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Featured Destination

Albuquerque, NM

Among many other things, the American Southwest is famous for its adventure, its spirit of fun, and its beautiful scenery. Nowhere do all these things come together like on a family vacation in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

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Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii is larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined, making it the ultimate travel destination for families in search for a memorable retreat to paradise. Once settled into your family friendly accommodations and you’ve grown accustomed to the beauty and splendor that surrounds you, your family can explore the variety of ecological zones that Big Island possesses and the family adventures that each offers. Families may be surprised by how much there is to learn, while still having an incredible amount of fun. There are plenty of family deals to be found on the Big Island, so why not escape the chilly weather and plan a warm family vacation this winter on beautiful Big Island Hawaii.

Big Island Geology

The Big Island is the youngest island of the Hawaiian archipelago and although it is the largest of the islands, it is still increasing in size due to volcanic activity. Big Island is the result of five separate volcanic shields erupting over time. Today of the five volcanoes, three are active, one is dormant and one is extinct. For more than two decades, Kilauea, Big Island’s most active volcano has been erupting beneath the ocean floor sending steam plumes billowing high into the sky. At night, the steam takes on an orange glow as the red hot molten lava spews. Mauna Kea, Big Island’s extinct volcano, is actually the tallest mountain in the entire world. When measured from its base at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to its highest peak, it stands taller than Mount Everest. All of this volcanic activity has resulted in some fascinating features that families will marvel at, such as a stark field of lava that reminds family travelers of a lunar landscape or a black sand beach that will burn your feet on a gorgeous sunny day. The Big Island’s miles of remote coastline with caves, cliffs and secluded crescent shaped beaches are a great place to spend quality family time and truly relax.

Big Island History

The Big Island is home of Pele, The Goddess of the Volcano, and believed to be the island where Polynesian voyagers in outrigger canoes made landfall in Hawaii. Captain James Cook was the first European to reach the Big Island in the year 1779. His initial visit with the natives was friendly; however upon his return several weeks later, a misunderstanding resulted in his tragic death. A large white stone monument erected in 1874, marking the spot of his death on Kealakekua Bay. Families may consider kayaking to this Big Island attraction which is only accessible by water or a steep climb on a trail. As more Europeans found their way to Big Island, missionaries, whalers and traders followed. Sugarcane became the backbone of the economy, yet it was realized that the Big Island’s west coast had ideal conditions for growing outstanding, fresh coffee. Cows were brought to the Big Island by Captain George Vancouver in 1793. The five sickly animals were freed to roam the island and it wasn’t long before the maverick cows were thriving and multiplying, establishing Big Island cattle ranching. The Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown by American business interests in 1893. In the year 1898, the islands were annexed and became a territory of the United States in 1900. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 lead to the establishment of military bases of which there are now three on Big Island. In 1950, statehood was granted to the Hawaiian Islands. Although tourism is what brought your family to Big Island, the diversified agricultural and astronomy industries of the Big Island are fascinating aspects of the economy as well. The Big Island is a prime example of multiculturalism at its best, as its population is descended from Native Hawaiians, the original plantation workers and recent immigrant arrivals from Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Big Island Attractions

A must see on your family vacation to Big Island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Not only is it a designated International Biosphere Reserve, it is also Hawaii’s one and only World Heritage Site. During your family visit, you will see the two mile diameter Kilauea crater and its steam vents, the Thurston lava tube, and the fresh lava flow covering the highway as it flows into the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The Jaggar Museum is the best place to start your family tour of the park as it is here you will learn about the past and present volcanic activity. A visit to the Mauna Kea Observatories takes your family to the 14,000 foot summit of an extinct volcano where snow may fall in winter. If your family plans to make this trip alone, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is advised as the road can be extremely treacherous. The Kula Kai Caverns provide adventurous families with a spectacular experience inside 1000 year old lava tubes. The visual marvels as well as the critters that have adapted to life in this environment will surely leave a lasting impression. The Akaka Falls State Park provides the family of hikers with the opportunity to view two gorgeous waterfalls while hiking through a lush rainforest filled with wild orchids, ferns and bamboo groves. It’s a great way to get some exercise and terrific photos of the plummeting waterfalls and nature’s bounty. The best place to learn about Hawaiian heritage is at the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. The National Park Service has restored the site to resemble the way it appeared in the 1700’s. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the social structure of the time and view many native plants and animals. Plan to spend plenty of time as there is much to see within the fascinating park. It’s also a wonderful place for an enjoyable family picnic. A visit to the coffee farms in the highlands above Kona will educate you about how this famous coffee is grown and you can sample the various grades as well as purchase beans to take home.

A family visit to the Big Island would be incomplete without some time spent at Big Island’s beautiful beaches. Two well-know black sand beaches are Kehena Beach and Punalu’u Beach. At South Point, view the unique green sand beach produced by the green mineral olivine which has been deposited by the eroded cinder cone of the volcano. For the family insearch of active water pursuits, body boarding and bodysurfing are best on the Kona side at Hapuna or White Sands Beaches or Kekaha Kai State Park. A submarine dive 100 feet below the surface offers your family the chance to get up close to sharks and eels along a 25 acre reef. Guided bike tours provide your family the opportunity to take in some breathtaking views while keeping physically fit. Whale watching is a great family activity if you make a winter escape to the gorgeous Big Island. There are countless ways to have fun on the Big Island, so plan carefully in effort to make the absolute most of you time together as a family. Your kind Big Island host would be more than happy to assist you with your planning, guiding you to the finest attractions and activities.

Big Island Dining

It’s easy for your family to work up an appetite while embarking on Big Island adventures. What’s best about Big Island food is the plethora of fresh and locally grown vegetables, fruits, herbs and meats that the family can enjoy. Cuisines from around the world have found their way to the Big Island, especially those from Asia and the Pacific. However, Big Island Hawaii’s regional cuisine will also tempt your palette. Try some local style comfort food served from a lunch wagon for a meal on the go or make reservations at an ocean side restaurant with a fabulous view. You’ll find flavors, décor, prices and scenery to satisfy every need.

The Big Island is a place of beauty, charm and adventure that is waiting to be explored by curious families. There are always great Big Island family deals available, accommodating families traveling on a budget. The whole family will be talking about their Big Island vacation for years to come. Make your Big Island family retreat a once in a lifetime experience at


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Featured Property

The Inn at Starlight Lake
Starlight, PA

Surrounded by rolling hills, wood and lakes, the Inn is a perfect country retreat. Enjoy recreation from swimming to skiing, romantic rooms, excellent food & spirits and congenial atmosphere.

The Inn at Starlight Lake

Contact Information

289 Starlight Lake Road
Starlight, Pennsylvania  18461
Toll Free Reservations:
Fax: 570-798-2672
General Manager:
Sari & Jimmy Schwartz
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