the island of Hawai’i
Hawaii is actually made up of eight islands , but Niihau and Kahoolawe are both off limits to tourists without special permission and permits. Now we move onto Oahu , home of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, and Hawaii (the Big Island ), home of five volcanoes, three of which are active.
The western coast of the Big Island is known as the “ Kona Side”, and Kailua- Kona is the lively center of it all.
10 Best Hawaii Big Island Towns and Resorts Kailua-Kona . Hilo Town. Waikoloa. Puako and Kawaihae, South Kohala. Volcano. Hamakua Coast. Puna. Kapaau.
The Island of Hawaii, more often simply referred to as the Big Island , is famous for its incredible natural attractions, especially the volcanoes that have shaped and continue to shape the landscape. Originally formed by five volcanoes, the island still continues to grow as the active Kilauea spews lava into the ocean.
Kona is also famous for its deep-sea fishing, hosting the International Billfish Tournament (August) every year. And on land, don’t forget to travel to the cooler upland slopes of town like Holualoa, where you can sample the distinctive flavors of 100% Kona coffee, which is what Kona is famous for !
Maui vs Honolulu : The Verdict Honolulu is the most populated and developed island and is famous for its spectacular beaches and great waves. On the other hand, Maui is a great choice for those who want to enjoy beautiful beaches and also spend some time snorkeling and hiking.
Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport
Known in Hawaiian as “spouting waters,” Waikiki was introduced to the world when its first hotel, the Moana Surfrider, was built on its shores in 1901. Waikiki is famous for its beaches and every hotel room is just two or three blocks away from the ocean (if it’s not directly on the beach ).
The Big Island is the third most visited in Hawaii and offers accommodation for all budgets. It tends to be cheaper than Maui and it has two very different sides: Kona (west side) and Hilo (east side). In Kona there are many resorts and hotels with prices usually a bit higher than in Hilo.
From West to East of the Big Island You’ll likely want to split your stay between Kailua-Kona on the west side and Hilo (or Volcano) on the east side during your trip. This will alleviate a lot of extra driving and allow you to experience both sides of the island.
Have a great time! The town of Kona is just touristy but there are tons of amazing places to see nearby, on that side of the island . There are 3 national park service sites–definitely visit Place of Refuge. There’s great kayaking and snorkling on that side, too.
Hilo is more affordable and has more local character. Hilo definitely feels less touristy than Kona , which is a good thing. Hilo has some great rainforests and waterfalls in the area, so it’s a good place for hiking and other outdoor activities. The Hilo side gets a lot more rain than Kona , so consider that as well.
Yes, it is safe to visit Hawaii after the 2018 Volcanic Activity. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active and largest shield volcanoes, is an ever-present reminder of the incredible forces of nature that are constantly at work on the Big Island of Hawaii.