Big Island Activities, Beaches, and Points of Interest

From the remarkable diversity of the landscape to the blend of luxury and affordable accommodations, the Big Island of Hawaii offers guests a truly unique experience, where one can travel from the ice-covered peak of Mauna Kea to the desert of Ka’u in a single day. In fact, the Big Island has almost every ecosystem known to man. One of the most impressive attractions is the Volcanoes National Park located on the east side of the Island, including Kilauea, the only active volcano on the Island and the longest continuously erupting volcano in the world. Among many natural and cultural attractions, visitors can also see the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, drive the spectacular Hamakua coastline, take part in the Island Breeze Luau, or simply enjoy the serenity of the Island.  The seasonal whales that frequent the coast also provide a truly spectacular site.

Click here to download a detailed document of all island activities

The exciting activities and sites of interest offered on the Big Island are endless.  Here are some great ideas from which to choose:

    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Helicopter Tour
    • Hiking
    • Kayaking and Canoeing
    • Luau
    • Parasailing
    • Snorkel, Scuba, and Dive
    • Surfing
    • Around Kona: Kahalu'u, Kamakahonu, White Sands
    • West side of Island - Waikoloa, Kohala, Hamakua
    • East side of Island - Hilo, Puna, Ka’u
    • Ali'i Gardens Marketplace
    • Kailua Village Farmer's Market

Link for all activities:

*Below you'll find a list of the most popular Big Island Activities*

The Big Island has many beaches with unbelievable clear blue waters and breathtaking views offering you extraordinary snorkeling, scuba, swimming, surfing, and sunbathing opportunities .  There are several beaches in Kailua-Kona area  and other beaches are within ½ to an hour’s drive north and south of the town.

Snorkeling, Scuba & Diving
For those who enjoy the freedom of exploring the ocean at your own pace, there are several beaches located in Kona for the perfect snorkel experience.  Witness spectacular marine life while keeping an eye out for the dolphins, manta rays, and resident turtles, as you venture to Kona’s most unique snorkel destinations.

Big game fishing, specifically marlin fishing, is year round off the Kona Coast.  The Kona Coast has perfect weather and deep waters close to shore making it the very best fishing destination.  Fishing competitions are offered throughout the year.
Links for more fishing information:

Golfers will find that the Big Island offers beautiful and challenging links in settings as varied as the island itself.
Links for more golf information:

Helicopter Tours
One of the most exciting ways to see Hawaii is from the air by helicopter. It is also the only way to see many parts of the Island.  The Big Island is magic, and a helicopter, like no other form of travel, provides a perspective of this ever-changing and diverse volcanic island.

A lot of hidden Hawaii is indeed found on the back roads, but a helicopter can take you soaring above remote places that you can't reach on foot or by car, especially the volcano!

Links to more information about helicopter tours:

Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayaking and canoeing are very popular on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is a way to discover the protected bays and pristine coral reefs, sandy beaches, and endless stretches of shoreline.

More information about kayaking and canoeing:

Adventures in Paradise is just a few miles south of Kona:

A luau is a huge party, overflowing with food, music, song, and dance. Back in the old days of Hawaii, when royals and commoners -- as well as men and women -- ate their meals apart, the tradition was called "aha-aina" (gathering for a meal). In 1819, King Kamehameha II abolished the customs that separated the people at mealtimes, allowing the creation of a new shared meal, the luau.  Try this website for more about this popular feast on the Hawaiian Islands, including the local luau in Kona - Island Breeze:

Parasailers floating across the scenic coastline can be seen from the lanai of this Kona Isle condo or from a ringside seat on the sandy beach.  Flying can be done individually or with a second person.  Boats depart from Kailua Harbor which is just a couple miles north of Kona Isle.  UFO Parasail is the only operator in Kona.  (808) 325-5UFO.

Flumin Da Ditch
On a hot summer days on the old plantations, the most daring kids would grab an inner-tube or anything that floats and go “fluming in the many ditches and flumes throughout the state. The Kohala area in the town of Hawi which is about 1 ½ hours north of Kona offers this exciting activity.

Farmer's Markets
Stroll, shop, and enjoy the Aloha at the Ali'i Gardens Marketplace.  Daily events include Na Kapuna Hula dancing, free Ukelele and Hula lessons, lei making, ukulele jam sessions and many other local and cultural activities.  Relax over shaved ice, a cold drink or sample local foods. This marketplace is conveniently located across from Kona Isle on Ali’i Drive and a short walk of about 100 yards.