Hawaii-The Big Island
||The average day-time temperatures in the coastal areas range from the mid-80s in the summer months, to the mid to low 70s in the winter months.
The island of Hawaii is commonly referred to as "The Big Island." This helps to avoid confusion
between the Island of Hawaii and the State of Hawaii. The Big Island is an apt title because it is
twice as large as the other Hawaiian Islands combined. Its shoreline is still growing primarily as a
result of the lava flow from the active volcano, Kilauea. Due to its size, this is definitely a
destination where a rental car is appropriate for anyone who wants to see more than a small slice
of the island.
Hawaii is an island of contrasts and natural diversity. Its beaches have sand that ranges from
white to black and a variety of other colors. The Hilo region is lush and rainy with cascading
waterfalls. The Kohala region, on the other hand, is dry and sunny with rugged, lava-covered
terrain. At certain times of the year, one can see a snow-covered mountain from a lounge chair on
a sunny beach. If you have a window seat on the 45-minute flight from Oahu, you’ll notice Hawaii’s
mountains, open spaces, and lava fields. The volcanic nature of the island is very evident.
Upon arrival, most visitors focus on one of Hawaii’s three big attractions: sports, volcanoes,
or relaxation. Top sporting activities include fishing, golf, tennis, diving, and snorkeling. Fishing
from Hawaii’s Kailua-Kona harbor is world-class, particularly for billfish. Golf is also spectacular
with some beautiful, highly-rated courses. Divers may be treated to a view of a majestic and graceful
Volcanoes National Park is a popular Big Island attraction with its exhibits, hiking, and views.
A visit to the park can easily take a full day. The park is located 30 miles from Hilo and 96 miles
from Kailua-Kona. When you arrive on the island, call the park’s current volcanic activity line at
1-(808) 985-6000. The entire park encompasses 230,000 acres. The most popular areas, though, are
located near the Kilauea Visitor Center. If you get hungry during your visit to the park, stop in
at the charming and rustic Volcano House Hotel and Restaurant for a meal.
Hawaii is a great place to relax and get away from it all. The open spaces are soothing as is
the natural beauty of its dramatic landscape. The large, high-end resorts of the Kohala region work
well as destination resorts. Check in, kick back, and recharge your batteries. Most people will
probably want to get out and see more of the island but the Kohala resorts are so complete that
venturing beyond the resort is an option, not a necessity.
Shopping opportunities are adequate, but nothing special. The best buys are locally produced
artwork, world-famous Kona coffee, and macadamia nuts.