Hawaii is known for its waterfalls, and if you're staying in Hilo you're close to two beautiful reasons why. The 422-foot Akaka Falls is only a few miles north of Hilo, while Rainbow Falls is located right in town.
On an island as diverse and large as the Big Island, it can be difficult to decide what to do during your stay. Sure, you’ll probably check out Volcano National Park, hit the beach, and maybe do some snorkeling, but there’s so much more to do and see. We’ve assembled six popular things to do on Big Island Hawaii. These are the lesser known, but amazing things to do on Hawaii Island.
Stop by Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls
Drink Authentic Hawaiian Kona Coffee
A cup of 100 percent Kona coffee is a dream come true for coffee lovers. The most expensive coffee in the world, Kona coffee is a robust medium-bodied coffee with a multi-faceted taste. Tour one of the Kona district’s coffee farms and end the tour with the best cup of coffee you’ll ever taste.
Appreciate Nature at the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden
One of the greatest things to do on Big Island Hawaii is lose yourself in natural beauty, and there are few places better suited for a day in nature than the 40-acre Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden, where you can discover over 2,000 plant species and enjoy a view of Onomea Bay.
See the Black Sand at Punaluu Beach
The Big Island is one of the few locations in the world where you can see black sand beaches. Punaluu beach sand is made from fragments of block lava rock created when molten lava poured into the ocean. The beach is also known for its basking green sea turtles, or honu.
Hike to Pololu Valley Lookout
At the end of Highway 270 Pololu Valley Lookout offers spectacular views of the eroding north coast cliffs. For an even better view of the coastline, hike along the trail leading down to the valley floor and the beach.
Summit Mauna Kea
Driving up the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano is one of the most memorable things to do on Big Island Hawaii. Even if you don't make it to the summit, the visitor center halfway up the 13,796-foot mountain is well worth the trip--especially on days when the local astronomers come up to share their love of stargazing with visitors.