A honeymoon to the Big Island of Hawaii is one that rewards newlyweds with its mix of breathtaking scenery, incredible natural attractions, amazing local food scene, and world-renowned accommodations.
Heading to Hawaii for your once-in-a-lifetime trip? Read on to learn about key facts and important things to know about the Big Island before embarking on your honeymoon getaway.
With so much to see and do, these facts, tips, and travel tidbits should be a helpful resource for honeymooners looking to make the most of their time exploring the island.
How big is the Big Island?
At more than 4,000 square miles, the Big Island is the largest (and youngest) of the Hawaiian Islands. And it's even still growing. In fact, the island is bigger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined (and about the same size as Connecticut).
What is the terrain like on the Big Island?
The terrain of the Big Island is incredibly diverse and unique, featuring everything from snow-capped mountains to lush tropical rainforest, plus lava fields, desert, green meadows, white sand beaches, and active volcanoes.
What is the weather like on the Big Island?
Honeymooners can expect average daytime temperature to range between 75-85 degrees fahrenheit. Temperatures at night are usually about 10 degrees lower. The western (leeward) side of the island tends to be sunnier and drier than the eastern (windward) side, which is cloudier and rainier (downtown Hilo averages around 142 inches of rain per year!).
Where is the airport on the Big Island?
The Big Island features two main airports. The first is Kona Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona on the western side of the island (and closer to the main beaches and resort areas). Meanwhile, Hilo International Airport (ITO) is situated on the eastern side just outside of Hilo.
How many visitors go to the Big Island?
For all of 2022, there were 1,674,208 visitors to the Big Island, making it the third most visited Hawaiian Island behind Oahu (4,864,701 visitors) and Maui (2,910,782).
What are the main hotel and resort areas on the Big Island?
The major resort areas of the island include Kailua-Kona and the Kohala Coast on the western side of the island. On the eastern side, Hilo is the most popular area for visitors thanks to its proximity to Mauna Kea, waterfalls, botanical gardens, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
What is the highest point on the Big Island?
The highest elevation on the island can be found at Mauna Kea (13,803 feet). It's actually the tallest mountain on the planet when measured from its base on the ocean floor (33,476 feet!) all the way up to its summit. Mauna Kea is home to the Maunakea Observatories, arguably the world's best site for astronomy research.
How many national parks are there on the Big Island?
The Big Island boasts five national parks, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (home to Mauna Loa and Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes). Technically, one is a major national park (see above), two are national historical parks, one is a national historic site, and one is a national historic trail.
How far is the Big Island from other destinations?
When it comes to air travel, Kailua-Kona Airport can be reached in just 45 minutes from Honolulu (which is where most travelers first arrive in Hawaii). Major California destinations like Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) are between 5-6 hours. Meanwhile, honeymooners from Chicago (ORD) could reach the Big Island in about 9 hours.
When is the best time to visit the Big Island?
The Hawaiian Islands are a year-round destination. For fewer crowds, September and October can be a great time to visit since schools are back in session. For great whale watching opportunities, December-April is an ideal time to visit the Big Island.
Is a car rental necessary on the Big Island?
Yes, it is highly recommended that you rent a car on your Hawaii honeymoon in order to fully explore the extraordinary climates, terrain, and attractions of this one-of-a-kind destination.
What is the time difference on the Big Island?
The island is on Hawaii Standard Time (GMT-10 hours), which is five hours behind Eastern Standard Time and two hours behind Pacific Standard Time.
What are the top options when it comes to outdoor adventures on the Big Island?
The adventure options are endless for couples -- hiking, stargazing, horseback riding, ziplining, helicopter tours, snorkeling, biking, ATV excursions, whale watching, sunset sailing, scenic road trips, surfing, and more. Take your pick.
What are some of the best hotels and resorts on the Big Island?
We recently wrote an awesome blog post on our top hotel and resort picks for a honeymoon. Options include everything from upscale resorts right on the beach like Mauna Kea Beach Hotel to romantic bed and breakfasts set amidst lush rainforest terrain like Volcano Village Lodge.
What is the best romantic restaurant on the Big Island?
With its spectacular oceanfront setting at the Fairmont Orchid, Brown's Beach House is a fantastic choice for a super romantic dining experience.
What is the best farm-to-table restaurant on the Big Island?
What is the best spot for cocktails on the Big Island?
With top-notch drinks, frequent live music, and lovely beachfront location, newlyweds won't want to miss Lava Lava Beach Club. Be sure to try two of their signature drinks -- the Lava Lava Flow and Huggo's Mai Tai.
What's some of the best Hawaiian food found on the Big Island?
Local specialties include malasadas (fried doughnuts), poke (diced raw fish in a delicious marinade), garlic shrimp, loco moco (white rice topped with hamburger, fried egg and gravy), shave ice, and haupia (a Hawaiian coconut pudding).
What's the best place for cheap eats on the Big Island?
No trip to the Big Island is complete without a visit to Da Poke Shack, our top pick when it comes to incredibly delicious, fresh local food on a budget.
What's the main agriculture of the Big Island?
Coffee (don't miss Big Island Coffee Roasters), macadamia nuts, papaya, orchids, and tropical fruit like pineapple, papaya and mango. Be sure to stop at plenty of roadside stands during your travels to indulge in the local bounty of produce and fresh food. The Big Island is also home to expansive cattle ranches like Kapapala Ranch and Parker Ranch.
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