The Best 10 Reasons to Visit the Island of Hawai’i

Updated July 2, 2021.

Aloha! If you’ve been following me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you know my sweet husband and I had an absolute blast celebrating our third wedding anniversary on the Island of Hawai’i! We love the state of Hawai’i for plenty of reasons, and we recommend that everyone visit at least once in a lifetime. Here are just a few of the things we loved most about the Island of Hawai’i!

10. The Hang Loose Attitude

I don’t know about where you live, but in the D.C. area, people are anything but laid-back. It’s nice to visit a place where time moves slowly and people are nice without an ulterior motive. It might take a day or two to get used to it, but once you do, you’ll be hooked!

Tattoos before the luau!
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit the Island of Hawai’i

9. Multi-colored Beaches

It’s true! Hawaii is home to one of only four green sand beaches in the world. It also boasts course white sand beaches and volcanic black sand beaches as well. Some of them require a hike, but it’ll be worth your while! Bring your sunscreen, water, and maybe your bathing suit!

Green Sand
White Sand
Version 2
Black Sand
More here: 7 Steps to Plan Your Trip to the Island of Hawai’i

8. The Royalty

Hawaii is the only state in the country with palaces—and more than one! Other than the 13 original American Colonies, Hawaii is the only state that was once ruled by a monarch, starting with King Kamehameha the Great, who united the Hawaiian islands for the first time. He was born and raised on this island, so there are loads of royal spots to check out!

Original King Kamehameha the Great Statue, rescued from the sea!
Hulihe’e Palace
Want more? Your Guide to Royalty on the Island of Hawai’i

7. History

And speaking of royal sites, there are also plenty of ancient Hawaiian sites to visit as well. Way up at the tip of the island, we found a place where Hawaiians gave human sacrifices. Down south of Kona, we explored a Place of Refuge, where people who had broken the law (punishable by death) could come to be forgiven of their wrong-doings and re-enter society without fear of execution. There is so much more as well, despite the Island of Hawai’i being the youngest of the Hawaiian islands!

Mo’okini Heiau, for human sacrifices (and that’s Maui in the distance)
Kiki (tiki) at the Place of Refuge
Read more like this: Hawaii for History Lovers

6. Coffee

Oh, so you’ve heard of Kona coffee? Come tour a plantation! Sample a few roasts. Take home some chocolate-covered beans! We took a free tour at the Greenwell Farms coffee plantation; it’s so interesting to know how much effort it takes to create my morning cup of coffee!

Coffee beans in the pods
117 year old coffee tree
Coffee beans in various stages
Read more: What to Eat on the Hawaiian Islands

5. Hiking

The State of Hawaii has some incredible hikes, and the Island of Hawai’i boasts many one-of-a-kind sites only accessible by hike. The Green Sand Beach (or pay a local to drive you in a beat-up 4 wheel drive!), Waipi’o Valley (or take a guided tour via donkey and wagon, horseback, or 4 wheel drive van), Captain Cook’s Monument, volcanoes, and some of the island’s best beaches are all accessible via some stunning hikes. A whole post on hiking Hawaii is coming soon!

Captain Cook Monument (4 miles round-trip)
Green Sand Beach (6 miles round-trip)
Waipi’o Valley (3 miles round-trip)
Read on: Hiking Hawaii: The Island of Hawai’i

4. Volcanoes

Volcanoes are so much more than I thought! The Island of Hawaii is home to the most active volcano in the world. The various volcanoes on the island have been erupting off and on for thousands of years (that’s how the island was formed!), and the most active one has been erupting constantly since 1983! You can walk through a volcano crater, see and smell the effects of the sulfur from the volcanoes, see steam coming up through cracks in the ground, walk through a lava tube, and even see lava live and in person!

Fresh lava!
Path through a volcanic crater
Keep reading: Hawaii’s Best Adventures

3. Luau

I was starting to get a little embarrassed that this would be our third trip to Hawaii and yet we had not been to a luau! My husband is not into anything that might require audience participation or making small talk with strangers, but we had such a great time! The food was awesome, we sat with super nice people, and it truly was a cultural experience from all of Polynesia, not just Hawaii! It was one of my most favorite experiences, and even my husband had fun!

Luau food!
Polynesian dance!
More here: What to Eat at a Luau

2. The Views

Something we always look forward to in Hawaii is the natural beauty, and the Island of Hawaii has it in abundance. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, though photos can hardly do them justice!

Sunrise from a lava boat
Rainbow Falls
Waipi’o Valley
Read next: What to Know Before You Visit the Hawaiian Islands

 1. Lava Boat Tour

This one just has to take the cake for #1! This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind experience. I don’t know if there is another place on Earth where you can see fresh lava flowing into the ocean and creating new land. I can’t recommend this activity enough! We took the sunrise tour, but they also offer sunset and midday tours as well. We went with Hawaiian Lava Boat Tours, and it was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of our lives so far!

Glowing lava!
IMG_5335 2
Hot and steamy anniversary excursion
More lava!
Check it out: How to Have an Unforgettable Lava Boat Tour

Have you been to the Island of Hawai’i? Is it on your list? Check out my Hawaiian Islands Page for everything you need to plan your trip!

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2 responses to “The Best 10 Reasons to Visit the Island of Hawai’i”

  1. Nice list. The glowing lava is interesting. It’s definitely a unique one!

    1. For sure! Are you planning a trip to Hawaii?

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