The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest of the eight major islands that make up the state of Hawaii. The state counts a total of 137 islands including Midway which isn't technically part of the state. Only seven of the eight major islands are populated.
There are approximately 20 of the world's 26 climatic zones found on the Big Island. You can go from desert to savannah to subtropical to tropical rainforest in no time at all. On all of our visits to Hawaii we have been impressed by the non-commercial nature of the Big Island. On our last visit we still found roadside fruit and vegetable stands that were completely unattended, leaving to the honor system the exchange of cash for produce. It had a neighborhood atmosphere that was appealing to us and made us feel right at home unlike Oahu which had much more of a cosmopolitan feel.
Our first visit to the Big Island was December of 1999. Our son John had gone in September to work as an intern there and we kept promising him that we would be coming out to see Hawaii while he was there. Unfortunately, our visit was to try to find him, not to visit him. In that process of searching for him we grew to love the Big Island and its inhabitants.
We've had the privilege of returning to the Big Island twice since then and each time has been special. On one of those occasions we had the opportunity to take a spin around Oahu as well.
Have you ever visited the Big Island? What did you like best about it?