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 The Island of Hawaii is known colloquially as “Big Island.” This is a fitting nickname, for the Island is twice the combined size of its neighboring counterparts! Big Island flaunts its colors like the plumes of a peacock: fierce reds of magma from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contrast spectacularly with the bright white snow of Maunakea, while the electric black sands of Punaluu Beach stream into the emerald green of Hamakua Coast’s rainforests. Let Big Island’s significance as the birthplace of King Kamehameha I serve as a prelude to all of its wonders.

currency

US Dollar, $1 = 100 cents

phone

911

newspaper

Tribune Herald
West Hawaii Today

hours

Most stores are open daily 9.30am - 9pm or later. Most bars and clubs close around 2am.

population

1,426,393

info

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
75-5737 Kuakini Highway
+1 808 329 1758

website

www.gohawaii.com

Wooden Hawaiian statues in Pua??uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Big Island, Hawaii Radoslaw Lecyk/Shutterstock.com

The Island

While Hawaii Island may be the youngest island in the archipelago, it retains its prominence as the first island to be touched by man. Coming in the form of Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesas Islands 1,500 years ago, they would become the first Hawaiians. Native Hawaiian temple ruins, royal grounds, fish ponds, sacred burial spots, and petroglyphs all remain as evidence of this early culture. And Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park also retains many areas and items of historical significance.

Throughout Hawaii’s era of discovery, Hawaii Island was divided among chiefdoms, leading to frequent skirmishes and contention between the factions. It was during this time that the last major religious “heiau” temple was built. In constructing a tribute to the war god Kukailimoku, King Kamehameha I hoped to bolster his efforts in uniting the Hawaiian Islands. He would go on to conquer the island and indeed unite the Kingdom. The temple is now the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site in North Kohala, and there are also statues and dedications to the Great King Kamehameha around Hawaii Island.

Over the next centuries, Hawaii Island would be influenced by the influx of missionaries, along with a roaring sugar industry. Today’s Big Island continues as a cornerstone for the Hawaiian Islands’ beauty, culture, and eternal elegance.

Hawaii lava tourist. Tourists taking photo of flowing lava from Kilauea volcano around Hawaii volcanoes national park, USA Maridav/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

The Big Island is not only the largest island in Hawaii, it also has an active volcano to amaze visitors with an unparalleled view of the Earth in action. It is only one of the many natural and historical sites that enthuse visitors to the island annually.

Ken Lund/Flickr

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Les Williams/Flickr

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Neville Wootton/Flickr

Two Step Snorkeling

Andrew K. Smith/Flickr

Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor

Travisthurston/Wikimedia Commons

Royal Footsteps Along the Kona Coast

Roy Luck/Flickr

Kau Scenic Byway - The Slopes of Mauna Loa

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Akaka Falls State Park

Floyd Manzano/Flickr

Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona)

Makuahine Pa'i Ki'i/Flickr

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

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Hamakua Heritage Corridor

Angel Schatz/Flickr

Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site

Bill Ward/Flickr

Pololu Valley Lookout

A. Strakey/Flickr

Anaehoomalu Beach

brewbooks/Flickr

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

brewbooks/Flickr

Imiloa Astronomy Center

Romantic dinner for two at sunset.Greece, Santorini, restaurant on the beach, above the volcano. Santorines/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Big Island restaurants include small family friendly seafood spots and exquisite resort fine dining. No matter where you go, you will be greeted by the welcoming island attitude and delicious food you will find nowhere else on the planet.

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Gramma's Kitchen (Honokaa)

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Bite Me Fishmarket Bar and Grill (Kailua-Kona)

Wesual Click/Unsplash.com

Rays on the Bay (Kailua-Kona)

Wesual Click/Unsplash.com

Ocean Bar and Grill (Waimea)

John Pastor/Flickr

Sushi Rock (Hawi)

Maxim Krayushkin/Flickr

Honu's on the Beach Restaurant (Kailua-Kona)

Ralph Daily/Flickr

Kamuela Provision Company (Waikoloa Village)

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Number 3 (Kohala Coast)

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Brown's Beach House Restaurant (Waimea)

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Lagoon Grill (Waikoloa Village)

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Queen's Court Dining Room (Hilo)

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Don The Beachcomber (Kailua-Kona)

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Merriman's Restaurant (Waimea)

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Beach Tree Restaurant (Kailua-Kona)

Mediterranean breakfast, cup of coffee and fresh bread on a table with beautiful sea view at the background Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com

Cafés

100% pure Kona coffee is a rare commodity exclusively grown in north and south Kona. The high elevation, constant cloud coverage and rich volcanic soil from Hualalai Volcano in the upland slopes of Kona create an ideal coffee experience to cherish. As such, there are several coffee shops that are run by local roasters, as well as bakeries selling delights you will only find on the island.

