The Island of Hawaii is known colloquially as “Big Island.” This is a fitting nickname, for the Island is twice the combined size of its neighboring counterparts! Big Island flaunts its colors like the plumes of a peacock: fierce reds of magma from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contrast spectacularly with the bright white snow of Maunakea, while the electric black sands of Punaluu Beach stream into the emerald green of Hamakua Coast’s rainforests. Let Big Island’s significance as the birthplace of King Kamehameha I serve as a prelude to all of its wonders.
US Dollar, $1 = 100 cents
West Hawaii Today
Most stores are open daily 9.30am - 9pm or later. Most bars and clubs close around 2am.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
75-5737 Kuakini Highway
+1 808 329 1758
While Hawaii Island may be the youngest island in the archipelago, it retains its prominence as the first island to be touched by man. Coming in the form of Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesas Islands 1,500 years ago, they would become the first Hawaiians. Native Hawaiian temple ruins, royal grounds, fish ponds, sacred burial spots, and petroglyphs all remain as evidence of this early culture. And Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park also retains many areas and items of historical significance.
Throughout Hawaii’s era of discovery, Hawaii Island was divided among chiefdoms, leading to frequent skirmishes and contention between the factions. It was during this time that the last major religious “heiau” temple was built. In constructing a tribute to the war god Kukailimoku, King Kamehameha I hoped to bolster his efforts in uniting the Hawaiian Islands. He would go on to conquer the island and indeed unite the Kingdom. The temple is now the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site in North Kohala, and there are also statues and dedications to the Great King Kamehameha around Hawaii Island.
Over the next centuries, Hawaii Island would be influenced by the influx of missionaries, along with a roaring sugar industry. Today’s Big Island continues as a cornerstone for the Hawaiian Islands’ beauty, culture, and eternal elegance.
The Big Island is not only the largest island in Hawaii, it also has an active volcano to amaze visitors with an unparalleled view of the Earth in action. It is only one of the many natural and historical sites that enthuse visitors to the island annually.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Two Step Snorkeling
Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor
Royal Footsteps Along the Kona Coast
Kau Scenic Byway - The Slopes of Mauna Loa
Akaka Falls State Park
Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona)
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Hamakua Heritage Corridor
Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site
Pololu Valley Lookout
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Imiloa Astronomy Center
Kilauea Iki Trail
Big Island restaurants include small family friendly seafood spots and exquisite resort fine dining. No matter where you go, you will be greeted by the welcoming island attitude and delicious food you will find nowhere else on the planet.
Gramma's Kitchen (Honokaa)
Bite Me Fishmarket Bar and Grill (Kailua-Kona)
Rays on the Bay (Kailua-Kona)
Ocean Bar and Grill (Waimea)
Sushi Rock (Hawi)
Honu's on the Beach Restaurant (Kailua-Kona)
Kamuela Provision Company (Waikoloa Village)
Number 3 (Kohala Coast)
Brown's Beach House Restaurant (Waimea)
Lagoon Grill (Waikoloa Village)
Queen's Court Dining Room (Hilo)
Don The Beachcomber (Kailua-Kona)
Merriman's Restaurant (Waimea)
Beach Tree Restaurant (Kailua-Kona)
100% pure Kona coffee is a rare commodity exclusively grown in north and south Kona. The high elevation, constant cloud coverage and rich volcanic soil from Hualalai Volcano in the upland slopes of Kona create an ideal coffee experience to cherish. As such, there are several coffee shops that are run by local roasters, as well as bakeries selling delights you will only find on the island.
Hawaiian Style Cafe (Waimea)
Ka’u Coffee Mill
Kona Coffee House & Cafe (Kailua-Kona)
Evolution Bakery & Cafe (Kailua-Kona)
Punalu'u Bake Shop (Naalehu)
Café Pesto (Hilo)
Big Island has a sleepier, more laid-back vibe than other Hawaiian islands, but that doesn't mean that the nightlife is dead. The resorts host night-time activities and events to keep guests busy, and a handful of bustling bars can be found around the island. Art is also alive and vibrant in small playhouses and movie theaters, some of which screen indie and foreign films, and there is always live music somewhere. And of course, the local specialty is the luau, a chance for visitors to experience the music and dances of the island, accompanied by fine food and finer company.
