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Big Island of Hawaii Vacations

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Big Island of Hawaii

Your Big Island vacation

With a volcano-goddess attitude and miles of rugged off-the-grid landscapes, the Big Island is real Hawaii in the raw. (And really, when was the last time you bathed in a steam vent or night-swam with manta rays?) Spend tamer days stargazing at the top of 14,000-foot Mauna Kea, on a wagon ride through wild Waipio Valley, or kayaking the crystalline Kealakekua Bay.

From the white-sand Hapuna Beach to the smoldering mouth of Halemaumau, allow Orbitz to help you map out your Big Island vacation. Our travel experts dish on where to stay, top 10 attractions and Big Island's hidden travel gems.

Best time to take a vacation to Big Island of Hawaii

  • The Big Island may be home to both fire and ice, but at sea level the island thrives in eternal summer and the water is warm (mid- to high-70s). On the Kona side, conditions are typically dry, sunny and hot. The Hilo side takes the edge off with frequent overcast days and tropical rains. Hurricane season spans from June to November.

    Although Big Island travel is always in season, prices dip from September through November. The week after Easter, Hilo's Merrie Monarch Hula Festival packs the town for the largest hula event in the world. Japanese Golden Week attracts crowds as well, so plan ahead if you're travelling in late April and early May. July draws international competitors to Kona's annual Billfish Tournament. In October, the renowned Ironman Triathlon World Championship takes place in Kona.

Insider tips for Big Island of Hawaii travel

  • Honomalino Beach (South Kona)

    Escape to the secluded Honomalino Bay, and relax below coconut trees on the dark-sand beach.

  • Palace Theater (Hilo)

    Spice up the night at Hilo’s 1920s-era theater, complete with a live pipe-organ player. Watch everything from the latest Woody Allen movie to classical-music concerts.

  • Lava Tree State Monument (Puna)

    Hit the trails of this trippy 17-acre parkland where lava-cooked trees leave a mold of their trunks behind.

  • Two Ladies Kitchen (Hilo)

    Well-loved by Hilo residents, this busy little family shop is famous for its mochi –traditional Japanese rice cakes made in every flavor and color.

  • Laupahoehoe Train Museum (Hamakua Coast)

    This Hamakua Coast gem pays tribute to Hawaii's golden era of railroads, sugar cane trains, plantations and memorabilia.

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Big Island of Hawaii Vacation Packages

Hotel only $189

1 Hilton Waikoloa Village

4 stars
4.1 / 5 216 reviews

425 Waikoloa Beach Drive Map

7th night free with luau

Oceanfront Waikoloa resort offers 62-acre tropical fantasy adventureFantasy becomes reality at the oceanfront Hilton Waikoloa Village, one of Hawaii's most renowned playgrounds. This 62-acre property features more than 1,200 upscale accommodations, and the grounds are... More

Hotel only $123

2 Castle Waimea Country Lodge

2 stars
2.6 / 5 7 reviews

65-1210 Lindsey Road Map

Book Now and Save 30%

In the cool upcountry at the base of Mauna Kea, Waimea Country Lodge welcomes you with warm island hospitality. Awake to complimentary locally-grown coffee, morning mists, rolling green grasslands, and extraordinary views of Mauna Kea. It's a location unlike that of any... More

Hotel only $98

3 Hilo Seaside Hotel

2 stars
3.6 / 5 257 reviews

126 Banyan Drive Map

Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access

Value priced, Island-style Hilo hotel with bay and garden viewsThe locally owned Hilo Seaside Hotel offers guests Island-style budget accommodations and a convenient location near downtown Hilo and the airport. The hotel is built around a swimming pool and landscaped... More

Hotel only $199

4 Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

4 stars
4.3 / 5 244 reviews

62 100 Kauna Oa Drive Map

Every 4th Night Free

Grand Hapuna Beach hotel with ocean views from every roomWith an ancient name Hapuna, or "Spring of Life," the award-winning Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel sits oceanfront upon South Kohala's remarkable Hapuna Beach. All 350 luxurious guest rooms offer ocean views from private... More

