Waipio Valley on Hawaii's Big Island

Explore Hawaii’s Big Island Like a Local

Hawaii’s Big Island has long been a magnet for travelers seeking breathtaking beaches and sunny skies. But if you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in the local culture and step off the beaten path, you’ll want to check out the island treasures that only the insiders know about.

6 Best Big Island Value Hotels or Resorts 2023, Readers’ Choice Awards Hawaii Magazine

1. Royal Kona Resort
2. Hilton Waikoloa Village
3. SCP Hilo Hotel
4. Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
5. Volcano House
6. Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa

In this guide, we’ll reveal the best-kept secrets on Hawaii’s Big Island and provide you with insider tips that will help you experience the island like a true local. From secret beaches to cultural gems, we’ll give you a roadmap for your journey that will unlock the hidden treasures of this paradise destination.

Explore Secret Beaches

One of the best ways to discover the best of Hawaii’s Big Island is by exploring its secret beaches. While there are plenty of well-known beaches that are worth a visit, the island is also home to some lesser-known spots that offer a more secluded and intimate experience.

One such beach is Papakolea Beach, also known as the Green Sand Beach. Located on the southern tip of the island, this unique beach is made up of green crystals that have been naturally formed by the surrounding volcanic landscape. The hike to get there can be a bit challenging, but the payoff is well worth it.

Papakolea Green Sand Beach
Papakolea Green Sand Beach

Another hidden gem is Kiholo Bay, a secluded cove on the west coast of the island. This beach is known for its crystal-clear waters, which are perfect for snorkeling and swimming. The beach is also home to a number of sea turtles, which can often be spotted lounging on the shore.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous beach experience, head to Pololu Valley Beach on the northern side of the island. Getting there requires a steep hike down a trail, but the beach itself is a stunning black sand paradise that is well worth the effort.

Pololu Valley Beach,
Pololu Valley Beach

Next up, we’ll be exploring the off-the-beaten-path trails that will take you deep into the heart of Hawaii’s Big Island. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, these trails offer a unique perspective on the island’s natural beauty.,

Hike Off-The-Beaten-Path Trails

If you’re an adventure seeker, consider hiking off-the-beaten-path trails on Hawaii’s Big Island. One such trail is the Kilauea Iki Trail in Volcanoes National Park, where you can walk through a volcanic crater and witness the aftermath of a 1959 eruption. The trail is four miles round trip and provides stunning views of the park’s flora and fauna.

Broken down (Kilauea Iki Crater trail)
Kilauea Iki Crater trail

Another trail option is the Pololu Valley Lookout Trail, which provides breathtaking views of the valley and coastline. The trailhead can be found at the end of a windy road and requires a steep hike down a trail that can be slippery at times. However, the panoramic views of the valley and ocean make the trek worthwhile.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Mauna Kea Summit Trail is a rigorous climb to the top of Hawaii’s highest peak. The trail is steep and rocky, and the high altitude can make the trek difficult for some, but the reward is unparalleled views of the island and a sense of accomplishment.

Mauna Kea Summit Trail
Mauna Kea Summit Trail

After a day of hiking, refuel and experience Hawaii’s local cuisine.,

Experience Local Cuisine

One cannot fully experience Hawaii’s Big Island without indulging in its local cuisine. From traditional Hawaiian fare to fusion dishes, there’s something for every palate. Start your culinary journey with a traditional plate lunch, consisting of rice, macaroni salad, and your choice of a protein such as kalua pork or chicken katsu.

Hawaiian Plate Lunch
Hawaiian Plate Lunch

For a taste of authentic Hawaiian sushi, try the musubi—a type of rice ball filled with a slice of spam or other meat and wrapped in seaweed.

For seafood lovers, the Big Island offers an abundance of fresh catches. Local favorites also include grilled mahi-mahi and buttery sea urchin.

Poke bowl
Poke bowl

Poke bowls, which typically feature raw marinated fish over rice, are a must-try.

No matter what you try, be sure to save room for dessert. Hawaii is known for its shaved ice and malasadas, a Portuguese doughnut filled with sweet custard.

Lilikoi malasadas
Lilikoi malasadas

After satisfying your taste buds, continue your exploration of the island’s wonders with a visit to its cultural attractions.,

Discover Cultural Wonders

Immerse yourself in the cultural wonders of the Big Island by visiting its various historical and artistic attractions. Hawaii’s rich heritage is reflected in its art galleries, museums, and cultural centers. The Hilo Art Museum showcases contemporary and traditional Hawaiian art, while the Lyman Museum and Mission House allows visitors to learn about the island’s history and culture.

Hilo - Lyman Mission House
Hilo – Lyman Mission House

Don’t forget to explore the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park to experience the ancient Hawaiian way of living and see sacred sites.

rock game at Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
rock game at Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park

For a more immersive experience, attend a traditional Hawaiian cultural event such as a hula festival or a luau. These events provide an opportunity to learn about Hawaiian customs, music, and dance. Many cultural attractions also offer guided tours and workshops that allow visitors to learn about and participate in native Hawaiian arts and crafts.

By discovering the cultural gems of Hawaii’s Big Island, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s history, traditions, and people. Embrace the spirit of aloha and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Hawaii’s Big Island.,

Embrace the Spirit of Aloha

To truly experience the beauty of Hawaii’s Big Island, it’s important to embrace the spirit of aloha. Aloha is more than just a greeting – it’s a way of life that embodies love, respect, and kindness. By immersing yourself in the island’s culture, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for its history, traditions, and people.

Islands of Hawaii
Islands of Hawaii, Aloha Sand Picture on a Hawaii Beach

One way to fully embrace the spirit of aloha is to attend a traditional Hawaiian cultural event. These events, like hula festivals and luaus, provide an opportunity to learn about Hawaiian customs, music, and dance. Many cultural attractions also offer guided tours and workshops that allow visitors to learn about and participate in native Hawaiian arts and crafts.

Keiki Hula, Islands of Hawaii
Keiki Hula, Islands of Hawaii

Another way to experience aloha is to connect with the locals. Hawaiians are known for their warm and welcoming nature, and by talking to them you can gain an understanding of their unique way of life. Simply striking up a conversation with a local can lead to unforgettable experiences and insights that you won’t find in a guidebook.

In summary, by embracing the spirit of aloha, you can fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Hawaii’s Big Island. So, take the time to attend a cultural event, talk to locals, and learn about the island’s traditions. Trust us, it will be an experience you won’t forget.,

In conclusion, Hawaii’s Big Island may be known for its tourist hotspots, but there’s a wealth of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From secret beaches to off-the-beaten-path trails, local cuisine, and cultural gems, there’s so much to explore and experience. So why settle for a typical tourist experience?

So, pack your bags and get ready to embrace the spirit of aloha as we explore Hawaii’s Big Island like a local. Use our insider tips to create a truly memorable trip and embrace the spirit of aloha. As the saying goes, “Mahalo nui loa,” thank you very much for reading, and happy travels!

A Quick Guide to The Islands of Hawaii – Fergy’s Travel (fergystravel.com)

Hidden Gems For Your Hawaii Vacation – Fergy’s Travel (fergystravel.com)

Hawaii Island Official Travel Site: Find Vacation & Travel Information | Go Hawaii

Book Your Best Priced Hawaii Big Island Rental Car Here

Destinations, Features, Hawaii, Travel, Travel Tips and Advice

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