From the beach to beanies all in one day! Mauna Kea Summit is the highest point on the entire Island of Hawaii and one of the best places to star gaze in the entire world. We drove up the over 13,750 ft elevation to watch the sunset. This will definitely go down in the list of most romantic things we have done. This place is another reason why you should rent a 4x4 vehicle for your big island visit, you can not make it to the top with out it. You can take tour buses, but its pretty expensive. We first stopped at the visitor center then made our way to the top....it was freezing! Being that high above the clouds is a feeling I will never forget. We cranked the heater in the jeep and watched the sunset as if it were a drive in movie. Once it is dark, you witness the most incredible view of the stars. There are some huge telescopes up at the top, but none of which are accessible to the public. Park Rangers will not allow you to stay very long once it is dark because the road back down is very tricky. You can head back to the visitor center to continue star gazing and use the telescopes there to find constellations and planets. On our way down we spotted the red glow of the Volcano in the distance. Overall, this was an unforgettable experience and I would highly recommend it for anyone visiting the Big Island.
Feel free and comment any questions you have!