For one of the biggest vacation locations in the world, many people’s idea of Hawaii begins and ends at the beach. And while there’s nothing wrong with a relaxing day of sunbathing and swimming, the Big Island of Hawaii has much, much more to offer visitors ready to fill their days and nights with exploration and new experiences! Here are the top things to do in the Big Island of Hawaii-

1. Manta night dive
Hawaii’s oceans teem with wildlife – and one of the most extraordinary species you’ll find are the manta rays. Just as the sun sets, gather your loved ones, snorkeling gear and flashlights and head on a raft to the Kona Coast’s magical manta destination to enjoy an underwater adventure of a lifetime. In just 25 feet of water, professionals with handheld lights guide you through a beautiful and unforgettable lightshow. The spotlights attract the friendly and mysterious creatures as they dance in mesmerizing patterns within inches of you! Unlike other rays, mantas have no stingers and are safe to swim with as they swoop and somersault through their plankton feeding grounds during dinnertime. The manta night dive is the number one dive on the beautiful Kona Island, and as long as you can swim, there are no age restrictions so it’s fun for the whole family to enjoy!

2. Waipio Valley
The Waipio Valley, also known as the Valley of the Kings, is not only a site of breathtaking beauty but of deep cultural, historic, and religious value to the Hawaiian people. Waipio valley, which means, “curved water” in the Hawaiian language, boasts the tallest waterfall on the island, Hi’ilawe Falls. For those that like a challenge, it is the most spectacular hiking experience on the big island of Hawaii, and near the end, you are rewarded with a stunning black sand beach. Not to worry—you can also get there on horseback. Saddle up!

3. Maunakea Star Gazing
 Few people think of mountain climbing up into freezing temperatures as a Hawaiian activity, but observing conditions are perfect on this sacred summit known as “heaven” to the Hawaiian natives. The Visitor Information Station offers free nightly viewings, with presentations led by staff to teach you about the different constellations, and telescopes are set up on the stargazing deck for viewing. Hawaii is one of the world’s best stargazing destinations, so don’t miss out on this amazing astronomical experience.
P.S- remember to dress warmly!

4. Surfing / Surfing Lessons

 Surfs up! It’s not cliché when the Big Island offers visitors once-in-a-lifetime waves. And whether you’re an experienced surfer or trying the “Sport of Kings” for the first time, you can find a surfing experience perfect for you. Rentals and lessons are easy to find on the island, and affordable at that. Just make sure you do your research first and find the right beach for your skill level for the best experience.

5. Deep sea fishing
 While it may not be quite as well known as surfing, Hawaii is equally beloved by sport anglers, who come from around the world to experience the extraordinary game fish off the Kona Coast, the sport fishing capital of the Pacific! Hire a charter for your group and spend the whole day out on the waves with an experienced guide who can take you to some of the best fishing grounds in the world.

6. Volcanoes National Park
 Get closer than you would have ever believed possible to the elemental power of one of the most active volcanoes in the world! Kilauea is the number one visited volcano in the world, and Hawaii’s most visited attraction. Tour Crater Rim Drive to traverse through the deserts, jungles, and the caldera floor of the Kilauea volcano, or head up to the Jaggar Museum to see the fumes and glow of the lava lake at the summit.

7. Helicopter tour
 With so many mountains, beaches, waterfalls, and more, it’s impossible to see all of the Big Island…from the ground! Take all of the island’s breath taking beauty in at once as you explore paradise from above in a helicopter. From the air, you’ll get a

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whole new perspective of the astonishing range of the Big Island’s biodiversity and amazing views. No matter how long you fly around the island, it’ll be an experience you remember for the rest of your life.