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11075 Travelers rated Hawaii Island highly for Beaches and Volcanoes

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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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.

Want to drive the Big Island? Check out our interactive Big Island road trip guide for recommendations on attractions, restaurants, hotels and more.  You can also download the included pdf to take all the information on the go.

Best time to take a trip to Hawaii Island

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.

Things to do in Hawaii Island

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.

Kealakekua Bay

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Insider tips for Hawaii Island travel

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.

Laupahoehoe Train Museum (Hamakua Coast)

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

Honomalino Beach (South Kona)

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

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.

Top Rated Hotels for your Hawaii Island Vacation

Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
4.0 out of 5.0 78-128 Ehukai St, Kailua-Kona, HI
Free Cancellation
$197
3.9/5 (549 reviews)

The pool is great! The kids love it! Staff all so nice!

Reviewed on Jun 7, 2020
Guests of Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay have access to a full-service spa, 2 outdoor pools, and a children's pool. Parking is available for USD 20.00 ...
Hilton Waikoloa Village
Hilton Waikoloa Village
4.0 out of 5.0 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa, HI
$225
3.9/5 (71 reviews)

The boat ride and monorail made it unique. The upgrade of our room was nice but then we had to wait outside our room because of a broken door latch and maintenance had to replace it. Not sure if this room was ever checked from the last time it was occupied.

Reviewed on Mar 10, 2020
Hilton Waikoloa Village features a private beach, a golf course, and a full-service spa. Parking is available for USD 33 per night (USD 39 per night for valet ...
Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo - a Doubletree by Hilton
Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo - a Doubletree by Hilton
3.5 out of 5.0 93 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI
Free Cancellation
$149
4.1/5 (93 reviews)

I stayed at the Naniloa while I visited family in Hilo during the COVID 19 pandemic after inter island quarantine was lifted. Its a great location and very convenient. The service was great, and would like to see how it would be once full service is available again.

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2020
Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo - a Doubletree by Hilton features a golf course, a nightclub, and an outdoor pool. Valet parking is available for USD 20 per day. The ...

Things To Do during your Hawaii Island Vacation

See all 257 things to do in Hawaii Island

^Savings based on all package bookings with Flight + Hotel made on Orbitz.com from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.

*Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.