"Stunning Variety All on One Island!" Top 5 Page for this destination Hawaii (Big Island) by RickinDutch

Hawaii (Big Island) Travel Guide: 1,941 reviews and 4,904 photos

Staggering variety

From tropical rain forests to snow mountain peaks to arid desert, the Big Island has everything. There are two distinct sides to the island - the dry, sunny, touristy side on the Kona and Kohala coasts and the Hilo side with much more rain, tradewinds, volcanos, and the second largest city in the Islands, Hilo.

Condo near Kona

We stayed at a beautiful condo about 5 miles south of Kona. Close enough to be able to visit town, but far enough away to avoid most of the hustle and bustle. We're small town folk and can only handle crowds for just so long. This condo was so peaceful and private, it was hard to build up the energy to go somewhere. My biggest motivator was the air conditioning in the car! Lived in Alaska so long, anything over 75 is just too hot!


Spent 3 weeks here and loved every minute of our stay. Lots to see and do from snorkeling to horseback riding to watching lava pour into the ocean to snow skiing. A great book to guide your stay is "The Big Island Revealed" 4th edition. We found everything in there to be accurate from restaurants to hidden lava tubes.

The Big Island is larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. We stayed at a beautiful condo just south of Kona and used that as our base with one night at a B&B in Volcano Town on the other side. Knowing what I know now, I would recommend splitting up your stay and allow more time on the lush Hilo side of the island - it is much less touristy and seems so much more real.

I'll get right on adding tips as soon as I can.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots to do and see!
  • Last visit to Hawaii (Big Island): Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (26)

Comments (20)

  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2015 at 6:19 AM

    Dinner at Volcano Village sounds heavenly. I can't wait to get back to the Big Island.

  • ifam's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Hi. Thx for ur note on my page. Im reading ur intro here n thrilled to read more. Good tips. Will keep coming bk to read more. T cre.

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Excellent Hawaiian tips. I would like to visit the Big Island the next time I go to Hawaii.

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    I've eaten LOTS of 'shrooms in my time. Just NEVER "shroomed" ... if that makes sense! ; )

  • Lacristina's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    I love the Big Island. Hiking the volcanoes, watching the lava pour into the ocean at sunset, all of it. I really should do my own page. Many thanks for my BD greetings and for your comments about my tips!

  • daryll's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2007 at 6:53 AM

    Lovely page Rick! I'm hoping to map Hawaii on my travel destination next year!

  • May 6, 2007 at 4:06 AM

    Nice and detailed stories of your travel diary in Hawaii. The kind of tip I like.:-)

  • Helenbb's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2007 at 5:50 PM

    Hawaii!! nice island . i will be there one day :))

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 2:20 AM

    I thought I'd check-out some of your other pages. Looks like you had a fantastic time in Hawaii... so fantastic that it makes us envious! haha! Great tips & super photos. Thanks for sharing / Jess :-)

  • Andraf's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2007 at 2:29 PM

    Nice page with many good tips. I saved a few of them for my DIY guide. Thanks for taking the time to write your impresions. I'm headed for Big Island in March. Really looking forward to it.


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