Getting started with our Big Island Itinerary travel guides.
General: DIY / How-To
|Guide Series: Big Island Vacation Itinerary
It's technically called Hawaii Island but because it's the largest in the Hawaiian Island chain, we just called it the Big Island. If you're planning a trip here it can be tough to know where to start. Where can I see lava? What are the best beaches? What are the must-see attractions? Where's the best place to snorkel? Where can I find a black sand beach? How do I get to see a waterfall?
These are just some of the common questions we get from those planning an epic vacation to Hawaii's Big Island. So we'll answer those and many more as we guide you through the ultimate Big Island vacation itinerary. Even if you've been here before, we're sure to have some new stuff that you haven't yet experienced.
Because the Big Island is so enormous, the best way to see it is to split your trip into two home bases. The single most popular attraction that the Big Island offers is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. That park is located roughly on the southeast side of the island which means it's easiest to access from the east, or Hilo side. So you'll want to start your trip with lodging somewhere in or near the Hilo area. This gives us a good home base on the east side of the island which will cover days 1 through 4 of your vacation.
On day 4 we'll have you drive over to the west, or Kona, side of the island where you'll spend days 4 through 9. When looking for lodging on the Kona side, the most popular areas will be Waikoloa, Kailua-Kona, and Captain Cook with the Waikoloa Resorts being the most popular by far.
As with any travel planning guide or itinerary, this is just meant to give you ideas. While you certainly can follow it exactly as we've written it, you may want to move things around, skip some items, or otherwise rearrange what we have in here to best fit your vacation style.
With that in mind, consider this a Big Island vacation guide template that's meant to be customized to fit your personal tastes and mood. As you decide on which places to stay, which activities to do, and which beaches to visit, be sure to add them to your Hawaii vacation planner. You can then access all of the items on your planner from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone on the go.
We've separated our Big Island Itinerary Travel Guides into 9 separate articles for up to 9 full days of ideas that show some of the Big Island's most popular attractions and things to do. We've generally written these in order of importance so those who are only visiting Hawaii Island for a few days will want to look at the early days the most. You can view them in order or skip around as you wish. Happy planning...
If you're visiting other islands be sure to check out our other itineraries:
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