Things to Do on The Big Island

The Big Island

If you’re looking for an adventurous vacation filled with stunning natural beauty, the Big Island of Hawaii is the perfect destination. From sandy beaches to lush rainforests and active volcanoes, there is something for everyone. Whether you want to relax on a beach or embark on exciting outdoor activities such as diving, snorkeling, or hiking – this tropical haven has it all!

Hawaii has always held a special place in my heart. As a child, I felt a deep connection to the islands that has stayed with me through the years. It wasn’t until I took a trip to the Big Island in 2021 that the idea to start a blog really took root. I had so many followers on Instagram taking notes on my travels that I felt compelled to share my thoughts on living clean and all my favorite spots to eat and explore. From there, sol-fed was born.

Allow me to give you an insider’s guide on what to see and do, and where to eat healthy on the Big Island of Hawaii!



Lava Lava Beach Club is an absolute favorite of ours. This Hawaiian hotspot has got it all – from outdoor seating that lets you feel the sand between your toes, to a sprawling lawn area where you can enjoy games, listen to live local music, and let the kids run wild.

Fosters Kitchen in Kings Shops may not knock your socks off, but it does offer a good selection of gluten-free and healthier options.

Racha Thai I myself have yet to experience it, as every time I’ve attempted to go during my Big Island trips, it was unexpectedly closed. Despite my bad luck, the rave reviews have prompted me to add it to my must-try list. Just a heads up, this isn’t your typical restaurant, it’s a humble take-out window located in a mall area with only a handful of seating options available.

Gypsea Gelato is a new homemade gelato shop that has a macadamia nut gelato option that is sweetened with monk fruit. And it’s so custardy and delicious!

Kai Eats and Drinks Kona
Kai Eats & Drinks


Kai Eats & Drinks is our new favorite place in Kona. This beachside restaurant just opened recently. With ocean views that will take your breath away, it’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset and enjoy some yummy food. I recommend the fish tacos and they also have some other great gluten-free options that everyone can enjoy. Plus, they have a cute coffee bar that serves matcha. They also have a bubble machine out front – it’s a huge hit!

Umeke’s is a really yummy island-style restaurant. I ate fish tacos every single day while on Kona and these fish tacos won the number one spot. Each taco had a huge amount of fish that was perfectly seasoned and gluten-free of course! Umeke’s is also home to some of the best poke on the island.

Shaka Tacos is a great little Taco place in Kona (there is also one in Captain Cook). Shaka Tacos took the second-place position in my fish taco competition. Even as a non-cheese eater, I have to admit that the way they cook the tortilla with cheese on it is a game-changer. The result is a crispy, cheesy treat that added so much flavor!

Fosters Kitchen. Again, not at the top of my list but it is a good place to go that uses high-end ingredients and offers healthier and gluten-free options.

Sweet Journey Cafe serves soft-serve ice cream that is macadamia nut-based and is so yummy! They also offer lots of yummy toppings but watch out, some of the toppings contain food dye!

HICO Hawaiian Coffee is a super cute little coffee shop that serves delicious Hawaiian coffee and matcha.

One Aloha Shave Ice serves shave ice that uses real fruit and is free of any kind of food dyes!

Sweet Cane Cafe The Big Island
Sweet Cane Cafe


Sweet Cane Café is probably my favorite restaurant on the island. They have SO many healthy meals to choose from. Everything on their menu I would eat which says a lot! They have juices, smoothies, kombucha, healthier treats (the carrot cake is amazing), and lots of food options as well. If you haven’t ever tried Sugar Cane Juice- try it! Believe it or not, it’s packed with nutrients and electrolytes. You know that when a restaurant serves water from a Berkey you are like-minded!

Kula Shave Ice serves shave ice without food dye. They use real fruit and a little bit of organic cane sugar and they are unbelievably good. Everything in their restaurant is organic, local, and fresh! They even serve matcha!

