Many travelers from the United States mainland tend to rise earlier while on vacation in Hawaii due to the time difference. What better than taking that opportunity to watch – or photograph – a famous Hawaiian sunrise? Jump-start your day on the Big Island by making your way to any of these four spots to witness a stellar sunrise.

#1. Pololu Valley Lookout

Image by: Floyd Stewart/Flickr

Image by: Floyd Stewart/Flickr

Located in the flourishing green pastures of North Kohala at the end of Highway 270, Pololu Valley is simply awe-inspiring, especially at sunrise. It has been said that this is one of the most spectacular panoramic views on the Big Island. I mean, check out the stunning clouds, and fiery orange sun in this photograph by Floyd Stewart.


#2. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Image by: Pradeep Sawlani/Flickr

Image by: Pradeep Sawlani/Flickr

Choose a spot near Halemaumau Crater and watch the sun make its morning debut over one of the world’s most active volcanoes as the native iilwi birds rise to greet the new day. The glow of the frothing lava makes for a mystic, primordial experience – and an absolutely breathtaking photograph, like this one taken by Pradeep Sawlani.


#3. Waipio Valley

Image by: Anish Patel/Flickr

Image by: Anish Patel/Flickr

View the sunrise near the two thousand foot cliffs of the Waipio Valley, once the boyhood home of King Kamehameha. This photo taken by Anish Patel from the valley’s black sand beach is stunning, though I’ve heard that the view from the Waipio Overlook is downright regal.


#4. Hilo Bay

Image by: Dennis Crabtree/Flickr

Image by: Dennis Crabtree/Flickr

A sunrise over Hilo Bay welcomes the dawn of a new day with brilliant hues of purple, pink and blue. This particular photograph, by Dennis Crabtree, was taken at Mokaoku, near the Banyan Golf Course and the Liliuokalani Gardens, though there are many locations throughout Hilo Bay that will provide you with excellent sunrise views.


Tell us, which of these Big Island spots is your favorite for catching a sunrise?

Megan Shute
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Megan Shute is a freelance journalist and editor currently residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. Since moving to Hawaii from Minnesota, she has become obsessed with hiking, beach trips, and Hawaiian sunsets.