From beaches and volcanoes to waterfalls and wildlife, the Big Island of Hawaii offers plenty of options for families, groups, and solo travelers on spring break. Here are some of the best springtime activities.
Spend Time at the Beach and in the Water
There are more than 80 beaches on the Big Island, including white, black, and even green sand beaches, so spend at least one day on the beach. There are plenty of ways to get on or in the water as well; although surfing is somewhat limited on the Big Island, there’s plenty of marine life. Go swimming with dolphins and turtles; snorkel or scuba dive with manta rays at night; or catch the tail end of whale watching season.
Chase Waterfalls and Hike Lush Valleys
The Hilo side of the Big Island is replete with lush valleys and waterfalls, including Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. For the ultimate adrenaline rush, go zip-lining over a waterfall. The Big Island is also home to one of the most scenic valleys in all of Hawaii—Waipio Valley, aka Valley of the Kings. Hike or drive down to the valley to see Hi'ilawe Waterfall, one of the tallest in Hawaii.
The dormant Mauna Kea volcano towers 13,796 feet (4,138 meters) above sea level and, due to limited pollution, is an ideal stargazing sport. Head to the summit or to the Mauna Kea Visitor Center—located at 9,300 feet (2,790 meters)—to watch a sunset or sunrise, and get the clearest view of the stars.
Get Close to an Active Volcano
The Big Island is home to Kilauea and Mauna, two of the most active volcanoes in the world, and you can find both at Volcanoes National Park. Depending on when you visit, you might see active lava flow or other volcanic activity. You can also take scenic drives and stop at overlooks, or go hiking to discover craters, lava tubes, and ancient petroglyphs.
Experience a Traditional Luau
Experience local culture and cuisine at a traditional luau. In addition to sampling traditional delicacies such as Kalua pig (roasted in an underground oven called an imu ), lomi-lomi salmon, and taro root paste ( poi ), guests are treated to a dazzling performance that includes music, hula, and fire dancing.