The Big Island

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The Big Island Cities and Regions

Kohala/Kailua-Kona

The island’s best resorts are here, fronted by white sand beaches and nestled among black lava fields. Sunny and dry, most visitors make this area their home-base on the island.

Waimea

Waimea’s chilly temps and misty green rolling hills recall Ireland. Here you’ll find the island’s foodie nerve center, home to Parker Ranch, farmers markets, organic produce and Merriman’s – one of the state’s best restaurants.

The Hamakua Coast

It takes just over two hours to drive the Hamakua Coast from Kohala to Hilo, but the journey is worth it for its breathtaking beauty – pass steep lava cliffs, black sand beaches and tropical waterfalls.

Hilo

The island’s largest town is geared towards locals, though there are cultural sites like historic downtown Hilo and the Imiloa Astronomy Center. Although it rains a lot, there’s no better place to experience island life.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea has been prolific, spewing lava for twenty years with nary a month off and making the volcano the state’s main tourist attraction. Avoid the busloads by driving into the national park yourself.

Kau

Stand on the southernmost point in the United States and see the black and green sand beaches lined with sunbathing giant sea turtles in Kau, the island’s least visited area.

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