Hawaii is a tropical paradise, and its beaches are among the most beautiful globally. The island has something for everyone–from secluded beachside resorts to spectacular snorkeling spots.

The Big Island is the largest and most populous island in Hawaii, accounting for about 40% of the state’s land area. The island has a population of more than 1.3 million people, making it one of the top places in the world to live. The big island also offers visitors some of the best scuba diving around and some incredible nature experiences.

Here are six essential things you need to know before visiting this beautiful place.

1. The Best Scuba Diving in the World

The Big Island is home to many fantastic dive sites. The best ways to indulge in the beauty of the underwater world are through snorkeling or scuba diving. There are dozens of spots where you can enjoy the ocean without having to spend days on end at sea. For beginners, there is a great deal available close to shore that will allow you to get used to being underwater while still having plenty of time to explore. Many experienced divers consider Molokini Crater, located just off the coast of Kailua-Kona, to be one of the best dive sites in the world. You can see turtles, sharks, octopuses, tropical fish, and even an occasional manta ray.

2. Waimea Canyon: An Amazing Drive through History

Waimea Canyon is located in West Kauai, making it easy to visit since it’s only a short drive from Honolulu. This stunning canyon was carved out over thousands of years by the rushing waters of the Wailoa River. Over 60 feet deep, it is filled with breathtaking scenery. If you want to take your time driving through the canyon, make sure to stop at the Haleakala National Park Visitor Center. It provides excellent information about the region’s geology and is run entirely by volunteers. There is also a small museum within the center dedicated to the park’s history.

3. Hilo Bay Beach Park: A Perfect Place for Families

Hilo Bay Beach Park is a fantastic place for families to relax and have fun. There are several safe and clean play areas set aside for children to play, picnic tables for parents to eat their lunch, and lifeguards on duty during peak hours. In addition, there are two separate swimming pools for adults and kids. The water here is always warm enough for you to swim all year round.

4. Kapalua Golf Courses

You might have been to many golf courses throughout the Hawaiian Islands, but none quite compare to Kapalua Resort’s championship courses. The serene golf course was opened in late 1999. Jack Nicklaus and his son Gary designed these three spectacular courses. They offer challenges for players of every skill level. Visitors who come here don’t just stay for the golf – they also enjoy touring the surrounding luxury hotels and resorts.

5. North Shore Shopping & Dining

There isn’t any other place like the North Shore of Oahu for shopping and dining. From iconic department stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom to unique boutiques and gourmet restaurants, the North Shore has it all. Many upscale malls offer everything from high fashion clothing to delicious food courts serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You should also ensure to enjoy a brewed cup of Kona coffee. Made with the best roasted homegrown berries from the Big Island of Hawaii. 

Shops like Turtle Bay Outlets, Kahului Tradewinds, and Kaahumanu Mall provide various retail options. Meanwhile, famous eateries like Roy’s Restaurant, Salt, and Duke’s Blue Room serve up mouthwatering fare from around the globe.

6. Onomea Bay State Park: Great Spot for Snorkelers

Onomea Bay State Park is another beautiful spot for snorkelers in the Hawaiian Islands. With calm waters and shallow depths, this park is perfect for those new to snorkeling or anyone wanting to practice before venturing out into deeper waters. The state park has a beautiful white sand beach area, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

In conclusion, if you’re planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, you must plan and choose an island that best suits your needs. You can explore each of them on your schedule, whether for leisurely activities or extreme adventures. It doesn’t matter what kind of vacation you and your family or your group of friends hope to experience; you can be sure the Hawaiian Islands will exceed your expectations.