Ready to relax? To play? We suggest a little of both. Sure, you can spend the entire trip testing your legs on spectacular rides amid some of the world's most incredible scenery. Even pedal two centuries this week if you like. Prefer swimming, snorkeling, beach basking and mai tai sipping? But of course! Whatever you choose, the Big Island awaits.
1 Circumnavigate the Big Island on your bike, starting amid rain forests, Kona coffee plantations and scenic beaches Tempting after a morning ride, the pristine waters of Kealakekua Bay are home to an underwater state park and ideal for spotting spinner dolphins Fantastic ocean views highlight the route to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, an impressive archaeological site known as the Place of Refuge.
2-3 Explore Volcano Village and Kilauea Iki Crater with a local guide Descend along the Kau Coast, passing the southernmost point of the United States Gear down for a 4,000-foot climb past black-sand Punaluu Beach, where green turtles lounge, and up through lava fields to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hilina Pali Overlook dazzles with sweeping vistas of the Pacific and the Kau Desert Watch for colorful birds, such as the iiwi, with its red body and salmon-colored bill.
4 En route to Hilo, gravity does the work to bring you to the island's wet side, with its verdant hills, rugged cliffs and lava-rock beaches Grassy highlands and sprawling cattle ranches? You're not in Scotland—you're pedaling in the Big Island's paniolo (cowboy) country Feast on Pacific Rim cuisine, fresh fish and tropical fruit.
5-6 Bike 30 miles of the Kona Ironman Triathlon's cycling course Relish sumptuous meals after the challenging rides along the Kohala Coast and through the atmospheric small communities of Puako and Hawi Return through fields of black lava to quiet Pauoa Bay.