Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Big Island Hawaii Travel Guide & Packing Tips


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Carissa Luciano



Welcome to the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii! Known for its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and rich cultural heritage, the Big Island offers an unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection to nature, this island has it all.


Situated in the central Pacific Ocean, the Big Island is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is renowned for its active volcanoes, lush rainforests, black sand beaches, and vibrant marine life. From exploring the depths of the ocean to hiking through dramatic lava fields, there is no shortage of thrilling activities for nature enthusiasts.


Aside from its natural wonders, the Big Island also boasts a fascinating cultural tapestry that is deeply rooted in its Polynesian heritage. You’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local customs, learn about ancient traditions, and experience the warm hospitality of the island’s residents.


With its diverse microclimates, the weather on the Big Island can vary significantly depending on which side of the island you’re on. The western coast, known as the Kona side, tends to be drier and sunnier, while the eastern coast, known as the Hilo side, receives more rainfall and has a lusher landscape. This variety makes the Big Island an ideal destination for all types of travelers.


Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, this comprehensive travel guide will provide you with essential information to make the most of your trip. From the best time to visit to the top attractions, dining experiences, and packing tips, we’ve got you covered.


So, pack your bags, put on your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the enchanting Big Island of Hawaii! Aloha!


Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Big Island of Hawaii largely depends on your preferences and what you plan to do during your stay. The island experiences a mild tropical climate year-round, with temperatures ranging from the high 70s to low 90s Fahrenheit (25-35 degrees Celsius).


One of the factors to consider when planning your visit is the tourist season. The peak tourist season on the island is during the winter months (December to February) and summer months (June to August), when visitors from around the world flock to enjoy the island’s beauty. If you prefer a more relaxed and less crowded experience, you may want to consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) or fall (September to November).


Another important factor to consider is the weather. The Big Island has several microclimates, each with its own unique weather patterns. The western coast (Kona side) tends to be drier and sunnier, making it a popular destination for beachgoers. The eastern coast (Hilo side), on the other hand, receives more rainfall and has a lusher landscape. If you’re interested in exploring the island’s rainforests and waterfalls, visiting the Hilo side during the summer months when it is drier may be more favorable.


Keep in mind that the Big Island is also home to active volcanoes, including Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Monitoring volcanic activity is essential, as it can occasionally affect certain areas of the island. Before your trip, make sure to check with the local authorities and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for any updates or restrictions.


Overall, the Big Island of Hawaii offers something for everyone throughout the year. Whether you’re seeking sunny beach days, adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventures, or a glimpse into the island’s unique culture, you’re sure to find it here. By considering your preferences and doing some research on the weather and tourist seasons, you can choose the ideal time to visit and make the most of your Big Island experience.


How to Get to Big Island

Getting to the Big Island of Hawaii is relatively easy, with several options available to suit your travel preferences and budget. Here are the main ways to reach the island:

  1. By Air: The Big Island has two major airports: Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the eastern side and Kona International Airport (KOA) on the western side. These airports have direct flights from mainland U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Honolulu. International travelers can connect through Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and then catch a short flight to the Big Island. Several major airlines serve these airports, providing a range of flight options for travelers.
  2. By Cruise Ship: Another unique way to reach the Big Island is by taking a cruise. Many cruise lines offer itineraries that include a stop at Hilo or Kona. These cruises often depart from ports in California or other islands in Hawaii, providing an opportunity to see multiple destinations while enjoying the amenities and comfort of a cruise ship.
  3. By Ferry: Currently, there is no direct ferry service available between the Big Island and other islands in Hawaii. The ferry service that once operated between Maui and the Big Island has been discontinued. Travelers can explore alternative transportation options like air travel or island-hopping flights.
  4. By Private Boat: If you have access to a private boat, you can also consider sailing to the Big Island. There are several marinas and harbors where you can dock your boat, such as Hilo Harbor and Kailua-Kona Marina. It’s essential to check the regulations and requirements for private boating in Hawaii before embarking on your journey.

Once you arrive on the Big Island, it’s advisable to rent a car to explore the island at your own pace. Car rental services are available at both airports, making it convenient to pick up and drop off your vehicle. Public transportation options like buses and shuttles are limited on the island, so having a car will give you more flexibility to explore the island’s various attractions.


