ATV 101: Four-Wheeling Across Hawaii

ATV 101: Four-Wheeling Across Hawaii

There’s nothing like feeling the rev of an engine as you ready yourself to take a four-wheeled journey across the beautiful terrains of Hawaii. ATV adventures on these beautiful islands can take you on a leisurely ride over rolling plains or get your adrenaline pumping as you master muddy tracks carved into the lush rainforests.

No matter the level of thrills you’re looking to enjoy, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you have a completely safe and enjoyable time during your four-wheel adventure.

Don’t Get Fancy

ATV 101
Enjoy the scenery!

The point of your ATV experience is to have fun, enjoy the sights, and cruise across the tropical terrain as the warm air rushes over you. Even if you’re an experienced four-wheeler, don’t try to do stunts or attempt any fancy turns; just navigating over some of the more technical courses gives you the chance to show off your abilities.

Trust us, you’ll have the time of your life even without pushing your ATV or yourself to the limits. Just follow the path, enjoy the terrain and the scenery as you pass by, and respect the machine!





Get Comfortable Before Driving

Before you head out, make sure you’re comfortable with the ATV. Get a feel for the mechanics of the machine and how it handles.

As the first step on your journey, you’re be shown the ropes by certified instructors who know everything about these machines. If you have any questions, don’t get on the ATV without having them answered.

Dress Appropriately

Do pay attention to what you wear. Whether you embark on a gentle cruise across Kualoa Ranch or on a faster journey over a more technical course at Coral Crater, chances are you’re going to get muddied and dirty. Don’t wear something you don’t want to get dirty, especially since you’ll likely have limited clothing to change into.

Drive with a Passenger

ATV 101
Share the fun!

If you go for a ride along a more technical track, you usually have the opportunity to bring a passenger. If you know somebody you feel comfortable riding with, bring them along! Not only does it give you someone to enjoy the experience with, after your turn behind the wheel, you’ll have the opportunity to get in the passenger seat and enjoy the sights!







Bring a Camera

There are lots of opportunities in all kinds of ATV experiences to snap pictures. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to have a camera on hand when you’re anywhere in Hawaii! There’s plenty to see and plenty of memories you’ll want to capture, especially on your ATV adventure.

Explore Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast

Explore Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast

There’s something about this Kauai location that just makes it sound like an incredible vacation spot. Exotic name aside, it really is one of the most recommended tourist destinations, whether you decide to stay in the area or just explore its sunny coastline at some point during your stay on Kauai.

The Royal Coconut Coast is the complete Hawaiian package, providing a list of fun activities, great food, and if you’re feeling in the mood for a story or two, some fascinating history. Take a day out of your Kauai vacation and head over to the Coconut Coast, located on the eastern edge of the island, facing a beautiful stretch of nothing but crystal blue water.

So much awaits you along the Royal Coconut Coast that we’ll just dive right into the best of it! You decide which parts you have time for and which you don’t.

Sleeping Giant

Royal Coconut Coast
Sleeping Giant, Kauai

If you’re looking for a hike in a lush environment of dense greenery, then Sleeping Giant should be on your schedule. This mountainous formation is home to one of the island’s greatest trails, Nounou Mountain Trail. A favorite among locals and tourists alike, the trail will take you deep into the island’s wilderness up to the summit of Sleeping Giant for a spectacular view.




Ke Ala Hele Makalae

Ke Ala Hele Makalae Hike/Bike Trail, Kauai

Travelers looking for a casual experience will love Ke Ala Hele Makalae. This walking/bike path takes you up and down the Royal Coconut Coast for a self-guided tour of the natural beauty all around. Cruise or stroll past sandy beaches as you ride the length of the path. Simply enjoy the scenery and the beautiful weather or stop off on the coast for a quick refreshing dip in the refreshing blue water.




Enjoy the Thrills

Like many locations on Kauai, the Royal Coconut Coast is full of exciting and adventurous activities to keep you busy. You can hop on the back of a majestic steed and ride up the coast, or take to the water with kayaking or SCUBA diving. If you want to test your skills on the waves coming in, rent a stand-up paddleboard and test your balance above a wondrous world of blue.

