BIG ISLAND’S WEST AND EAST SIDES BOTH HAVE UNIQUE OFFERINGS
SUNNY AND DRY WEST SIDE – KONA AND KOHALA COAST
The massive mountains on the Big Island create a dry side and wet side of the Island. The prevailing trade winds approach Hawaii from the North East. When the winds bring humid ocean air up against the mountains it provides lots of rain on the East side of the Island. The mountains then leave the west side of the Island sunny, dry and warm.
It is said to be “eternal springtime” on the West side of the Island, with almost constant warm and sunny weather. The average high and low in the coolest month (February) is 82˚, and in the warmest month (September) is 88˚. In the resort areas on the west side of the island the evenings are typically in the mid 70s to low 80s. It is very rare for the temperature to ever drop below 70 on the coast.
The most popular area to stay is the Kohala Coast. This area is home to the nicest resorts, the most beautiful weather and the best beaches.
THE BIG ISLAND’S MOST POPULAR AREA WITH THE MOST SUNSHINE
The driest and sunniest area of the Island is found on the Kohala Coast. Home to the Kohala Resort Area, the sunny Kohala Coast gets an average of just 10 inches of rainfall per year, making it the most popular part of the Island for vacationers! This area has the highest number of sunny days in the entire state of Hawaii! The trade-off for this dry sunny weather is that there tends to be more wind here. As the lava fields heat up during the day, air from the ocean rushes in and creates convective afternoon breezes.
A huge benefit of the weather and terrain in this area is that the water around the Kohala Coast is the calmest and clearest water in the state! You’ll find the best beaches here as well, some of which have been consistently rated as Top 5 in the US, making this the best place for water sports and activities.
The Kohala Coast has been cultivated with much more greenery than other areas on the West side of the Island. Tropical gardens fill the resorts, and many tropical plants grow around the pristine beaches. There are several golf courses in the resorts as well, each boasting their own beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding area.
The Kohala Resort area is made up of three main resorts: Mauna Lani Resort, Mauna Kea Resort and Waikoloa Beach Resort. All three have their own unique accommodations, amenities and features. Luckily, with them being close by to one another, it’s easy to explore all three during your visit, regardless of where you choose to stay.
ABUNDANT EAST SIDE – PUNA, HILO, VOLCANO AND HAMAKUA COAST
The east side of the Big Island is covered in green, lush, tropical rainforest. This is made possible by the large amount of rain that falls here, averaging around 140 inches of rain per year! This area is home to many of the Islands’ waterfalls, and has interesting terrain, shaped by the rains and winds. Hilo is the only major city on this side of the Island and is the county seat. The water on this side of the Island tends to be cloudier, due to the runoff from the rain, and there are fewer nice beaches to find. Arguably the largest attraction on this side of the Island is Kilauea volcano and Volcanoes National Park, which is found on the southeastern side of the Island.