Volcanic Attractions

Pahoa Town is located just eight miles from a live lava flow where you will have easy access to rivers of molten lava that flow from the summit of the Kilauea volcano.

At Volcanoes National Park, you can enjoy and explore numerous hiking trails, see rainforest wildflowers, steam vents, giant scenic vistas and lava tubes both inside and outside the park. 2009 marked the 26th consecutive year of eruption of this volcano which is the world’s most active. For the latest information on the volcano’s activity, see  USGS  or the Big Island Visitors Bureau which are both updated regularly.

Night viewing of the fiery orange glow from the molten lava can be seen only eight miles from Pahoa without having to enter the National Park where viewing there can take upwards to 90 minutes, one way. For Epic one on one Guided tours contact:

Another favorite of many visitors is getting a bird’s-eye view by taking a helicopter tour. You will be able to see breathtaking panoramic views from the blue skies. For more information on helicopter tours, please visit

Kehena Black Sand Beach

Just ten minutes from Coconut Cottage Bed & Breakfast is Kahena Beach which is one of the few black sand beaches left. Enjoy beautiful and breathtaking views of the turquoise blue ocean which is often frequented by dolphins, turtles, and seasonal whales. A small trail leads down to the beach near mile marker 19 on Highway 137. Clothes are optional at this beach. It is a very beautiful and serene beach, especially in the morning when the sun comes up over the ocean.

Kapoho Tide Pools

Hawaii’s Best Snorkeling

Some of the best snorkeling and diving is on the Big Island. Ten minutes away are the Kapoho Tide Pools where you’ll experience a wide variety of tropical fish and coral. The water here is crystal clear, calm and is considered among the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii. Just beyond this spot is the “Champagne Pond”, an ocean spring and favorite spot of many sea turtles!

Red Road Drive

The Most Beautiful Road on Hawaii’s Big Island

Ten minutes away enjoy a scenic ocean drive considered by many to be the most beautiful in the entire state. The Red Road is not accessible to tour buses and is a must see by any island visitor. Many areas of the road are nearly completely covered by a canopy of trees and jungle foliage—some have compared portions of the road to rural Tahiti. Many of the beaches, snorkeling areas and thermal pools mentioned in this section of our website are accessed along the Red Road.

Thermal Pools

Ten minutes away are the Ahalanui thermal pools which consist of several volcanic heated pools. The main pool is ocean-fed and reaches a temperature of up to 90 degrees. A man-made rock sea wall separates the main pool from the ocean. Coconut groves surround this park and make it a perfect setting for an afternoon picnic.

Lava Tree State Park

Lava Tree State Park has some of the most fascinating lava rock formations in the entire Hawaiian Islands. The ancient lava flow left a thick coating as it flowed through old forests encasing the larger trees and burning them to ashes, but not before creating free standing tubes in the shape of the trees. Many have compared these formations to those of Easter Island; however, with Hawaiian Volcano Goddess Pele being the creator in this case.

Botanical Gardens and Orchid Farms

The Big Island is considered the orchid capital of the world. See thousands of blooming orchids at one of several local orchid farms open to the public, and even ship an orchid home from Hawaii. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a 40 acre botanical garden jewel to the islands. It has waterfalls, scenic ocean views, and enormous mango and coconut palm trees that are over 100 years old. You will find orchids, anthuriums and native Hawaiian plants throughout the sun dappled paths.

Mountain Biking, Hiking, ATV, Horseback Riding and Eco Tours

Fitness enthusiasts can participate in a vast array of sports opportunities on the Big Island—known as the sports capital of Hawaii. The Puna area hosts many scenic trails for mountain biking and hiking. Whether you are seeking a vigorous trail ride or family fun along the shoreline, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. You can partake in a fun coastal bike ride through fields of wild orchids and rainforest canopies. Eco tourism is extremely popular in a unique place like the Big Island. Many opportunities abound for bird watching, volcano hiking, whale and dolphin tours, waterfalls and botanical walks, star gazing, and back country hiking—all provided by expert, knowledgeable tour guides. Your innkeepers will be happy to provide you with more information on these tours. If you plan on visiting the Waipio Valley, which boasts spectacular scenery, you will find an array of activities ranging from horseback riding, 4×4 and ATV tours.

Steam Vent Caves

You will encounter steam vent caves, one of the island’s most fascinating geological formations. Enjoy a truly natural steam bath in one of the cinder cones, formed when rain water comes in contact with the geothermally heated rock.

