Big Island Bucket List: Top Hawaii Sights to Visit and Activities to Do

Dreaming about your upcoming visit to The Big Island? We have compiled a list of must-see and do activities and locations for your upcoming vacation. From Manta-Ray dives to live volcanoes we have something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Create lasting memories of a lifetime with some of the best things to do and see across our large island paradise.

Visit the spectacular Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

This very popular natural park is home to active volcanoes and lush greeneries. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was recognized as a World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve. To maximize your visit, camp out in the Volcano Village and spend a night to see the active Kilauea Volcano in action and how its lava creates a fantastic night glow. Don’t forget to explore the amazing rainforests that surround this rustic village.

Have a Manta ray night dive

Snorkel or dive to the open ocean and see the gentle Manta rays up close. This night tour experience is one of the must-do things on the Big Island.

Stargaze from the summit of Mauna Kea

To reach the summit of Hawaii’s highest mountain, you need to ride a 4WD vehicle. You can avail a package tour that includes a night of stargazing at Mauna Kea while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa. Another exciting thing to do is to build your own snowman and take a selfie to mark your unforgettable visit to the site. The Mauna Kea Observatory, an active research facility, is constructed on the top.

Marvel at the beauty of the waterfalls

The most scenic waterfalls are the Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. You can find many of these hidden gems in Hilo and Hamakua. The 422 feet Akaka Falls is surrounded by tropical ferns, orchids, and bamboo.

Frolic on the gorgeous beaches

The Big Island has a lot of beaches to enjoy water activities like swimming, snorkeling, surfing, diving, and other sports activities. It is one of the few places in the globe with pristine white, green, and black sand beaches. With many located close to our Keauhou vacation rentals and the rentals in Kailua-Kona.

Enjoy great views from Waipio Valley Lookout

If you love extreme adventure, climbing the steep, twisting road to reach this beautiful valley on the Big Island is your kind of action. Waipio Valley was where the Waterworld movie was shot.

Explore the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

Nestled between the Waipio Valley Lookout and Hilo is the 40-acre Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. It is home to over 2,000 tropical plant species, including a rare collection of 200 plus species of palms that come from various parts of the globe. Its 500-foot observation walkway allows visitors and tourists to enjoy the impressive collections of flora.

Learn the island’s tradition by visiting historical parks

One great place to start learning is the Honaunau National Historical Park on the Kona Coast. It has a restored temple, which is a replica of the 18th-century palace that was built during ancient times. The attractions of this place include the stones used by the royal family to play the Hawaiian game “konane”, the landing spot of the royal canoes, the royal fishpond, rock carvings, burial vaults, and models of homes of the priests and natives. Another interesting place to visit is the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park, the place where Captain James Cook landed and died in a later period due to skirmish against the natives.

And more…

Of course, you should feast on the delicious cuisines of the Big Island. The food in this part of Hawaii is a little different from what you can find on the mainland. They are more unique, tasty, and addicting. After your gastronomic adventure, sip one of the most famous coffees in the world- the Kona coffee.

Visit the Kona Coffee Living History Farm, the working history museum where you will be greeted by costumed interpreters who will show you the life of coffee growers during the 1920s to 1930s. Learn about the old methods of coffee planting, harvesting, roasting, and grinding. Then head out to the nearest coffee plantations.

Shop handmade crafts and souvenirs of your Aloha vacation. One place to visit is the Hilo Farmers Market where over 300 local vendors display their unique works.

As you can see there are many amazing things to do and places to see here on your Big Island of Hawaii vacation. We hope you have an amazing getaway!

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