So many fun things to do in Hawaii and so many stunning places to see on the Big Island! This is, afterall, the Big Island. Try not to be in a rush, as things move a little more slowly here.
What's the best way to enjoy this fascinating island with all the extraordinary beaches, amazing volcanoes, and lush tropical rainforest? With so many fun things to do in Hawaii, it can be challenging to include everything in one trip! So plan ahead and pick your favorites from our long list of popular Big Island things to do.
With a little creative sleuthing, you can always find plenty to do on your own, away from the crowds. But many of these activities are more fun, rewarding and informative if you join a tour. We have lots of fabulous tours and Hawaii excursions to choose from! Lessons or tours are available for each of the activities listed on this page. It's a good idea to book tours in advance.
So many things to do in Hawaii! Your adventure awaits.
Come discover the Big Island, from A to Z:
ATV Off-Road Tours
Enjoy an exciting and informative ride through the Kohala rainforest and along the beautiful northeast coastline on a Big Island ATV tour. Trips range from 2-3.5 hours in length.
Honl’s Beach in Kona is the birthplace of the modern sport of boogie boarding. Even if you’ve never tried it, many of the beaches on the Big Island are a perfect place to learn, with everything from gentle surf to big waves.
There are numerous scenic trails for a fabulous Big Island Hawaii hike. The hikes range from fairly easy to downright strenuous, from lush and green to dry and barren, from footpaths along the ocean to extreme high-altitude challenges.
Big Island horseback riding on one of the beautiful historic ranches or along the north coast can be one of the more rewarding things to do in Hawaii. For those of you that couldn't fit your own horse in your luggage, a number of options are available for tours on the north side of the island.
Experience the thrill of solo or tandem jet skiing in the beautiful waters off the Kona coast. ½ hour and one hour rentals.
A kayak provides an easy ride and is one of the best ways to experience the fascinating marine life and other sights along the coast. Mornings are generally best due to the calm seas. Fun for kids and adults!
Dangling several hundred feet in the air over the ocean is just one of the many fun things to do in Kona. Big Island parasailing is a real thrill as you soar across the bay from a parachute off the back of a boat.
Learn to paddle an outrigger canoe, or sail and paddle a traditional double-hull Hawaiian canoe, known as Wa'akaulua.
You may already know that the best Hawaii scuba diving is found in the reefs off the west coast of the Big Island. Combining stunning clarity with the relative calm of these coastal waters, scuba diving Big Island Hawaii is some of the most impressive diving anywhere. For beginners, this is one of the best places in the world to learn. Opportunities abound at the various Kona scuba and dive shops.
With numerous inviting bays and impressive shoreline reefs, there is no better place for snorkeling Big Island than along the west coast. This is one of our favorite things to do in Kona. The crystal clear blue ocean waters are teeming with colorful tropical fish.
Kona is world renowned for its big game fishing. Big Island fishing charters are available for groups of up to 6 passengers as well as those interested in a private sport fishing experience. For shoreline fishing, the entire shoreline is yours! South Point is very good. In Kailua-Kona, try the area downtown by the seawall that fronts Hulihe’e Palace.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
I used to think that SUP was an abbreviation for “what’s up?” Of course you’re probably smarter than that. The gentle waters off the coast of the Big Island are awesome for stand up paddle boarding!
How about a Big Island surf lesson? With our less intimidating waves, the Big Island is a great place to learn! If you prefer boogie boarding, Magic Sands beach in Kailua Kona is a popular spot.
Ziplining is fast becoming one of the hot new things to do in Hawaii and a Big Island zipline can be particularly exciting. Two of the most thrilling are:
East: Umauma Experience along the Hamakua Coast north of Hilo, an experience you won’t soon forget!
West: Big Island Eco Adventures in Hawi, the first treetop canopy tour on the Big Island.
Have a favorite activity from your Big Island vacation? How about a memorable excursion that really stands out? Tell us about it! Other visitors will enjoy reading about your experience.