Four Must-See Locations on Four Islands

kualoa valley

Four Must-See Locations on Four Islands

Usually, the only downside to a vacation is that, at some point, it has to end. As much as we’d love for them to go on for just a few more days, life and time constraints get in the way. That being said, any amount of time spent in the Hawaiian Islands is going to be time well spent and will become the source of memories you won’t soon forget.

If you find yourself in a time crunch and have to be extra selective about what attractions, adventures, and locations to focus on, here’s a list of one location on each of the four main islands that you should pay close attention to.

Whether you’re adventuring on Kauai, relaxing on the Big Island, enjoying the weather on Maui, or exploring Oahu, be sure to make time to experience these four incredible locations.

Kualoa Ranch, Oahu

Make a new Jurassic friend, Kualoa Ranch Oahu

On Oahu, it’s a toss-up between Pearl Harbor and Kualoa Ranch, but if it’s adventure and thrills you’re looking for, the Kualoa is a great choice.

The first things you notice about this Windward Oahu swatch of beauty are the exquisite vistas that await you. Large fields of rolling hills, dense stretches of forestry, golden sandy beaches – it’s no wonder many Hollywood studios have turned to the ranch as a backdrop for their films.

Some of the most recognizable blockbusters have scenes filmed at Kualoa, and if following in the footsteps of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars piques your interest, you can set off on an ATV journey across the ranch. Not only can you see instantly-recognizable locations of movies and TV shows shot here, you also get a first-rate view of the awe-inspiring beauty of Oahu.

Hana, Maui

Waterfall and a bridge on the road to Hana, Maui

The town of Hana takes up a small chunk of the eastern coast of Maui but what it has to offer makes it seem so much bigger. Beyond exploring the quaint town and enjoying plenty of local culture and flair, the drive to Hana may be one of the most exciting parts about visiting.

The road to Hana is a 68-mile excursion that takes you down a winding road of over 600 curves and plenty of places to pull off to enjoy the natural beauty of the island. The fun starts well before you hit town, as you’re likely to happen upon multiple hidden waterfalls.

When you come to Hana, you come for the view along the road there and stay for the fun of being in an authentic old Hawaiian town.

 

 

Hilo, Hawaii

Epic Lava Hickers
Hiking across an ancient lava field, Hilo Hawaii

Located on the eastern side of the Big Island, Hilo packs an incredible punch that’s brimming with Hawaiian culture, history, and plenty of attractions to see. The town of Hilo overlooks Hilo Bay and owing to it’s location on the rainy side of the island, it’s incredibly lush and green all year long.

When you’re ready for a break from the quaint town of Hilo and its beautiful surroundings, you can set off on a hike through the nearby lava fields or better yet, take a helicopter ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the ongoing eruption of Kilauea.

Hilo is also home to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company, Hilo Tropical Gardens, Mokupapapa Discovery Center, and the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo.

 

 

Koloa, Kauai

Historic sugar mill, Koloa Kauai

If it’s an all-natural glimpse into the Hawaiian Islands you’re looking for, Koloa is the place for you. The attractions in and around this small town on Kauai showcase the beauty of the island along with its agricultural importance.

The Old Sugar Mill of Koloa may be the most important building on Kauai. Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark that tells the story of the first successful large-scale sugar operation in the Hawaiian Islands. You can also explore Makauwahi Cave, enjoy the view from Spouting Horn lookout, and be intrigued by the local culture at Kaneiolouma Heiau.

 

 

Must-See Hawaii Attractions

Must-See Hawaii Attractions

Aloha and welcome to our island paradise! Well, the online version of it, at least. We look forward to hosting you here in the Pacific and showing you the good time you deserve, so let’s make sure you’re 100% ready for your tropical journey.

You may know some of the activities you want to take part in, like ziplining and scuba diving, but have you considered which attractions and sites you want to be sure to visit during your stay? You may be staying on Oahu or Maui or the Big Island, but seeing what the other islands have to offer is a breeze, thanks to convenient inter-island travel!

So, let’s pinpoint which of Hawaii’s stunning locations and intriguing attractions you’ll want to see, so you can best plan your days here in our sunny Paradise!

