Tip: Click the balloons in the map to get more details or directions.
Akaka Falls - The trail to Akaka falls is a wonder of bamboo and flowers, including large red
ginger stalks. Thunderous Akaka has a smaller neighbor, Kahuna Falls, which is also visible on the
loop trail. Within Akaka Falls State Park. Follow the signs through the plantation town of Honomu on
the Hamakua Coast.
Tip: Taking the right side of the loop trail makes your trip predominantly downhill.
Coconut Island - This landscaped islet in Hilo Bay is reached over a foot bridge. On the other
side are the Liliuokalani Gardens with their tranquil fish ponds and Asian-influenced landscaping.
Hamakua Coast - The fertile and green Hamakua Coast stretches the length of Mamalahoa Highway
from Hilo northwest to Waipio, the "Valley of the Kings". Waipio's natural wonders include many waterfalls
cascading down over 1,000 foot cliffs.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This is the Big Island's number-one attraction as well as an international center for the study of
volcanism. Always popular, the park can overflow with visitors when volcanic flows from Kilauea, the
world's most active volcano, erupting continuously since 1983, come within a short hike of the road.
The park is a spectacular showcase of millions of years of volcanic activity - with steaming vents,
craters, cinder cones, hardened fields of lava, lava tubes (caves), "tree molds" embedded in hardened
lava, and on some days, towering clouds of steam where lava flows into the ocean.
Hilo Town - The Big Island's county seat and commercial center. The downtown district has been
renovated over the last few years and is now a nice mix of local businesses, historic buildings, and
shops catering mostly to visitors. Hilo is on the east coast of the Big Island and may also be reached
by direct flights to Hilo International Airport.
Tip: Hilo is famous for its moist climate so have umbrellas, shoes, and jackets on reserve.
Honokohau Harbor - Kona's main harbor is the starting point for expeditions in search of marlin
and other large game fish. Off Queen Kaahumanu Highway just north of Kailua-Kona. Tip: The competition between charter boats is fierce so shop around for the one that best fits your needs. A little known
National Historic Park is just to the north of the harbor.
Hulihee Palace - Built in 1838, Hulihee was the former summer palace of King David Kalakaua, the
"Merrie Monarch." Elegant Hawaiian koa wood furniture is on display inside. On Alii Drive near the
Kailua-Kona seawall. Telephone: (808) 329-1877.
Tip: This is a nice cultural departure from Kona's otherwise shopping- and activities-based
Kailua-Kona Town - Hawaii's deep sea fishing capital. The weather is usually ideal in this small
oceanside town that serves as the center of Kona coast activity. About 10 minutes from Kona International
Airport on Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway.
Tip: The annual billfish tournaments here attract anglers from around the globe.
Kealakekua Bay - The Big Island landing point of Captain James Cook in 1779. Visible across the
bay is the large memorial erected by the British in 1874 to commemorate the event. From the town of
Captain Cook follow Napo'opo'o road to Kealakekua.
Tip: Take the time to explore the Hikiau Heiau next to the bay. It was here that Hawaiians
entertained Cook during his first trip ashore.
Parker Ranch - The 150,000-acre Parker Ranch is not only Hawaii's largest, it competes with the
King Ranch in Texas for the title of the nation's biggest cattle ranches. A visitor center and several
museums are scattered between the ranch grounds and the neighboring cowboy town of Kamuela (Waimea).
At the junction of Kawaihae Road and the Mamalahoa Highway.
Tip: Riding enthusiasts can book tours on horseback through the ranch.
Pu'uhonua O Honaunau ("Place of Refuge" ) National Historical Park -
The Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, or Place of Refuge, is a national historical park containing a restored - and
highly picturesque - Hawaiian village. In ancient Hawaii, all islands had such places where those who had
broken kapu (ancient Hawaiian prohibitions, similar to "taboo" in Southern Polynesia) could seek safety
from punishment. Highway 11 to Keokea, then Highway 160 down to the coast and Pu'uhonua O Honaunau.
Tip: The scuba diving in this area is also excellent.
Rainbow Falls - An impressive waterfall known for its misty rainbows. In Hilo's Wailuku River State
Park. Take Waianuenue Avenue to Rainbow Drive - the park is on the right.
Tip: It takes only minutes to reach Rainbow Falls from downtown Hilo.
Suisan Fish Market - Hawaii's premier fish market. Come early to watch the intense bidding for the
day's catch. Bay side of the Kamehameha Avenue and Lihiwai Street intersection in Hilo.
Tip: This is the spot to photograph Hawaii's many colorful gamefish up close.
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