lodging choices that represent the full spectrum of prices.
Hawai`i by the NumbersElevation: 18 feet
Highest Point: 13,796 feet (Mauna Kea)
Average Annual Rainfall: ranges from 10 inches at Kawaihae to 128 inches at Hilo Airport
Average January Temperature: 73 degrees F
Average July Temperature: 76 degrees F
Time Zone: GMT-10
Country Dialing Code: 1
Area Code: 808
Ethnic Mix: 30.2% Hawaiian, 23.2% Caucasian, 14.1% Japanese, 10.5% Filipino
Major Industries: tourism/hospitality/recreation, sugar, coffee, cattle
Landmarks: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kealakekua Bay, Kailua-Kona, Kawaihae, Parker Ranch, Waipio Valley
Did You Know?
Hawaii's Big Island is the youngest in geologic age, as well as the largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It continues to increase in size because of Kilauea, the world's most active volcano.
Hawaii's Big Island is located amongst the Hawaiian Islands, to the southeast of the island of Maui, in the central Pacific Ocean.