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!


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.


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.


dsc_0250From 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.


akaka-falls-francesco-emanuele-carucciEvery island has it’s waterfalls, Akaka Falls is one of the well known ones on Hawaii island. (source)



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.


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.


 Another beautiful and popular waterfall within a quick driving distance of Hilo town. (source)


img_1096The most southern point of the United States. South Point Cliff has crystal clear water and beautiful cliff side views.


green-sands-beach-020The secluded reward after a long hike on Hawaii’s south side. (source)


bg_redbirdLast but not least…coffee! Hawaii is known for it’s famous Kona Coffee. Coffee lovers, be sure to sample flavors at their farm! (source)




  1. Those are some really cool places, quite offbeat. I have always been attracted to visit the outdoors in USA. Your post accelerates that urge.

    • Hahaha thank you! It’s always a pleasure to hear that our posts inspire the inner wanderlust in all humans! You’re on the right track, just get out there and explore! Even if it’s your own backyard, you never know what you’ll come across :).

  2. So jealous! We’d love to visit Hawaii one day, if we ever make it back to the USA. We’re big fans of the National Parks, would love to check out Volcanoes Natl. Park. The parks really are some of our nation’s most precious treasures, it’s great that they’ve been preserved from corporate destruction, however the tourism can do a lot of harm sometimes as well. Love the photography here, I’ll be following you on IG!

    • Thank you so much! National Parks are a treasure and I am very happy how especially in Hawaii we try tp preserve it as best as possible (as nature intends). It does sadden me from times when tourists stand on reef they aren’t supposed to or trek off course ruining the land in return. The best we can do is pick up after them and educate others, which I hope our posts do!

  3. Really love the photographs with the perfect use of Instagram pictures. The coffee farm seems really interesting. What all food did you have there??

    • We had two meals the entire day, the loco moco (the picture inside the post) and we ended up eating at a local Mexican restaurant out of necessity. It was the only open spot in the area we were and we were starving so we had to settle for something quick. We didn’t incorporate the 2nd meal in our post because it was rushed and the food was not great AT ALL…that’s saying a lot as Mexican food is my (Reid) favorite food!

  4. For me, it would be already great to go to Hawaii, no matter wich island! But between all the 10 places, 2 of them I’d like to see above all: Thurstone lava tube, and Papakolea beach! The first because I love volcanoes and going through a tunnel made of petrified lava it’s incredible, the latter because I heard about beaches of every color, but never a green one!

    • Those are some great spots to visit and definitely 2 for the bucket list there ;). I hope you get to visit one day, Luca! You’ll love it!

  5. All of that looks fabulous – your photos are great. I’d love to see lava tubes and I’ve always wanted to see a volcano erupting. The different coloured beaches are stunning – especially the green beach!

    • Thank you so much, Emily! We still have yet to visit the green beach but from what we’ve heard and read, it seems to be just as magical in person! Thank you for the compliment! 🙂

  6. I’ve always dreamed of travelling to Hawaii! I’m thinking of it for a honeymoon destination

    • Hawaii is one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations and there are many things to see and do that compliment a once in a lifetime stay! Although, I do hope you get a chance to visit and do as much as possible many times over!

  7. A friend of mine is currently in Hawaii for the month so I’ll be forwarding her this list! Of the list, I would love to see the black and green sand beaches. The earth is always so fascinating, but Hawaii seems to have a lot of natural wonders packed into a compact little island!

  8. Most of my highschool friends would want to visit Hawaii. The country may be small but it has so much to offer for us travelers. This is actually not on my list to visit but after reading your blog – Im sold. Lol

    • Haha that’s great to hear, Lee. I guarantee you will love it for AT LEAST one of these things: 1)Food 2)Scenery or 3) The loving (aloha) spirit of the people!

  9. These places fire my wanderlust! First, very wonderful photos you have there. My favorite would be South Cliff Point. It would be a very beautiful spot to watch the sunset.

    • That is the EXACT feeling we want to stir up in people Monica! That’s wonderful news to hear we have achieved that with you! The most southern point of the US is breathtaking, to say the least. We hope your wanderlust gets you to visit here! Have a lovely day and thank you for your beautiful comment.

  10. Having read your previous post about Big Island, it’s great to see you going into great er detail as to the must-see spots. As a bit of a history buff, the Captain Cook monument would most definitely be for me but some of that greenery just looks so lush. Great photos as always and look forward to your next post!

  11. Love your writing style! Your photography is quite incredible. I haven’t been to Hawaii just yet but have plans for a few trips in 2017. Beyond excited!

  12. Great captures there! especially with the Rainbow Falls. I am such a fan of waterfalls so when I scrolled in Akaka falls, I’ve stared to the photo for a while then you have there next the Rainbow falls!

  13. Wow.. Thanks for the tips of the places to visit. I loved your photography!! Would definitely love to visit Big Island. Adding it to my travel list.

  14. Your photos are beautiful! This looks like a great list of must-see places! The black sand beach reminds me of one we stayed on in Costa Rica. It sounded so exotic when I read about it on paper. Wasn’t nearly as alluring when we tried to walk across it barefoot in 100F degree weather!

  15. So many amazing places some of them I had no idea about like the black sand beach! Would definitely love to check it our as well as the lava tube. You’ve managed to capture it perfectly. The Akaka falls look great as well!

  16. We love the Big Island. We went there in 2010 on a cruise around all the islands. The black sand beaches were amazing!

  17. Love the Big Island! It is humbling to watch nature at work and watching the lava flow clash with the water is just awe-inspiring. Your post and the gorgeous photos brought back so many lovely memories. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you! We can’t wait to revisit and finally do that tour to see lava flowing into the great Pacific.