Hotel only $129

5 Royal Kona Resort

3 stars
3.8 / 5 435 reviews

75-5852 Alii Drive Map

Book Now and Save 25%

Oceanfront Kailua resort features Don the Beachcomber mai tai heavenPerched on a lava-rock promontory on the edge of downtown Kailua-Kona, the Royal Kona Resort is a landmark hotel with renovated rooms and stellar ocean views. On site, guests find the legendary Don the... More

Hotel only $97

6 Paniolo Greens Resort

3 stars
4.3 / 5 94 reviews

68-1745 Waikoloa Road Map

Book Early and Save 15%

Waikoloa upcountry resort on golf course, with fully-equipped villasGolfers rejoice at the Paniolo Greens at Waikoloa resort, with extraordinarily large one- and two-bedroom villas set on a peaceful upcountry championship fairway. Villas gaze across green landscaping, the... More

7 Fairways at Mauna Lani

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

58-1125 North Kaniku Drive Map

The Fairways at Mauna Lani provide a home away from home in the beautiful Mauna Lani resort, a stone's throw from the Fairmont Orchid and Mauna Lani Bay Hotels. Two and three bedroom town homes with private garage and no upstairs neighbors with views of the golf course... More

Hotel only $95

8 Hilo Naniloa Hotel, a LITE Hotel

2 stars
3.0 / 5 146 reviews

93 Banyan Drive Map

Book Now and Save 30%

Island-style hotel on Hilo waterfront offers location, value and views Hilo Naniloa Hotel, a LITE Hotel rests right on the edge of Hilo Bay, with views onto the town and volcano Mauna Kea. The property opens onto lush gardens, an oceanfront swimming pool and a... More

Hotel only $389

9 Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

5 stars
4.6 / 5 32 reviews

62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive Map

Magnificent Kohala Coast beach resort with award-winning golf courseDreamed into reality by a Rockefeller and recently restored to its original glory, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is one of the Big Island's most legendary and spectacular destinations. Fronting a magnificent... More

Hotel only $107

10 Aston Kona by the Sea

3 stars
4.1 / 5 73 reviews

75-6106 Alii Dr. Map

Save With Already Reduced Non-Refundable Rates

Affordable Kailua-Kona oceanfront condos offer full kitchens and views Hugging a secluded beach cove in Kailua-Kona, the Aston Kona by the Sea captures the romantic ruggedness of the Big Island. Located only two miles south from the center of town, the Aston Kona is... More

Big Island of Hawaii highlights

  • Kealakekua Bay

    Snorkel or kayak this pristine marine life conservation district along the Kona Coast, also the site of famed explorer Captain James Cook.

  • Akaka Falls

    Hike through bamboo groves, orchids and draping ferns. Then follow the paved pathway (past 100-foot Kahuna Falls) to Akaka Falls -- a 442-foot waterfall that crashes into a steamy gorge.

  • Hapuna Beach

    Laze on the Big Island's most impressive stretch of white-sand beach, eternally sunny with good summer swimming.

  • Hamakua Coast-North Kohala

    Cruise the Big Island's most scenic coastline, followed by a guided trek into exotic Waipio Valley. Visit the hamlet of Hawi or tour a working ranch in misty Waimea.

  • Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

    Make a pilgrimage to this sacred Hawaiian refuge site filled with original village artifacts, rebuilt features, and a stunning bayside setting.

  • Mauna Kea

    Explore the summit of a snow-capped volcano, home to world-famous observatories. The Visitor's Information Station (VIS) has a free nightly stargazing program.

  • Kailua-Kona

    Hit this quaint, historic fishing town with a splash of touristy sites. Shop and dine along Alii Drive or people watch on the pier.

  • Kapoho Tide Pools

    Swim in a network of coastal tide pools – some volcanically heated and teeming with sea life. Bring snorkeling gear or sunbathe on a lava shelf.

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Drive, hike or helicopter across a 330,000-acre parkland of smoking vents, native forests, streaming lava and monstrous snow-dusted volcanoes -- an experience native to the Big Island.