The Best Hidden Gems on Hawaii’s Big Island

The Golden Pools

Resorts and tours are great but don’t let that keep you from indulging in an authentic Hawaiian experience you can only find on the Big Island.

Papakōlea Green Sand Beach

Meaning ‘plover flats’ after the Pacific golden plover, Papakōlea is known for its green sand beaches that are created by a common mineral in Big Island lava known as olivine. It is one of four green beaches in the world. Be sure to ask a local about the area, they will direct you where to go and what to enjoy. While swimming in the bay is possible, the surf can be rough and there is no lifeguard on duty.

1790 Footprints

The 1790 Footprints refer to an area of footprints found near the Kīlauea volcano in present-day Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. These scattered fossil footprints are associated with a series of battles in the area that took place in 1790. Tradition says these were the footprints of warriors who died when the volcano erupted as they were fighting a battle.

Golden Pools of Keawaiki

Take a 2-mile loop trail to hike up to the locally famous Golden Pools of Keawaiki. These are anchialine pools, which are landlocked bodies of freshwater with an underground connection to the ocean that can be found all over the island. These pools contain unique golden algae which give the pools a beautiful golden glow.

Kona Coffee Living History Farm

Visitors can explore an authentic 1920s coffee farm hosted by costumed guides who demonstrate work tasks. You can learn how to pick coffee beans, watch the coffee milling & drying process, walk through the original 1920s-era farmhouse, discover the vegetable gardens and maybe even meet the Kona nightingales (the same kind of donkeys that helped farmers haul coffee).




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