While I’ll only be in Hawaii for a week, I’m hoping I can cover all of my Big Island must sees and return with lots pictures of these hot spots and more. I’ve done lots of research about the island and spent time absorbing social media tidbits from my friend Alax who is on the Big Island now. So, like any good researcher, I compiled a list of all the place I really want visit:
As one of the taller waterfalls on the island at 422 feet, it’s supposed to be a beautiful sight. The falls are surrounded by tons of greenery: bird of paradise, torch ginger, bamboo and split leaf philodendrons. I can hear the rush of the waterfalls now.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Founded in 1915, the park features two of the island’s active volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa. I think I’m most excited to see Kilauea, the most continuously active volcano in the world, in all its lava-flowing glory. I can’t help but be fascinated by tectonic plates, lava, ash and all the chaos. Did you know there’s actually a volcano name Stromboli? It gets me every time. Oh, those Italians and their senses of humor.
The southernmost point in the fifty U.S. states is known for its strong ocean currents and winds. Some of the trees seem almost horizontal due to the strong prevailing eastern trade winds. As nerdy as it may be, I think I’m most excited to see the GE wind turbines near the point called the Pakini Nui Wind Farm. It’s rather incredible to imagine 14 wind turbines provide power to over 10,000 homes on the island.
Near Ka Lae is the Green Sand Beach. Here the sand is an olive-like color due to the green, semi-precious stone named olivine. Only accessible by foot, the secluded beach requires a rugged, 2-mile hike. Green is my favorite color. So, this spot makes perfect sense in my mind.
At the summit of Mauna Kea is a series of astronomical research facilities on about 500 acres. The location is perfect due to the dark skies, low humidity, position above the water vapor and it’s nearly on the equator. In total, there are 12 different telescopes around the summit. Stars upon stars upon stars.
Kona Brewing Company
Of course, how could I leave this craft brewery off my list? The thing I enjoy most about Kona Brewing Company is that it creates beers using local ingredients to keep the link to its Hawaiian identity. Their Pipeline Porter is brewed with Kona coffee provided by their neighbor Cornwell Estate and the lemongrass in the Lemongrass Ginger Luau is grown on-site and at various employees houses.
Have you ever visited the Big Island? What are some of your Big Island must sees?