By Tanveer Badal
Hissing Lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Big Island)
If you only have a single day to explore the popular Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, spend it by taking two extraordinary drives. The park's main road, Crater Rim Drive, circles the 11-mile rim of Kilauea Caldera -- the sunken center of the most active volcano on Earth, with stop points at several steam vents and craters. Then, hear the hiss and feel the rising smoke of the newest lava oozing into the Pacific Ocean (pictured), at the end of Chain of Craters Road in the volatile East Rift Zone. Unlike Mt. St. Helens and other dramatic volcanoes, Hawaiian volcanoes don't explode. The lava glides at a crawling pace, allowing people and cars to flock toward the activity.
Visitor information at nps.gov. Seven-day entry pass is $10.