Pearl Harbor, Oahu

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

A most important historical location, the US naval base at Pearl Harbor was the site of the infamous 1941 Japanese attack. Within the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the associated Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center with its exhibits dedicated to telling the complete story behind the attack, the Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

All of these come together to provide a comprehensive look back to December 7th, 1941, for a better understanding of a crucial piece of American history.

 

 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

Having formed the Hawaiian Islands, volcanoes are certainly an important part of your tropical vacation. A large swatch of the Big Island has been dedicated to education about the details of the islands’ volcanic history.

As you walk through ashen fields of hardened lava you can see, up close, volcanic remnants. The Jaggar Museum has a wealth of information about these powerful natural wonders, complete with an overlook that often offers views of bubbling lava pools.

Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Na Pali Coastline
Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

A stunning sight to behold, the Na Pali coast is a stretch of sea cliffs that overlooks the calm, blue waters of the Pacific. This ancient site is much more than an amazingly beautiful attraction, though; Na Pali has also become a hot spot for visitor fun. From snorkeling to a tour of the coastline, the Na Pali coast offers something for just about everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road to Hana, Maui

You’d never guess that a road could be an “attraction,” but the Road to Hana in Maui is a tourist favorite. The twisty, 64-mile drive is best experienced on a narrated tour that provides you with insight into the area. Along the way, you’re privy to beautiful views, a stop at the natural pools of Oheo, and, finally, a stop at “Heavenly Hana,” one of Maui’s quaintest little towns.

Molokini Crater, Maui

Maui Snorkel at Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater, Maui

This tiny, stunning slice of paradise sits off of Maui’s coast and is the perfect spot for snorkeling. The ecosystem within the crater’s crystal blue waters is rich with marine life, giving guests an opportunity to swim alongside tropical fish, green sea turtles, and other forms of exotic sea life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu

Formed during the Honolulu Volcanic Series over 200,000 years ago, Diamond Head crater, now a Hawaii State Monument, stands over 700’ tall and overlooks Waikiki, Honolulu, and the Pacific. On the slopes of Diamond Head are bunkers and a lighthouse that tell the story of the rocky structure’s military past.

A hike up the crater is rewarded with some of the most stunning views Oahu has to offer.

Na Pali Coast Adventures for Everyone

Na Pali Coast Adventures for Everyone

The Hawaiian coastline is more than just a beautiful overlook of the sparkling waters of the Pacific, it’s a stretch of adventure for all the waterbugs who turn to the Hawaiian Islands for their much-needed vacation. Just off the coastline of each island of this tropical chain, a world of adventure awaits, and they’re all flush with choices. Take the Na Pali Coast, off Kauai. At the base of mountainous ridges is a hidden oasis of thrills and water adventures that enable visitors to embark on a series of exciting activities and unforgettable journeys.

On the northwestern edge of Kauai,  the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is a beautiful mix of greenery and blue ocean, but most impressive is the selection of things to do just in this one sliver of the island.

The Many Thrills of the Na Pali Coast

The crystal blue waters that lie just beyond the coast are as inviting as they come, so don’t be surprised if the urge to jump right in sneaks up on you. That’s where activities like snorkeling come in, as it lets you jump into the refreshing waters and explore the underwater world living beyond the island.

Na Pali Coast SnorkelingThe waters of the Pacific aren’t just filled with living coral, so expect to come face-to-face with some truly stunning creatures. Tropical fish, green sea turtles, and the occasional pod of dolphins are known to let their curiosity get the best of them when new faces enter their submerged world. Sight-see below the surface of the ocean after a comfortable ride aboard a rigid inflatable boat or catamaran—the Na Pali Coast isn’t accessible by car! Don’t be surprised to find some of these creatures have no fear as they swim right beside you.

If you’re the type who loves speed, you can couple your snorkeling adventure with some performance sailing. Whether you’ve touched a sailboat before or not isn’t important, as you learn everything there is to know about performance sailing off the coast of Na Pali. Cut across the smooth surface as the wind whips against you, giving you that sense of freedom you should experience during a vacation in the tropics.