Now that you know the options for getting to the Big Island, you can choose the most suitable method based on your preferences and travel plans. Whether you prefer the convenience of flying or the leisurely pace of a cruise, your journey to the Big Island will be the beginning of an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure.


Where to Stay

When it comes to accommodations on the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll find a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. Whether you’re looking for a luxury beachfront resort, a cozy vacation rental, or a charming bed and breakfast, the island has something for everyone. Here are some popular areas to consider for your stay:

  1. Kailua-Kona: Located on the western coast of the island, Kailua-Kona is a bustling town known for its vibrant energy and stunning sunsets. Here, you’ll find a variety of hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and beaches. This is a great area to base yourself if you want easy access to popular tourist attractions like Mauna Kea Observatory and historic sites like Hulihe‘e Palace.
  2. Hilo: On the eastern side of the island, Hilo is known for its lush rainforests, waterfalls, and a slower pace of life. This area offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. Hilo is an excellent option if you want to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls State Park, or go on scenic drives along the Hamakua Coast.
  3. Waikoloa Beach Resort: Situated on the Kohala Coast, Waikoloa Beach Resort is home to several world-class resorts and golf courses. This area boasts beautiful white sand beaches, upscale shopping, and a variety of dining options. If you’re looking for a luxurious beachfront experience with access to water sports and recreational activities, Waikoloa Beach Resort is an ideal choice.
  4. Volcano Village: For those seeking a unique and immersive experience, the quaint town of Volcano Village is located near the entrance of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here, you’ll find charming bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals surrounded by lush rainforests and volcanic landscapes. Staying in Volcano Village allows for convenient access to the park’s hiking trails, lava tubes, and the fascinating Kilauea Visitor Center.

It’s important to note that the Big Island is vast, and each area offers a different experience. Consider your travel preferences and the activities you have planned when choosing where to stay. If you plan to explore multiple parts of the island, you might consider splitting your stay between different areas to maximize your time and experience the diverse landscape of the island.


Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty and warm aloha spirit of the Big Island. Whether you’re gazing at the endless ocean, exploring lava fields, or watching breathtaking sunsets, your choice of accommodation will be the perfect base for creating lifelong memories on this magical island.


Top Attractions

The Big Island of Hawaii is a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural landmarks. From dramatic volcanic landscapes to pristine beaches and ancient traditions, the island offers a wide array of attractions for visitors to explore. Here are some of the top attractions to add to your itinerary:

  1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: A visit to the Big Island wouldn’t be complete without exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Witness the power of Mother Nature as you hike through lava fields, marvel at active volcanoes, and explore fascinating lava tubes. Don’t miss the iconic Kilauea Caldera, Thurston Lava Tube, and Chain of Craters Road.
  2. Akaka Falls State Park: Discover the beauty of cascading waterfalls and lush rainforests at Akaka Falls State Park. Take a leisurely stroll along the paved path, and be awed by the 442-foot Akaka Falls and the scenic Kahuna Falls. This park offers a serene and picturesque setting for nature lovers.
  3. Mauna Kea: Embark on a journey to the summit of Mauna Kea, one of the world’s most renowned astronomical sites. Marvel at the breathtaking sunset or stargaze under the world’s clearest skies. If you’re up for adventure, consider joining a guided tour or renting a 4×4 vehicle for the challenging drive to the summit.
  4. Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park: Dive into Hawaiian history and culture at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. This sacred site was once a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiians. Explore the beautifully preserved temples, royal fishponds, and learn about the customs and traditions of the island’s past.
  5. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Visit Punalu’u Beach, famous for its unique black sand composed of volcanic fragments. Take a stroll along the shore, spot Hawaiian green sea turtles, and enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder. Swimming is not recommended due to strong currents, but it’s the perfect spot for a picnic or some unforgettable photos.
  6. Kealakekua Bay: Known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, Kealakekua Bay is a haven for snorkelers and scuba divers. Explore the underwater world teeming with tropical fish, and if you’re fortunate, you might even spot dolphins or sea turtles. Guided kayak tours to the bay are also available.
  7. Pololu Valley: Take a scenic drive to the northern tip of the island and discover the stunning Pololu Valley. Hike down the steep trail, surrounded by breathtaking cliffs and lush vegetation, and be rewarded with a pristine black sand beach. This secluded and picturesque spot is perfect for immersing yourself in the island’s natural beauty.

