Top 12 Best Things to do on the Big Island:  A Complete Guide

Everybody likes an adventure sprinkled with some incredible sightseeing on their vacation. It would be best if you decide to make your trip more adventurous in Hawaii. You would be mesmerized at the endless list of best things to do on the Big Island which is also called the Hawaii big islands. In the end, you can only congratulate yourself on having chosen to visit the Big Islands.

The Hawaiian Islands claimed as the final place to be conferred statehood by the United States. It’s like a dream come true as a place like Hawaii is the heaven that exists on this Earth. Eight Islands gather in unison to form an Archipelago surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to give you Hawaii. The clean beaches and the green jungles that lie beneath the volcanic mountains are breath-taking.

Moreover, on the big island, you can enjoy plenty of things there that are mentioned below:

List of Best Things to do on the Big Islands

Best Things to do on the Big Islands- A complete Guide

1. All Kinds of Exquisite Beaches:

If you think you have seen beautiful beaches before, then you must be aware that the Big Island has many beaches which look unique comparatively. Here are some picks among the best beaches which forms part of the top 10 things to do on the big island,

  • Hilo has at least ten beaches worth visiting. Among them is the Kaimu Beach also called Black Sand, as the lava had covered it? It was a scenic beach once, till that natural disaster happened, and now with the lava giving away, a new beach is born. Enjoy a walk, but do not snorkel or swim here. The waters are rough and there are rock formations in it. Many cases of drowning have also been reported of those who dared. Kohala has nine beaches among which a few of them are difficult to access, but you would find them if you love trekking. The waters here are rough, and only the best of swimmers can take a chance in it. Otherwise, its lush green, and you can relax in it.
  • The top beaches are Pololu Valley Beach, Waipi’ o, which are unfriendly for swimming. Among the friendly ones are the Kapa’ beach, Samuel M. Spencer, Kauno, and the Kauna’oa beach.
  • The maximum number of beaches are located near Kona, which is the West Coast. Of the fourteen, the Kiholo beach, the three shores of Kekaha Kai State Park, and the Kua Bay beach are friendly. In these places, one can enjoy swimming and snorkeling along with food and these are things to do on the big island.
  • With more than 30 plus beaches to visit, choose the best ones that may suit you and your family. Here are some tips to make your beach visit and include things to do on the big island

Guidelines on visiting a beach (to avoid disappointment)

  • Visit Beaches on weekdays only
  • Sunscreen is essential
  • Take adequate quantity of drinking water
  • Take a Snorkel kit if you intend to go snorkeling.
  • Take food which you love most and, if required, a book.

2. Don’t Miss Out Stay at Tree House

Enjoying nature in full splendor by staying in a tree-house instead of Hotels is one of the best things to do on the big island. Big Islands does spring up many choices, which is one of the unique things to do on the big island.

•The Tree-house is found amid a jungle made of bamboo. Electricity powered by Solar makes it more natural. The Dreamy house atop a tree is just ten miles from the National volcano park and can house two guests.

• The next choice is the tree-house overlooking the sunset beach. From here you can access any water sport activity on the beach, and that too is among the top things to do on the big island

• Close to Manni Beach are the treehouses hidden away by canopies. Tranquillity surrounds you, and the only sound you would hear is the waves.

3. Volcanic Nostalgia in Hawaii’s National Park.
things to do on the big island of hawaii

It’s been 40 years since lava flow in the ground where the National Park stands. Ever since then, it has become a top tourist spot and one of the things to do on an island vacation. Trekkers and hikers use the various trails available to get the best view on offer.

You can view lava tunnels of the past, descend into the crater and gaze at the stars while enjoying the sunset, too, which is one of the natural things to do in Hawaii.

4. The Two-Step experience:

In case you love Snorkeling and are ready for more challenges, Two Step is where you should be. You would see the rare sea life, and Dolphins do swim closer to you. Go prepared with fins and all equipment and enjoy Two-Step’s deep waters as these are the things to do on the big island of Hawaii.

5. Kona’s Wild Dolphins:

There are many things to do in Kona. The perfect start to your vacation would be to swim in Kona’s water. Sooner than later, a shoal of Wild Spinner Dolphins would be gliding in the waters not too far away. This is the most amazing view of watching dolphins so close and that too at an affordable price.

6. The Land of the Sea Turtles:

top 10 things to do on the big island

The black sands of Punalu’ U beach play host to a rare species of Green turtles. These turtles come to the shore for relaxing and they are one of the superb endangered species. Generally, this happens when the waters are calm enough to snorkel, but the biggest surprise is finding more turtles in the sea waters than other Marine life. A piece of good advice would be not to disturb them.

7. Kona’s coffee plantation:

Kona is famous for many things, and that includes their coffee plantation. A tour across the plantation is highly recommended and forms part of the things to do on the island. You can breathe in the Aroma. To make it better, visit those tasting rooms and try tasting it. One can also visit the Bee farm, which is easily accessible if you are in Kona.

