The Most Beautiful Places on the Big Island

You can see many of the most beautiful places on the Big Island of Hawaii in one day. I recommend taking a tour for your first circuit. This will allow you to soak in the beautiful scenery and all the variety the island has to offer. When you are ready to strike out on your own, here is my list of the top 5 things to do on the Big Island. 

No filters or photo shop needed. Just pure natural beauty.


All of the beaches in Hawaii are public and we always devote at least one day to beach hopping. Here is number one on my list of top 5 things to do on the Big Island: 

A'Bay Beach
Lots of tidal pools to explore and sometimes even turtles

Anaehoomalu Bay

A Bay as it is called, is located right in the Waikoloa Village. It is home to a canoe club. If you arrive in the morning, you will see the club members launching their canoes. The beach has some trees for shade but it is a bit rocky. If you walk down the beach away from the hotels, you will often find a turtle sunning himself or some small fish, crabs and maybe even an eel in the tidal pools. 

Puako Beach

Located 15 to 20 minutes north of Waikoloa, Puako Beach provides excellent snorkeling. The beach is very rocky so be sure to bring your beach shoes. 

White sand and calm waves at this hidden Hawiian Beach

Mau’umae Beach, Mauna Kea Resort

Just a short distance north of Puako Beach is Mau’umae Beach. You access the beach through the gate for the Mauna Kea Resort so parking is limited (10 passes at a time). You will want to arrive early or later in the afternoon for your best chance is getting a parking place. This beach is a white, sandy beach with rock outcroppings at each end of the bay. The beach’s location in a bay means the water is calm and perfect for families. 

With countless tidal pools and panoramic sunset views, Old Kona Airport Beach is in the top 5 things to do on the Big Island

Old Kona Airport Beach

Located just north of Kona, this state park was the home of the Kona Airport until 1970. The beach is a wonderful combination of sandy and rocky. You can relax near the water in the sand or explore the seemingly infinite tidal pools. There are picnic pavilions, which the locals enjoy on the weekends. This is a perfect spot for watching sunset. 

Waipio Valley

The Waipio Valley was once the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I and thousands of Hawaiians. The valley has been uninhabited since a powerful tsunami in 1946. It is still regarded as sacred ground. You can hike or take a 4 wheel drive guided tour into the valley where you will see taro fields, amazing vegetation and waterfalls galore. For the less adventurous, the views from the parking lot are spectacular as well, although the waterfalls are not visible . 

Botanical Gardens

Definitely one of the most beautiful places on the Big Island and number 2 on my list of top 5 things to do on the Big Island, it literally took my breath away on my first visit. The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens is located 8 1/2 miles north of Hilo. It is a 40 acre valley FULL of the most beautiful plants and scenery I have ever experiences. It is a valley so be prepared for some stairs but trust me it is worth it. At the bottom of the valley is Onomea Bay. This was one of the first natural landing areas for ships. There are lots  of legends about the bay but what brings me back each time we visit the Big Island is the view! There is a picnic area. I strongly recommend you pack a snack so that you can spend some time soaking up one of the most beautiful places on the Big Island.

Steam rising from Kilauea’s crater in 2017. Not long after the volcano erupted.





1 thought on “The Most Beautiful Places on the Big Island”

Leave a Comment