The Big Island is a magical place for a vacation. Whether for just a quick getaway or a two week long respite, boredom is not the norm. Unintentional boredom that is!  The Big Island has so much to offer that it would be pretty difficult to become tired of. From rest and relaxation to one adventure after the next, hustle and bustle to peace and serenity, the Big Island offers impressive experiences for everyone. Whether you are wanting a go-go-go adventure, a leisurely escape or something in the middle, the Big Island is the place for you. Here are 5 must do Big Island experiences.

  1. Lava Looking

I’m sure you’ve seen recent news coverage of the latest activities at Kilauea but this is something to see for yourself. The summit and East Rift Zone has been very active lately. Watch the extraordinary force plunge its way to the sea.  Witnessing this first hand is one experience you will take with you for years to come. You can get the latest updates and activity here. Of course while here, spend some time exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The possibilities here are endless so be sure to add this to the list of your Big Island experiences.

  1. Hapuna Beach

Actually a state recreation area, Hapuna beach offers more than just beach going. Hapuna Beach is known as one of the best beaches in the world. With powdery white sand, swimming, body surfing and extraordinary snorkeling there is something for the whole family to enjoy. For an amazing coastal hike, hop on the Ala Kahakai Trail. The trail follows ancient fisherman’s trails along the coastline. Aside from hiking through some of the most pristine coastline in Hawaii, the Ala Kahakai Trail offers access to Puako petroglyph field. These are top notch Big Island experiences.

  1. Look to the stars

For some of the best star-viewing opportunities in the world, trek to Mauna Kea. The highest point in Hawaii, Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano that beats Mount Everest in height. The caveat though is that much of Mauna Kea is actually under water and has just 13,802 feet of the 33,000 feet above the water’s surface. The night skies are picturesque and provide the perfect place for incredible star gazing. It is no coincidence that Mauna Kea is one of the most important astronomy sites in the world used for scientific research. Bundle up though because Mauna Kea has an alpine climate.

  1. Swim with the rays

The manta rays that is. For ultimate Big Island experiences, certified scuba divers can dive at night with the gentle manta ray. The manta ray is a mild-mannered giant sea creature with wing spans up to 20 feet. Unlike sting rays, the manta ray does not have a stinger. Not a diver? No worries. The snorkeling experience with the manta rays is also incredible. A nighttime boat tour allows you the best adventure opportunity with the manta ray. Guides shine large lights toward the ocean floor, illuminating the plankton that the manta rays feed off of. Strap on your gear and hop in the water with these majestic, seemingly floating sea creatures. Swim with a couple to a couple dozen rays.

  1. Waipio Valley

Check out this overlook with the most astonishing backdrop. Known as the “Valley of the Kings”, the Waipio Valley was once the home of thousands of Native Hawaiians. The valley is about one mile across and five miles deep. Surrounded by cliffs are waterfalls, lush taro fields and rivers. The Waipio Valley is home to Hawaii’s tallest waterfall cascading 1,300 feet. Activities available to tourists in the valley are hiking, guided vans tours, and horseback riding.