We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Things to do on the Big Island

Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
35 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Things to do on the Big Island

We are staying at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel as well as the Fairmont Orchid during June 19th - June 27th. We are in our early 20's and are going for our honeymoon and are wanting to do a few things that are going to be enjoy during our stay. I was looking into the gathering of the kings luau as well as a dinner cruise. I also looking into the atv excursions tours. What is everyone's thoughts on what to do during our stay? Thanks

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
25,004 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

I'm not big on commercial luaus, dinner cruises, or ATVing, so none of what I suggest may appeal to you, lol. But you've picked great hotels in what is one of my favourite locations on the island. There is lots to do just at the properties, which are located on important historical grounds. There are petroglyphs at the Fairmont, and a nice shoreline trail between the two hotels. The Mauna Lani has ponds at the hotel with sharks and rays as well as a sea turtle release program. Continuing along the coast you'll pass the Kalahuipuaa fishponds which ancient Hawaiians maintained to cultivate fish for the ali'i. The Mauna Lani has maintained them and replanted native vegetation. The historic Eva Parker Woods cottage has talk story events and cultural demonstrations. You then arrive at Makaiwa Bay and the beach club. This small but lovely beach has some of the best snorkelling on the island. The small open air restaurant, Napua, has good food and drinks, and great love local musicians Thurs-Sunday around sunset. you can rent paddle boards here too.

You can continue on from Makaiwa Bay on a shoreline trail that starts out paved, goes past the golf course, then turns into a shoreline lava rock fisherman's trail. In about a mile you arrie at Honoka'ope Bay, a blackish sand beach with very clear water, a great reef, and interesting underwater formations as well as sea arches and caves.

I highly recommend the sunset sail on the Winona from the ML.

Off property you have the nearby beaches of Waialea, Hapuna, and Kauna'oa. The manta ray night snorkel is a must do. I highly recommend a Waipio Valley horseback riding tour as well as a day trip to the Hamakua coast to see the waterfalls, gulches, and botanical gardens. Consider a helicopter tour to Volcanoes National Park. A guided trip to the summit of Mauna Kea for sunset and stargazing. A day spent at the heiaus and historical parks up north, Lapakahi, Puukohola, Mookini, followed by a hike into Pololu Valley and a drive down the scenic Kohala Mountain Road into the lovely upcountry town of Waimea. A daytrip to South Kona to see Pu'uhonua O Honaunau and snorkel in the adjacent bay is also a must do, IMO.

That should get you started!

Edited: 22 May 2012, 18:50
California
Level Contributor
9,314 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

fair-wind.com/fair-wind-ii/kealakekua-snorke…

We loved the AM cruise on the Fair Wind. It was one of the excursions we've ever done!

Also, second horseback riding in Waipio Valley.

Wow! Shea's given you such great suggestions. Makes me want to revisit the BI.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
4 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

I am a concierge here on the Big Island. I have done almost every activity on the island. Here are my top 6 that blew me away.

1.) Helicopter over the Volcano from Kona

2.) Manta Ray Night Snokel

3.) Mauna Kea Stargazing

4.)Ziplining!!

5.) ATV around Waipio Valley Rim

6.)Snorkel at the Captain Cook Monument

Spliting the Island up into different days of driving is also a very good idea. A north drive to Pololu, A Waterfall day over to Hilo, a south trip to the Volcano are good general days of driving.

Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
35 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

Thanks everyone. Is there a site I can use too look this up or just search on yahoo or google?

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
25,004 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

Look up what?

New Jersey
Level Contributor
73 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

We honeymooned in Hawaii back in 1997 and also recently went back for a 2nd visit. You picked a great place for your honeymoon!

Both times we were in Hawaii we did a van tour and I really find the van tours enjoyable and relaxing. It is nice to have a knowledgeable guide telling you about all the things you are seeing. There are plenty of van tours that pick you up at your hotel and cover most of the hot spots like Volcano National Park, the waterfalls, black sand beach, etc..

There are so many great things to do in Hawaii that it's hard to choose what your will do and see.

We loved Hapuna Beach. On our honeymoon we didn't really venture out much but this last trip we drove to Hapuna Beach and I was really blown away by how beautiful that beach is.

I have this little pocket guide to the Big Island that I love. It is put out by Mutual Publishing. I wish I had it before both trips but it is something I picked up on the way home this last visit. I would recommend getting a copy of it. It's a very fun read and it will give you ideas on what you might want to see and do.

Have a great honeymoon!

Edited: 23 May 2012, 11:59
ON, Canada
Level Contributor
12,616 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

Shea - once again, a great list of things to do and see! I've put that post into my 'TA saved trips' (I really like this feature on TA for quickly locating particularly useful posts that I know I'll want to refer back to.)

steve - the most recent edition of the pocket guide that I was able to find online is 2000 - I know that some things don't change, but other info could be quite outdated....or is your copy a more recent edition?

New Jersey
Level Contributor
73 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

Susan - good point. My edition says it had a 4th printing in 2009 but I'm not sure if it has been updated. The publishing company can be contacted at info@mutualpublishing.com.

oklahoma city
Level Contributor
1,252 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

1. Summit Mauna Kea(with a tour company). I like hawaii forest and trails

2. Hike the pololu lookout down to the black sand beach

3. Place of refuge

4. Snorkeling- if you want to see kealakekua, where Captain Cook landed and was killed, go on the Fairwinds. If you want to see more of the island go on the Hula Kai, also operated by Fairwinds.

5. Saturday night dinner at the surf, sand and stars at the Four Seasons.

6. I'm not partial to helicopters, so I'd go to volcano by car, and consider spending the night there one night.

Olympia Wa
Level Contributor
16 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Things to do on the Big Island

I used Trip Advisor and jotted down all the ideas of what to do and what to see on the Big Island then I bought the Lonely Planet Discover Hawaii the Big Island Book. Then it was a matter of whittling down because there was no way I was able to see and do all I wanted to in 9 days. Just know you will want to go back. The two big highlights for us were the Manta Ray night snorkel (Splashers) and the doors off helicopter ride (Paradise Helicopters) over the VNP out of HIlo.