Huggo's on the Rocks (Kailua-Kona)
Cronies Bar and Grill (Hilo)
Uncle Robert’s Awa Club (Pahoa)
Island Breeze Luau (Kailua-Kona)
Kahilu Theatre (Waimea)
Aloha Theatre (Kealakekua)
Sam's Hideaway (Kailua-Kona)
Honokaa People's Theatre (Honokaa)
The Mask-querade Bar (Kailua-Kona)
Don's Mai Tai Bar (Kailua-Kona)
Mehana Brewing Company (Hilo)
Kona Brewing Company (Kailua-Kona)
Humpy's Big Island Alehouse (Kailua-Kona)
Hilo Town Tavern (Hilo)
The numerous Big Island resorts all offer interesting options, as do the villages and downtown Kona. Even the touristy spots can be exciting, but, if you dig a little deeper, you can find some coveted local favourites and have a much more rewarding shopping experience. Especially appealing is the artwork and houseware made from local materials, such as lava rock and milo wood, which can be found in boutiques and galleries across the island.
Prince Kuhio Plaza (Hilo)
Just Ukes (Kailua-Kona)
Keauhou Shopping Center (Kailua-Kona)
Bentley's Home & Garden Collection (Waimea)
Hilo Farmers Market (Hilo)
Parker Ranch Center (Waimea)
Sig Zane Designs (Hilo)
Basically Books (Hilo)
Big Island Candies Inc. (Hilo)
Ueshima Coffee Corp (Holualoa)
The Shops at Mauna Lani (Waimea)
Big Island Bees (Captain Cook)
Kona Wine Market (Kailua-Kona)
Hula Lamps of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona)
Queens' MarketPlace (Waikoloa Village)
Kings' Shops (Waikoloa Village)
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company (Keaau)
Holualoa Gallery (Holualoa)
Alii Gardens Marketplace (Kailua-Kona)
Kilauea Kreations (Volcano)
Best Time To Visit
The months from June to September are known for their warm weather and pleasant water temperatures. Rainfall is at its lowest during this time. If you are looking for more affordable flights and accommodation rates, you should visit Hawaii in September, October or November. Whale watching season also starts in November.
Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.
Two airports serve Hawaii Island: Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona in the west, and Hilo International Airport (ITO) in Hilo in the east.
KOA services major airlines, including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, GO! Mokulele, Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, United Airlines, US Airways and Westjet. KOA is accessible by car, taxi and shuttle, with The Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency Hele-On bus operating a limited service between the airport and Kailua-Kona town.
ITO services GO!, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines. ITO is accessible by car and taxi without public transportation available.
Address: 73-200 Kupipi Street Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Phone: +1 808 327 9520
The Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency provides public transportation around Big Island on the Hele-On bus. Additionally, the Transit Agency offers a Shared Ride Taxi program which provides door-to-door transportation within the urbanized area of Hilo.
The following cab companies serve Big Island:
Kona Taxicab LLC, +1 808 324 4444
Global Rider, +1 808 631 9196
Dakine Taxi, +1 808 329 4446
Malama Compounding Pharmacy
74-5563 Kaiwi Street Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
+1 808 324 6888
75-1027 Henry Street Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
+1 808 327 6778
KTA Super Stores Waikoloa Village Pharmacy
68-3916 Paniolo Avenue Waikoloa Village, Island of Hawaii
Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9.30am - 1.30pm
+1 808 883 8434
US Post Office
Address: 74-5577 Palani Road Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Phone: +1 808 326 1432
Country code: +1
Area code: 808