Do you love to hike? If you do, there's pretty much no paradise on the planet better suited for your vacay. With plenty of postcard-worthy scenery and trails for all skill levels, the Big Island is positively brimming with outdoor adventure. For those who prefer their hikes really easy, check out Akaka Falls (above)--it's a quick jaunt to the viewpoint with predominantly paved paths. If you are all about the rugged and difficult, check out Wai'ilikahi Falls. This hike is no joke, and even requires camping overnight, but the reward is pretty spectacular. And if you want all the rainforest scenery without any of the hard work, try the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. No backpacks required.
The Big Island has so much history and culture, and some of it just may surprise you. For example, did you know that there are real honest-to-goodness cowboys in Hawaii? And you can visit them for a BBQ dinner at Kahua Ranch or take a once-in-a-lifetime horseback ride through 11,000 acres with Paniolo Adventures. Another interesting Big Island topic is the study of astronomy. If you and your husband like to gaze at the stars, learn about Hawaii's contribution to discovery at the W.M. Keck Observatory or the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center (which is located at the mountain's basecamp--9200ft!).
The Big Island is all about celebrating local bounty and enjoying the weather. Savor one of Hawaii's favorite foods, poke, at Da Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona. Afterwards, shave ice is a must. We've heard nothing but good things about the Scandinavian Shave Ice stand. From traditional flavors like watermelon to the more adventurous Li Hing Mui, shave ice is a sweet tooth satisfying way to cool down. Just looking for a simple plate lunch? Try Minnie's in Kapaau.
It wouldn't be a honeymoon in Hawaii without a trip to a beach, would it? Arguably one of the best beaches is Manini'owali Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park. Because of how it sits in the bay, the water is generally calm enough for swimming, and the white sand beaches are good for a little SPF-assisted sunbathing. It is recommended that you visit early in the morning to avoid the most crowds, as well as to enjoy the most wildlife. If beach trips aren't just about soaking up the rays for the two of you, try the unique Punalu'u Beach. This black sand beach (courtesy of the volcanoes) has tide pools filled with ocean wildlife. You might even see a sea turtle or two wander by.
Speaking of the volcanoes, the Big Island has some pretty epic ones for you to visit. If this excites you, plan on spending at least one full day (maybe even a couple) at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You can drive on Crater Rim Drive, which will give you some wonderful views of a crater. There are also an abundant amount of trails, including one that goes through a lava tube (above)! If you want to get up close to all of the volcanic activity, you can also take a helicopter tour. Either way, this is an amazing experience that you don't want to skip.
Find more help planning your Hawaiian honeymoon here.