Most resorts are on the Kona side of the island, with the most exclusive resorts being found at Waikoloa and Kohala to the north. Hilo has a few hotels, but is the more “local” side of the island. Kona and Hilo both have major airports. The Big Island is 95 miles tall and 80 miles wide. Drive time from Kona to Hilo takes about 3 hours.
- Major airports are in Kailua-Kona (KOA) and Hilo (ITO) … Kona is where most tourists stay, but Hilo is the county seat.
- Population – 186,700
- It is the by far the largest island in the Hawaiian chain.
- Honolulu isn’t on the Big Island … it’s on Oahu.
- Kilauea Volcano is the world’s most active volcano and has been erupting constantly since 1983.
- Measured from it’s base on the ocean floor, Mauna Kea is the largest land mass on the planet, rising over 33,000 feet tall and dwarfing Mount Everest in sheer volume.
- The summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are almost 14,000 feet above sea level and often receive snow in the wintertime.
- The Big Island is made up of 5 volcanos that overlap into one giant island.
- A new island called Lo’ihi is forming off the southeat coast and is expected to break the ocean’s surface in 10,000 years or so.
- South Point is the southernmost spot in the United States.