These are just a few of the many incredible attractions the Big Island has to offer. As you explore the island, you’ll find an abundance of hidden gems and breathtaking landscapes at every turn. Immerse yourself in the unique culture, delve into the island’s history, and create unforgettable memories as you discover the top attractions the Big Island has in store for you.


National Parks and Volcanoes

The Big Island of Hawaii is home to some of the most awe-inspiring national parks and volcanoes in the world. From towering peaks to active lava flows, these natural wonders offer captivating experiences that showcase the island’s unique geological history. Here are the top national parks and volcanoes to explore:

  1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: As one of the island’s most iconic attractions, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit destination. Witness the dynamic forces of nature as you explore the Kilauea Caldera, the home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Take a hike through the barren landscape of the Kilauea Iki Crater, visit the fascinating Jaggar Museum, and marvel at the glowing lava flows at night (when active). It’s an opportunity to observe and understand the raw power of volcanic activity.
  2. Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park: This significant historical site served as a place of refuge for ancient Hawaiians who had broken a sacred law (kapu). Today, Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park offers a glimpse into Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. Explore the beautifully restored temples, royal fishponds, and sacred statues. Immerse yourself in the island’s ancient traditions, and learn about the customs and rituals that shaped Hawaiian society.
  3. Mauna Kea: Standing at over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level, Mauna Kea is one of the most revered and spectacular landmarks on the Big Island. This dormant volcano is also home to some of the world’s most advanced astronomical observatories. Visitors can take part in stargazing tours or educational programs to learn about the fascinating celestial wonders visible from this pristine and remote location.
  4. Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site: This historic site holds great significance in Hawaiian history, as it was built by King Kamehameha I to fulfill a prophecy that would unite the Hawaiian islands under his rule. Explore the ruins of the massive stone temple, walk along the coastal trail, and learn about the cultural and political impact of this sacred site.

Visiting these national parks and volcanoes on the Big Island offers a unique opportunity to witness the island’s geological and cultural evolution. As you explore these sites, it’s important to respect the natural surroundings and adhere to any safety guidelines provided by park authorities. Keep in mind that volcanic activity can be unpredictable, and conditions may change, so it’s essential to check for updates before planning your visit.


Whether you’re captivated by the raw power of an active volcano or intrigued by the ancient rituals and history of the island, the national parks and volcanoes on the Big Island will leave a lasting impression on your journey through this beautiful island paradise.


Beaches and Water Activities

The Big Island of Hawaii is blessed with an abundance of stunning beaches and offers a wide range of exciting water activities. From pristine white sand beaches to rugged lava coastlines, there are options for everyone, whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure. Here are some of the top beaches and water activities to explore:

  1. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area: Considered one of the best beaches on the Big Island, Hapuna Beach offers a beautiful stretch of white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling in the calm and inviting ocean. The beach is also a popular spot for picnics and family gatherings, with ample parking and facilities available.
  2. Ke’e Beach: Located on the western coast of the island near Captain Cook, Ke’e Beach offers excellent snorkeling opportunities. Dive into the vibrant underwater world, filled with colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. Keep an eye out for sea turtles and other marine creatures as you explore the clear and calm waters.
  3. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Famous for its unique black sand created by volcanic activity, Punalu’u Beach is not only stunning but also offers a chance to observe Hawaii’s endangered green sea turtles. Relax on the soft black sand, soak up the sun, and witness these magnificent creatures basking on the beach.
  4. Kayaking: The Big Island provides numerous opportunities for kayaking adventures. Paddle along the stunning coastline, explore sea caves, and keep an eye out for dolphins and whales. Popular kayaking spots include Kealakekua Bay, where you can visit the Captain Cook Monument, and the calm waters of Anaeho’omalu Bay (A-Bay) in Waikoloa.
  5. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The Big Island boasts some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in Hawaii. Discover vibrant coral reefs, graceful manta rays, and a variety of tropical fish. Some popular snorkeling and diving spots include Kahaluu Beach Park, Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and the pristine waters of the Kohala Coast.
  6. Surfing: If you’re a thrill-seeker, the Big Island offers opportunities for surfing adventures. Experienced surfers can find challenging waves along the Kona and Hilo coasts, while beginners can take lessons at surf schools located in popular tourist areas. Honoli’i Beach Park near Hilo and Banyans in Kona are known for their consistent waves.
  7. Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP): Stand-up paddleboarding has grown in popularity, and the calm waters of the Big Island make it an ideal destination for this activity. Cruise along the scenic coastline, explore hidden coves, and enjoy the serene beauty of the ocean while standing atop a paddleboard.