Maybe it’s not thrills you’re looking for, but a little R&R. Some peace and quiet in the mid-morning sun. If that’s the case, then the Na Pali fishing charter is the experience that will fit you perfectly. Relax in the warm sun and wait patiently for the fish to start biting. With a full-day, 8-hour charter available, they will eventually bite!

Don’t Forget…

When you’re facing a day of thrills, adventure, and relaxation, you might not think of everything, but don’t forget to pack some sunscreen! No matter how you decide to enjoy the Na Pali shores, keep in mind that you’re in direct, tropical sunlight, which is known to give a nasty sunburn!

The Adventure of Kipu Ranch

The Adventure of Kipu Ranch

Long stretches of rolling grasslands, cut by dirt roads that disappear into rich, dense forestry. Towering mountains loom in the distance, providing an incredible backdrop to an already stunning region of Kauai, rightfully known as the Garden Isle. If you’ve come to Hawaii looking for thrills and memories that you’ll hold onto for years to come, Kauai is home to a stunning stretch of picturesque landscape, ancient history, and adventure that puts you in touch with the vast beauty laid out in front of you.

Kipu Ranch, this tropical stretch of open land and forests on Kauai offers a selection of experiences that cover a range of terrains, from the deepest reaches of nearby rain forests to the comfortable pastures of Huleia Valley.

Getting a Little Muddied

Not everybody enjoys the prospect of getting wet and dirty, but if you’re on the adventurous side and can’t wait to get your hands dirty, Kipu Ranch’s tour of the inner reaches of Kauai’s jungles is perfect for you!

Kipu RanchJump into an open ATV and trek over dirt roads that vanish into the dense greenery of the island’s tropical jungles. Almost as if you’ve entered a portal, once covered by the canopies of towering trees, you find yourself in an almost alien world of waterfalls, natural pools, and muddy, uneven paths.

Surrounded by colorful vegetation and spied on by curious wildlife, you can pull over and enjoy a swim in the refreshing pools at the base of the waterfalls you pass.

Rounding out the day is a deli-style buffet, complete with locally-made bread and seasonal fruits for a taste of the tropics!

 

 

Greenery and Scenery

Maybe you’re more into covering as much ground as possible and don’t want to make frequent stops. Kipu Ranch has you covered with a tour that, while a little more challenging, is incredibly rewarding. Explore as much of the surrounding area as possible, climbing to elevations of over 800′ above sea level. From this vantage point atop Mt. Haupu, the island opens up to you for expansive views worthy of a painting.

Continuing along your journey, you pass through the rain forests and drive along the Huleia River, where you can see the Indiana Jones Rope Swing. You may recognize some sites along the way from movies like Jurassic Park and The Descendants. Treat yourself to an unbeatable scenic tour.

 

The Guided Tour

If you’re not quite ready to take the wheel of an ATV, Kipu Ranch also offers guided adventures, where you get to kick back as a passenger and enjoy being driven by an expert guide. You’re treated to the same amazing views, the same incredible thrills, and the same unforgettable sights on any of Kipu Ranch’s adventure tours!

The Action Heroes Hawaiian Adventure

Big Island Zipline

The Action Heroes Hawaiian Adventure

Ever watched an adrenaline-fueled action movie where every five minutes, something is exploding or someone is doing something awesome? Have you ever wanted to just jump through the screen and join in on the Hollywood thrills? What if we told you that you could join the ranks of the greatest action heroes by traveling to the tropical paradise of Hawaii? Suspend your disbelief, because it’s absolutely true!

By embarking on these incredible activities on the Big Island, Oahu, Maui, or Kauai, you can finally find out what it feels like to have adrenaline fueling your every movement!

Flying High

What better way to feel like an action star than to fly high over the island’s dense forestry and rich scenery? Strap into a safety harness and soar over thousands of feet of terrain in the adrenaline ride of a lifetime. Spread your arms and let the warm tropical air rush against you over each exhilarating foot of cable and enjoy the unbelievable sights that unfold around you.

Zip from platform to platform, launching yourself off of each one like a superhero on a mission! One of the best parts of this thrill ride across the islands is that it is completely safe. You can feel like an action hero without putting your life on the line thanks to state-of-the-art harnessing, braking, and construction.

