Although many people use the nickname "Big Island" when referring to the largest island in Hawai‘i, it is more correctly known as Hawai'i Island or the Island of Hawai'i. The ancient name of the island is "Moku O Keawe," which refers to one of its most significant chiefs. 

The island of Hawai'i has the largest landmass of all the islands. Hawai'i Island has many micro-climates that are impacted by elevation, wind, and its relationship to the three large volcanoes that dominate the landscape. A general truth is that the leeward side is drier and the windward side is wetter. 

Only on Hawai'i Island will you find:

Flowing lava, massive lava fields, tree fern forests, significant petroglyph fields, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The largest stands, and the largest individual trees, of 'Ohia Lehua, an iconic flowering evergreen tree that is endemic to Hawai'i. 

Tallest mountains: Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea

More cattle: Parker Ranch 

These rare native birds: Alala (Hawaiian crow), 'Io (Hawaiian hawk), and the honeycreepers Akepa, 'Akiapola'au and Palila. It's also the best island for spotting Nene, the Hawaiian goose and Hawaii's state bird.

Most astronomy observatories: Mauna Kea

Skiing: Mauna Kea (seasonal)

Clearest snorkeling waters, most crater hikes, most turtles, most easy to get to petroglyph sites.

Biggest hula event: Merrie Monarch Festival

Largest farmers' market: Hilo

Green sand beaches

Thermal swimming holes

Most southerly tip on the Hawaiian chain: Ka Lae, often refered to as South Point

Most beautiful remote yet inhabited valley: Waipio

Well preserved significant cultural sites such as Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, Pu'ukohola Heiau,  Mo'okini Heiau and Lapakahi.

Classic plantation-era towns such as Hawi, Kapa'au, Honoka'a and Na'alehu

More tropical nurseries and farmers

Best coffee: Kona and more recently Ka`u 

Two major airports: Keahole-Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO)

Home of the Ironman World Championship, which takes place in North Kona and Kohala annually in mid-October. 

Home of Hawaii's largest outrigger canoe race, the Queen Lili'uokalani Long Distance Race, which runs from Kailua-Kona to Honaunau and back every Labor Day weekend.