As you explore the beaches and engage in water activities, it’s important to respect the environment and practice responsible tourism. Follow the local guidelines for marine life encounters, avoid damaging coral reefs, and ensure you have the appropriate equipment and knowledge for your chosen water activity.


With its diverse marine ecosystem and magnificent coastal scenery, the Big Island offers endless opportunities for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. So grab your snorkel, surfboard, or kayak and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of the island’s beaches and engage in thrilling water adventures.


Hiking and Outdoor Adventures

The Big Island of Hawaii is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of hiking trails and thrilling outdoor adventures. From scenic coastal paths to challenging volcanic landscapes, there are options for every fitness level and interest. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore the island’s natural wonders. Here are some top hiking and outdoor adventure options on the Big Island:

  1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Embark on a hike through the otherworldly landscapes of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Explore trails that wind through ancient lava flows, steam vents, and lush rainforests. The Kilauea Iki Trail and the Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs Trail are both popular choices, offering unique perspectives of the volcanic activity and rich cultural heritage of the island.
  2. Pololu Valley: Take a hike down the steep trail that leads to the breathtaking Pololu Valley. As you descend, be prepared to be amazed by the panoramic views of the towering cliffs, lush vegetation, and black sand beach. It’s a challenging but rewarding hike that showcases the rugged beauty of the island’s northern coast.
  3. Waipio Valley: Known as the “Valley of the Kings,” Waipio Valley is a sacred and scenic area that can be explored by foot. Hike down into the valley to experience its lush beauty, stunning waterfalls, and black sand beach. Keep in mind that the hike back up can be steep, so be prepared for a workout.
  4. Mauna Kea Summit: For a more challenging and high-altitude hike, consider the journey to the summit of Mauna Kea. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and extreme temperatures. The hike is physically demanding, and it’s important to acclimate to the altitude and stay hydrated. The reward is a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape and a sense of accomplishment.
  5. Kalopa State Recreation Area: Explore the tranquil forests of the Kalopa State Recreation Area, which offers a network of trails suitable for all levels. Wander through native Ohia forests, past glistening streams, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Keep an eye out for native birds and lush ferns as you immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty.
  6. Kohala Zipline Adventure: For an adrenaline-pumping adventure, try ziplining through the lush valleys and treetops of Kohala. Soar over canyons and waterfalls, enjoying panoramic views of the island. It’s a thrilling way to experience the Big Island’s natural beauty from a unique perspective.
  7. Waterfall Tours: Join a guided waterfall tour and explore the island’s stunning cascades and hidden gems. Trek through dense rainforests, swim in refreshing pools, and witness the beauty of iconic waterfalls such as Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Umauma Falls. These tours offer a combination of adventure and enchantment.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast looking for a new adventure, the Big Island has something to offer. Remember to wear appropriate footwear, carry plenty of water, and check the weather conditions and trail conditions before embarking on any hikes. Embrace the spirit of adventure, and let the island’s natural wonders captivate you as you embark on unforgettable hiking and outdoor adventures.


