The largest island in the Hawaiian chain is called the island of Hawaii. It is also the furthest South and the newest. It has been nicknamed the Big Island for quite some time, and there are a multitude of things that you can do while you are there.
It has an active volcano, beautiful beaches, observatories, and multitudes of places to go hiking. It has several distinct regions, all with different activities. Here are a few of the top places that you can visit while you are there so that you can have a good time.
When you land on the west side of the island, the airport is roughly 9 miles north of Kailua Kona. This is a location that is very popular with tourists and is also where the Iron Man competition takes off from. There are beautiful beaches, places to snorkel with turtles, and has beautiful sunsets.
If you had North from Kailua, you will head up the coast up toward a place called Kohala. You will notice that the climate is going to change dramatically. You will see what looks like farmland that extends for miles, all the while providing you with a view of the ocean plus rugged lava fields. One of the most popular beaches is found at the Hapuna Beach State Park. You will also see pasture lands in Waimea if you turn down Highway 19. It is a definite contrast from the warmer weather to the south, but is beautiful in its own right.
If you head South, you will head toward the communities of Naalehu and Pahala, passing through Captain Cook. As you come around the bottom of the island, heading east, you will head toward the active volcano Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The landscape can change from tropical trees to desert very quickly. The further you go east, you are going to see coffee farms, cattle and Macadamia net orchards.
As you keep heading east, and slightly north, you are going to run into Puna. This is a district that has a town called Pahoa. It is in this area where lava flows are the most prominent, and you can see black sand beaches, and areas where you can go snorkeling in shallow tide pools. You can also stop by the Lava Tree State Monument which was created as a lava flow went through the ohia forest.
This is the other destination that many people fly to if they are coming to Hawaii. There is a contrast when looking at the far west and eastern sides. On the east, you have a substantial amount of rain by comparison to the west and that is obvious by the sheer volume of waterfalls that are in this area. You also can take advantage of the beautiful sunrises and the city of Hilo which is very beautiful. If you are far enough east, you will be able to look to the west and see Maunakea, Maunaloa and Hulalalai where the observatories are located.
As you continue north, you are going to run into the Hamakua Coast, an area which gets 84 inches of rainfall every year. It is in this region that you will find tranquil green valleys, waterfalls, and amazing tropical rain forests. This is also called the garden side of the island for obvious reasons, especially when you visit places like Akaka Falls. You will end up going through many winding roads as you make your way north to the top of the island.
These are just a few places to consider going when you get to the Big Island of Hawaii. It is called the Big Island for obvious reasons. It is the largest of all of them, and offers the most to do if you like to do a little bit of exploring. Whether you take a tour up to the top of Maunakea to see the observatories, or if you spend most of your time on the beaches, you are going to have a fantastic time on the Big Island of Hawaii which is a favorite among many that visit the Hawaiian Islands.