There is a surprisingly large number of things to do on our island, those that do their research will find there is always something going on. If you are an outdoorsy person you will find many parks to hike, birdwatch, photograph, swim, camp and just explore.
With the tropical breeze and the warm ocean water, Hawaii is a great place to do water sports. From snorkeling to swimming, kayaking, surfing, diving, fishing and much more!
Art Exhibits and Galleries
If you like to frequent art galleries and exhibits, then the Big Island is another great place for you. With so much natural beauty, world-class artists are drawn here and display their work at galleries throughout the island.
Food and Drink
If food is your thing, you will most likely be surprised at the amazing eclectic types of food shops, restaurants and farms that welcome visitors and provide a great selection of ingredients to use in your culinary concoctions. If you want to just indulge and stay out of the kitchen, you will find ample options throughout the Island. From mom-and-pop shave-ice stands to gourmet 5-star restaurants in the local resorts, there is indeed something for everyone.
Music and Nightlife
Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar has made international acclaim and draws people here on a regular basis. We are lucky to have many masters residing here and performing regularly around the Island. If you haven’t explored this musical genre, maybe it is time you researched it? Link to a local music site >
Music Venues are located throughout the island. Some are small and some can accommodate big-name acts that tour the globe. If you would like to see if your travel dates coincide with some live shows, please take a look at our Events Calendar Page.
For most, after a long day of sight-seeing and trekking around the island, you just want to check out some music or some entertainment near your hotel or lodging. Most likely there will be something to keep you busy, there is usually live music at the local bars or coffee shops. If you are staying at a resort, check with the concierge to see if there are live performances there as this is quite often the case. Kona and Hilo are the cities with the most venues so if you are not staying there you may be up for a little drive.
Island-Style Living and Etiquette
Hawaii is truly a cultural melting pot and has an extremely diverse population. As a result of this diversity we have a mix of languages, ethnicities and cultural events, that all contribute to what we call an “Island Style” way of life. You may find that things tend to move more slowly here. People like to talk a little more slowly, take a few more breaks from work, enjoy outdoor activities regardless of weather conditions, and really take advantage of all the things a mild tropical climate affords. This may take a little getting used to, but once you acclimate yourself to it, it’s hard to go back! What is better than taking a break from work to enjoy the cool tradewinds, watch the outrigger canoe races, and “talk story” with an older local guy about the good old days of old time Hilo? This is truly what memories are made of, and it is Island Style Living that makes it all possible.
Now we bring up etiquette because if you act like a typical tourist or “haole” and are not respectful of the regular way of life here, you may stand out like a sore thumb and that may lead to your not enjoying all that our Island has to offer. So just a few basic suggestions that will help your overall experience here in Hawaii:
- Slow Down! This isn’t the Mainland and you are not a race track, so take a deep breath and make a point to observe the natural beauty around you at every turn. You never know what you might be missing, from whales to rainbows to fresh fruit stands to a new coffee shop offering some fresh Island coffee!
- Be Friendly and Smile! You never know when just saying “hello” will lead to meeting a friendly and warm-hearted local that will give you suggestions to find the best beach or the best luau to check out. So leave your inhibitions at home and show some Aloha, I think you will find that it will be returned without hesitation.
- Try New Things! Sure you may be a steak and potatoes kind of person, but you never know when you will find a new favorite fruit, ice cream, coffee, or pizza! The same goes for beaches, parks, waterfalls, and the natural beauty. Sure you may have seen a nice sandy beach or a waterfall, but maybe you’ll notice something you haven’t before, see a trail that you didn’t notice the last time, or experience a new beauty that you forgot existed.
- Make time to relax and enjoy the little things. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, there will always be a rush-hour to fight with, a luau to squeeze in before the sunset sail, or one extra thing on the agenda that is stretching you thin. In the grand scheme of things being two cars ahead of the guy in front of you or arriving home 45 seconds early isn’t going to be a big deal. But seeing the most spectacular sunset of the month, or bumping into an old school friend you haven’t seen in years probably will be a memory you will want to keep.
So yes, Island-Style is living with “Aloha”, living while making a point to enjoy even the littlest things in life, and being a kind respectful person. This is what has made our beautiful Island home a destination for so many, and a great place to live for all of the residents too. We hope that whether you are here for just a part of the year, or as a full-time resident, you see the Aloha around you and share it with those that you meet.