Island of Adventure: Explore the Island of Hawaii

The island of Hawaii, also commonly called “the Big Island,” has been in the news lately as the Kilauea Volcano experienced a flurry of activity over the summer, with lava spewing from fissures and causing havoc in its path to the ocean. Despite the dramatic images of this most recent eruption, the island is a safe place to visit, and the most popular resort areas are about 100 miles from the activity, which has calmed in recent weeks. Volcanic activity also creates – it’s how this beautiful chain of islands was formed in the first place. Lava is as much a part of life on the Big Island as the ocean or the sky, and signs of it are everywhere, evident in flows dating back as far as hundreds of thousands of years.

Known as the Island of Adventure, the island of Hawaii is the place for active travelers and nature lovers. It’s a place where you can hike along secluded trails, zipline between the trees, swim beneath a waterfall and surf the ocean’s waves.

Start your day with a freshly brewed cup of 100% Kona coffee, then venture inland to the coffee plantations and ranches that form the island’s agricultural backbone. Take a horseback tour with the paniolos – Hawaiian cowboys – who tend the ranches, and learn about their contributions to Hawaii’s culture. Head to Mauna Kea, where sunsets are spectacular and the stars are numerous. Nearby is Akaka Falls State Park, where you can hike to the 442-foot waterfall.

The island is also filled with history. For example, near Waikoloa Village is an ancient lava field with a well-worn path running through it, from north to south. Legend says this path has been used for centuries, and it served as a thoroughfare between villages for the island’s early inhabitants. Over the years, those who have passed through have left their mark, carving designs known as petroglyphs into the ancient lava. Be sure to save some time to wander along the petroglyph trail and admire the landscape and the carvings – it’s a window into the history of this magical island.

On the southeast side of the island is Hilo, a vibrant town flush with museums. This is the place where the Hula was created, and it’s the gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here, you can walk through a lava tube, hike volcanic craters and take a helicopter ride to see lava spilling into the ocean.

Hawaii is a place where dream vacations happen and memories are made. Let AAA and Pleasant Holidays help you craft your ideal Hawaii vacation today.