It’s one of the Hawaiian Islands’ most popular activities and it won’t take you long to realize why. So suit up and experience the excitement of flying high over the island.

 

High-Speed ChasesATV Rentals on Kauai

High-speed chases have nothing on Oahu’s off-road adventure! On a technical course cut through the awe-inspiring beauty of the island, you steer your own all-terrain vehicle across a variety of terrains. Thick rainforests pass you as you rip across dirt terrain, flinging dust and mud in every direction. If you’re traveling with someone, your two-person ATV can accommodate your “partner in crime”!

 

 

Nature’s Montage

What’s an action movie without a break from the high-intensity thrills to enjoy a montage of beautiful Mother Nature and the wonders she hides. Gear up and swim in the depths of the Pacific Ocean to explore a hidden world of amazement.Dolphin Snorkeling Swim

Swim alongside the tropical wildlife, including vibrant green sea turtles. You may even glimpse curious dolphins and manta rays as they swim by to inspect the newcomer to their vast world. There is plenty to see below the surface of the Pacific, from lava tubes to colorful coral reef. Just remember to be respectful of Mother Nature and leave everything as you found it. Even action heroes follow simple guidelines like these.

 

The Beaches of Kauai: Coastal Paradises Perfect for All

The Beaches of Kauai

The Beaches of Kauai: Coastal Paradises Perfect for All

The northern-most island of Kauai is probably best known for being home to the filming locations for films like the Jurassic Park trilogy, Godzilla, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and many other hits, but travelers that look at it as a tropical Hollywood wind up missing some of the finer facets of this Pacific beauty.

Being an island, the fact that Kauai is comprised of dozens of beaches is no secret, but which of these coastal paradises are best for tourists may not be so evident. We’re exploring the outer rim of this incredible oasis to give you a look at the beaches you’ll want to make time for on your Kauai vacation.

Kalapaki Beach

On the southeastern edge of Kauai, right within Nawiliwili Bay, you’ll find Kalapaki Beach. Soft sand, stretches of comfortable greenery, and a perfect view into the bay make this beach a great hideaway for visitors to Kauai.

Swimmers get to enjoy a safer environment to swim due to a break wall separating it from the ocean while more adventurous water bugs can still get their taste of open water. Surfboard and catamaran rentals are available for visitors hoping to explore beyond the soft sandy beach.

Waimea Beach

Complete with fishing and plenty of soft beach to walk across, this southwester coastal area is a rarity of the Hawaiian Islands. Making up the surface is rare black sand, outlined by grass lawns and shadowed by coconut palm trees.

Secluded from city-life, Waimea is the ideal spot for Kauai visitors hoping to find seclusion from the everyday business of life. Romance is abundant on this beautiful, black sanded beach as the sunset glows on the horizon.

Waimea Beach

Lawai Beach

On the south shore by Poipu, Kauai’s explorative visitors will find a very small sliver of beach that delivers far more than it looks like it could. A short rock wall overlooks the edge of the coast and the rocky shoreline. At the base of Lawai Beach resort, Lawai is best suited during calmer weather as high tide completely hides the beach itself.

Turtles and the Hawaiian monk seal frequent this region, giving snorkelers and incredible look at the local wildlife within their own habitat.

Lydgate Park

While Waimea offers the perfect view of a beautiful sunset, the eastern beach of Lydgate is where you’ll want to go for an early morning sunrise. Along with access to views of the open waters, Lydgate provides swimmers two enclosed ponds to safely enjoy swimming with smaller reef fish.

Abundant with amenities, Lydgate offers lifeguards, picnic areas, a playground perfect for children, and over 2 miles of paved walking paths.

Polihale State Park

Seclusion is key at Polihale State Park, thanks to it being harder to access than other beaches. Adventurous travelers will need to traverse down a rough, 5-mile road to get to this beautiful stretch of sand. Expect to need 4-wheel drive, but the bumpy journey is more than worth it.

The hidden beach is ripe with sand dunes that can reach as high as 100-ft, so be sure to wear comfortable walking clothes. Swimmers will enjoy Queens Pond as it provides a safer spot away from the stronger currents.

