Finding Adventure in Hawaii

The Big Island is packed with sights to see and adventures to go on; it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream!


Endless Adventure

Once I was settled, I ventured out of the resort, ready to take advantage of all the Big Island had to offer. There are dozens adventures to go on when you visit Hawaii; it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream!

Finding Adventure in Hawaii

One of the best adventures the Big Island has to offer is a tour of an active volcano on the Hilo side of the island. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters offers the most spectacular way to see it… and really the only safe way, if you want to get in close. They provide several aerial tours, which take you over and around the volcano, over the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes (now extinct), Parker Ranch, and through the Kohala Mountains to the magical 1,000-foot waterfalls that cascade down the cliffsides. It’s an experience you can’t afford to miss. Even if you don’t have time for anything else, make room for this helicopter tour. And while you’re at it, request pilot George Nischan for the adventure – he’s a great flyer and a very informative guide.

Finding Adventure in Hawaii

There’s another cool way to see this vast island: by boat! The ORCA Raft Adventure takes you on the ride of your life aboard their 28-foot, 350-horsepower hard bottom boat. It’s great fun and a fast way to get you in the water at Kealakekua Bay and snorkeling with spinner dolphins. Let the incredibly knowledgeable Mitch Stauffer and Kirk Hering round off the experience with detailed info about the island and its underwater life, sea caves, and lava tubes.

Finding Adventure in Hawaii

Snorkeling in Kealakekua Bay

Did you know that the Big Island is one of the best areas to stargaze? For hundreds of years, explorers and astronomers have flocked from all over the world to Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Pacific. It’s technically the tallest mountain in the world, (though more than half of it is submerged) rising 33,100 feet – more than twice the height of Mount Everest!

Finding Adventure in Hawaii

The Mauna Kea observatory

Mauna Kea is home to the enormous Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, where you can take guided tours up to the summit (about an 8-hour journey). But if you’re not keen on frigid day-long ascents, or if you just don’t have time for the climb, that’s okay! The Four Seasons, as well as many other resorts on the island, regularly invite expert astronomer Wayne Fukunaga (and his telescope) to share his knowledge with the visitors. It’s a very educational — and far less exhausting way to stargaze.

Finding Adventure in Hawaii

Scuba divers take note! If you’ve never tried a night dive, this is the place to do it. Multiple Kona diving facilities offer what’s called “dinner with the manta rays” (don’t worry, you’re not the dinner). It’s an amazing experience to be in the water with these shy sea creatures. The adults have wingspans of over 12 feet and can weigh as much as an elephant. Each manta has a descriptive pattern on its underside, and over 100 of these have been identified and studied. While I was there, three new ones were added to the list. If you’re a diving enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this one of a kind experience.

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Avatar of Stefanie Michaels

Stefanie is a professional travel writer and self described “Adventure Girl”. Based in LA, and charged by the smell of jet fuel, our travel expert continues to travel the world seeking out unique and interesting adventures to share with viewers for such shows as CNN, UPN, ABC and NBC. Her writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Razor, FW, and The New York Times. Her quote to live by comes from Amelia Earhart, “If someone asks you on an adventure, don’t refuse it!”

    Reader Discussion: 134 Comments

    1. Avatar of Beverly Walton

      Beverly Walton

      If someone wanted to surprise me with a trip to Hawaii, that would be awesome. I will marry the man who will be with me in Hawaii. I AM NOT KIDDING HERE.

    2. Avatar of Sandra Santiago

      Sandra Santiago

      Do people not realize the library is where you will be quiet not to discuss your whole trip to Hawaii with your boyfriend who cheated on you.

    3. Avatar of Silvia Grant

      Silvia Grant


    4. Avatar of Ashley Abbott

      Ashley Abbott

      rip to Hawaii after graduation is on the move woof*ckinghoo!!! I can’t wait to see Hawaii with my naked eyes!!!

    5. Avatar of Abraham Watson

      Abraham Watson

      I had to cancel my Hawaii trip a couple years back, but it was my goal for the trip to stay away from the overly tourist spots! Hawaii is crowded during the peak season. You will not enjoy the place.

      • Avatar of Matt Harper

        Matt Harper

        It’s true! I went there last year, and I did not know that there’s an event ongoing. My whole vacation was ruined.

    6. Avatar of Juana Fox

      Juana Fox

      My friends from college planned a trip to Hawaii. I still don’t know if I will come, or not. It’s too much expensive, and I have no boyfriend with me.

    7. Avatar of Jean Perry

      Jean Perry

      Man, some people in my office are leaving to go to Hawaii for three weeks for a work trip. I got the best company, but still hoping that I belong to that group of people.

      • Avatar of Darrel Lynch

        Darrel Lynch

        For real?! That’s your company’s expenses! Oh, boy. Those are very lucky people.

    8. Avatar of Kara Mccormick

      Kara Mccormick

      I think I’m going to plan a trip to Hawaii. why not? I deserve a vacation like that. I work too much, and a little pleasure is not bad.

    9. Avatar of David Ramirez

      David Ramirez

      There’s a night dive? Then how can you see the creatures underwater during the night? Isn’t it too dark under the water?

      • Avatar of Antonio Day

        Antonio Day

        I thought I’m the only one who thinks that way. Besides, I think they are also sleeping during that time? Animals sleep too, right?

    10. Avatar of Angela Sharp

      Angela Sharp

      I can imagine myself stargazing at Hawaii with my special someone. That would be a great way to celebrate an anniversary.

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