Big Island Travel
If you want a real slice of Hawaiian ranch life, head up to Parker Ranch or also known as Waimea. Known to some as “God’s country,” the rolling green hills and mist gently sloping over the mountains reminds you to slow down and enjoy The Big Island is the largest of all of the Hawaiian Islands and has the most diverse of climate zones within the chain.
From barren lava fields to wet tropical jungles and from covered mountains to molten lava flowing into the ocean, the islands powerful diversity is remarkable.
The island is 4,038 square miles and has a population of 171,191. The average temperature ranges from 65 to 77 degrees depending on where you are on the island and what season it is (dry season/summer or wet season/winter).
There are two main airports, one in Kona and the other in Hilo. Kona is dry and hot whereas Hilo is wet and green. Kona is a fun little town right on the water and its highlights are shopping and restaurants. It is also where the Ironman happens every year. The Kona Brewing Company is great and if you are looking for local style food check out Kona Mix Plate. Royal Thai Café is quaint and always tasty too. If you are looking for a nightclub, this island is not for you. Oahu and Maui are the hotspots for that.
Hapuna Beach is a gorgeous beach to spend the day although, don’t forget the sunscreen; there is very little shade on the sand. And if you feel like a fantastic meal, head into Kawaihae and have lunch at Café Pesto. You won’t regret it.
You can also head to the Waipio Valley lookout. It takes a four wheel drive vehicle to drive down into the Valley and if you have access to one, do it. The drive is steep but worth it. Otherwise on a clear day the Valley is breathtaking and perfect for pictures.
Honoka’a, which is the town closest to Waipio Valley held the last sugar plantation in the islands and is an hour and a half from Hilo. It is a cute town with some small boutiques for shopping.
You will see quite a few waterfalls on your way to Hilo and there will be gorgeous views of the coast. The town itself is great to walk around in and gives a delightful feel for old Hawaii. From Hilo you can head to Kilauea.
Kilauea is the islands active volcano and is constantly adding to the islands growth. It is worth the drive to the crater to view this wonder and on the way you can visit or camp at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for more sightseeing and hiking.