Douglas Peebles/Glow Images
Think big for your next beach
sea life, and
stretches of multihued sand.
A quick aloha-themed refresher:
of Hawaii is a collection
of eight main islands, the most
popular of which are Maui,
Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii. Yes,
technically speaking, Hawaii is
the name of the entire state
one of the singular islands. The
latter’s namesake landmass is the
biggest of the group, and so it
has a built-in, easy-to-remember
nickname: the Big Island.
It’s the perfect alternate moniker: Encompassing
more than 4,000 square miles, Hawaii (the island)
accounts for nearly two-thirds of Hawaii’s (the
state) total terrestrial area. But as they say in much
colder climes, that sizable factoid is just the tip of
the iceberg. The Big Island is home to vast rain
forests, colossal volcanoes, and expansive beaches,
and is best suited to travelers with a large appetite
for exploration and those with oversized scrap-
books waiting to be filled with panoramic-style
photographs. (For expert tips on taking landscape
pictures, see “The Big Picture” on page 47.)
Indeed, a vacation to this Hawaiian behe-
moth is nothing short of monumental, and so we
present 10 of the Big Island’s biggest attractions
and activities, which are sure to widen your
world perspective.
1. Eruption Seduction: Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park
This is the Big Island’s compulsory attraction and,
quite frankly, one of the most amazing places on
Earth. Think about it like this: Once you enter
the 333,000-acre park, you’re wandering inside an
active volcano zone. Actually, there are two of
them: Mauna Loa and Kilauea, and the latter has
been churning copious amounts of magma since
January 3, 1983— as much as 650,000 cubic yards
some days — and, for now, shows no signs of
relenting. If Pele, the indefatigable volcano goddess,
cooperates during your visit, you may even witness
an actual lava flow. (The National Park Service
website posts eruption updates so you’ll know
from where you’ll have the best possible views.)
But even if she’s temporarily turned down the
burner, Volcanoes National Park is ablaze with
riveting adventures.Trek across the scorched land-
scape at the end of Chain of Craters Road; sneak
a peek into Halemaumau Crater, home to Pele;
walk through the Thurston Lava Tube; and play
volcanologist at the Kilauea Visitor Center and
Thomas A. Jaggar Museum.
Spring 2013
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