Hawaii the Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook
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Hawaii the Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  533 ratings  ·  75 reviews
This fourth edition is the most comprehensive yet easy to use guidebook ever written for the Big Island. Andrew Doughty unlocks the secrets of an island so big and divers that many visitors never realize all that it has to offer.
Paperback, 308 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Wizard Publications (first published November 1st 1996)
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This is the first time I decided to not use a Lonely Planet guide book for my trip. This book has raving reviews and it is written by someone living on the Big Island so my guess was this would be the best guide book available.

And, in a way, it probably is. Every aspect of the island is discussed. Often with great humor and useful tips. The sometimes brutal honesty of the writer makes it clear that it isn't just trying to "sell" the island but tries to give actual useful information.

My major iss...more
So far we have not only gained excellent knowledge of history on the island and have found some awesome beaches. Maps are way more accurate then the one we bought. Shows when you need 4 wheel drive. Important!

Now that I am finished with it I would say overall it was helpful. However some maps were inacurate and the restaurant reviews were bad.
example: We went to an ONO rated fish place called Jackie Rey's Ohana grill. Fish was really good but I wanted the whole serving for the price we payed. ar...more
I can’t help but like a guidebook that makes me laugh. It is chockfull of insider tips and thorough in its coverage with candid commentary. Author, Andrew Doughty, has been criticized by locals for putting places into the book that should have remained private, who may shoot first and ask questions later of tourists ignoring posted trespassing signs. However, as an independent traveler, I really enjoyed and appreciate his willingness to take me to places a bit off the beaten path. However, havin...more
Sue Hurt Wait
According to everybody, including the authors of this book, Hawaii the Big Island Revealed really is the ultimate guidebook. I did enjoy the easy-going attitude of the writing and the extremely frank opinions shared, but after reading the whole book from cover to cover, I think it should be retitled "Hawaii Boot Camp for Jocks, Daredevils, and Twenty-somethings" because even just reading it was physically exhausting. Every other entry was "climb this, jump off that, hike uphill for an hour to se...more
This is the kind of guide book your best friend would write - with her honest opinion (don't go here, it's not worth your time; don't miss this, you'll regret it), a lot of humour, and interesting tidbits of history all thrown together. Without this book we would have missed so many of the little unmarked treasures like Kiholo Beach, with it's sunbathing turtles and Queen's Bath, or Pawai Bay with it's wonderful snorkeling, or the lava pool beside the ocean in Puna which was completely wild and...more
I've read several books for our upcoming trip to Hawaii, and this one was definitely more in-depth and useful. There is excellent web content as well. The other books discuss all of the islands, so if you are only visiting one, then only a small portion of those books applies. This one is for only the big island, so it goes into much greater depth and provides very useful information, like the cheapest places to rent snorkel equipment, restaurant recommendations for each area, etc.
Matt Silva
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Ingram
This book was so useful on our trip to the big island. It became sort of our travel bible. The information was accurate and useful.
This is the best guidebook on the Big Island, hands-down, and the one that pretty much everyone visiting the island seems to be following, even when they're going off the beaten path. Check out this book for a really good, still somewhat secret hike out to the backside of the erupting Pu'u'o'o vent, and thorough information on hiking and camping in the lesser populated areas. Lots of good color photos and maps too. The only drawback is that I didn't really understand the order the book "traveled...more
This is a super useful and easy-to-read book in terms of figuring out what there is on the Big Island, but I totally messed up and got a 7-year-old edition. I may need to get a newer one because I'm not confident this info is still valid. After all, there are VOLCANOES EXPLODING on the island, which can modify tourism pretty significantly. Anyway, it's a good read, written by people who live in Hawaii, and has a bunch of less-touristy touristy stuff to do in it (locations of lava tubes that aren...more
Betsy Whitmer
Primo guide book to the largest of the Hawaiian islands, Hawai'i.
This was fabulous! I figured I would use it for a reference, but ended up reading it through - tons of information and highlights for a Big Island trip. I did a number of the hikes and appreciated the recommendations for places to stop or points of interest along a drive. Found myself laughing outright at parts (I'm sure the people on the plane thought I was nuts).

It made my trip so much better, and I ran into a number of other vacationers who also thought it was a fantastic must-have!
Sep 06, 2008 Perry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is traveling to hawaii
Recommended to Perry by: friends who own a condo in hawaii
If you plan on traveling to hawaii, this book is a must. There is one for all the islands and the information is fantastic. I have recommended it to most of my friends and they all say it is the best travel book for Hawaii. This one focuses on the big island. Of course, I didn't agree with everything they recommended but almost everything was dead on. The book is very well written and is easy to read. There are wonderful maps and tips for beaches and snorkeling are great.