Cultural Explorations

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Big Island of Hawaii through a variety of unique cultural explorations. From ancient traditions to vibrant festivals, there are countless opportunities to learn about and experience the island’s fascinating Polynesian roots. Here are some cultural activities to consider during your visit:

  1. Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park: Step back in time at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, a sacred place of refuge for ancient Hawaiians. Explore the reconstructed temples, royal fishponds, and learn about the traditional customs and taboos that governed Hawaiian society. Take part in ranger-led programs or cultural demonstrations to gain deeper insights into the island’s past.
  2. Hawaiian Luaus: Experience the spirit of aloha through a traditional Hawaiian luau. Enjoy a feast of local cuisine, watch mesmerizing hula performances, and learn about the stories and legends that shape Hawaiian culture. The luau offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the island’s traditions and connect with the local community.
  3. Hula and Hawaiian Music: Attend a hula performance or live music event to witness the captivating artistry of hula dancers and listen to the soulful melodies of Hawaiian music. Hula is not just a dance but also a way of storytelling and preserving Hawaiian history and culture. Experience the grace and beauty of this cherished Hawaiian art form.
  4. Hawaiian Cultural Festivals: The Big Island hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year, providing an opportunity to celebrate and experience the island’s diverse heritage. The Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, held annually, showcases the elegance and skill of hula dancers from across the state. The Kona Coffee Festival and the Hula Arts at Kilauea are other notable events worth attending.
  5. Exploring Petroglyphs: Discover ancient petroglyphs etched into lava rocks at sites like Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve. These intricate rock carvings provide a glimpse into the history and beliefs of the early Hawaiian settlers. Take a self-guided tour or join a guided excursion to learn more about these fascinating cultural treasures.
  6. Visit Hawaiian Heiaus: Explore the remains of Hawaiian heiaus (temples) scattered across the island. These sacred sites hold great spiritual and historical value. The Mookini Heiau in North Kohala and the Keauhou Holua Slide in Kona are just a couple of the many heiaus that offer insights into ancient Hawaiian rituals and ceremonies.
  7. Attending Workshops and Classes: Engage in hands-on cultural activities by participating in workshops and classes. Learn to make traditional Hawaiian crafts like lei or join a cooking class to discover the secrets of preparing local delicacies. These interactive experiences offer an opportunity to learn directly from experts and gain a deeper appreciation for Hawaiian culture.

Through these cultural explorations, you’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the traditions, values, and history that shape the Big Island’s unique identity. Respect and gratitude are key as you engage with the local culture, ensuring the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian heritage for future generations to enjoy.


Dining and Local Cuisine

When it comes to dining on the Big Island of Hawaii, prepare yourself for a culinary adventure that showcases the island’s rich blend of flavors and diverse culinary heritage. From fresh seafood to farm-to-table delights, the island offers a variety of dining experiences to satisfy every palate. Here’s a taste of the dining and local cuisine on the Big Island:

  1. Poke: Start your culinary journey with a taste of the beloved Hawaiian dish, poke. Made with fresh raw fish, typically marinated in a soy sauce-based sauce with various seasonings, poke is a delicacy that reflects the island’s abundant marine resources. Try different variations such as limu (seaweed) poke or spicy ahi poke for an authentic Hawaiian flavor.
  2. Kona Coffee: The Big Island is renowned for its exceptional coffee, particularly the Kona coffee grown on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano. Visit a local coffee plantation and savor the rich and aromatic flavors of freshly brewed Kona coffee. Many cafes and restaurants proudly serve this world-famous beverage, so be sure to enjoy a cup or two during your visit.
  3. Locally Sourced Seafood: With its bountiful oceans, the Big Island offers an array of delicious seafood options. Indulge in freshly caught fish like mahi-mahi, ono, and opah prepared in various styles, such as grilled, blackened, or seared. Don’t miss the chance to try specialties like grilled butterfish or Hawaiian-style fish tacos for a truly authentic taste of the island.
  4. Farm-to-Table Delights: The Big Island boasts fertile land and a thriving agricultural community, making farm-to-table dining a highlight of the local culinary scene. Enjoy dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients like grass-fed beef, organic fruits and vegetables, and artisanal cheeses. Many restaurants prioritize sustainability and support local farmers, ensuring a fresh and vibrant dining experience.
  5. Lū’au Cuisine: Experience a traditional Hawaiian lū’au and savor the unique flavors of island-inspired dishes. Enjoy kalua pork slow-cooked in an underground oven (imu), laulau (pork or fish wrapped in taro leaves), and poi (a traditional Hawaiian staple made from taro root). Accompanied by live music and hula performances, a lū’au is not just a meal but a cultural celebration.
  6. Food Trucks and Local Eateries: For a more casual dining experience, explore the island’s vibrant food truck scene and visit local eateries. These hidden gems offer a variety of delectable treats such as plate lunches (locally inspired combo meals), loco moco (rice, burger patty, gravy, and fried egg), and shave ice (a refreshing treat with flavored syrups). Interact with the friendly locals and indulge in the local favorites.
  7. Fruit Stands and Farmers’ Markets: Take advantage of the Big Island’s abundant tropical fruits by visiting fruit stands and farmers’ markets. Sample exotic fruits like lilikoi (passion fruit), rambutan, and tropical varieties of mangoes and papayas. These markets also offer the chance to purchase locally grown produce, artisanal products, and unique food items to bring the flavors of the island back home with you.

