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Things To Do On The Big Island Of Hawaii For Families

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Last year on our first-class island hopping vacation, we also visited the Big Island. 

I didn’t share much about it on the blog after we came back because shortly after we arrived back home, the island had a volcano eruption and the news was that the island was facing difficulties from it. Thankfully the eruption is no longer an issue.

Here are some pictures from our family vacation on the Big Island:

We spent a total of four days on the island and we made sure to take an island tour on the first full day so that we could get a lay of the land, or in this case the island. This is something we try to always do so that we get an overview from a local and then plan from there on how we wanted to spend the rest of the days. 

It rained a fair amount while we were there, but there were very few downpours so it didn’t touch our fun! We went to all the local hot spots, like the macadamia nut factory and to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

We also stopped at almost every coffee stand we could find. I have to say that the best coffee I’ve had so far in all of Hawaii was inside the Hilton Hawaiian Village, but all of the coffee we have had on the islands have all been pretty great.

We stayed in Kona but did go to Hilo for a day trip and I would definitely recommend the whole island.

The Big Island is very driveable with a lot of places to stop for snacks and sea turtle sightings.

One mistake we made when visiting  Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was not bringing a sweater and a rain poncho. We expected the rain to be warmer like it was elsewhere on the island and it was in fact pretty cool. A water poncho, towel to dry off a bit and a sweater would have gone a long way to making the time in the park even better. 

I had visited as a teenager and when I started to get cool, I remembered feeling the same way on my last visit all that time before. Thankfully Pete and the girls weren’t as cold as I was and I warmed back up pretty quickly.

We had a bunch of really great meals on the Big Island too. 

We didn’t have any trouble walking into restaurants and getting a table, but if you find a restaurant you really want to try, I would recommend calling for a reservation…especially during the busy season. 

We even had the most spectacular lightning show one night that Emmy was fascinated by.

She spent hours taking pictures and this is one of them.

The sunsets on the Big Island are absolutely gorgeous too and are perfect for family pictures, so be sure to arrange for them during your time here.

And then there were turtles. 

Oh my! My heart leaped every single time we saw one. We had been absolutely wowed by the whales everywhere we looked on Maui, and we did see some on the Big Island, but it was the turtles here that won the show!

We are going to be back in Hawaii in just a few months and we can’t wait.

It is such a magical place! Here are more of our Hawaii stories, videos, and guides.

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Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.