So I re-read the second edition to prepare for my trip (14 working days to go!).

It was like traveling back in time, because I think it was written shortly before I moved there.

Needless to say, if I could read a travel book like this for all places I ever visit, I would be a happy girl.

Only critique is that the photos could be of higher quality... but that's a publisher/printer issue, rather than the writing. Three cheers for this book.
The Hawaii Revealed series of books is definitely a must-read for anyone going to Hawaii. Lots of great, detailed information on tourist attractions, hikes, beaches, etc. My only critiques are:

1. I don't like the way the maps are laid out
2. Because most of the activities, beaches, etc. are separated from the rest of the book it can be annoying to try to find beaches and activities when you're in a particular area of Hawaii.
An honest, informal review of the Big Island. I used it extensively to plan our honeymoon, most of which was on this island. It is written by locals and is dead on. This book lists a lot of hidden hikes, beaches and the like that were great. In particular, the $10 lava cave tour was fanstastic and none of the locals had even heard of it. HIGHLY reccomended if you're going to Hawaii (the Oahu book was great, too)
If you go to any island in Hawaii, make sure you take the guide book written by these authors.

Packed full of helpful touristy information, directions, etc., this book is a real gem because it's also got all the history, science, and culture in it, too. The author is very honest in his reviews, and has a terrific sense of humor. It was a great help, but it was also FUN to read.

This really is the ULTIMATE Guidebook.
Karl Lehtinen
Why doesn't any one put travel books on their list?

OK, I haven't actually looked at anyone else's list yet - but I would imagine they don't.

This book was great for traveling to the Big Island. Tons of honesty - the least likely element in most travel books.

If you are going to the Big Island and don't know anyone that lives there, this is what you need to take.
Getting ready for Hawaii in just a little over a week! Hey, my friends who live on the Big Island said this is the quintessential book for any visitor to the Big Island. The author actually lives on the island and he peppers his reviews with some tongue-in-cheek comments throughout the book. This book will definitely be in our backpack as we explore the island.
Louise Jewell
I found this book very helpful for our trip to The Big Island. All the restaurants we went to that were recommended by the book were wonderful! It was really nice to have restaurant suggestions in an unfamiliar place. We also loved the recommended kayak tour of the Captain Cook Monument. We had a great trip thanks to advice from this guide book.
This guide book is actually a fun read, not just a list of facts. The author has a great sense of humor and the information is organized in a logical way. I just wish they'd do something about the cheesy graphic design. I have yet to test out the info in this book, but after my trip to the Big Island, I will revisit this review.
Nelson Minar
Excellent guidebook. Full of detail and humor and good information. It's an unusual guide, written by a real local and not some giant company like Fodor or Frommer. But it's also totally professional and complete. Definitely recommend for any visit to the Big Island, and I imagine their other Hawai'ian guides are just as good.
USE THIS. I didn't quite get to first-name status with this one like I did with Rick (and thanks again, Rick Steves, for coming to Spain with me) - it could have used more recommendations on trail difficulty, and a few of the food recs I would not have rated as high - but a friendly, servicable, insider book.
Val Sanford
If you're headed to the Big Island, this is a must. Their local knowledge will have you turning into some seemingly dead-end roads only to find amazing waterfalls and must-see beaches. We used this book on our first trip to Hawaii and we'll be using it again in next month when we head back to the Big Island.

I loved Oahu Revealed so much that I thought having the guides to the other islands would be essential! I'm studying up on the islands to choose the next one we'll visit (hopefully in 2010 sometime) and like the guide to Oahu, this one on The Big Island is fantastic, informative and really fun to read!
The best guidebook out there on the Big Island. Blows away anything else. Written by a local who seems to know the island like the back of his hand. Amazing and ACCURATE details. Cool places and things that a Lonely Planet writer would never know how to find.

A steal for 19 bucks. Pick it up.
Beth Holland
You better believe I'm adding this to my read books! Have their Kauai book as well and just love their books! Full of lots of hole in the wall places to eat, see, etc. If you are going to anyone of the Hawaiian Islands definitely pick up their book on that island!
This book was super helpful but, as with any guide book, some stuff was already out of date despite the recent publication. I found myself using the app way more frequently, which is less expensive and significantly more handy. Still, great tone, highly useful.
Led me to some sparkling super black (not gray) sand beach where I was almost smothered by sea turtles. Plus this beach had a six inch layer of freezing cold fresh water on the top (from natural springs), with balmy warm ocean water below. Surreal!
I did not read it cover to cover but it is one that I will keep going back to it for a fix and a good laugh :)
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