Exploring the dining scene and local cuisine on the Big Island is an essential part of your Hawaiian adventure. From traditional Hawaiian dishes to innovative culinary creations, the island offers a delightful tapestry of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. So, indulge in the delectable options available and savor the unique gastronomic experiences that the Big Island has to offer.


Shopping and Souvenirs

Shopping on the Big Island of Hawaii is a delightful experience, offering a wide range of options to find unique souvenirs and locally made treasures. From locally crafted goods to traditional Hawaiian artwork, you’ll discover plenty of items to commemorate your visit to the island. Here’s a guide to shopping and finding the perfect souvenirs on the Big Island:

  1. Hawaiian Art and Crafts: Explore local artisan markets and galleries to find exquisite Hawaiian artwork and crafts. Look for hand-carved wooden bowls, traditional quilts, and beautifully woven lauhala and koa products. These unique pieces reflect the island’s rich culture and provide a lasting reminder of your time in Hawaii.
  2. Jewelry and Accessories: Adorn yourself with jewelry inspired by the natural beauty of the Big Island. Look for pieces made from locally sourced materials like black coral, seashells, and volcanic rock. Hawaiian heirloom jewelry, with its intricate designs and personalized engravings, is also a popular choice for those seeking a meaningful keepsake.
  3. Kona Coffee and Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts: Bring home the flavors of the island by purchasing Kona coffee or locally grown macadamia nuts. Many coffee farms and specialty shops offer a variety of coffee blends and flavored nuts, allowing you to savor the taste of the Big Island long after your trip ends.
  4. Aloha Shirts and Muumuus: Embrace the aloha spirit by purchasing an authentic aloha shirt or a colorful muumuu dress. These iconic Hawaiian garments are available in a variety of designs and patterns, making them a fashionable and vibrant reminder of your time on the island.
  5. Local Food Products: Take a piece of the Big Island’s culinary offerings back home with you by purchasing local food products. Look for unique items like Hawaiian sea salt, island-made jams and jellies, tropical fruit preserves, and island-inspired spice blends. These delicious treats make perfect gifts for family and friends.
  6. Polynesian Artifacts and Cultural Items: Support local artisans by purchasing Polynesian artifacts and cultural items. Look for traditional carved tikis, woven baskets, coconut shell jewelry, or traditional musical instruments like the ukulele. These items capture the essence of Polynesian culture and provide a deeper connection to the island’s history.
  7. Farmers’ Markets: Explore the vibrant farmers’ markets held across the island to discover locally grown produce, tropical fruits, and homemade treats. These markets offer a glimpse into the island’s agricultural scene and provide an opportunity to support local farmers while enjoying the freshest ingredients available.

As you shop for souvenirs, remember to look for items that are authentic and sustainably made. Seek out locally owned shops and ask the shopkeepers about the story behind the products. The Big Island’s unique offerings and local craftsmanship ensure that you’ll find meaningful souvenirs that capture the essence of your Hawaiian adventure.


Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for gifts to bring back home, the Big Island offers a wide range of shopping opportunities that showcase the island’s rich culture and natural beauty. So, explore the local markets, boutiques, and artisanal shops, and find that perfect memento that will forever remind you of your time on the Big Island of Hawaii.


