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Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook Paperback – April 20, 2011

361 customer reviews

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The finest guidebook ever written for the Big Island. Now you can plan your best vacation--ever. This all new sixth edition is a candid, humorous guide to everything there is to see and do on the Big Island. Best-selling author and longtime Hawai'i resident, Andrew Doughty, unlocks the secrets of an island so vast and diverse that many visitors never realize all that it has to offer. Explore with him as he reveals breathtaking trails, secluded beaches, pristine reefs, delicious places to dine, relaxing resorts, an active volcano and so much more. Every restaurant, activity provider, business and resort is reviewed personally and anonymously. This book and a rental car are all you need to discover what makes the Big Island so exciting.

• The most up-to-date and accurate information available anyplace with up-to-the-minute changes posted to our website

• Frank, brutally honest reviews of restaurants, hotels and activities show you which companies really are the best…and which to avoid--no advertisements

• Driving tours let you structure your trip your way, point out sights not to be missed along the way and are complemented by 120 spectacular color photographs

• 38 specially-created maps in an easy-to-follow format with mile markers--so you'll always know where you are on the island

• Clear, concise directions to those hard-to-find places such as deserted black sand beaches, tropical rain forests, hidden waterfalls, the most dramatic part of the erupting volcano, freshwater lava pools (some volcanically heated) and scores of other hidden gems listed nowhere else

• 28 pages on Big Island's beaches with detailed descriptions including ocean safety

• Over 65 pages of exciting adventures and activities

• Fascinating sections on Hawai'i's history, culture, language and legends

• Companion website with links to every business, events calendar, over 90 resort reviews complete with aerial photos--so you'll know if oceanfront really means oceanfront

"Hawaii The Big Island Revealed" covers it all--from the snow-covered top of Mauna Kea, to the sparkling underwater reefs. This is the best investment you can make for your Big Island visit. Whether you are a first time visitor, or a longtime kama'aina, you will find out more about the Big Island from this book than from any other source. Discover the island of your dreams with "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed."

"Succeeded in telling us everything there is to know about traveling on the island of Hawaii...this book is essential reading..." Library Journal

"A colorful book--covers it all. I was pleased by the numerous little tips that can make a trip more pleasant." The San Diego Union-Tribune

"Superbly researched and easy-to-read reference... It's jammed with details and maps." Houston Chronicle

Book Description

Most travel titles are put together in a few weeks by visiting travel writers. Wizard guidebooks take over a year to compile and the writers are residents who personally and anonymously review every facet of the island. Their maps are the best you'll find. From restaurants to helicopter companies to scuba to beaches to trails. They see it all and show you the best the island has to offer. They also reveal who's the worst and who to stay away from. All told in a frank, humorous way that keeps the reading fun.

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Product Details

  • Series: ...Revealed The Ultimate Guidebook
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Wizard Publications Inc.; 6th edition edition (April 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981461069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981461069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By V. Natarajan on July 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
The plusses:
Just about every place that this book recommended, and that I've tried, has been spot on. Perhaps more importantly, it's also spot-on with respect to its recommendations of tour companies (e.g. snorkeling tours, van tours). Not one restaurant, attraction, tour company, or hotel recommended by this book has disappointed, and it recommends a lot -- you could spend a month on the Big Island and not go through half of what's in this book. For the most part, the maps are clear and helpful, and the book gives contact information as needed.

The minuses:
The information presented is very poorly organized. Largely speaking, this book breaks down into Sights, Activities, Adventures, and Dining/Lodging, and within each section, the listings are broken by geographic region. The problem with this approach is that, in order to see everything there is to do within a particular geographic area, you have to flip to each section. It would be far more convenient to reverse the ordering -- break down the book first by geographic area, and then by activities within the area.

Secondly, the "Sights" section for each area is presented as a single tour that goes through each attraction, and the directions for each site are only given in terms of the location of the previous site mentioned. The problem is, there are often many more attractions than you'll have time for in each area, so it takes considerable work to figure out the location of individual attractions if you want to skip an attraction or go in a different order than the book describes.

Normally, the I'd treat the minuses much more harshly, but the recommendations are so good that I'm going to be more forgiving here.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By NC Family on August 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We just used this book to help us navigate the Big Island for a family vacation. The maps were fantastic and the descriptions very helpful. Hawaii tries to hide it's national treasures and signage is almost invisible. This book gave mile marker references and visual landmarks to help you find where you needed to go. The amount of information was a bit overwhelming, but it was great to keep in the car for quick reference as you were trying to decide what to do next. We found the information to be extremely accurate except for restaurant suggestions - some were correct, but rely on your hotel concierge first. We would highly recommend this book if this is your first trip to the Big Island or you are adults traveling alone and a bit more on the adventurous side (lots of hiking and rough terrain not suitable for little legs).
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By mlj on July 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I travel a lot and have looked at and used many types of travel guidebooks. We have found the 'Revealed' guidebooks to be, without a doubt, the best. The authors/editors don't ever hold back when they feel that a hotel, restuarant or attraction doesn't live up to its reputation or is over-priced. You can count on these guidebooks for the truth, not just a glowing report that someone has paid to have printed in a guidebook.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By yukot on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the information in the guidebook was great. i had the hard copy as well, and used that extensively throughout my trip. however, the electronic version is nearly useless. the maps are hard to see, and it's impossible to flip back and forth like you can a hard copy. even though i underlined and bookmarked pages, i couldn't find it later.

the hard cover gets 5 stars, but the electronic version gets 2 stars.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ling Ho on January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book before my first trip to the state of Hawaii. The Hawaii big island was my first destination. I also bought the Oahu Revealed as my second destination was Oahu.

They were both good reading, with lots of good information about the history of the island, climates, people and culture.

As I read further, I can kind of imagine myself being there, driving around the islands.

However, after half way through the Big Islandbook, I realized I am not going to be able to go around the whole island visiting most of the wonderful places mentioned in the book in just 5 days. So, I decided to focus on a few areas.

I spend about 2 evening reading the books, and another 2 hours on the plane reading the book cover to cover.

When I arrived in Hawaii, I found the following problems:

- The books are printed on good quality paper. But they are heavy!

- Both the Big Island book and the Oahu book share many of the information (the history about the islands, and even their stories about powered paragliding are repeated. That makes me having to carry two heavy books when I am having hard time with my luggage with all the snorkeling gears, cameras, etc.

- It is hard to find information about a place using the index. Since each chapters is written like an essay, once you found the keyword, you have to look at 2-3 pages, and then fast reading through the pages to see if some information you have read before is there.

- The author mentioned they used GPS while traveling but often the direction given are turn by turn. I wish they could just give an address or a cross section where I can punch into my GPS.

My suggestion:
Take notes as you read the book.
Read more ›
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