Off The Beaten Path | Hawaii
The beautiful state of Hawaii is an amazing destination year-round. Hawaii's climate is perfect for vacationing throughout the year, visitors can enjoy the sun, the beaches and all of the excellent activities. Hawaii has six main islands, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. All six of these islands have beautiful beaches, excellent spots for water recreation and many stunning natural wonders.
Poipu Beach, Kauai
Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States if not the world, Poipu Beach is located on the south shore of Kauai and is part of Poipu Beach Park. The beach is composed of a string of golden sandy crescent shaped beaches. Visitors to Poipu can have hours of fun snorkeling, boogie-boarding, swimming, and surfing. The best surfing spots are located slightly offshore, the reef establishes wavebreaks which make good surfing for surfers of all experience levels.
Pearl Harbor, Oahu
This National Historical Landmark honors the tragic turning point in America's history. Pearl Harbor has five historic sites that honor the events of December 7th, 1941. Each of these memorials is an awe-inspiring experience for visitors to Oahu. The USS Arizona Memorial, is a floating memorial built over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona, which sunk in nine minutes. Visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial has a marble wall with the names of the men who died on the USS Arizona. Visitors to Pearl Harbor can also visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial, which is the ship where the Japanese unconditionally surrendered ending the war. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is a great spot for visitors to learn about submarine warfare during the war. The Pacific Aviation Museum is located within the former World War II airplane hangars, and is an amazing aviation museum that has simulators and many exhibits. Visitors can also stop at the USS Oklahoma Memorial, which honors the men who lost their lives on the battleship during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Moomomi Dunes, Molokai
The Moomomi Dunes are located on a 920 acre preserve, located on the northwest region of Molokai. These dunes are an important part of Molokai and Hawaii's history. Ancient Hawaiian sites have been found in the dunes, as well as endangered plant species, and evidence of flightless prehistoric birds. Visitors can travel into the Moomomi Dunes on the jeep trails that weave through the preserve. Those visitors to Molokai that explore the Moomomi Dunes should be prepared for the rugged conditions, but it is a truly amazing place, rich with the history of Molokai.
Also know as the Garden of the Gods, Keahiakawelo is an absolutely stunning garden on the northwest side of Lanai. Visitors to Keahiakawelo will see the stunning rock garden. Throughout the landscape there are rock towers and formations. Visitors have to have 4-wheel drive in order to access this interesting spot, and it is worth noting that the landscape is most stunning at dusk when the rock formations are lit by the colors of the setting sun.
Hana Highway, Maui
A road trip along the Hana Highway is a great way to explore some of Maui's amazing sights and activities. The Highway travels along the northern shore of Maui, ending in the town of Hana. Along this road, travelers will find stunning beaches, gardens, and much more. During the winter time visitors should stop to see the expert surfers braving the waves at Jaws, off of Pauwela Point. This area is known for its gigantic waves, which only the very best surfers brave. Travelers along the Hana Highway can also stop at the Keanae Arboretum has fascinating examples of Hawaiian flora. Visitors should also stop at the Waianapanapa State Park, on the edge of Hana, this park has a beautiful black sand beach and also has a trail to explore the area. All along the Hana Highway there are many beautiful places to explore and things to experience and the town of Hana also has many excellent places to visit.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
During a visit to Hawaii, if you are looking for some spectacular natural sights, then Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the country's must see destinations. At this park you can look over the edge into some ancient volcanic craters. If you only have time for a drive, the Crater Rim Drive will take you through a rain forest and desert, you will encircle the summit of Kilauea caldera and pass through the caldera floor. Maybe you have time for some hiking, try the Kilauea Iki Trail, where you can cross the crater. You can also go to the East Rift Zone to see the most recent lava flow. Lava flow is always changing, so find out what is going on before stopping for a visit.
Waipio Valley, Hawaii
This valley is one of Hawaii's truly stunning vistas. Waipio Valley stretches almost six miles into the island from the beach at its mouth. The valley's walls are almost a mile high. Throughout the valley there are waterfalls and streams. Waipio Valley is a place filled with Hawaiian history and it is an excellent opportunity to recreate and explore an amazing bit of Hawaii. The Waipio Valley is somewhat difficult to access, if you don't want to attempt the trip into the valley you can instead stop at the Waipio Valley Lookout to enjoy the view from the top of the valley. For the more adventurous travelers, there are a few options to get into the Waipio Valley. Visitors can take the Waipio Valley Shuttle, which is a guided tour of the valley, or the Waipio Valley Wagon Tour, a mule-drawn surrey tour of the Valley.