Being the largest of the Hawaiian Islands there is certainly a lot of ground to cover and places to visit, so we recommend spending five full days on the Big Island, even longer if you can! 

Day 1: Hilo, Big Island

The Big Island for me is about volcanoes and incredible adventures. We had five nights, six days on the Big Island of Hawaii which was just enough time to see all the best things to do on the island. 

Stop 1. Visit the Jaw-Dropping Akaka Falls

Plunging 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge, Akaka Falls is Hawaii Island’s most famous waterfall and one of the most popular things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii within the Akaka Falls State Park. 

Stop 2. Witness the Breathtaking Rainbow Falls

Near the center of Hilo town is Rainbow Falls, a smaller, yet pretty and misty waterfall. A short trail from the parking lot offers views from the waterfall’s summit. If you time it right you may see the reason for the fall’s name. 

Stop 3: Lunch at The Booch Bar

This place was one of our favorite finds in Hawaii. It had our vibe and was a tip from a couple of locals. Make sure you always ask them for hidden secrets about places to visit! 

Stop 4: Boiling Pots of Wailuku (Lava Pools)

The lava flows that created the river are said to be the same flow that formed Rainbow Falls. Apparently, the river gets its name from the way the water looks during a storm. 

Where to Stay in Hilo, Big Island

We stayed at the Grand Naniloa Hotel, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – the rooms were pretty small, but the views that overlook beautiful Hilo Bay, old Hilo Town, and the slopes of Mauna Keau to the ocean were great as was the location.