Hilo Farmers Market while this isn’t actually a restaurant, it is a great place to stock up on Hawaiian fruits!


Kohala Coffee Mill is a cute café has matcha, coffee, gluten-free cookies, and lots of breakfast and lunch options. My husband got a chicken wrap on our last day and said it was hands down the best meal he had while on our trip! They have limited seating and usually have a fun band playing outside!

Kohala Grown Market blew me away. Oh what I would do to have a little market like this on Bainbridge Island. Natural food wise, they had everything you need, and most options were seed oil-free, gluten-free, and also free of any other bad additives. Think muc-nut brie, quinoa salads, gluten-free healthy cookies, salads, local coconut yogurt that is sweetened with local honey, smoothies, and all the local produce you can dream of. I will hands down be going back here on every trip to the big island.


Big Island Brewhaus has really yummy food offerings. They serve locally sourced, fresh, handcrafted food, and they brew their own beer. There are many healthier, gluten-free options including a mac-nut cheese! Warning- it is likely to be a good 10 degrees cooler up in Waimea so bring a sweatshirt.


Everything in Hawaii is SO expensive! So we like to make Target our first stop after getting off the airplane to stock up on snacks for the trip. They have all the healthier packaged products that we are used to on the mainland for the same price! I try not to drink tap water, and while I know it’s not the most sustainable option, we all drink Fiji water on vacation which is the purest, best-bottled water out there! Target carries it for less than most other places. Anything that I can’t find at Target, I then get across the street at Island Naturals. This is where I stock up on local produce! Gotta have a papaya a day when in Hawaii!


Pololu Valley Lookout The Big Island
Pololu Valley

Pololu Valley Lookout is a lookout at the north end of the island just 15 minutes past Hawi. It has absolutely stunning views of the valley and steep cliffs. There is a short but steep 20-minute hike down to the beach but due to having a toddler on my hip most of the time, we have yet to do the hike. The beach itself is supposed to be beautiful but it is quite rocky.

Anaehoomalu Bay is a beautiful sandy beach in the Waikoloa Area. It is protected by a big reef so it’s perfect for little kids.

Mahaiulu Beach is just North of the airport. The road to get there may be a bit bumpy and windy, but trust me- it’s worth it. Toward the North, there is a beautiful white sandy beach and the water is crystal clear and is a wonderful place to snorkel.

Hapuna beach is one of our favorite white sandy beaches on the Big Island. Not only is this beach beautiful but it is usually free of strong currents and large waves so it’s a safe place for little kids to play in the water.

Punaluu Beach The Big Island
Punalulu Beach

Punaluu Beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Hawaii… and rightfully so! It’s stunning! The black sand beach surrounded by towering palm trees and crystal-clear turquoise water is a sight you won’t forget! While it isn’t the ideal swimming beach, it’s definitely worth a visit just to soak up the stunning views. While in the area, stop at Shaka Tacos in Captain Cook for lunch!

Mauna Key Beach The Big Island
Mauna Kea Beach

Mauna Kea Beach fronts the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and is family-friendly a lot of the time. One of the nice things about this beach is that you can hop over to the hotel for snacks. Keep in mind that parking is very limited and costs $20.

Other Things To Do

Rainbow Falls The Big Island
Rainbow Falls


Pe’epe’e Falls

Akaka Falls

Umauma Falls

Rainbow Falls is located just steps away from the parking lot and is beautiful. But be careful if you have young kids that want to run around in the grassy area, there are some pretty nasty fire ants!!

Lava Caves

Kazumura Cava Lava Tube is very highly rated

Kamauna Caves is on the way to Hilo.

The big island of Hawaii has a plethora of activities to offer its visitors. From swimming in the beautiful waters and visiting the active volcano to exploring the gorgeous jungles and waterfalls, it is no wonder that visitors flock to this amazing place each year. Whether you’re an adventurous explorer looking for something new or just want to relax on a tropical beach, there’s something for everyone on the Big Island.

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