Rainy Day Activities on the Big Island

Let the rain come down, but don’t let it wash away the fun and excitement. While the Big Island is full of outdoor activities such as; lush waterfalls, forests, and beaches — that’s not all you can enjoy while on the island. If you had a full day planned and the rain has gone out of its way to ruin it, there are still plenty of ways to make up for it.

Rainy days on the Big Island are some of our favorites. With so much to do, we find it hard to complain when it rains.

Here are some activities to enjoy when it’s raining on the Big Island of Hawaii:

Enjoy a Spa Day

Who says you can only relax on the beach in Hawaii? Pamper yourself fully at a spa while you’re vacationing on the island. Lighthouse Spa offers services like hot stone massages and facial renewals, leaving you feeling free and rejuvenated within each visit. The Kohala Spa includes services like a volcanic body ritual or reflexology. Once you decide on a spa, let your body soak in the relaxation and wash away the stress — you never knew a little rain was all you needed to let yourself truly relax.

Shop Til You Can’t Anymore

What vacation is complete without a shopping trip? So many shopping plazas, so little time. The Big Island definitely boasts more than a few shopping centers that deserve their recognition, and you must visit them while the weather is keeping you from other outdoor activities. Queen’s Marketplace is a resort-style mall filled with some mainstream shops such as Claire’s and Lids, combined with some lesser-known shops like Cariloha and Da Big Bags Hawaii.

If Queen’s Marketplace isn’t your style, the Kona Inn Shopping Village is a quaint shopping village supporting the local, small business of the island. Run by this local shopping village and get some Hawaiian jewelry and decor. Another mall on the Big Island that does a great job of celebrating small businesses and minority owned businesses is the Keauhou Shopping Center. You can enjoy stores like Kona Stories and get used books, or you can grab a bite at Kenichi Pacific. Any of these malls are easily worth a whole day of your time.

Dine-in at a Hot Restaurant

Get your eats on at one of the many delicious restaurants located on the Big Island. Of course, you can visit these establishments at any time (and when the weather is better, you can definitely eat outside), but let’s focus on those dine-in experiences you’ll keep coming back to. A popular restaurant, Merriman’s Big Island has some incredible cocktails and island eats. You won’t be able to pass up on this restaurant, it’s a local favorite and tourist favorite alike. In the mood for some Hawaiian Barbecue? L&L Hawaiian Barbecue has Kalua Pork and Beef Bowl menu items that will have you in food coma bliss. After you eat at any establishment, be sure to check out the Kona Brewing Company on the Big Island.

Spending time at a brewery is definitely a great way to entertain the afternoon away while the weather is mediocre.

Admire the Art of the Island

There are many ways to appreciate the culture of the Big Island, and art is near the top of that list. On Kalakaua Street, visit the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art to admire all of the local art that the island has to offer. This art museum focuses generally more so on temporary art exhibits and showcases the local talent only. Interested in a little something different? If you’re already in the area of Queen’s Marketplace, Genesis Galleries has an array of favorites within its collection. Think Hawaii aesthetic – but an owner’s collection is also included.

Head to a Museum

Museums are another exciting way to get to know the history and heritage of Hawaii and its culture. Browse through manuscripts and photographs to get a sense of the Big Island’s upbringing and past. There are also many programs within this museum, as well, so don’t be afraid to enjoy storytelling or two. The Lyman Museum is another great museum for learning about the heritage of the island. Witness different special exhibits full of stories and pictures, learn about the Lyman Mission House and take in the collection of earth heritage.

When neither of these will do and you’re looking for something a little different, there are even more museums to choose from. Try the Hawaii Plantation Museum and see all of the artifacts of the old plantations on the island. Visit the small vanilla farm, The Vanillerie, and learn about the process of vanilla. Are you an astrology lover? There’s the Imiloa Astronomy Center. All of these museums and centers are the sweetest escape from rain that you could hope for, and there’s plenty to keep you occupied all week if it keeps raining down.

Get Lost in Marine Life

Let’s talk marine life. We know that you were wanting to get out into the water to witness the abundance of marine life in Hawaii, but unfortunately, the rain has gotten in the way of those plans. So, what else is there to do? First, the Atlantis Submarines Kona is a wonderful start if you still want to get into the depths of the water without getting wet. Be wary, however, that if conditions are too bad you won’t be able to see much of the sea life and it could be dangerous. So, if this won’t do, try out these other farms to indulge yourself. The Kanaloa Octopus Farm offers tours that some would describe as “the experience of a lifetime.”

Could you imagine seeing a live feed while looking at these beautiful creatures? It is a one-of-a-kind experience you wouldn’t have necessarily known about until the rainy day came in and tried to ruin your sea adventure. Another farm that is equally as unique is the Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm. “Hold a seahorse today” is stamped all over their website along with videos and testimonials of the grandest experience in Hawaii.

Visit Hulihee Palace

A museum that deserves its own spot on this list, the Hulihee Palace. This is the spot where royals came to relax and “unwind” back in the day. Take a tour of this palace and you’ll learn a little bit about Hawaii’s royal past, as well as soak up the radiance and elegance of a true Hawaiian palace.

Speaking of palaces, Kozy’s Tiki Palace isn’t necessarily a palace, but a wonderful comedy club that deserves your full attention. A wonderful, indoor experience — fill your night with laughter and stay away from the rain at this hot spot.

So many options, so little time. Never worry about the rain ruining your vacation while you’re on the Big Island. As it goes, you may not be able to enjoy the outdoor activities like you would have liked, but you can enjoy other delightful pleasures of the island and still have the time of your life.