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Island of Hawaiʻi Top Things to Do

Welcome to the island of Hawaiʻi

Looking for ideas to celebrate romance, get out into the great outdoors or keep the whole family happy on the island of Hawaiʻi? Check out our top suggestions for great activities, by category.

And if you want to know more about the island of Hawaiʻi, be sure to visit the Our Islands page for all that the island of Hawaiʻi has to offer.

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Sunset Sail

The golden sunsets of the Kona and Kohala coasts on the west side of the island are the picture-perfect backdrop for catamaran cruises departing from Keauhou up through the Kohala Coast.  Some include dinner, champagne and live entertainment. 

 

Guided Stargazing

The amazing night skies above island of Hawaiʻi are sure to inspire romance. Book your clients on a guided tour up the slopes of Maunakea where they can peer through giant telescopes and learn about the constellations from astronomers. 

 

Waterfall Hike

North Hilo has some of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Hawaiʻi. ʻAkaka Falls State Park is a wonderful place for couples to wander through the rain forest on paved footpaths to view two gorgeous falls. 

 

Horseback Riding

The Island of Hawaiʻi offers many options for romantic trail rides that you can book for your clients. The uplands of Waimea, where ranchers are happy to share their stories of paniolo culture (cowboy) culture, are ideal for trail rides through rolling meadows.

 

Outdoor Spa Treatments

Many of the upscale resort spas on the Kohala and Kona Coast offer special spa suites for couples with their own private gardens. Some also have private treatment cabanas overlooking the ocean.

 

Hawaiʻi Tropical Bioreserve & Garden

North of Hilo, this is a place of spectacular ocean vistas and nature trails meandering through an enchanting landscape of ginger, bromeliads, palms and other rare and exotic plants. 

 

Lili‘uokalani Gardens Gardens  

Another lush beauty spot near Hilo is Lili‘uokalani Gardens Gardens, an idyllic Japanese garden with pagodas, a teahouse and a half-moon bridge spanning a tranquil pond.

 

Art Galleries

Artists are drawn to island of Hawaiʻi’s inspirational landscapes and laid-back pace, a fact that your clients will appreciate when exploring the art galleries that abound in towns like Hāwī, Hōlualoa and Volcano Village.

 

Historic Kailua Village

Stroll down the main road of Aliʻi Drive and you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants. But look closer and you’ll also discover some very important Hawaiʻi Island historic spots. Huliheʻe Palace and the Mokuʻaikaua Church are both located right on Aliʻi Drive. King Kamehameha I spent his later years living at Kamakahonu Bay near Kailua Pier until his passing in 1819. The Ahuʻena Heiau is a temple on the register of National Historic Landmarks. Kailua Pier is a great place to watch the sunset and is also the starting and finishing point of the IRONMAN™ World Championship (October). 

 

Lū‘au

Your clients will enjoy the magic of a sunset lū‘au with buffets of local specialties and live Pacific Islands music and dance.

Manta Night Dives

Gentle manta rays, with wing spans of up to 20 feet, are most visible at night when they come in to feed on plankton. Book your clients on one of the night snorkel/dive tours that depart from various points along the Kona Coast. The companies set up giant lights on the ocean floor, enabling snorkelers and certified divers to watch the graceful rays gliding and somersaulting through the water. 

 

Deep Sea Fishing

The Island of Hawaiʻi, with its waters teeming with marlin and other big-game fish, is famous the world over for deep-sea fishing. Book your clients on one of the many charters available out of Honokōhau Harbor to try their luck.  

 

Nature Hikes

Hikers of all abilities will find much to enjoy on island of Hawaiʻi. A great way for clients to explore Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, which offers over 150 miles of trails, is on foot. If clients want to combine a hike with ancient wonders, the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (also known as the Kings’ Trail) encompasses petroglyph fields, heiau (temples), ruins and other sites. 

 

Air Tours

The huge scope of island of Hawaiʻi’s geological marvels are brought together by air tours. Be it by helicopter or small plane, your clients can fly over the steaming craters and lava flows of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the majestic peaks of Maunakea and the waterfalls of the Hamakua Coastline on one thrilling ride. 

 

Snorkeling Adventures

The clear, calm waters off the Kona and Kohala Coasts provide great snorkeling opportunities. On the Kohala Coast, Hāpuna Beach and ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay are prime spots for snorkeling excursions. South of Kailua-Kona, Kahaluʻu Beach Park is another.  

 

Horseback Riding

In the upcountry around Waimea, clients can experience the paniolo (cowboy) lifestyle at working ranches and ride horses through verdant rolling pastures. A ride through history with generations of the Hawaiian cowboys. 

 

Golf

The Island of Hawaiʻi is known as “The Golf Capital of Hawaiʻi” for good reason. The black lava landscape and blue waters of the Kohala Coast are the setting for several magnificent courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf. Jack Nicklaus designed the Hualālai Golf Course, while the famed golf courses at Mauna Kea Resort were laid out by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and those at Waikoloa Resort by his son, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. These courses, along with the two championship courses at the Mauna Lani Resort, have won awards from Golfweek, Golf and Golf Events magazines. For a truly unique golf experience, suggest your clients try the 4,200-foot high Volcano Golf and Country Club located  just outside the entrance to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

 

Zipline

The Island of Hawaiʻi offers a number of exciting zipline options, including the chance to soar above a rainforest and then take a dip in a refreshing natural pool fed by a spectacular waterfall. 

 

Waipi‘o Lookout

Waipi‘o Valley, once an important center for political and religious life and home to thousands of Native Hawaiians, holds a deep historical significance. Today, the remote community is home to fewer than a hundred residents who live and work close to the land. Waipi‘o Valley Access Road is closed to visitors, who can still appreciate the view and energy of this wahi pana (storied place) from the lookout or book a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view of all the valleys.  

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Families can explore the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on their own or enjoy the guided tours available that cover such highlights as the Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube) and Kīlauea Caldera. For something extra special, book clients on a night tour of the park where they may see the fiery glow of Kīlauea at its most dazzling.  

 

ʻImiloa Astronomy Center

Explore and honor Maunakea’s cultural and natural history at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. The many interactive exhibits in this Hilo attraction unlock the secrets of the stars above the island of Hawaiʻi as well as their significance in Hawaiian history and culture. Families can also enjoy daily planetarium shows, the gift shop, a bite at the restaurant, and even the beautiful landscape surrounding the center.

 

Pacific Tsunami Museum

Through historic photographs, docent tours and interactive exhibits, this Hilo museum explains the science and impact of tsunami waves, including the two that washed over Hilo shores in 1946 and 1960. Learn about these events, how the town recovered and the science behind tsunami waves. 

 

Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area

The largest of island of Hawaiʻi’s white sand beaches is located on the Kohala Coast adjacent to the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Safe for swimming, snorkeling and other water sports, it offers ample picnic areas and other family-friendly facilities.

 

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm

This aqua farm in Kailua-Kona is dedicated to preserving the endangered seahorse and is now captive breeding 15 species of the enchanting little creatures. Your clients can tour the farm and learn about its efforts, view seahorses in its aquarium room and even get to hold and feed them. 

 

Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

A restored compound of temple ruins, fish ponds, sacred burial grounds, petroglyphs and other illustrations of life on the island before Western contact. 

 

Lapakahi State Historical Park

On a hill above the North Kohala Coast, this is a partially restored fishing village dating back 600 years. On a self-guided one-mile walk, visitors can explore restored hale (houses) and lava stone walls and even try their hand at traditional Hawaiian games.