Favorite things to do in Hawaii? We'll show you some of the best adventures, excursions, activities and things to do on the Big Island, from stunning snorkeling and diving, to kayaking, to the best Big Island hikes, horseback riding and so much more.
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! Plan ahead and pick your favorites from our long list of fun things to do on the Big Island.
In addition to the activities listed on this page, the Big Island is famous for its many natural attractions, parks, monuments and historic sites.
Spend some time strolling through the colorful Kona Farmers and Crafts Market, relax on one of the great Kona beaches, tour the Hulihe'e Palace and historical museum, and enjoy an amazing selection of restaurants.
Lush tropical vegetation and rainbows will greet you when looking for things to do in Hilo. The climate here is cooler, so pack a jacket and get ready to explore. Stroll down Banyan Drive and walk through Lili'uokalani Park and Gardens. Enjoy Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo, Kaumana Caves, and dramatic rainforest waterfalls. Don't miss the amazing Hilo Farmers Market. If you prefer to be indoors, visit 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, Pacific Tsunami Museum and the Lyman Museum.
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.
One of our favorite things to do in Hawaii, boogie boarding is a fun and exhilarating way to enjoy the waves, and considerably easier to learn than surfing. 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.
Because of its size, the Big Island is definitely the hiking island. There are lots of scenic trails for a fabulous Big Island Hawaii hike. The hikes range from fairly easy to downright strenuous, from lush and green tropical rainforest to the barren Kilauea Iki crater, from footpaths along the Ala Kahakai coastal trail to the extreme high-altitude of Mauna Kea.
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.
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, the sport of kayaking is easy to learn. Many bays along the west coast offer smooth sailing and an abundance of underwater sights to enjoy.
A Hawaii Luau is a colorful and splashy show that can be great fun for the entire family. Traditionally held in honor of a milestone or special occasion, a Big Island luau is historically and culturally significant.
Experience the thrill of paddling across Kealakekua Bay in an authentic Hawaiian outrigger canoe. Lessons and ocean tours are offered in these fascinating craft that ancient Polynesians used to navigate across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands from their home in the South Pacific.
Catch the thrill of flying high above the Kona coast, dangling from a parachute with Kona Parasail. Tours available from most activity centers and the boat departs from the Kona pier.
The reefs off the west coast of the Big Island are known to offer the best scuba diving in Hawaii. Kona scuba diving combines stunning clarity with the relative calm of these coastal waters. Scuba diving along the Kona-Kohala Coast is some of the most impressive diving anywhere.
For beginners, this is one of the best places in the world to learn. We highly recommend the Introduction Dive for those with no previous experience or certification. If you are certified but it's been more than two years since your last dive, this Refresher Dive is offered at the Mauna Lani Resort.
Certified divers will enjoy this Two Tank Dive at Sea Turtle Cove near Hilo, or avoid the boat and dive off the Kona coast with this One Tank Shore Dive. Our Diving Ecoadventure offers dives at two different sites.
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. Fishing charters are available for your small or large group, or choose a private sport fishing experience. A couple of good options:
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 has fast become one of the more popular ways to ply the gentle waters off the coast of the Big Island, or even for surfing the waves. Many of the Big Island's calm bays are ideal for learning this sport.
Board Atlantis Submarine near the Kona pier and dive below the surf, catching a glimpse of the fascinating undersea world without donning scuba gear!
How about a Big Island surf lesson? With our less intimidating waves, the Big Island is a great place to learn! Choose from a private surf lesson, or join a small group surf lesson to save a few bucks. If you prefer boogie boarding, Magic Sands Beach in Kailua Kona is a popular spot.
Ziplining has become one of the hot new things to do in Hawaii. Ziplining across the top of a tropical rainforest canopy is a real thrill! Choose from individual tours or combine with other fun Big Island adventures to make an entire day of it.