Have you ever been to some unique places so unexpected and full of mystery that it felt like an entirely different world? That’s the feeling one gets when exploring the island of Hawai’i – more commonly known as The Big Island. As one of Hawaii’s main islands, The Big Island is home to many awe-inspiring places and experiences. From natural wonders such as lava trees to a rare black sand beach, explore eight extraordinary sights you will only find on the big island!
What Makes The Big Island So Special?
Hawaii’s Big Island is an incredible destination that could offer something new and exciting to any traveler. When you think of Hawai’i, the Big Island might seem overshadowed by the more popular islands such as Oahu, but this island has so much more to offer than its counterparts. With more land mass than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined, you can find abundant unique geological features on the Big Island.
From towering mountains to accessible beaches, ancient volcanoes, and even snow-capped peaks, each region of the Big Island provides a memorable and breathtaking experience with plenty of activities and opportunities to explore nature up close. Not to mention the historical and cultural sites, plus plenty of fun and exciting modern attractions.
Unique Places You’ll Only Find On The Big Island
Rather than spending your time on the island at popular tourist hotspots, take a journey off the beaten path and explore some of the Big Island’s most captivating sites that you won’t find anywhere else. Here are eight places you’ll only find on Hawaii’s Big Island:
Built-in 1838, Hulihe’e Palace was once a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Located in Kailua-Kona, the palace is now a museum filled with artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Hawaii’s royal past. The palace has been carefully restored to its former grandeur, with beautiful koa wood furniture, intricate carvings, and ornate chandeliers.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the palace and learn about the lives of Hawaii’s kings and queens and the social and cultural customs of the time. Highlights include the grand ballroom, where royal dances were held, and the queen’s bedroom, decorated with her personal belongings.
Pu’ukohola Heiau, an ancient temple on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, is a marvel crafted by Kamehameha I himself. Constructed in honor of Ku – the war god – this impressive feat was constructed from massive stones carried hundreds of miles away and weighed as much as several tons! This hallowed heiau stands to celebrate its creator’s vision and serves as a reminder throughout time.
Nowadays, vacationers can explore the sacred temple grounds of the Hawaiian people on a self-guided tour. The site contains numerous smaller temples and shrines accompanied by guidelines that must be respected during one’s visit – your respect is greatly appreciated!
Lyman Museum And Mission House
In the heart of Hilo, Lyman Museum and Mission House is a time-honored residence turned into a museum. Constructed by Christian missionaries who had arrived to propagate their religion around 1839, this house now showcases the natural history, Hawaiian culture, and its narrative regarding the missioners who established themselves here.
Guided tours of the house are available, with each room restored to its authentic condition and furnished with antiques from the period. Additionally, a substantial collection of specimens and artifacts highlighting Hawaii’s natural history can be found here.
Kona Coffee Living History Museum
Nestled in the town of Captain Cook, Kona Coffee Living History Farm is a prosperous coffee farm that pays homage to over 100 years of homegrown Kona coffee. Through tours with knowledgeable volunteers dressed in traditional period clothing and engaging demonstrations, guests can learn about the history and culture behind this iconic brew while strolling through its lush grounds.
The farm is a great place to learn about the history and culture of one of Hawaii’s most iconic crops. Visitors will gain insight into how much work went into harvesting and crafting the very first cup of Kona during early 20th-century methods – making for an unforgettable experience! Visitors can also sample the farm’s coffee and purchase bags to take home.
Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
Located on the southeastern coast of the Big Island, Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is one of the unique beaches in the world. The sand is black due to volcanic minerals, and the contrast between the dark sand and the turquoise waters is breathtaking. The beach is also home to several sea turtles species, often seen basking on the shore.
When making the trip, visitors should know that swimming is not recommended due to strong currents, but the beach can still be enjoyed from a safe distance. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is a great place to experience Hawaii’s natural beauty and admire its diverse wildlife.
Captain Cook Monument
The Captain Cook Monument is an awe-inspiring site, nestled on the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island and only accessible by boat or a lengthy hike. The journey there will not be forgotten – offering breathtaking views and an exclusive look into history to commemorate where British explorer James Cook met his untimely end in 1779.
Explore the underwater world of the monument by snorkeling and diving in its pristine waters, home to a kaleidoscope of marine life such as exotic fish and coral. The area also offers thrilling adventures for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding enthusiasts!
Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve And Garden
The Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden is a 17-acre botanical garden located on the northeastern coast of the Big Island. The garden features over 1,800 species of plants worldwide, including rare and endangered species. The garden is a paradise for nature-loving adventurers, from the luxuriant green foliage to the vast array of colorful blooms.
Guided tours and educational programs offer guests a great opportunity to learn about Hawaii’s fragile ecosystems and rich biodiversity. A visit to the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden is a must for anyone looking to explore the beauty of Hawaii’s natural environment.
Lava Trees State Park
Lava Trees State Park is a unique natural wonder located in the Puna district of the Big Island. The park is named for the “lava trees,” formed when lava flows engulfed trees, leaving behind a hollow cast. The trees are now covered in moss and other vegetation, creating a surreal and haunting landscape. This park is a great place to admire Hawaii’s natural history and the fascinating story of how these lava trees were formed.
Visitors can also explore the native plants, hike along ancient trails, and observe the local wildlife in this peaceful sanctuary. So if you want to explore the beauty of Hawaii’s natural environment, Lava Trees State Park is a must-see!
Enjoy These Unique Places You’ll Only Find On The Big Island!
With its diverse landscapes and abundant natural beauty, Hawaii’s Big Island is a dream destination for any traveler. From coffee farms to state parks, the island offers various activities and attractions that captivate even the most adventurous explorers. So if you plan a trip, include these unique places you’ll only find on the big island! It is sure to be a journey you’ll treasure for a lifetime.