Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

Must-See Scenic Spots on Big Island

Megan Potter

Hawaii’s Big Island boasts jaw-dropping views of incredible and uncommon sites that would be difficult to find on the mainland. These picture-perfect destinations will make your traveling dreams come true. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the seven of the most scenice places on the Big Island!

1. Akaka Falls State Park

Sure, you've seen pictures of people posed at Niagara Falls, but did you know Akaka Falls is 2.5 times higher? The falls make any photo look stunning, but midway through the hike there’s a spot where the trail descends and overlooks the waterfall in the distance. This is a family-friendly hike, with some of the best views around!

2. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Black sand beaches truly pop. Sure, you've seen white sand beaches, but what about the contrast of a black sand beach? With the black earth, the bright blue water and emerald palm trees, you have a view full of color!

3. Po’ohunoa Honaunau “Place of Refuge” National Park

No physical harm could come to those who reached Po’ohunoa Honaunau, the place of refuge. This National Park is not only a symbol of safety and refuge, but it is a beautiful destination with palm trees encircling a hut on the beach, tiki statues lined together, and significant pieces of history scattered throughout. Please be respectful in this spot. It is sacred to native Hawaiians. 

4. Pololu Valley

Hike through the Pololu Valley to a black sand beach, and you'll get 2-for-1 views -- one hike, two different views! The lush greenery and ocean cliffs overlooking the beach are truly stunning. Added bonus -- you're hiking a volcano! Not only can you get awesome photos, but you'll have a cool story too!

RELATED: If You Only Have Time for One Big Island Hike, Make it Pololu Valley

5. Waipio Valley Overlook

Head to the “Valley of the Kings” for another 2-in-1 scenic opportunity. At the overlook, you're greeted by breathtaking ocean views. Visit on Shaka Guide's North Island Jungle Adventure Loop!


6. Mauna Kea Summit Sunset

Mauna Kea during the day is an impressive site, but imagine that with the added colors of sunset and you have a truly stunning scene. Hike to the summit via the six-mile Mauna Kea Trail starting at the Onizuka Visitor Center for epic views.

**Please note: the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station is currently closed and Mauna Kea Access Road is also closed so the summit is inaccessible.**


7. Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea Volcano, the world's most active volcano located within Volcanoes National Park, is the most visited volcano in the world! Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the natural steam baths and wander your way through the volcano. Visit on Shaka Guide's Volcanoes National Park Driving Tour!

A picture is worth a thousand words so make sure when planning your trip to the Big Island you add these scenic spots to your list. You'll have your friends thinking you took a photo class! 

RELATED: The Best Snorkel Spots on the Big Island

Headed to Hawaii? Shaka Guide has five tours on the Big Island. Download our Big Island Tour Bundle and start exploring. 


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Big Island Waterfalls Guide

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The Best Snorkel Spots on the Big Island

16 Must-Visit Historic Sites on the Big Island

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