On the big island of Hawaii you will find diversity in the geography ranging from beaches to volcanoes. You will find miles and miles of undeveloped land as well as bustling urban development in cities like Kailua -Kona. Hilo, which is located on the windy side of the island, gets a lot of rainfall. This contributes to the lush green landscaping of this side of the island making Hilo an interesting sight and a must see on the list of destinations.
Most people begin their journey on the big island in Kona. You should plan to take a few days to relax and enjoy the nearby beaches, or perhaps go snorkeling at Kealakekuea Bay. Next you should take some time to explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is a must see on the list. The park is amazing to say the least. If you have plenty of time you can actually make camp in the park and really explore. The park has over 140 miles of hiking trails and is nothing short of spectacular. If you are short on time, you should still take a drive through the park.
There is a stretch of Highway 137 dubbed Red Road that is also worth visiting. There is a canopy of Milo and Hala trees that have intertwined to form a sort of a tunnel effect.
You should also plan to spend some time in Hilo. The lush landscaping makes for great scenery and picture taking opportunities. Hilo has been called the rainiest city in the USA, so don't expect much in the way of beaches. But Hilo is a cute little town; nonetheless, that offers some history and culture complete with Bed and Breakfasts.
There is a quiet little town called Puako located on the Southern Kohalo Coast that is home to the fabulous tide pools. This is accessible by highway 19 near the Hapuna Beach State Park. The giant tide pools are home to some marine life including coral making this destination a must see. However, don't plan on staying in Puako, it is such a small town that it doesn't have any lodging and it really is off the beaten path.
Who would have thought that horseback riding would be on the list of activities for a Hawaiian vacation? Well, actually there is a huge ranch called the Dahana Ranch Roughriders in Waimea. It's owned and operated by a native Hawaiian family and is still a working cattle ranch. The ranch raises and breeds, and trains cattle and horses. There are also some excellent cycling opportunities here in Waimea as the terrain is full of rolling hills.
Before checking out and leaving the island stop into the Pololu Valley which will offer some hiking trails. You can even take a mule ride through the valley. Lastly, you should take some more time to relax on the white sandy beaches of the big island. Or perhaps, take one last snorkeling opportunity at Kauna'oa Bay. Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure that your stay in Hawaii will amaze.