Although Oahu is the more commonly known Hawaiian Island and the more popular tourist destination (with Honolulu and Waikiki being located on Oahu), the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is another popular destination for those who wish to experience the paradise of Hawaii.
The Big Island is the largest and youngest of the eight major islands that make up the Hawaiian archipelago.
According to Hawaiian legend, the island was named for Hawai’iloa, the legendary Polynesian navigator who was believed to be the first person to discover it. With a population of about 200,000, the Big Island is located in the County of Hawaii, and the county seat is Hilo, the Big Island’s largest town located on the eastern coast.
For most of it’s history, the Big Island’s main economic force was sugarcane, but today, like the rest of the State of Hawaii, tourism is the backbone of the island’s economy.
The island is most famous for its volcanoes and black sand beaches, with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park being home to the active volcanoes of Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Kailua-Kona and Hilo are the two major communities on the island, both of which offer great dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities to residents and visitors.
Other popular attractions throughout the island include Hulihe’e Palace, Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Onizuka Space Center, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo, and Rainbow Falls State Park.