Gay Vacations in Big Island, Hawaii

Luau at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Big Island, Hawaii
Luau at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Big Island (courtesy, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)

The largest island in the Hawaiian chain is appropriately referred to as the "Big Island," and for good reason: It's nearly the size of Connecticut and has over ten microclimates, from dripping rainforest to snow-capped volcanoes. It's also home to the largest mountain mass in the world, Mauna Kea, measured at over 31,000 feet from its base 18,000 feet underwater. No wonder eco-tourists and adventurers the world over come to be immersed in the overwhelming beauty and diversity of this burgeoning Pacific landmass.

So much of the state's ancient history is linked to the Big Island, it's home to some of the largest and best preserved heiau (Hawaiian temples) and petroglyph fields in Hawaii. In arid and rural South Kona, the Puuhonua O Honaunau (Place of Refuge) is a sacred site full of Hawaiian temples-this is also where the famous Kona coffee is grown and roasted. The Puna area south of the old sugar town of Hilo is as organic as the state gets: it sports black sand beaches, steam vents, and rich foliage. The volcano goddess Pele traditionally resides on this eastern side of the island. You can fly, by helicopter or airplane, over her turbulent furnace in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Urban Honolulu it is not: The Big Island is full of small towns and villages dominated by the majestic scenery surrounding them. The LGBT scene here can be a little hard for tourists to find at first. The boomtown of Kailua-Kona is home to the only true gay bar outside of Honolulu. Resident gay men and especially lesbians can also be found in droves in funky Puna, home to a number of gay B&Bs and down-home but well-attended public parties. But no matter where you go, the aloha "hang loose" spirit of Hawaii is sure to welcome you regardless of sexual orientation.

Published: 3 Feb 2009 | Last Updated: 29 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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