World's Greatest Places 2021
A hiker in Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawaii.
Thomas Linkel—laif/Redux
July 20, 2021 6:33 AM EDT

Nicknamed the Big Island, the vast Island of Hawaii has made use of the pause in visitors to rethink and reset the direction of tourism—and better protect its natural beauty. The statewide “Malama Hawaii” initiative encourages visitors to connect with the land in more restorative ways: among other efforts, hotels are partnering with local nonprofits to offer activities such as planting a koa sapling and participating in beach cleaning. Elsewhere on the island, Volcanoes National Park is undergoing a recovery project to repair damage from the 2018 eruption of the Kilauea volcano. Plans include a redesign of its visitor center to better manage the overcrowding that has plagued the park in previous years. And on the Kohala coast, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is showing off its multimillion-dollar pandemic refurbishment, with updated guest rooms and villa expansions, as well as a new 1.8 million-gallon swimmable aquarium: the Kumu Kai Marine Center at King’s Pond. —Diandra Barnwell

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