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About Big Island

For the most part, living on the Big Island has its wonders. A lot of them are more outdoor type of activities but all in all, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an abundance of untouched natural beauty wherever you plan on living on the island. Your lifestyle here will slow down more as compared to being on Oahu. If you’re ready to settle down a bit, the Big Island is calling your name.

COMMUTING

Commuting on the Big Island is best with a car or truck. This will allow you to explore majority of the island. As for traffic on the island, you could experience some traffic on one of many two-way traffic roads most commonly in the morning and “pauhana” time which around 4pm-7pm. One unique thing about the Big Island is that if the main road to a certain location is running slow, you could make a detour and take the “backroads” instead. With a lot land on the Big Island, these roads are created to give drivers options when it come to getting to their desired location. For those who want to save money on gas, there is a bus system called the “Hele-on” that runs throughout the entire island.

WEATHER

When living on the Big Island, you’ll find that the environment is slightly different everywhere you go. As you go higher in elevation, expect cooler temperatures. As for the leeward side, do expect drier weather and as for the windward side, a lot of wet weather.

Just like the island of Maui, there are parts of the Big Island (Kona side for example) that can be extremely hot. This may usually cause wildfires in the area.

With the Big Island and its active volcanoes, vog can be an issue for many Big Island residents and those across the state. Vog is usually caused by volcanic emissions which contain sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases.

If you plan on living in the highlands or on the east side of the Big Island, you might want to consider getting yourself some extra umbrellas. These areas tend to rain a lot.

Although it hasn’t occurred for decades now, the Big Island is still an area that can severely be affected by tropical storms, hurricanes and even tsunamis. Many locals are always taking precaution in case of any natural disaster.

ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS

One of the exciting things about living on the Big Island is that your playground expands from the beach to basically one of the highest points in the world. Here, you can save some money on fresh produce by checking out the farmer’s markets held weekly. You could even travel from town to town to check out local boutiques and art galleries. The Big Island offers a wide range of outdoor activities which are great to checkout throughout the year.

When it comes to events on the island, there is one which you can’t experience anywhere else on the planet. That event is the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, also known as the “Olympics” of hula. Instead of watching it on television, you’ll just be minutes away from the actual event.

Other events that occur on the island include county fairs, the KWXX Ho’olaulea (a music festival showcasing many local musicians) and the Ironman Triathlon.

NEIGHBORHOODS

Neighborhoods on the Big Island are divided up into 7 main regions. Those include Hamakua Coast, Hilo, Kau, Kona, Kohala, North Kohala and Puna.

Hilo

On the eastern side of the Big Island, you’ll be in the Hilo area. Here, you’ll find an abundance of beautiful waterfalls and rainforest.

The historic town of Hilo offers views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa from afar. This hip town provides a variety of shopping, restaurants and fun in the sun with many beaches in the area. The area of Hilo is a wonderful place to find everything you need. Whether it’s shopping for household goods, visiting a variety of restaurants, or catching a movie, Hilo town has it all.

Hamakua Coast

On this side of the island you’ll discover towns such as Paauilo, Honokaa, Kukuihaele, Laupahoehoe, Ninole, Waipio and Ahuloa. You’ll find yourself surrounded by lush green rainforests with a few shops and restaurants in the area.

Kau

As the Big Island’s southernmost region, you’ll find small towns such as Maalehu and Pahala. This quiet town is a lot slower than other parts of the island, but it also offers a more peaceful community to live in.

Kona

On the western side of the Big Island, you’ll be in the Kona region. Here you’ll be surrounded by coffee farms and a lot of historical landmarks that have been well preserved. Although this area is considered the hotter part of the island, there is a lot of activity you can enjoy. Those include shopping, visiting restaurants and bars, snorkeling as well as visiting a coffee farm.

South Kohala

The neighborhood of Kohala is located on the northwestern side of the island. Here, you’ll find a lot of the hotels and resorts. This area is booming with tourism. If you plan on finding a job in the hospitality industry, living in this area could be convenient.

Some of the neighborhoods you’ll find here include Waikoloa Village, Hualalai, Puako, as well as Mauna Lani.

North Kohala

On the northernmost part of the Big Island, you’ll find yourself in North Kohala. Here, you’ll be living in an area with 2 main towns, Kapau and Hawi. With about 2,000 residents in this area, North Kohala is one of the smaller areas on the island.

You can discover the world-famous Ironman Triathlon happening every year. In addition to that, there are a variety of art galleries, shops and popular restaurants in the area.

Puna

Another area you’ll find on the eastern side of the Big Island is Puna. This unique side of the island offers black sand beaches, views of Kilauea volcano and a variety of small and charming towns. Some neighborhoods you’ll find on the Puna side of the island include Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Keaau, Kurtistown and the town of Volcano.

In Puna, you’ll discover many small shops, farmers markets, as well as a variety of farms which includes papaya. Like a lot of the towns on the Big Island, there isn’t much commercial development happening. It’s primarily local businesses in the area.

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