Packing Tips

When preparing for your trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, packing strategically will ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential packing tips to keep in mind:

  1. Light and Breathable Clothing: The Big Island has a tropical climate, so pack lightweight and breathable clothing made from natural fibers like cotton or linen. Shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and swimwear are perfect for the island’s laid-back lifestyle.
  2. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the strong Hawaiian sun by packing sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. Consider bringing a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt or cover-up for extra protection during outdoor activities.
  3. Comfortable Footwear: Plan on doing a fair amount of walking and exploring. Opt for comfortable footwear like sandals, water shoes for rocky beaches, and sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots for adventurous hikes. Don’t forget to pack a pair of flip flops for easy beach access.
  4. Swim and Beach Essentials: Don’t forget to pack your swimwear, beach towel, and a beach bag. Snorkeling gear, including a mask, snorkel, and fins, is a fantastic addition if you plan on exploring the island’s crystal-clear waters. Consider also packing a rash guard for added sun protection while in the water.
  5. Outdoor Gear: If you’re planning outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking, bring essentials like a daypack, water bottle, insect repellent, and a waterproof bag for your valuables. It’s also a good idea to pack a light rain jacket or poncho in case of unexpected showers.
  6. Electronics and Accessories: Don’t forget to bring necessary electronics like your phone, camera, and chargers. Consider bringing a power bank if you anticipate being away from outlets for an extended period. Waterproof cases or bags for your electronics are also recommended, especially for beach and water activities.
  7. Reusable Water Bottle and Snacks: Staying hydrated is crucial on the Big Island. Bring a reusable water bottle to help reduce waste and ensure you have access to water throughout your explorations. Packing some snacks like energy bars or trail mix can also come in handy during hikes or long drives.
  8. Travel Documents and Essentials: Remember to pack your travel documents, including your ID, passport (if necessary), travel insurance information, and any necessary reservations or tickets. A printed or digital map of the island can be useful, especially if you plan on exploring off the beaten path.
  9. Lightweight Layers: While the Big Island is known for its warm weather, it’s also worth considering packing a lightweight sweater or jacket for cooler evenings or higher elevations, such as during a visit to Mauna Kea summit.
  10. Cultural Respect: Pack clothing that is suitable for visiting cultural sites, such as temples and museums. Both men and women should have shoulders and knees covered as a sign of respect for Hawaiian customs and traditions.

Keep in mind that you can find many essentials, including toiletries and clothing items, at stores on the Big Island if needed. You may also want to leave some space in your luggage for souvenirs and local products you may want to bring back home.


With these packing tips in mind, you can confidently pack your bags and prepare for an unforgettable adventure on the Big Island of Hawaii. Embrace the relaxed island vibe, soak up the natural beauty, and immerse yourself in the Aloha spirit.



The Big Island of Hawaii is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and thrilling adventures. Whether you’re drawn to the majestic volcanoes, pristine beaches, or immersive cultural experiences, the island has something to offer every traveler. From the moment you set foot on the island, you’ll be greeted with the warm aloha spirit and embraced by the breathtaking landscapes.


Make the most of your trip by considering the best time to visit, planning your transportation, and choosing the ideal accommodations. Explore the top attractions, such as the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, stunning waterfalls, and historic cultural sites. Engage in thrilling outdoor activities like snorkeling, hiking, and surfing, and take time to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture through traditional luaus, hula performances, and cultural festivals.


Savor the island’s delicious cuisine, from fresh seafood to locally sourced delights, and find the perfect souvenirs to bring home, whether it’s local artwork, unique crafts, or flavorful coffee. Ensure you pack smart by considering the weather, bringing sun protection, and being prepared for outdoor adventures.


On the Big Island, every moment is an opportunity for discovery and connection. Soak in the beauty of the lava fields, be mesmerized by the vibrant marine life, and create lifelong memories as you explore the diverse landscapes and rich traditions of this extraordinary island.


As you embark on your Big Island adventure, remember to approach your experiences with respect for the local culture and environment. Embrace the spirit of aloha, take time to connect with the local communities, and leave a positive impact during your visit.


So pack your bags, put on your lei, and get ready to indulge in the paradise that is the Big Island of Hawaii. Aloha and enjoy your unforgettable journey!