Big Island Guide: How to Prepare and Where to Stay
Tips and tricks on how to vacation in Big Island with ease.
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If you must get a car in sold-out Hilo: Harper Car and Truck Rental, (800) 852-9993; on Hawai‘i Island, (808) 969-1478. Its stock runs to four-wheelers and trucks, which can be pricey, and those suckers guzzle gas; also, you can expect a “white-gloves” inspection when you return it. You ding, you pay. But it will take you to off-road places, including Ka‘u, Kohala and Waipi‘o Valley. (You don’t need four-wheel drive to reach the summit of Mauna Kea, unless it’s snowbound, and the rental car contracts allow you to drive over the vastly improved Saddle Road. Do check the fine print, though.)
BIG ISLAND BUCKET LIST
Rainbow Falls, Hike.
Photo: Jack Wolford
Go on a horseback tour of Waipi‘o Valley
Take a zipline ride over Akaka Falls
Spend the night in a treehouse during gentle trades
Fly in a helicopter above the volcano and eruption
Swim at a green sand beach
Hike through a field of ancient petroglyphs
Enjoy a week in Hilo with no rain