Tell us your interests or dream experience and we can recommend places, activities, and/or tours you will love. Here are some helpful activities and resources plus other Big Island areas of interest to check out while you are here. For more pampered activities, ask us “which beaches offer bar service?” or “where to have a massage by the ocean?”
Golf – Hawai’i is home to a wide variety of golf course options in addition to the Mitsubishi Electric Masters Tournament held every January. We have a helpful section for Big Island Golf Courses.
Snorkel – This popular activity happens at most island beaches. Some have rental equipment available though most do not. Check out where to shop for rentals, reef safe sunscreen, and water shoes. Be sure to ask lifeguards or locals about the reef before jumping in for a swim.
Hike – The island’s areas of interest offer many official hiking trails and enjoyable walks from Volcanoes National Park to Pololu Valley. Venture on your own or consider going with a tour guide or group to explore. *always check weather & tide conditions, wear appropriate footwear, and let someone know where you are going.
Scuba Dive – If it’s your first dive or 100th these scuba dive operators / dive shops can help you experience life under Big Island waters.
Kohala Divers Ltd613665 Akoni Pule Hwy #1, Waimea, HI 96743(808) 882-7774Blue Wilderness Dive
AdventuresQueens’ MarketPlace69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr D5(808) 886-0980Jack’s Diving Locker75-5813 Ali’i Dr, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 329-7585Big Island Divers74-5467 Kaiwi St(808) 329-6068
Surf – “Like go surf?” here are some Kona and Waikoloa based surf schools and shops offering lessons and board rentals.
Hawaii Lifeguard Surf
Instructors75-5909 Alii Dr, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 324-0442Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures75-5995 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 334-0033Kahalu’u Bay Surf and Sea78-6685 Alii Dr, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 322-4338HYPR Nalu Hawaii75-5663A Palani Rd, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 960-4667
Hulakai Surf & Paddle69-250 Waikoloa Beach Dr Unit D8, Waikoloa, HI 96738(808) 887-1091
Cycling – Get out on the open road and ride a portion of the famous Ironman triathalon race course or take in the scenery upcountry on a mountain bike trail. Stop by these bike shops for rentals, gear, directions and tours.
Bike Works74-5583 Luhia St a1, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 326-2453Bike Works Beach &
SportsQueens’ MarketPlace69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa Village, HI 96738(808) 886-5000Big Island Bike Tours And Rentals65-1480 Kawaihae Rd, Waimea, HI 96743(808) 769-1308Mountain Road Cycles64-1066 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea, HI 96743(808) 885-7943
Tennis – For a game, set, or match schedule court time at one of these memorable locations. In addition, several Big Island’s condo neighborhoods have tennis courts as an amenity.
Seaside Tennis ClubMauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743(808) 882-5420
courts78-7190 Kaleiopapa St, Kailua, HI 96740(808) 322-6090Rutgers Tennis Center65-1692 Kohala Mountain Rd, Waimea, HI 96743(808) 881-4037
Other Areas of Interest
There’s even more to see and do around the Island. Here are some of our favorites plus many more!
Volcanoes National Park
From sea level to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet this park includes the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes- Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Stop at the visitor center to speak with a park ranger, attend a lecture, or plan a hike through the park’s fern or rainforest. There’s lots to see and experience without the hot lava. Learn more about the park at https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm
Mauna Kea Observatory Visitor Center
Ancient Hawaiians considered the piko or “center” of the universe to be Mauna Kea. Roughly 3,200 ft up the mountain side is The Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station. It’s open 7 days a week and you can learn about health and safety in driving up to the summit as well as learn from rangers about the power of the Big Island’s observatories research on the stars.
The northern side of the island is home to Waipio Valley and was once home to Hawaiian royalty who oversaw the farming of taro in the valley. Roughly fifty residents and farmers still live full time in Waipio and some of them still cultivate taro along with other plants. When visiting you are walking or through someone else’s backyard and places that many island residents consider sacred. We do not recommend driving down as even experienced 4×4 drivers experience challenges on this steep incline. Consider taking a ATV or horseback riding tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Or, hike down on a sunny day and go right at the bottom of the hill to visit the black sand beach. There are no public facilities at the lookout or in the valley and you must leave with what you take down.
Imiloa Astronomy Center
An astronomy and cultural activity center in Hilo. Offers events and planetarium shows in addition to exhibits on Hawaiian culture and history and astronomy. For tickets and current showings visit https://imiloahawaii.org/
The northermost valley of Kohala mountain on the island’s north east tip is Pololu, meaning “long spear”. The end of the road stops at the trail head, a small parking lot, and incredible vista. At just under 1 mile the trail down the valley is moderate to difficult as rain makes for a slippery, muddy descent without steps or guard rails. At low tide the entire black rock and sand beach can be accessed (swimming is not advised) as well as another trail up the other side of the valley. There are no facilities and private homes line the roadway. In recent years a portion of cattle land has been set up with a food truck to offer visitors refreshment a mile before the valley. The closest facilities are at Keokea Beach Park, 2.5 miles away.
Located on the Hamakua Coast on the island’s north side is a 442 feet tall waterfall. ʻAkaka means “A separation; to crack, split”. There is a loop trail through the park with several viewing point of ‘Akaka as well as Kahūnā Falls, a 300 feet tall waterfall, and several smaller cascades. A high overlook from the parking lot views the deep gorge where the water falls. Restroom facilities at trail head. Pay for parking.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
North of Hilo is the scenic route, a 4 mile drive or bike down a narrow road surrounded by lush, tropical jungle and running waterways with bridges. Here you will come across the botanical garden and nature preserve. A 40-acre valley set against Onomea Bay, preserved and maintained as a non profit organization. Walking trails meander through the natural greenhouse and “living museum” with over 2,000 species, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera. There is a parking lot with facilities and admission fee or “membership” required to enter.