Isaac Hale Beach Park

This picturesque park, located a few miles away, is a haven for local fishermen and is also enjoyed by surfers when the waves are up. Take a walk past the caretaker’s house and then a short path into the jungle, where you will find a fresh water pond heated by volcanic action.  Also known as  Pohoiki Surfing, fishing, boating, swimming and more are all available at Pohoiki.  Brand new parking area, fields for play, bathrooms and picnic areas have made this a #1 destination.  Oh did I mention a world famous surf break.  

For more information go to Pohoiki Surf .com


The Puna area is a beautiful natural artists’ canvas where many of the local artists have expressed their talents. You will find a number of unique art galleries and visiting artists from time to time including, Nanette Newbry and Sherry Goodloe who offer workshops at our retreat. Also be sure to check out innkeeper Todd’s Hawaiian artwork displayed throughout our home.

Volcano Garden Arts offers monthly-classes, workshops, poetry readings and presentations at the Volcano Art Center and an assortment of film, theatre, calligraphy, lei-making, writer’s retreats, glass making, pottery, Hawaiian crafts, language and native plant workshops are featured. Catch a live hula performance in the Art Center and witness the magic of authentic native Hawaiian dance and storytelling.

Pana’Ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens

Take a 15 minute drive to the Nation’s only natural tropical rainforest zoo where you will find more than 80 animal species, including a White Bengal Tiger. You are welcome to enjoy a picnic in the shade of more than 100 varieties of palm trees or take a leisurely walk with peacocks in the extensive collection of orchids, clumping bamboos and tropical rhododendrons. For more information on the zoo, click here.

Wine Tasting

You will want to treat yourself to a wine tasting in paradise at nearby Volcano Winery. Taste local wines inspired by the unique elements of the Big Island. Tropical fruits like yellow guava are used to transform traditional wine grapes into vibrant island creations. For more traditional palates, they offer two award-winning wines made from the Symphony grape.

Mauna Loa Macadamia Visitor Center

One of the most popular attractions in the area, world famous Mauna Loa Macadamia Visitor Center, is located approximately 10 minutes away. Drive though beautiful macadamia nut orchards, see the nut and chocolate processing plant, view chocolate demonstrations and be sure to visit the gift shop where they offer free samples.

Historic Hilo on Big Island Hawaii

Twenty minutes away is the enchanting city of Hilo. This quaint city with an enormous heart is built around the crescent-shaped Hilo Bay. Often described as the “Honolulu before the jets came”, Hilo is a visit back in time to “Old Hawaii”. The downtown area captures a glimpse of pre WWII Hawaiiana with its art deco and old Hawaii architecture. Shop at many of the interesting boutiques and antique stores, plus a wide variety of ethnic restaurants and a fabulous farmers market are also yours to enjoy.

Coconut Island

also known as the Healing Island and is a favorite of locals for fishing, swimming, or picnicking and its shallow sandy pools make it an ideal place for families. Besides Hilo’s beautiful sandy beaches, a must for the traveler is Rainbow Falls, a spectacular waterfall just outside the town.

Pacific Tsunami Museum

and learn about the remarkable power of tidal waves and a glimpse into early Hawaii history. Tour the Lyman House, an 1800’s mission-house affiliated with the Smithsonian. Here you can learn about the natural history and culture of Hawaii. The museums collections feature works of 19th and early 20th century artists, an interactive astronomy center, and the Shipman Collection of rare Chinese art and artifacts.

Banyan Drive

the road itself is lined with huge banyan trees, many of which were originally planted by such famous visitors as Amelia Earhart, King George V, Babe Ruth and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Hula School: HAWAI`I – Pahoa – email: Ku`uleialoha French

Keko`olani Hula Halau

Hilo is also a port for many majestic cruise lines including Holland America, Celebrity, Carnival and Caribbean Cruises.


Hilo has a quaint feeling, it is actually the second biggest city in the state behind Honolulu and is home to many metropolitan venues including shopping centers, movie theatres, museums, state of the art Hilo Medical Center, the University of Hawaii-Hilo and the Hilo International Airport. Several beautiful parks, such as Lili’uokalani and Wailoa Park can introduce you to exotic flowers and vegetation. In March of 2006, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, one of the world’s leading astronomy centers and planetariums opened. It expands and deepens the visitor’s understanding of Hawaii cultural traditions and modern astronomy.

