This year, Madam Pele, the legendary volcano goddess, decided it was time for a little housekeeping and shifted the flow from her favorite volcano, Kilauea, in a new direction. Since then – and things may have changed by the time you read this – lava is flowing from a vent in the volcano’s East Rift… Continue »
Big Island The Orchid Isle
Those of you with a keen eye—and from the monthly feedback we receive from our dedicated readers, there are many of you—will notice some subtle changes taking place in this issue of 101 Things to Do, Big Island. While we are constantly evolving and updating the content here, with this issue we’ve expanded our local maps, which now include an easier-to-read format, plus points of interest.
In addition, we’ve taken the liberty of adding a slew of new “things” for readers to visit, partake in, eat, observe, get wet and so on. Maybe it’s the fact that this island is ever-expanding, as molten lava hits the sea and literally expands the square footage by many feet every year.
Or perhaps it is the unique people who are attracted to this vast island, and all its varied terrain. You may have heard it before: Of the world’s 13 geographic climate zones, this island has 11 of them. Which means that somewhere within a 2-hour drive of where you are currently standing you could be hiking in a lush rainforest, jogging through a high-dessert, throwing snowballs on the top of a mountain or paddling a canoe down a serene river. And so on.
This makes our magazine very exciting to work on. Since we reprint a new version three times per year, you can rest assured that each item is relevant and up-to-date. More so than any other Hawaiian Island, The Big Island really keeps our staff on its toes!
Take the ocean voyaging sunrise lava tours; never before—anywhere on earth, mind you—could you slide up to a turbulent coastline where lava meets the sea in a wild display of fireworks, smoke and color. It’s a photographer’s dream, and it’s just one of a 101 things.
There are farms to tour (and no shortage of farmers markets), restaurants to dine at, hidden towns along the coasts, galleries and museums in Hilo and Kona, a wealth of cultural and historical tours, as well as no shortage of ocean experiences to have. Whether you want to learn to surf, dive with manta rays and spinner dolphin or have a sunset cocktail from the dry-side of a luxurious catamaran, there’s something here for you.
As I like to say: Take this magazine for what it is. Fodder for a few oddball adventures in which you and your significant other can partake, or a checklist of how many “things” your family can try and achieve in your time here. Hold on to this magazine as you head home, and refer to it as you plan your return trip… we know you’ll be back.
We’ll be here waiting.
View our top picks below or see all 101 Things To Do on the Big Island!
Two centuries ago, Hawaiian rulers worshiped a powerful war god called Ku. King Kamehameha I, who fought numerous battles to unify all the Hawaiian islands, sought Ku’s support by building a massive stone temple 400 feet above Kawaihae Harbor in North Kohala. Construction of the 20-foot-high lava rock temple, or heiau, began in 1790 and… Continue »
If you’re planning a Big Island shopping spree, or even a window-shopping walkabout, don’t expect to hit a mall stocked with Mainland lookalikes. Part of the island’s charm is the fact that it’s not riddled with department store chains. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll easily find all that you need; it’s just that shopping on… Continue »
Snorkeling is a great way to stick your head in the water without the inconvenience of holding your breath. The Big Island’s see-through water and mostly sunny skies make it easy to spot marine life, which is generally the objective of a snorkeling trip. Snorkeling aboard a catamaran will probably include marine life viewing, plenty… Continue »
It would be a mistake to rely on words to describe a “flight seeing” tour of Hawai‘i Island. It’s like a mythical ride on a magic carpet. It’s like a scene from a James Bond thriller, with a chopper skirting a live volcano and lava oozing down the mountain slopes. It’s one of those fabulous… Continue »
Although not as well-storied as Maui’s scenic drive to Hana, the 45-mile Hamakua Coast road trip from Hilo to Honoka‘a is no less stunning. Highway 19 rises above high, erosional cliffs that drop to the foaming surf below. Above the highway, the mountainside is blanketed in green and interlaced by rushing streams. Two volcanoes –… Continue »
The largest organic coffee farm in the United States is located 3,200 feet above sea level in a mist-cooled rainforest about 7 miles from Kailua-Kona. Trent Bateman, a Mainland transplant who left a career in engineering to come to Hawai‘i, is growing award-winning Kona coffee on his farm and breaking all the rules. For starters,… Continue »
Waimea’s historical cowboy roots inspire a rustic kind of charm, the Islands’ own Western-Hawaiian version of Aspen and Sonoma chic. There are art galleries, boutiques, wonderful little cafes, paniolo-inspired collections, as well as some of the most beautiful homes and neighborhoods in Hawai‘i. Parker Ranch Center, in the heart of Waimea, offers a mix of… Continue »
Fine dining in Hawai‘i is an elegant meal that is the direct result of a chef working from fresh-off-the-farm produce. Here, that combination is known as Hawaii Regional Cuisine, which combines the classic techniques of Europe, the savvy style and sophistication of American Regional Cuisine, and the exotic ingredients of the Pacific Rim. Peter Merriman,… Continue »
White, black, and even green sand beaches abound along the Big Island’s 266-mile coastline. Check out some of the most popular spots below: Kauna‘oa Beach at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Hapuna Beach (popular for walking and body boarding) Anaeho‘omalu Beach (known as “A-Bay,” great for windsurfing and kitesurfing) Ka‘upulehu Beach at the Four Seasons… Continue »
Named one of the top golf schools in America by Golf Magazine, Darrin Gee’s Spirit of Golf Academy is a Big Island must for all avid and aspiring golfers. According to the academy, some of its patrons have cut as many as 22 strokes with just one lesson. Golf pioneer, innovator and mental-golf guru Darrin… Continue »