World's Best Islands 2010
Tor Johnson/Hawaii Tourism Authority
No. 10: Big Island, Hawaii
2009 ranking: No. 9. The sheer size of Hawaii’s southernmost island, which dropped one rating point in this year’s survey, is staggering: not only is the wedge-shaped landmass the biggest island in the U.S., it’s also bigger than plenty of entire countries. The island’s attractions run the gamut from zip-lining through rainforests to sunning on volcanic black beaches, and from diving with manta rays to snowboarding (yes, snowboarding). But its truly singular destination is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park—where you can watch Kilauea, one of the planet’s most active volcanoes, pumping out prodigious spreads of fiery molten lava.