Thurston Lava Tube
Crater Rim Drive, Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii
This centuries-old lava tube was first discovered in 1913 by a local newspaper publisher named Lorrin Thurston. It was opened to the public, and now anyone can stroll through this dimly lit natural cave, taking the very same path upon which a river of molton red lava traveled from Pu-O’o to the Pacific. Lava stalactites once decorated the ceiling of the stone tube but, alas, they’ve all been pinched by folks looking to take home a souvenir. The path leading to the lava tube is beautiful in itself, as it leads you through a dense, fern tree forest which is home to several species of tropical birds (like the brilliantly colored red apapane), so make sure to keep an eye and ear out for them.