Top ChoiceBeach in Punaluʻu

Punaluʻu Black Sand 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 windswept beach is famous for its black sand:...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Kahuku Unit

Kahuku Unit

Kahuku Unit's six hiking trails that lead through green pastures to volcanic cinder cones, lava tree molds, rainforests and lava flows come alive during the excellent ranger-guided hikes (Sundays at 9:30am;...

Top ChoiceBeach in South Point (Ka Lae)

Green Sand Beach

This legendary beach on Mahana Bay isn't really that green, but it is a rare and beautiful sight. Its color comes from crystals of olivine, the mineral found in the semiprecious gemstone known as peridot. Olivine...

Top ChoiceArea in South Point (Ka Lae)

Ka Lae

Ka Lae, the southernmost point of the Big Island, feels palpably unwelcoming, yet hauntingly peaceful. It is mostly an empty grassland fringed by restless rocky shores all scoured by relentless wind. Standing...

Top ChoiceViewpoint in Ocean View & Around

Paliʻokulani Overlook

Be sure to get your bearings at the Hwy 11 viewpoint perched on a 1907 lava flow. Commanding views take in Paliʻokulani, the ragged cliff edge jutting out in front of South Point which protects eastern Kaʻu from...

Top ChoiceFarm in Pahala

Kaʻu Coffee Mill

This down-to-earth, someday-to-be hydro-powered coffee farm roasts its own award-winning beans – the wonderful aroma floors you – which some connoisseurs rate as highly as Kona coffee. Taste a variety of brews at...

Top ChoiceCoffee in South Point (Ka Lae)

Ka Lae Coffee

Tucked behind a family home and fronting a greenhouse bursting with orchids, the US's southernmost coffee shop is a relaxed place to rejuvenate after a morning at South Point. Along with Waimea Coffee Company in...

Top ChoiceDiner in Naʻalehu

Hana Hou Restaurant

Hana Hou embodies all the glory and nostalgia of a 1940s family diner – because it was, and still is, one. The menu is filled with local takes on good ol' American comfort food. Come for the peppered mahimahi,...

Top ChoiceAmerican in Ocean View & Around

Mehe's Kaʻu Bar & Grill

In an area with few options, Mehe's is a surprisingly good one. Friendly staff serve burgers, sandwiches and a rotating selection of daily specials to local characters and visitors alike while the horseshoe bar...

Area in Ocean View & Around

Road to the Sea

This high-clearance 4WD road crosses enough ʻaʻa (rough, jagged type of lava) to shake your fillings loose. However, once only for adventurers, these remote black- and green-sand beaches with looming cliffs and...

Beach in Punaluʻu

Kawa Bay

Repeatedly a flash-point for coastal-access and land-rights issues, Kawa Bay is now a quiet, pebbly cove. It's bounded by a creek and cliff-top heiau (temple) on one side, and Kaʻalaiki, the island's...

Temple in Pahala

Wood Valley Temple

Its official name, which translates to 'Immutable Island of Melodious Sound,' perfectly captures the valley's wind and birdsong. Just outside Pahala, you can't miss the splash of color of this Tibetan Buddhist...

Historic Site in Kahuku Unit

Puʻu o Lokuana

High points like this red cinder cone make great lookouts no matter whether you're Kamehameha keeping an eye out for rival chief Keoua in the 1780s, Captain Brown watching lava consume your house in 1868, or the...

Historic Site in South Point (Ka Lae)

Boat Hoist

Bolted to the top of the 40ft cliffs on the western edge of South Point, a boat hoist provides access to small fishing vessels bobbing in the sheltered waters below. Just inland, peer into the large puka (hole)...

Viewpoint in Naʻalehu

Honuʻapo Bay Overlook

For killer coastal views, pause at the scenic lookout above Honuʻapo Bay northeast of Naʻalehu. This sweep of shoreline and scrub is part of the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in Hawaii, and land trusts...

Coffee in South Point (Ka Lae)

Paradise Meadows Orchard & Bee Farm

This small farm stand packs a lot in, offering samples of locally produced coffee, honey and macadamia nuts (though the chocolate is by Guittard). Its crystallized ʻohiʻa lehua honey should be adopted as the...

Bakery in Naʻalehu

Punaluʻu Bake Shop

The US's southernmost bakery is squarely on the tour bus circuit and usually crowded – for good reason. If you want to try the Portuguese fried sweet pastry called a malasada (it's only a Madeira-style doughnut,...

Food in Naʻalehu

Bee Boys

Tucked away in Naʻalehu's commercial shopping center, this small, flagship honey shop is easy to miss. Following a regenerative, 100% treatment-free philosophy, it produces delicious honeys (the turmeric and...

Mexican in Naʻalehu

Taco Tita

A Mexican joint in the same building as the famed Hona Hou diner, serving up tacos, burritos, nachos and taco salads. Pick your protein (pork, chicken, beef, fish and veggie options), variety of salsa (from mild...

Coffee in Naʻalehu

Flyin' Hawaiian Coffee

Find this coffee truck bathed in a little ray of sunshine on the front lawn of the United Methodist Church just two days a week (sadly), serving 100% Kaʻu coffee in a variety of hyper-caffeinating forms,...