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Big Island

Five separate volcanoes: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Haulalai, Mauna Lea and Kilauea, dominate Hawai'i or rather the 'Big Island's' geographical landscape. As the volcanoes continue to erupt, particularly Kilauea, Hawai'i continues to physically expand-since 1983 approximately 230 hectors of new land has been added to this island making it the largest island in both Hawaii and the United States. In addition to Kilauea, there are two volcanoes that remain active the other volcanoes on the island are either dormant or extinct. Also competing for geographical significance, Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest sea mountain measures approximately 2.61 miles.

Visiting the 'Big Island' isn't just about seeing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, although if that's your thing, it absolutely could be. Visiting the 'Big Island' is also about skiing (not the fancy lodge-type mind you) and ranching. Yes, on the 'Big Island' you can do it up 'City Slicker' style and try horseback riding or game hunting at Waimea’s Parker Ranch, Hawaii's largest cattle ranch and home of the Paniolo, the 'Hawaiian cowboy.' As for skiing, the best time to go is in either February or March. You won't find any fancy lodges or even a lift but you can 4-wheel it up the 14k foot summit and meet your ride at the bottom. Mauna Kea is also well known for its world-class star gazing, in fact 11 permanent telescopes representing 13 countries reside at the summit. If you're the rugged outdoorsy type, or the adventure enthusiast, the 'Big Island' offers several opportunities to quickly connect with its varied terrain and diverse culture. Need a quick way to get to everything? Renting a vehicle, especially something exciting, and grabbing a map, or GPS, is easiest.