8. Snorkeling with Manta Rays:

Night-time Snorkeling does look a bit dangerous but not when you have the friendly Manta Rays swimming and diving next to you. It is truly said that the Honokohau Northern side is the only place that can boast of night dives and these are the amazing things to do on the big island.

The best time to kick off the snorkeling is after watching the lovely sunset and then taking a plunge into the waters. The Manta Rays are quite gigantic but harmless creatures. It’s magnificent when they swim just below you, and these are exciting things to do on the big island of Hawaii.

9. Have a Whale of a time!
top things to do on the big island

It is rare to see a whale, but more occasional is that witnessing a Humpback Whale hit the shores of the Hawaiian beaches to give birth to their little ones. An expedition to watch whales is the only chance to get to see them and these are things to do on the big island. This happens only in winter, but the waters of the Hawaiian waters remain warm.

10. Combine Snorkeling with Kayak:

Captain Cook made the Kealakekua bay the most famous by landing there two centuries ago. This place is best for snorkeling but there are various ways to go there. Although many big trawlers may take you to the spot, a ride on a kayak is considered appropriate. You can park the boats and enjoy deep-sea diving. It would also be advisable to start the trip in the morning, for crowds to gather by afternoon.

11. Learn about Big Island by visiting Lyman Museum:

Visiting Hawaii, one should learn about their origins and culture. This is possible only by visiting the Lyman Museum. There are plenty of exhibits that reveal the real story behind the origin of the volcanoes and Flora’s rise along with Fauna. You would also read the rise of the various ethnic groups who helped form the Big Islands as we see them today. One part of the museum is dedicated to the seashells collected and brought here from all over the world, and these are also a part of the things to do on the big island of Hawaii.

12. Amazing Waterfalls:
things to do on the big island hawaiiBig Islands have more than their rightful share of Waterfalls, which you should never miss in a visit to Hawaii. Here are the best of them:

•A visit to Waipi’O valley to discover one of its hidden treasures is a must. The tallest waterfall among all those in Hawaii is an experience. You must take a guided tour for this, as the roads and bends are too sharp for you to encounter. Surrounded by greenery, the waterfall falls from an altitude that would make your neck ache but then these are things to do on the big island.

• The Rainbow Falls, which lies a few miles from Hilo Islands. The scenic surroundings would attract anyone, and there is an area for you to swim in too. It’s called the Boiling Pot. It’s ideal for swimming if the water levels are low only.

• The Akaka Falls lies on the North East Coast of Hawaii. You can walk into the area after parking your car and witness its scenic beauty.

• Pe’epe’e Falls is located right at the end of Wailuku drive. Once you’ve finished with Rainbow Falls, the Pe’epe’e Falls is just a few kilometers upstream. This also forms a boiling pot for people to swim, and one should take precautions before attempting it.

• Last but not least is the UmaUma falls, which are three in number. It lies near the UmaUma River and North of Hilo. The other interesting fact is it is owned by a private party, and a payment of $ 12.00 would gain you entry. The lush gardens along with the Waterfalls is a double bonanza


1. What should you not miss on the big island?

Amid the larger picture, there are a few things you can’t miss in the Big Islands. Here are a few of them. Please pay a visit to the farm in Kona, which houses the Seahorse, and feel them swim around your palm. A trip to the two sand beaches which have a unique color would amaze you. Fly by Helicopter over an active Volcano, and you may see the lava flow. Taste the Kona Coffee and purchase a few packets for the aroma to linger back home.

2. What can you do on the Big Island for free?

There is an equal opportunity for a tourist to have a vacation without spending money on visits to tourist spots. Here are a few of them:

• Honey/ bee farms
• Coffee plantations
• Relax on the beach
• Macadamia Nuts(samples)
• Visit Lava flows (E.g., Kalpana Lava flow)
• Most of the WaterFalls
• Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, a small museum
• The observatory at Mauna Kea

3. Is it better to stay in Hilo or Kona?

Kona should be the ideal place to stay when you are visiting the Big Islands. Staying in Kona makes sightseeing easier on both sides of the island. Kona has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment and adventure. The weather is also better compared to Hilo. Hilo is worth a one day visit only.

4. How many days do you need in Big Island?

One would need a minimum of seven days to complete a comprehensive tour of the big islands satisfactorily. We can break it up as per each day’s schedule. Therefore:

Day one: Beaches
Day two: Waterfalls
Day Three: Volcanoes including the National Park
Day Four: Hamuka Coastline
Day Five: Trekking to scenic spots
Day six: Visit the observatory
Day seven: Ocean travel
In between, you can catch up with snorkeling and shopping in the evening, which are things to do on the big island in September.


The Big Islands is known for its friendliness and warmth as it is a tourist destination. The locals are straightforward and well-mannered people, and the hospitality is excellent. During a visit to Hawaii, you would never run short of things to do on the big island.

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