Island of Hawai'i vacation rentals

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Popular amenities for Island of Hawai'i vacation rentals

Your guide to Island of Hawai'i

All About Island of Hawai'i

Affectionately known as “The Big Island,” the island of Hawai’i is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, boasting dramatic contrasts in terrain and climate, from the tropical humidity of Puna’s coastal jungles, to the snow-capped peaks of Mauna Kea and the consistent, warm sunshine on the beautiful Kona coast. There’s no wonder why the Big Island draws outdoor enthusiasts. Around the small bayside town of Hilo, you’ll find cascading waterfalls, lush rainforests, and lovely gardens, while the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two volcanoes — including the spectacular Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

The Big Island is also famous for its beautifully diverse beaches, whose sands range in color from snow to ebony. Onekahakaha Beach Park boasts lively tide pools and inlets, offering some of the safest swimming on the Island. The waters off the palm-tree-lined Waialea Beach are home to an abundance of tropical fish in the water, which make it a great snorkeling spot. As much as the island has to offer in natural wonders, there are a fair share of cities worth visiting here as well. Kailua-Kona, or simply Kona, is home to restaurants serving up Hawaiian specialties, shops where you’ll find clothing and handcrafted gifts, and a pier from which you can admire the sunset.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Island of Hawai'i

Hawaii has two seasons, the wet season from November to March and the dry season from April to October. The Big Island is known for year-round tropical temperatures, but depending on where you are staying, the climate can vary dramatically. Puna experiences warm humidity and rain, while it’s much cooler at Mauna Kea, Waimea, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Due to protection from the wind, Kona enjoys mostly dry and warm days; however, it’s a good idea to prepare for rain at any time.

In April, the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival honors the traditions and arts of Hawaii. This week-long festival in Hilo is headlined by a world-renowned dance competition, an arts fair, and grand parade. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival in November celebrates the harvest at coffee farms in the region, with music and dance, cultural experiences, and of course, lots of coffee to try. Whenever you decide to visit, you’ll find a great range of vacation rentals and homes for your stay on the Big Island.

Top things to do in Island of Hawai'i

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, embark on the Kilauea Iki Trail, a four-mile loop that takes you into a former lava lake that erupted with rivers of lava in 1959. Or head to the Jaggar Museum, where you’ll learn all about volcanoes and enjoy views of the Halemaumau Crater. The park is also home to an 11-mile scenic road, Crater Rim Drive, that takes in many scenic views, including a look at the active volcano Kilauea.

Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Beach, on the east side of the island’s southern tip, is not your average beach. The black sand here, made of basalt, was formed from years of hot lava flowing into the ocean and exploding into tiny fragments before washing ashore. The warm waters at Punalu’u Beach are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Hawaii’s famous green sea turtles are often found sunbathing on the warm sands here. And while admiring these creatures is fine, do not get too close.


On the opposite side of the island from Kona is Hilo, another city where many visitors set up camp for exploring the island’s volcanoes and beaches. Hilo is on the wet, lush half of the island, and the city is bordered by rainforest. In town, you’ll find cultural sites like the Lyman Museum and Mission House, where you can learn about Hawaiian history, as well as seven farmers’ markets where you can pick up local produce and goods. Just outside of town, inside Akaka Falls State Park, is Hawaii’s biggest waterfall, the 440-foot Kahuna Falls.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is the weather in Island of Hawai'i?

    The Island of Hawai'i has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round. Summer, from May to October, averages temperatures of 85°F (29°C). Winter, from November to April, sees slightly cooler temperatures, averaging 78°F (26°C). Rainfall is highest in the northeastern parts of the island, while the southwestern regions are drier.

  • What are some of the best things to do in Island of Hawai'i?

    Popular activities on the Island of Hawai'i include exploring the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, stargazing from Mauna Kea summit, swimming and snorkeling at Honaunau Bay, and learning about Hawaiian culture and history in Hilo. Visitors also enjoy exploring the black sand beaches, such as Punalu'u Beach.

  • What is the best time of year to visit Island of Hawai'i?

    The Island of Hawai'i is visited year-round, but the busiest season is from December to March. During this period, the island hosts the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, a week-long cultural event celebrating Hawaiian hula. From July to September, the weather is warm and dry, making it a great time for beach activities.

  • What are the best places to stay in Island of Hawai'i?

    The Island of Hawai'i has several popular areas for visitors. Kailua-Kona, known for its vibrant dining scene and beautiful beaches, is often recommended. Hilo, with its rich history and close proximity to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, is another favorite. The luxurious resorts of the Kohala Coast also draw many visitors.

  • What are the best places to visit in Island of Hawai'i?

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a frequently suggested place to explore, as it's home to two of the world's most active volcanoes. The historic city of Hilo, with its museums and cultural attractions, is also popular. Don’t miss the stunning black sand beaches like Punalu'u Beach, or the Mauna Kea summit, which provides spectacular stargazing opportunities.

  • What are some hiking trails in Island of Hawai'i?

    The Island of Hawai'i is home to several enriching hiking trails. Kilauea Iki Trail presents a 6.4 km loop through a lush rainforest, while Mauna Kea Summit Trail invites you to explore an elevation of 4,207 meters. The Pololu Valley Lookout allows you to enjoy a more relaxed 1.6 km trail with breathtaking coastal views.

  • What are some family activities to do in Island of Hawai'i?

    Families on the Island of Hawai'i can enjoy a visit to the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo, home to a variety of exotic animals. Exploring the natural wonders of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is another popular choice. Families may also enjoy snorkeling in the clear waters of Honaunau Bay, or experiencing Hawaiian culture at the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park.

  • What are some of the best day trip ideas in Island of Hawai'i?

    A day trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with its lava tubes and active volcanoes, is often recommended. Another option is to explore the coffee farms and historic landmarks of Kona. For nature enthusiasts, a trip to the Akaka Falls State Park or Waipi'o Valley provides a chance to experience the island's natural beauty.

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