Attractions

Top Choice Beach in North Kona Coast

Makalawena Beach

If what you're after is an almost deserted, postcard-perfect scoop of soft, white-sand beach cupping brilliant blue-green waters (got your attention?), head to 'Maks.' Although popular, this string of idyllic coves …
Top Choice Landmark in Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea's Summit Area

At 13,796ft in the air, you are above 40% of the atmosphere and 90% of its water vapor – apparently perfect conditions for growing the giant mushroom-like observatories that have popped up around the summit. Glisten…
Top Choice Viewpoint in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Halemaʻumaʻu Viewpoint

The original Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook off Crater Rim Dr has been closed since 2008 due to volcanic activity and the very real threat of death (ie, don't even think about sneaking out there). Fortunately, the next close…
Top Choice Viewpoint in Kalapana Area

Lava Viewing Area

Pele (the goddess of fire) is fickle. She may treat you to a primordial fireworks display of molten rock exploding in the waves or show you nothing at all. Keep expectations in check. When flows are consistent, Civi…
Top Choice Beach in Puako

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Hapuna Beach is a postcard snapshot of what a beach can be – it's world famous for a magnificent half-mile sweep of white powder sand and fabulously clear waters. In summer, waves are calm and allow good swimming, s…
Top Choice Park in Hilo

Liliʻuokalani Park

Savor Hilo's simple pleasures with a picnic lunch in scenic Japanese gardens overlooking the bay. Named for Hawaii's last queen (r 1891–93), the 30-acre county park features soaring trees, sprawling lawns and quaint…
Top Choice Beach in North Kona Coast

Kua Bay

This crescent-shaped white-sand beach is fronted by sparkling turquoise waters that offer first-rate swimming and bodyboarding, and good snorkeling on the north side of the bay (by the large rock outcroppings) when …
Top Choice Park in Hawaiʻi the Big Island

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Even among Hawaii's many wonders, this national park stands out. Its two active volcanoes testify to the ongoing birth of the islands: quiet Mauna Loa (13,677ft) sprawling above, its unassuming mass downplaying its …
Top Choice Park in Puʻuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

Puʻuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

This awesome park is an ancient place of refuge – or puʻuhonua, a sanctuary where kapu (taboo)-breakers could have their lives spared. A half-mile walking tour encompasses major sites – the visitor center provides a…
Top Choice Beach in Punaluʻu

Punaluʻu Beach Park

Beyond the nearly omnipresent green sea turtles basking in the sun, or the rare hawksbill turtles that lay their eggs here (be careful where you walk), this wind-swept beach is famous for its black sand: pulverized …