Akaka Falls State Park#2 in Best Things To Do in Hawaii - The Big Island
A visit to Hilo's Akaka Falls State Park will entail a short, low-intensity hike in northeastern Hawai'i. Its payoff comes in the form of two consecutive waterfalls – cascading Kahuna Falls and the spectacular free-falling Akaka Falls, which earned the park its name.
Those who've hiked the flat, paved loop trail say it's more of a "walk" that's easy enough for just about anyone – even young children. You'll most likely be able to make the loop through the park in 20 to 30 minutes, and considering Akaka Falls' small investment of time and money, travelers suggest it's one you can't miss.
You'll find the park off Highway 220 at the end of Akaka Falls Road. It's open daily and only costs $1 per pedestrian and $5 per car. The parking area is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Restrooms and water fountains are available on-site. If you're only interested in beautiful Akaka Falls and not in Kahuna, you should enter the footpath on the left (south) side. Visit the Hawaii State Park's website for more information.
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#1 Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Four months after closing due to intense and damaging volcanic activity, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park reopened in mid-September 2018. "The Volcano," as it were, loosely refers to two active volcanoes in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park; specifically, it's Kilauea that's the real must-see. A 4,000-foot-tall mountain, Kilauea has been spitting, spewing and oozing since Jan. 3, 1983 and in May 2018, it started erupting, forcing evacuations and destroying entire communities. Although the eruptions have stopped, Kilauea is still at the top of America's list of volcanoes to monitor.
Most people who come to the park hope to see some lava flow; some travelers see a little bit, others are not as lucky. Check in at the Kilauea Visitor Center for up-to-date information on trails, safety precautions and where to expect lava flow.
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