THE BIG ISLAND -- WHERE TO STAY
Accommodations on the Big Island are plentiful and can provide the bare necessities with a rustic twist on up to exclusive resorts that offer every creature comfort in sumptuous surroundings. The Big Island also offers some very distinct regions that cater to different vacationers' desires. Visit hawaii.com and bigisland.org/lodging for more information.
Volcanoes National Park
The Volcanoes National Park area of the Big Island is on the southwestern side and offers accommodations at the lodge. There are also several camping areas where you can pitch a tent, if you like. In addition to tent camping there are several cabins with beds and access to showers.
This area is on the southwest coast, and is where most of the dive resorts are located. Here the weather is usually sunny and warm, thus the nickname "gold coast." Here you'll find many upscale resorts and dive resorts, shopping, dining and great beaches. The Kona International Airport is a few minutes from the resort areas.
This area is on the west coast and has lovely beaches, many golf courses and a wide variety of accommodations. Here is where you'll find several five-star resorts and the more traditional tropical hotels and motels. There is plenty to do here as well with lots of water sports activities and opportunities to explore the more natural side of Hawaii.
To the north of the Big Island is an area with rolling hills and green pastures. This area is where you'll find the Hawaiian cowboys and working ranches where you can take a tour on horseback or ATV. The accommodations here are not as varied, but if you want to get back to nature this is where you'll find a more serene atmosphere.
Hilo is on the east coast of the Big Island and offers a bit of the big-city experience with a dash of tropical paradise. Here you'll find many hotels and motels, some at very low prices. Hilo offers shopping, dining and many outdoor activities for the adventurous. Hilo is close to the famous Akaka Falls and Mauna Kea, the highest island mountain in the world with a summit of almost 14,000 feet above sea level.