Advendture Isle – Big Island, Hawai’i
AKAKA FALLS STATE PARK
Includes Akaka Falls, a 442-ft, waterfall that flows spectacularly over a deep gorge into a pool. Kahuna Falls is visible from the loop trail through the park. Located four miles inland north of Hilo, off Hwy 19.
Celebrities planted banyan trees along this drive beginning in 1933 when hotels were just being built. Famous people include Babe Ruth, Cecil B. DeMille, President Nixon, President Roosevelt and King George V. Located on Banyan Drive in Hilo.
HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
It is best to see the spectacular show of red-hot lava flowing into the sea close to sunset off Chain of Craters Road. Also, you can drive the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive past lava fields, steaming craters and forests. Walk through Thurston Lava Tube, a natural tunnel formed when the top and sides of a lava flow hardened and the lava inside drained away. Bring water, flashlight and a sweater. Stop by the visitor’s center for more information and safety.
HILO FARMERS MARKET
One of the state’s best farmers markets with more than 120 vendors selling flowers, fresh produce and baked goods. Located on the corner of Kamehameha Ave. and Mamo St.
KAPOHO TIDE POOLS
A large unique collection of tidepools and spring-fed pools, some volcanically heated, extends approximately 200 yards out into the ocean. It’s a great place for novice snorkelers to explore coral and a variety of fish in the calm water. Avoid the pools that are on private property, but the Wai’opae Ponds adjacent to the ocean are public and fine for exploring. Visit during the week; weekends tend to be crowded with locals.
MOKUPAPAPA: DISCOVERY CENTER
This is an educational center on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, the largest conservation area in the United States. Funded by NOAA, the center has numerous interactive displays, a 2,500-gallon saltwater aquarium and vibrant pictures and video footage of the wildlife in the reserve. Located at 308 Kamehameha Ave. in Downtown Hilo
PACIFIC TSUNAMI MUSEUM
Learn about the destructive tsunamis and the details of the 1946 and 1960 that devastated Hilo through photographs, interactive displays and personal accounts from the tsunami survivors. Located at 130 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo.
PANA’EWA RAINFOREST ZOO
This is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the U.S. This 12-acre zoo is home to more than 80 animal species including Namaste’, a white Bengal Tiger. You are invited to picnic in the shade of over 100 varieties of Palm and stroll with Peacocks in the extensive collection of Orchids, Clumping Bamboos and Tropical Rhododendrons. Petting Zoo is open every Saturday l:30-2:30p.m. Tiger feeding is 3:30 daily.
The best time to catch a rainbow in the mist of these falls is morning. The falls plummet into Wailuku River gorge. Check out Boiling Pots created by the powerful water over ancient lava beds.
Valley of the Kings can also be considered earth’s Garden of Eden with breathtaking vistas bounded by 2,000 feet cliffs, spectacular Hi’ilawe Falls plummets 1,200 feet from Kohala Mountain to the bottom of the valley, fruit trees, taro fields, streams and a crescent black sand beach popular with surfers. The steep and narrow road down the valley requires a four-wheel drive. The one-mile hike can be difficult especially on the climb back to civilization. Commercial transportation permits are limited to four outfits to maintain the pristine environment of one of the state’s most isolated places.