Island of Hawai'i vacation rentals
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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, 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.