We visited the Big Island for a quick 12-hr trip with Island Air. Within that day we were able to visit four spots on our list. If you have only a weekend or a few days, be sure to visit these 10 things!
1. HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Quite literally the most unique park of all the National Parks in the USA. No other park has active Volcanoes (respecting the fact that Yellowstone does not have lava/magma spewing out). Visiting the steam vents, the Jaggar Museum and the active Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.
2. THURSTON LAVA TUBE
A great two for one: Thurston Lava Tube within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Although you won’t find any red magma or running lava in here, you’ll discover the power lava has at carving the land over millions of years.
3. MAUNA KEA
From Base (underwater) to Summit, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on Earth. Yes, even taller than Mount Everest. It is a dormant Volcano and is known for its astronomic telescopes. When things are discovered in distant space, it’s usually from the resources up at Mauna Kea. It’s a great place to view sunrises and sunsets.
4. AKAKA FALLS
Every island has it’s waterfalls, Akaka Falls is one of the well known ones on Hawaii island. (source)
5. CAPTAIN COOK MONUMENT
Visit the spot at which Hawaii as a whole was officially discovered by Western men: The Captain Cook Monument. Although a bit difficult to access via rocky terrain, and a long trek by foot; taking a boat or Kayak here is very accessible and enjoyable.
6. PUNALU’U BLACK SAND BEACH
Hawaii is the youngest of the Hawaiian island chain and with that comes uncharacteristic other islands do not have. With all the “recent” Volcanic activity, it leaves some of Hawaii’s beaches the same color as lava rock – black. Welcome to black sand beach. Easy to wash off sand but coarse at the touch; beautiful nonetheless.
7. RAINBOW FALLS
Another beautiful and popular waterfall within a quick driving distance of Hilo town. (source)
8. SOUTH POINT CLIFF
The most southern point of the United States. South Point Cliff has crystal clear water and beautiful cliff side views.
9. PAPAKOLEA GREEN SAND BEACH
The secluded reward after a long hike on Hawaii’s south side. (source)
10. KONA COFFEE FARM
Last but not least…coffee! Hawaii is known for it’s famous Kona Coffee. Coffee lovers, be sure to sample flavors at their farm! (source)