Man cannot live by beach alone. And so the Big Island offers a world of otherworldly adventures.
At the Mauna Kea Visitor Center you can gaze into far distant worlds and learn about the celestial navigation that guided Hawaii’s first settlers. A helicopter tour from Hapuna’s helipad will take you for a close-up look at the still active Mauna Loa volcano that continues to add land to the Island.
For those who prefer to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground, there’s Kings’ Shops, 90 shops, a gourmet market, and casual eateries as well as Queens’ Marketplace with its collection of galleries and shops. Spend an evening at Manta watching hahalua, manta rays, spread their 30-foot wings in what seems like an extraterrestrial dance.
Closer to home, there is Laurance Rockefeller’s 1,000-plus piece collection of Pan-Pacific art at the Mauna Kea Hotel. Overseen by the remarkable pink granite Buddha that greets visitors above the grand staircase, this extraordinary collection includes priceless Hawaiian kapa cloth, quilts and kii, wooden images, Ainu kimonos, Thai icons, Maori canoe prows, and bronze Indian chests.
The Big Island is, of course, a legendary destination for water sports enthusiasts and adventurists. Hike the island’s rolling hills, meander silky soft beaches, curl up under a palm. Diaphanous waters provide unparalleled visibility for diving and snorkeling – the coral reef floor as dazzling below the surface as above. Battle the sea’s big-game fish, or float under sail from isle to beautiful isle.