Hike to an active Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island
Hawaii Island is not just big, it's still growing. The Island of Hawaii is the youngest island in the Hawaiian chain and is also by far the biggest, providing a vast canvas of environments to discover a variety of unrivaled natural wonders. It is the home of one of the world's most active volcanoes (Kilauea), the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet (Maunakea), the most massive mountain in the world (Maunaloa) and the largest park in the state (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park).. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a journey off the beaten path, you'll discover it all on Hawaii, the Big Island.
Watch the landscape change before your very eyes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located 30 miles southwest of Hilo, this is the home of Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. The chance to witness the primal process of creation and destruction make this park one of the most popular visitor attraction in Hawaii and a sacred place for Native Hawaiians.
The Park encompasses 333,000 acres from the summit of Maunaloa to the sea. Here you'll find 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and rainforests as well as a museum, petroglyphs, a walk-in lava tube and two active volcanoes: Maunaloa, which last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea which has been erupting since January 3rd, 1983.
To avoid confusion with the name of the entire state, the Island of Hawaii is often called the "Big Island," and what an appropriate name it is. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, its sheer size can be inspiring. You'll find all but two of the world's climatic zones within this island's shores.
Outdoor adventures abound at family friendly parks and beaches with lifeguards and full picnic and restroom facilities. Build a sandcastle, explore tide pools, or snorkel with your kids to catch a glimpse of Hawaii Island's rich marine life. And always remember to avoid walking on coral and to keep an eye on your children at all times in the water. Heed all posted signs and check with lifeguards for current conditions and to find the best spots for kids. Back on land, learn about real-life paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) and take a wagon ride at the Kahua Ranch in Waimea. Exploring the volcano tubes and lava fields from an active volcano at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is an experience they'll never forget. Whether it's learning about astronomy, volcanology or oceanography, your children's school excursions just won't compare after this hands-on vacation.
Other family activities:
Art Galleries and Museums...Whether it's through paintings, sculptures, glassware, jewelry or hand-carved koa wood bowls, you'll see the distinct styles that make the art found on Hawaii Island truly unique.
Beaches...Hawaii Island features some of the most picturesque and varied beach landscapes in the islands.
Historic Places...From the birthplace of King Kamehameha to the birthplace of paniolo, Hawaii Island is home to some of the most historic places in Hawaii.
Horseback Riding...Explore the wealth of scenic, open landscapes in Waimea and other spots.
Hula...See authentic hula throughout Hawaii Island at seasonal festivals, competitions, luau and live performances at hotels and resorts.
Live Music...You'll find live music venues throughout the Island in restaurants, lounges and in the island's fine hotels and resorts.
Manta Ray Diving...The Kona Coast offers the best opportunity to encounter the amazing manta rays.
Parks...The Island features four National Parks, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as well as beautiful state and county parks.
.Snorkeling and Scuba...From North Kohala to South Kona, the Island is famous for its calm and clear waters perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Whale Watching...From December to May, go on a whale watching tour or spot humpback whales from coastal areas.
Here are some great places to stay on the Big Island:
Kona Bali Kai