The Big Island of Hawaii has a powerful energy distinct from its neighboring islands. This is where Pele, volcano goddess, still spouts her fiery fury, and where blankets of snow fall in silent sheets on the summit of Mauna Kea. It’s an island still growing—having added 500 acres of land since Kilauea’s eruption—and an island with deep, historical roots—from the humble birthplace of King Kamehameha, to ancient cities of refuge.
Biking down a volcano is an activity everybody should do at least once in their life and there is no better place to do this than on the Big Island of Hawaii. Home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world (Kilauea) and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Big Island is a dream come true for anybody who loves natural wonders and outdoor activities. Visitors can easily drive themselves around the park and explore all the marked sites to learn about Hawaii’s volcanoes, but biking the volcano gives you a completely unique experience.
The town of Makawao in Upcountry, Maui, is laden with paniolo. It’s a word derived from español — the language spoken by Spanish vaqueros who were brought to the islands in 1832 to herd wild cattle. The Spaniards taught Hawaiians to rope and ride, and Portuguese ranch hands immigrated toward the end of the 19th century, contributing to the flourishing of Hawaii’s crop of ranchers and cowboys on the island’s slopes.
In short, when compared to neighboring Hawaiian islands such as the Big Island or Maui, the island of Oahu can definitely feel crowded. The good news is that most of the crowds are centered around Honolulu, and for visitors who’d prefer some tropical serenity and a break from the city lights, here are some ideas of where to escape the crowds on Oahu.
People tend to be skeptical about these kinds of travel deals. I’ve had several people ask me: was buying the Go Oahu Card worth the money? The short answer is yes, the Go Oahu card is very much worth the money!
There’s so much more to a Hawaiian sunset than simply fire in the sky.
Sunsets here are community events where everyone seems to press pause, and strangers, friends, locals and visitors all share a fleeting moment together. Sunsets in Hawaii are exclamation points — orange crescendos in a visual symphony that plays throughout the day. They are calming, relaxing, inspiring and spellbinding — and often continue to improve in splendor long after the sun has set. They are attractions and events completely unto themselves, and choosing a place to catch the show is something of a tropical art. As you might expect of Hawaii’s largest island, the Big Island has no shortage of vantage points for watching nature’s performance. From snowcapped peaks to sugary shorelines to the southernmost point in the U.S., these are some of the best places to watch the sunset on the Big Island of Hawaii.
For the most part, Maui is touted as a tropical destination best known for its outdoor adventures. But Maui has a history that’s as fascinating as the beauty you’ll find outdoors. As we mentioned in our article, “10 Things You Never Knew About Maui,” the island has seen everything from French explorers to imperial Chinese revolutionaries. It was a 19th-century whaling center and the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and home to nearly 1200 years of ancient Hawaiian history. So, if it’s rainy day or you simply love to learn while on vacation, here are the best museums on Maui for hearing the island’s tales.
Remember as a child being stuck at home without any means of transport? Sitting around, somewhat bored, knowing the outside world was inaccessible by a car you simply didn’t have? Luckily for travelers to the island Oahu, visiting Oahu without a car isn’t a recipe for boredom. In fact, between rental costs, parking fees, fuel and insurance, visiting Oahu without a car can be an economical choice. If, for example, you only want to surf and tan on famous Waikiki Beach, the hefty hotel parking fees can put a serious dent in your surf fund. For travelers who want to explore the island — but don’t want to rent a car — there are thankfully affordable and practical alternatives to driving yourself around town.
Luckily for travelers to the island Oahu, visiting Oahu without a car isn’t a recipe for boredom. In fact, between rental costs, parking fees, fuel, and insurance, visiting Oahu without a car can be an economical choice. If, for example, you only want to surf and tan on famous Waikiki Beach, the hefty hotel parking fees can put a serious dent in your surf fund. For travelers who want to explore the island—but don’t want to rent a car—there are numerous affordable and practical alternatives to driving yourself around town.
The best island to experience a luau on is Oahu, simply because you have a ton of choices. It’s also super easy to arrange transportation to and from the luau sites, as most companies will pick you up at most major hotels in downtown Honolulu or Waikiki. I opted for Germaine’s luau based on a friend’s recommendation, and took my photographer friend, Fidel, with me.
If you’ve read our article, “11 things you didn’t know about the Big Island of Hawaii,” then you already know that the island is larger than the other Hawaiian Islands combined. It’s the largest island in the United States, has the tallest mountains in the world and is even larger than the combined size of Delaware and Rhode Island.
So why is the Big Island so excessively large? Unlike the other Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island has five volcanoes, as opposed to only one or two. To ancient Hawaiians, each volcano had its own separate place in Hawaiian mythology and lore and, in modern Hawaii, each offers its own set of opportunities for adventure. Here is a guide to the Big Island’s five volcanoes.