Big Island Places of Interest

 

These are some of our favorite places to visit here on the Big Island, including the drive time from Volcano Men's Retreat:

 

Volcanoes National Park

 

Park Entrance – 20 min – the biggest tourist draw to the island, home to Hawaii’s only active volcanoes.  Open 24 hours a day.  The benefit of staying at Volcano Men’s Resort, you can beat the huge crowds arriving mid- to late-morning from Kona and cruise ships.  Also readily accessible at night, after the crowds have left and nighttime viewing of the Kilauea and the amazingly clear star-filled night sky.

Kilauea Overlook – 35 min – View points looking down into the very active Kilauea Volcano.

 

Chain of Craters – 25 min – a fascinating drive from Kilauea down to the sea cliffs, following the active and extinct craters associated with Kilauea along the East Rift Zone.

 

Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs – 50 min – Located near the coast on Chain of Craters, a large area of ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs.

 

Holei Sea Arch – 1 hr – Located on the rugged southern sea cliffs, this natural arch was formed when lava from a previous flow spilled over the edge.

Kamokuna Lava Fall - 1 hour drive plus 5 mile hike - Located between Chain of Craters Road and Kalapana, this is the current location of Kilauea lava flow  cascading down a 100 foot cliff and entering the sea.

 

Pu’u O’o – 30 min – the currently very active vent of Kilauea issuing lava threatening the Town of Pahoa.

 

East Coast

 

Hilo Town (ITO Airport) - 25 min – The oldest still inhabited town on the island with a charming, vibrant and colorful downtown alongside the only natural harbor on the island, Hilo Bay.

 

Richardson and Carlsmith Beach Lagoons – 30 min – Although Hilo is not known for it’s beaches, these are 2 of 6 lovely beach/lagoons with lava breakwaters and sandy bottoms just south of Hilo Town.  Good snorkeling and chance to see sea turtles.

 

Honomu – Akaka Falls – 50 min – a cute artist community just north of Hilo, and home to the 440 foot tall Akaka Falls.

 

Onomea Bay – Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens – 40 min – a beautiful drive along the lush cliffside with stunning views of Onomea Bay and the botanical gardens.

 

Pe’epe’e Falls (Boiling Pots) – 30 min – Located on the west side of Hilo Town, a beautiful 80 foot waterfall with plenty of deep swimming holes below the falls.

 

Rainbow Falls – 30 min – An 80 foot waterfall right in Hilo Town, famous for its morning rainbow.

 

Kaumana Lava Tube – 30 min – Located near Pe’epe’e Falls, an extraordinary lava tube cave ready to explore – but take a flashlight.

 

Lava Tree State Park – 30 min – An interesting lava formation formed when an ancient lava flow come in contact with a forest of tall trees.  We refer to it as the Magical Erection Forest.

 

Pahoa Lava Flow – 25 min – The recent active lava flow, threatening the Town of Pahoa.

Ahalanui Hot Springs – 45 min – A lagoon fed by cool sea water and geothermally heated fresh water, great for swimming and relaxing.

 

Kehena Black Sand Beach – 55 min – A beautiful (and clothing optional) beach cove with black sand.

Kamokuna Lava Fall - 1 hour drive plus 5 mile hike - Located between Chain of Craters Road and Kalapana, this is the current location of Kilauea lava flow  cascading down a 100 foot cliff and entering the sea.

 

Central Island

 

Mauna Kea Summit Observatories – 1 hr 45 min – at 13, 798 feet above sea level, this is the tallest mountain in the islands, which is snowcapped in the winter, and home to the world’s largest observatories.

 

Mauna Loa Observatory – 1 hr 45 min – at 13, 678 feet, this still active volcano is easily the largest active volcano on earth, home to an observatory halfway up the slope.

 

The Saddle – 1 hr  - A road connecting Kona to Hilo, which starts at sea level, crests out at 7000 feet above sea level in the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, and then drops back down to sea level again in less than an hour’s drive.  All of the island’s volcanoes are usually visible along the drive, as well as Haleakala on the Island of Maui.

 

South Coast

 

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach – 50 min – A beautiful black sand beach cove home to many nesting Green Sea Turtles.

 

Na’alehu – 1 hr – This small coastal town’s claim to fame is being the Southernmost Everything in the Untied States, including the Southernmost Restaurant which makes the best pies on the planet.

 

Papakolea Green Sand Beach – 1 hr 25 min – Requiring a 4-wheel drive from South Point, or about a mile hike, this sandy cove and surrounding cliffs are made largely of green olivine crystals.

 

South Point – 1 hr 20 min – the Southernmost point of land in the United States, with some great cliff jumping for the brave.

 

West Coast

 

Kealakekua Bay – Captain Cook – 2 hr - a winding narrow road takes you down to this beautiful bay, known for excellent snorkeling and the landing spot of Captain Cook and the Discovery.  Also the location where Captain Cook was killed.

 

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau Nat’l Historic Park – 2 hr – Royal grounds and place of refuge for pre-European-contact Hawaiians.  Very interesting historic site near Kealakekua Bay.

 

Kailua Kona (KOA Airport) – 2 hr – The largest town on the drier West Coast of the island, most frequented by tourists and the location of most of the island’s luxury resorts and beaches.

 

Hualalai – 2 hr – the third oldest of the 5 volcanoes that make up the Island of Hawaii, on the slopes of which Kona Town was founded.

 

Kaloko-Honokohau National Park – 1 hr 50 min – a fascinating historical park showing the ancient Hawaiian culture and life, including a large artificially built fish pond, built by the ancients, and also a lovely beach.

 

Makalawena Beach – 2 hr 5 min – Probably the most beautiful set of beaches on the island, located in 3 coves just north of Kona.

Hapuna Beach - 1 hr 45 min – The most popular and a beautiful wide sandy beach on the island.

 

Mau’uma’e Beach – 1 hr 50 min – the locals secret beach.  Our favorite.

 

North Coast

 

Kapa’au – 2hr 15 min – A charming little coastal Hawaiian town on the rugged and beautiful north shore, birthplace of King Kamehameha the Great.  And the best pizza on the island at the King's View Cafe.

 

Pololu Valley Overlook – 2 hr 20 min  - A beautiful deep valley reminiscent of Jurassic Park on the steep and lush north flank of Kohala.

 

Kohala – Waimea – 1 hr 35 min – The oldest of the 5 volcanoes that make up the Island of Hawaii.

 

Waipi’o Valley Overlook – Hi’ilawe Falls – 1 hr 35 min - A beautiful deep valley reminiscent of Jurassic Park on the steep and lush north flank of Kohala.  Many of the islands tallest waterfalls are visible from the overlook or from a hike down into the valley, including Hi’ilawe Falls, which at 1450 feet is the tallest in the islands.

 

Honoka’a – 1 hr 25 min - A charming little coastal Hawaiian town on the rugged and beautiful north shore, gateway to the Waipio Valley.

 

Hamakua Coast – Laupahoehoe – 1 hr – A beautiful coastal drive high above the ocean with lots of waterfalls and bridges crossing deep gorges.  The site of the Town of Laupahoehoe, not a State Park, which was completely washed away by the 1946 Tsunami, is along the way.

 

Physical Address

11-2888 Hibiscus Street,

Mountain View, HI 96771

Email us

​robert@volcanomensretreat.com

Call us to book

1-808-987-5498

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