"ACTIVITIES" are often confused and combined with "ATTRACTIONS." Sometimes there's a large amount of overlap as both are large parts of the "eco-tourism" movement that emphasizes educational or adventure tourism vs. the more traditional sedimentary "sun, relax, and recover" type of tourism. In my youth in the late 1940's and early 1950's, Hawaiian tourism was very different. Then only the very wealthy could come to Hawaii and in those days, most visitors were comfortable grandparents.
Today, jet planes make a Hawaiian vacation more affordable for more people, visitors are far younger and travelling with their children, and are seeking out more active unique experiences or memories. In this context, "ATTRACTIONS" are facilities that stay in one place that are usually open to promote, preserve, or educate on a specific theme. Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center is therefore and attraction even thought we also offer bonsai workshops which could be considered an activity. The major Big Island attraction is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. (See: Big Island Attractions)
In contrast, "ACTIVITIES" are things to do and the Big Island has the greatest number of such activities that include deep see big game fishing, shoreline fishing, or even mountain lake fishing! On the water, go snorkeling, swim at night with the manta rays, go for a sunset dinner cruise, ride submarines or glass bottom boats, go parasailing, raft through sea caves or go deep sea diving. In the air, take fixed wing small plane flights to see a Hawaii that has all of the features of a mini-continent, or board a helicopter to hover over molten lava flows that can follow the lava river from the vent to the dramatic steam clouds as it reaches the sea!
On land, there's a lot more choices with new adventures being added each year. Ride horses, wagons, bikes, tour vans, 4-wheel drives, ATVs on scenic tours, to the summit of Mauna Kea, to Waipio Valley, or the hidden places of Hawaii. Hike through waterfalls, lava tubes, or on the King's Trail. Attend a luau and learn a facet of Polynesian and the multi-culture that is Hawaii!
There are many recreational and competitive activities from the world-famous Ironman Triathlon, tennis, or the full range of modest to spectacular golf courses! The Big Island is the eco-tourism Hawaii! The following is a listing of some of the places to begin as you plan your next Big Island vacation. Once you are on the island, further inquire with the concierge, activity desk, or your accommodations representative. Many of us who are committed to creating the finest possible sustainable visitor industry frown upon and will not refer to tourist traps.
- ACTIVITY CONNECTION
- Richard and Nancy Farnham publish the free visitor publication: BIG ISLAND BEACH & ACTIVITY GUIDE that lists a huge range of activities and attractions. Their premise is simple and straightforward. Activities give sales commissions to booking agents. By splitting these commissions with the customers in the form of discounts, everyone wins! They also publish guides for Maui and Kauai. Contact them by phone (808) 329-1038, FAX (808) 327-9411
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.beachactivityguide.com
- ARNOTT'S LODGE & HIKING ADVENTURES
- IN HILO Douglas and Patrick Arnott (98 Apapane Road, Hilo, Hawaii 96720) pioneered affordable accommodations combined with memorable expeditions. A haven for budget travelers or those seeking no-frills hostel style accommodations. Adventures include: Volcanoes National Park Lava Hike, Mauna Kea Daylight Summit Adventure, Mauna Kea Sunset & Stargazing, The Ultimate Bike Challenge, and private customized expeditions. Phone (808) 969-7097, FAX (808) 961-9638
- E-mail: email@example.com URL: www.arnottslodge.com
- FAIR WIND CRUISES & ORCA RAFT ADVENTURES
- Puhi Dent and his family celebrated 30 years of superior service. Stationed out of Keauhou Bay, it's a short cruise over to the calm protected Kealekekua Bay, a marine sanctuary with exceptionally crystal clear water, abundant colorful tropical fish, and a variety of coral reefs. The Fair Wind is great for families while the Orca raft allows more active adventures! Phone (808) 322-2788, Toll-free: 1-800-677-9461
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.fair-wind.com
- HAWAII FOREST & TRAIL
- Rob and Cindy Pacheco began sharing the evolutionary wonder of Hawaii through the commitment to excellence of small group natural history tours to remote private lands and other fascinating and inspiring parts of the Big Island! Their highly trained staff has extensive knowledge. Visit their Outfitting Store off Queeen Kaahumanu Highway just across Honokohau Harbor.
- Phone (808) 331-8505; Toll-free: 1-800-464-1993; FAX (808) 331-8704
- E-mail: email@example.com URL: www.hawaii-forest.com