“The Big Island” of Hawaii gets its nickname not simply because it is more than twice as large as all of the other isles of Hawaii combined, but also because it encompasses everything that is truly Hawaiian: volcanic mountains, lush tropical rainforests, white sandy beaches, exotic flora and fauna, and warm and welcoming people.

Split into two distinct sides, sunny Kona on the west side and wet and tropical Hilo on the east, there is no shortage of opportunities for unique adventures and peaceful reflection.

The Big Island offers accommodations for every taste and budget. Located on the Kona coast, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has luxurious rooms, beautiful postcard views, and the four star amenities and service you’d expect. Feed the tropical fish in King’s Pond, one of five resort pools, and enjoy activities designed for the entire family.

Puakea Ranch, located on the Kohala Coast, is a gorgeous country estate featuring restored bungalows and ranch houses nestled in a lush country setting. Roam through the orchards, go horseback riding, swim in the lava rock pool, and enjoy panoramic views.

The Holualoa Inn is a perfect retreat near Kailua Bay, featuring the decor of local artisans and incredibly crafted gourmet meals using local ingredients like macadamia nuts, fresh fruits, and Kona coffee.

Popular with the honeymoon crowd for years, the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, located on the Kohala Coast, is a Hawaiian classic. The award-winning resort features a fully-equipped spa, incredible ocean views, and a huge menu of activities and amenities to choose from.

A rich supply of local ingredients coupled with a diverse cultural heritage make the perfect recipe for unique, delicious, and world-renowned dining on the Big Island. Foodies can choose from local delicacies to modern American fare to Asian fusion and even European cuisines.

The Bamboo Restaurant is an out of the way treasure featuring asian cuisine prepared lovingly with the freshest local fish and seafood, fruits, and herbs.

The Kona Brewing Co. Pub and Brewery is wildly popular, thanks to its large and diverse menu, as well as its selection of locally brewed beers.

It is also very friendly to the wallet!

The menu at Keei Cafe at Hokukano is a diverse mix of Brazilian, Asian, and European tastes using the freshest local ingredients available. The restaurant itself is a beautiful as the dishes they prepare.

Looking to splurge? Pahuia at the Four Seasons is an excellent choice! A large aquarium lining the entrance sets the stage for the ultimate experience in fresh seafood and incredibly prepared local fare.

There are sights to see and adventures to have at every turn on Hawaii! Relax on the beach, explore charming towns, or hike the jungles, volcanoes, and caverns.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-see for every visitor, featuring the ever-erupting Kiluaea. Hike along the trails that surround this active volcano and marvel at the Earth at work! Or go underground, and explore the Caverns of Fire for a real thrill!

Explore the wilder side of the island on the Hamakua Coast, where lush verdant fields, dramatic waterfalls, and jungles abound. Hilo is where the locals live and hang out. Stroll among the historic buildings and get to now the real Hawaii through its warm and interesting people.

No visit to the Big Island would be complete without a trip to the world-famous beaches of the Kohala Coast. Relax on the warm sand, or take a surfing lesson. The unique topography of Puna is definitely worth exploring, too.

Go snowboarding and skiing (yes, snowboarding!) on Mauna Kea (“white mountain”), where snow can fall year-round at the summit.

The temperate weather and copious amounts of sunshine make the Big Island of Hawaii an ideal destination any time of year. Though the higher elevations can be cool and rainy, the average temperatures in the lower elevations are 75-80 degrees year-round.

The high tourist season is December – April; hotel rates can be up to 15% higher during that time, so plan accordingly.

Hawaii is more than just an island. It is a unique topographical and ecological experience that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime!