Big Island Travel Guide

Areas to Explore

Kailua Kona
Kohala Coast
Kona Coast

Big Island Area information

Dream Big with Vacation Rentals in Big Island

An Island Worthy of Its Name

Even though it’s the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island of Hawaii was the first to be explored by Polynesian voyagers over 1,500 years ago. Along with its snorkel-worthy beaches, energizing hikes, and fiery volcanoes, it is also the former home of the royal court of King Kamehameha. There are many things to do on the Big Island from exploring temple ruins to hiking historical parks, taking a visit to this island paradise can be just as relaxing for the spirit as it is enriching for the heart and mind.

There’s Something for Everyone When You Visit Paradise

Our vacation rentals on the Big Island include resort condos, oceanfront family homes, seaside villas, and surf cottages. The large selection we offer allows you to make the most of your time in Hawaii. Treat yourself with a visit to a local jewelry maker in Hilo or grab your camera and snap photos of scenic Waipio Valley before an entertaining luau. It’s all there for you to experience on the magical Island of Hawaii.

Top Sights in Big Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

If seeing a live volcano is on your bucket list, plan a visit to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There you’ll discover 333,000 acres of volcanic park with 150 miles of hiking trails, volcanic craters, and a walk-in lava tube. Not to be missed is Kilauea, the famous volcano that is still erupting with lava flowing every day. Many Hawaiians believe Pele, the volatile volcano goddess, lives deep within the magma inferno.

Lava Trees State Park

Ever heard of a lava tree? If not, they exist on the Island of Hawaii. Just southwest of Pahoa Town is the Lava Trees State Park. Here you’ll experience one of the most unusual and memorable Big Island attractions as you walk the half-mile loop through a forest of ohia tree trunks that were completely coated in lava in the 1700s, forever “freezing” them into towering dark sculptures.

The Hamakua Coast

Vacationing in Big Island isn’t complete without a visit to the Hamakua Coast and the magnificent Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls. The coastline stretches along the Hamakua Heritage Corridor from Hilo to Waipio Valley Lookout with historic towns and lush tropical gardens along the way. Once you arrive at the final lookout, you’ll take in “The Valley of the Kings” and its black sand beach and jagged cliffs that soar up to 2,000 feet high.

Top Experiences in Big Island

Find Local Flair at the Hilo Farmers Market

Open seven days a week, 365 days a year is the must-see Hilo Farmers Market. You can find up to 200+ vendors selling everything from fresh tropical fruit and flowers to local gifts and handmade crafts. Located in historic downtown Hilo, this market is the best place to soak in the rainbow of Hawaiian culture. 

Watch the Best Hula Dancers in the World

The Merrie Monarch Festival held every year in Hilo is the world championship of hula dance. From its oceanic moves and lilting ukulele melodies to the wild beating of the Hawaiian drum, hula is one of Hawaii’s greatest and most important cultural traditions. This week-long event is extremely popular, so plan far enough in advance to reserve one of our Big Island vacation rentals in Hilo—they’re likely to be sold out.

Celebrate the Coffee of Kona

Coffee lovers enjoy the town of Kona for the hundreds of coffee farms that carefully harvest the precious Kona coffee bean. Tours are available that describe everything about the bean from its history to the meticulous process of crafting the flavorful brew. Every November, coffee aficionados convene in Historic Kailua Village to celebrate Kona’s coffee heritage and to crown the next Miss Kona Coffee.