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Hawaiian Style Cafe (Waimea)

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Ka’u Coffee Mill

margouillat photo/Shutterstock.com

Kona Coffee House & Cafe (Kailua-Kona)

Alena Haurylik/Shutterstock.com

Evolution Bakery & Cafe (Kailua-Kona)

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

Punalu'u Bake Shop (Naalehu)

Hannah Sorrell Creative/Shutterstock.com

Café Pesto (Hilo)

Blurred people having sunset beach party in summer vacation - Defocused image - Concept of nightlife with cocktails and music entertainment DisobeyArt/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

Big Island has a sleepier, more laid-back vibe than other Hawaiian islands, but that doesn't mean that the nightlife is dead. The resorts host night-time activities and events to keep guests busy, and a handful of bustling bars can be found around the island. Art is also alive and vibrant in small playhouses and movie theaters, some of which screen indie and foreign films, and there is always live music somewhere. And of course, the local specialty is the luau, a chance for visitors to experience the music and dances of the island, accompanied by fine food and finer company.

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com

Huggo's on the Rocks (Kailua-Kona)

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Cronies Bar and Grill (Hilo)

W & J/Flickr

Uncle Robert’s Awa Club (Pahoa)

Deborah Kolb/Shutterstock.com

Island Breeze Luau (Kailua-Kona)

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Kahilu Theatre (Waimea)

W Nowicki/Wikimedia Commons

Aloha Theatre (Kealakekua)

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Sam's Hideaway (Kailua-Kona)

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Honokaa People's Theatre (Honokaa)

Mike Flippo/Shutterstock.com

The Mask-querade Bar (Kailua-Kona)

Ivan Mateev

Don's Mai Tai Bar (Kailua-Kona)

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com

Mehana Brewing Company (Hilo)

W & J/Flickr

Kona Brewing Company (Kailua-Kona)

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com

Humpy's Big Island Alehouse (Kailua-Kona)

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Hilo Town Tavern (Hilo)

shopping time with friend olly/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

The numerous Big Island resorts all offer interesting options, as do the villages and downtown Kona. Even the touristy spots can be exciting, but, if you dig a little deeper, you can find some coveted local favourites and have a much more rewarding shopping experience. Especially appealing is the artwork and houseware made from local materials, such as lava rock and milo wood, which can be found in boutiques and galleries across the island.

Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com

Prince Kuhio Plaza (Hilo)

PKpix/Shutterstock.com

Just Ukes (Kailua-Kona)

Ollyy/Shutterstock.com

Keauhou Shopping Center (Kailua-Kona)

Oksana Shufrych/Shutterstock.com

Bentley's Home & Garden Collection (Waimea)

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Hilo Farmers Market (Hilo)

Tancha/Shutterstock.com

Parker Ranch Center (Waimea)

CHAINFOTO24/Shutterstock.com

Sig Zane Designs (Hilo)

KN/Shutterstock.com

Basically Books (Hilo)

g215/Shutterstock.com

Big Island Candies Inc. (Hilo)

nioloxs/Shutterstock.com

Ueshima Coffee Corp (Holualoa)

Masson/Shutterstock.com

The Shops at Mauna Lani (Waimea)

BillionPhotos/Shutterstock.com

Big Island Bees (Captain Cook)

Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.com

Kona Wine Market (Kailua-Kona)

steve lyon

Hula Lamps of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona)

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Queens' MarketPlace (Waikoloa Village)

Artem Furman/Shutterstock.com

Kings' Shops (Waikoloa Village)

HandmadePictures/Shutterstock.com

Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company (Keaau)

Danil Nevsky/Shutterstock.com

Holualoa Gallery (Holualoa)

Avatar_023/Shutterstock.com

Alii Gardens Marketplace (Kailua-Kona)

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Kilauea Kreations (Volcano)

Hawaii Beach Radoslaw Lecyk/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Best Time To Visit

The months from June to September are known for their warm weather and pleasant water temperatures. Rainfall is at its lowest during this time. If you are looking for more affordable flights and accommodation rates, you should visit Hawaii in September, October or November. Whale watching season also starts in November.

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Passport/Visa

Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.

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Airports

Two airports serve Hawaii Island: Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona in the west, and Hilo International Airport (ITO) in Hilo in the east.

KOA services major airlines, including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, GO! Mokulele, Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, United Airlines, US Airways and Westjet. KOA is accessible by car, taxi and shuttle, with The Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency Hele-On bus operating a limited service between the airport and Kailua-Kona town.

ITO services GO!, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines. ITO is accessible by car and taxi without public transportation available.

Address: 73-200 Kupipi Street Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

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Phone: +1 808 327 9520

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Public Transport

The Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency provides public transportation around Big Island on the Hele-On bus. Additionally, the Transit Agency offers a Shared Ride Taxi program which provides door-to-door transportation within the urbanized area of Hilo.

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Website: www.heleonbus.org

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Taxi

The following cab companies serve Big Island:

Kona Taxicab LLC, +1 808 324 4444

Global Rider, +1 808 631 9196

Dakine Taxi, +1 808 329 4446

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Pharmacy

Malama Compounding Pharmacy
74-5563 Kaiwi Street Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
+1 808 324 6888

Safeway Pharmacy
75-1027 Henry Street Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
+1 808 327 6778

KTA Super Stores Waikoloa Village Pharmacy
68-3916 Paniolo Avenue Waikoloa Village, Island of Hawaii
Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9.30am - 1.30pm
+1 808 883 8434

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Post

US Post Office

Address: 74-5577 Palani Road Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

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Phone: +1 808 326 1432

Website: www.usps.com

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Telephone

Country code: +1
Area code: 808

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Electricity

110-volt

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