Polihale State Park

Beaches galore cover Kauai’s coast, each offering their own experience and sense of adventure. If it’s something exhilarating you’re looking for, be sure to rent a surf board to catch those Pacific waves.

Beautiful Kauai: Cascading Waterfalls and Quaint Small Towns

Beautiful Kauai Coastline

Beautiful Kauai: Cascading Waterfalls and Quaint Small Towns

Known for its cascading waterfalls, visitors to Kauai can enjoy a thrilling kayaking trip down the Wailua River. Fishponds can be found on the island that have existed for 1,000 years. Meanwhile, shoppers can explore the quaint towns of Old Kolia Town and Hanapepe.

Kauai Overview

Kauai is the fourth-largest island in the Hawaiian Islands. Nicknamed the Garden Isle, it is filled with jagged cliff faces, steep mountains and verdant valleys. Over the centuries, tropical rainforests have taken over the islands as cascading waterfalls cut into the steep slopes. Some of the remote sections of the island can only be accessed by sea or air.

Other than exceptionally beautiful vistas, the island is home to snorkeling at Poipu Beach and hiking trails in the Kokee State Park. From ziplining over the valleys to driving along ancient roadways, Kauai is one of the most alluring islands in Hawaii. Presently, the island is home to 67,091 people, and the most populated town is Kapa’a.

Kauai Highlights

Wailua River: The Wailua River is the only navigable river in Hawaii and a top destination for kayakers. Bring along your camera because the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse is at the northern tip of the island and is exceptionally photogenic.

Napali Coast: Whether you want a boat or air tour, the Napali Coast is a beautiful place to photograph the ocean and towering cliffs.

Waimea Canyon: This canyon is nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific due to its striking appearance and size.

Kauai Beaches: Whether you go to Poipo or Hanalei Bay, you can experience top sunbathing and swimming on Kauai’s beaches.

Waimea Canyon

Weather in Kauai

The average yearly temperature in Kauai ranges from 69 to 84 degrees. Meanwhile, the ocean remains a balmy 71 to 81 degrees throughout the year. Mount Waialeale receives 400 inches of rainfall a year, while western parts of the island get as little as 18 inches of rainfall annually. Many of the rain showers occur at night, so you can enjoy beautiful daytime rainbows and sunshine. Even on the hottest days, cool trade winds keep away the humidity and make Kauai a comfortable place to relax.

Famous Sites

For the adventure seeker, Kauai offers kayaking along the Wailua River and ziplining above tropical rainforests. Visitors can enjoy horseback riding along Princeville’s green pastures or hiking in the Waimea canyon. Meanwhile, mountain tubing can be enjoyed at Lihue, and boating can be done along the Napali Coast’s seaside cliffs.

According to the Hawaiian tradition of malama aina, it is important to take care of the land. With this in mind, Kauai travel tours offer eco-friendly tours and destinations for visitors. For the eco-minded tourist, farm tours can be found at the Hanalei Town where you can watch how taro is cultivated. For some of the world’s largest botanical gardens, videos can check out the Limahuli Garden on the North Shore, Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden.

Kauai Lush Rainforest and Waterfalls

To learn about animal conservation, visitors can check out the Hawaiian monk seals swimming and sunbathing on Poipu Beach. Currently, there are just 1,200 Hawaiian monk seals in existence. During the wintertime, the island’s waters are also home to humpback whales as they make their annual trek through Hawaiian waters.

For amateur photographers and adventurers, the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge is a favorite spot. Based in Hanapepe Town, it was constructed in the early 1900s and looks like something out of Indiana Jones. Afterward, visitors can check out the Art Walk that is hosted every Friday evening in Hanapepe Town. For the true adventure lover, check out the Maniniholo Dry Cave or the three wet caves in the Haena State park. The drive cave is easy to explore if you have a flashlight. Meanwhile, the Maniniholo, Waikapalae and Waikanaloa Wet Caves are are beautiful for photographs. Filled with water from an underground spring, these caves are not safe for swimming, but perfect for photographs. One of the caves, Waikapalae cave, was used during the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.