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Hawaii’s Big Island Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

In the North Pacific Ocean lies the Island of Hawai’i, also known as the Big Island. This is the largest, and youngest, of the Hawaiian islands and its still-growing landmass has a range of climate zones. On this volcano-rich island, with subtropical coastline, nature’s elements collide spectacularly. Enjoy the warm, blue water and the ocean breezes, see the red-hot lava flow and delve into a lush green jungle. On this remote American island, the unique Polynesian culture of the Hawaiians, and their special connection to nature, is ever present. This is the domain of Pele, the mythical goddess of fire, volcanoes and passion. Set out exploring to see the island’s natural wonders. Take a few days to drive around the Big Island… Remember, nobody is in a hurry here, so take your time and expect some unusual road closures! The resort-rich westside of the Big Island offers black lava beaches, history and watersports. Pacific green sea turtles crawl ashore in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. To greet the “Honu” underwater, dive in the sheltered Kahalu’u bay. This beach park is part of Kailua-Kona, the island’s main resort hub. It is a relaxing place to enjoy the sunshine and try stand-up paddle boarding. When you are ready for a break, taste one of Kona’s exclusive brews or treat the children to shave ice, another Hawaiian specialty. Shop for “Aloha” souvenirs or beachwear and admire Hulihe’e Palace. Relax a few days on Mauna Kea Beach, with Hawaii’s highest point, the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano, in the backdrop. Set aside a day for nearby Captain Cook village. In 1779, the famous English explorer was killed right here in Kealakekua Bay. These days the the old jetty built in his honor is used for sunbathing and people watching. It is worth stopping by at this painted church when driving south to Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. Pu’uhonua was a place of refuge in ancient times. See primitive canoes, huts and board games and walk around the sacred burial temple for Hawaiian chiefs, guarded by carved Kii gods. Spend some time in the Big Island’s interior and explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The steaming craters of the Kīlauea volcano bring in visitors from all over the world. This relatively young volcano has been steadily erupting for over 30 years now. You can even join a cruise to see the lava pour into the ocean. Hawai’i’s mighty volcanoes did not scare off the brave Polynesian seafarers some thousand years ago when they first set foot on the Big Island. After all, fertile molten soil is perfect for new beginnings and on the Big Island’s windward coast nature AND people flourish. Tropical Hilo is one of the wettest city in the US, but the many indoor attractions on this part of the east coast will keep you entertained when the heavens open. On the island’s northern tip, in the Pololū Valley, overlook the sprawling forest reserves of Hawai’i”s lush northern region, the birthplace of Kamehameha the First. The legendary king unified the Hawaiian islands. Browse the boutique shops and galleries in the historic, and rustic, towns of Kapaau and Hawi. Back on the west coast, watch the sun sink into the North Pacific Ocean like a glowing ball of fire on Hapuna Beach. Salute the Island of Hawai’i’ with a Mai Tai or Lava Flow-inspired cocktail: Here’s to earth, water, wind, and fire, nature’s splendid gifts to human kind..

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