Updated July 23, 2020.
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 Big Island of Hawaii! We love the state of Hawaii 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 Big Island!
10. The Hang Loose Attitude
I don’t know about where you live, but in the DC 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!
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Hawaii’s Big Island
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!
More here: 7 Steps to Plan Your Big Island Trip
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!
Want more? Your Guide to Hawaii’s Big Island Royalty
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 Big Island being the youngest of the Hawaiian islands!
Read more like this: Hawaii for History Lovers
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!
Read more: What to Eat on the Hawaiian Islands
The State of Hawaii has some incredible hikes, and the Big Island 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!
Read on: Hiking Hawaii: The Big Island
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!
Keep reading: Hawaii’s Best Adventures
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!
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!
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!
Check it out: How to Have an Unforgettable Lava Boat Tour
Have you been to Hawaii’s Big Island? Is it on your list? Check out my Pacific Islands Page for everything you need to plan your trip!
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