Akaka Falls State Park

A short 25 minutes away is the amazing Akaka Falls State Park. This is the waterfall that you almost always see in Hawaiian travel photos and movies. This 442 foot tall waterfall offers a glimpse into the wonders that Hawaii has to offer. On your short walk to the falls (about ¼ mile) you will enjoy the fragrance of tropical jungle flowers. You will see a large variety of palm trees, banyan trees, banana trees, bamboo groves, and gigantic impatiens.


Play a round of championship golf at Pele’s Course at the Volcano Golf and Country Club situated on the rim of the active Kilauea volcanic crater amidst the backdrop of 13,000 ft Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, snow-capped in winter. This public course is 18 holes, par 72, and has a total of 6,547 yards of playing area. The visitor regular rate is $63.50, including a cart fee. Twlight rate (after 12 noon) is $51.00, including a cart fee. Rental clubs are $20.00 for 18 holes and $11.00 for 9 holes.

Old Town Pahoa

Quaint old town Pahoa. This Hawaiian village has an alternative flair and started out in the late 1800’s as a lumber town making koa and ohia railroad ties and later became a sugar town. Around 1960 Pahoa was named the anthurium and papaya capital of the world. This historic town boasts several excellent restaurants, shops and galleries and even an open market on weekend mornings.


A short 15 minute drive away you will find the remains of Kalapana—an entire fishing village that was covered in lava in 1990. This lava flow also covered a famous black sand beach. However, after many years a new beach is being formed and one can walk over long stretches of dried lava to see some sights that are truly spectacular. So unusual is this landscape, that Hollywood studios have used this backdrop for many movies to depict other planets. Most notably, Tim Burton’s 2001 remake of “Planet of the Apes” and Kevin Costner’s 1995 epic “Waterworld”. Where the road ends and meets the lava you will find a well known local drive-in, Verna’s, specializing in tasty island food. Often times in this area you will find local vendors displaying and selling amazing photographs of current and past lava flows. A well known “Old Hawaiian” luau is something not to be missed in this area as well.

Mackenzie State Park

Enjoy views of the steep coastline from this scenic park forested by iron wood trees. Catch a glimpse of the old King’s Highway, a horse road built by convict labor under King Kamehameha III in 1840. This park is also a favorite place for fisherman casting off the cliffs and is only a few miles away from our home.


If you are a star-gazer you will not want to miss a visit to the Big Island’s tallest volcano, Mauna Kea (which means “white mountain” in Hawaiian). The 4,200 meter high summit houses the world’s largest observatory for optical, infrared, and submillimeter astronomy. Believe it or not, winter skiing is done on the north slope into the “Poi Bowl”, which is the depression area around all the observatories. A sunrise is quite a sight here as the sun rises from the ocean far below and the volcano casts a shadow some fifty miles out to sea.

Swim with Dolphins

Captive dolphins only look happy. And please mainain your distance from wild dolphins…they may come to you.

Southernmost Point of the USA and Green Sands Beach

Within an hour you can visit the southernmost point of all the 50 states. This spectacular point was formed by five separate volcanoes: Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. While down at Southpoint make sure and visit Green Sands Beach- this unusual beach is an anomaly with crystals of olivine and a fascinating place to visit and take a swim. Explore the nearby Punalu’u black sand beach where you will encounter at times, up to hundreds of nesting sea turtles! Also make sure and take a guided tour of Kula Kai Caverns, a spectacular tour inside 1000 year old lava tubes. Situated on the Southwest rift, the caverns consist of several miles of braided lava tube systems. As a special tasty bonus while visiting the area make sure and treat yourself to some Hawaiian Sweetbread at the Punalu’u Bake Shop—the southernmost bakery in the U.S.

Puna Geothermal

The Lighthouse

Olypic Pool 

Lava Trees

Painted Church 

World Class Skate Park

Pahoa Museum

Hiking and Biking Trails

100 Things to do in The Puna District.

Thanks to Coconut Cottage Hawaii for some of our content.

Only in Pahoa, Puna, Hawaii.  96778

4 Responses

  1. Is Pahoa Village designated “historical” by the State?

  2. Which of the beaches in the area would be safe for a young family to swim with little danger? Coral cuts can be serious!

  3. Loved the road tour of Pahoa with Jack Johnson playing in the background. Brought back memories of my time there in the early 1970s.

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