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Sides of the Big Island



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.

Click here to learn more about the Sunny Kohala Coast!


While the Kohala Coast is the most popular place for tourists to stay while visiting the island there are excellent day trips that can be taken to the east side, within a 1-2 hour drive, so you can still experience the diversity of the island during your 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.