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Hawaii: South Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

1. Hawaii: South Big Island Self-Guided Driving Tour

Experience Hawaii's Big Island at your own pace with a self-guided driving tour. Your tour of the Big Island is split into 2 halves. The first half begins outside the quaint town of Kailua-Kona, to see the historic Hulihe’e Palace, once the vacation home of the island’s royalty. Then continue south to Magic Beach, where the sand sometimes simply disappears. After that is Kahalu'u Beach, a perfect place for snorkelers, followed by the sacred Lekeleke Burial Grounds. Next, pass the remnants of Hikiau Heiau, an important religious site in ancient Hawaii. Beyond that is the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. Then see the Honaunau Rodeo Arena and learn all about Hawaii’s cowboys. Next up is Pebble Beach, to get to know the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele. Have the option to check out the Kula Kai Caverns, left by ancient volcanic activity. Reach the startling Punalu'u Beach, which features totally black sand. The route then passes an old sugar plantation, followed by the huge volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa. This half of the tour concludes by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can explore the island’s volcanoes up close. The second half of the tour picks up farther to the east, in the picturesque town of Hilo. Then, cruise through the scenic Liliuokalani Park and Gardens. Watch surfers catch waves next at Honoli'i Beach. After that is Onomea Bay, featuring a hiking trail with incredible views. Then, admire the astonishing flora at the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden. Arrive at the surprising sight of the Honohina Hongwanji Mission, a historic Buddhist temple. Pass the Laupahoehoe Train Museum before reaching Laupahoehoe Point, a spectacular ocean vista. Do not forget to snap some photos. Anyone hankering for a snack will definitely want to stop at the Hamakua Harvest Farmers Market before continuing on to the cowboy town of Waimea. Up next are 2 beaches, Hapuna Beach, the largest white sand beach on the island, and Beach 69, beloved by locals. Arrive at the Kings Highway Foot Trail, to have the chance to see the ancient Waikoloa Petroglyphs. After that are another few scenic overlooks, followed by the beautiful Kekaha Kai State Park. Your tour concludes here, just north of where the first half began.

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