Water Activities for the Extreme Traveler

Water Activities for the Extreme Traveler

You’re not the “sit on the beach and let the sun kiss your skin” kind of traveler. You’re more of a “red meat” thrill-seeker eager to forgo the usual frills of a vacation and get right down to the adrenaline-pumping excitement. That’s why you decided to come to Hawaii, not to lounge around nestled in a soft robe and fall asleep to the soothing sound of crashing waves, but because you know that everywhere you go, adventure awaits!

Take the Pacific Ocean, for example. While some people see a place to wade around and swim with the fishes, you see an opportunity to get wet and wild. Consider these more extreme Hawaiian activities to fuel your need for enthralling experiences and you’ll find the thrills you’ve been looking for.

Aquatic Jet Pack

Flyboarder-Man-croppedEver watch a James Bond movie and get insanely jealous over his jet pack? Envy no more thanks to your Hawaiian vacation! You, too, can soar above the waves on a state-of-the-art water jet pack. Typically attached to a Jet Ski by a long hose, the pack straps to your feet via boots and, with the roar of the engine, you’re hovering over 10’ above the water.

Listen closely to the instructor before taking to the water and you may be able to impress yourself and other travelers with impressive tricks like backflips and dolphin dives. Unlike jet packs, when the experience is over, you’re gently lowered into the comfortable waters of Hawaii.

Bodyboard + Kite = Fun Thrills

On land, the act of flying a kite may not interest you too much, but what if you could amplify that experience by strapping you to a board and moving into the Pacific? Kiteboarding allows you to use the power of the wind and the height of waves to create an exhilarating ride.

Before stepping onto your board, you learn some fundamentals, including the best ways to gauge the wind and how to control the kite for an optimal experience. After the short introduction, you’re out on the water, shifting and manipulating the kite and waves for high jumps and airborne tricks.

Parasailing and a ViewParasailing on Oahu

It’s difficult to get an encompassing view of the island from ground level. Airborne, however, is an entirely different story. Imagine being lifted into the air while a boat pulls you across the blue water for one of the most heart-racing adventures of your life. With our parasailing experience, you enjoy a panoramic view of the island and its finest features, including Honolulu and Diamond Head.

With up to 1,000 feet of towline, you feel the rush of refreshing Hawaiian air as you’re pulled along beaches like Waikiki. Drink in both the excitement of the ride and the unbeatable view. As your parasailing tour concludes, you’re lowered into the inviting crystal blue waters.

Oahu’s Food Specialties and Where to Find Them

Oahu’s Food Specialties and Where to Find Them

Oahu can easily be called one of the most multicultural areas in the United States. On this unique island, original Hawaiian culture intertwines with a variety of Polynesian, Asian, Mainland US, and European influences. While Honolulu greets you with a colorful mix of smiling faces, the multitude of traditional and newly-created cuisines will be a culinary adventure for your palate. Here’s a sample of some of Oahu’s most popular food specialties.

Fresh Hawaiian Seafood

With the deep sea just a mile away from your lunch table, tuna in Hawaii is one of the freshest options. Ahi (tuna) poke (pronounced “po-kay”) is a dish of raw tuna, marinated with your choice of sauce. Some favorite varieties include limu (seaweed), soy sauce, and sesame oil. Topped with sesame seeds or green onions, ahi poke makes a healthy and light snack. Add rice to your plate and you have a filling lunch. You can pick up some poke at most groceries and diners, but one of the best places to get it, along with other island specialties, is Ono, a Hawaiian traditional restaurant on Kapahulu Avenue in Waikiki. For a taste of some more festive Hawaiian cuisine, join a Luau tour and enjoy the special atmosphere as well as entertainment in a unique setting.

Plate lunch

PlatelunchThere are many variations of plate lunch, but they all have in common the two scoops of rice, a scoop of mac salad, a good serving of protein and a flavor that feeds the soul. These heavy lunch dishes always hit the spot after a good morning hike or surf. The main part of the meal is often pork, chicken, or mahimahi. A well-known favorite is loco moco – a hamburger patty on rice smothered with gravy and a fried egg on top. Visit Kakaako Kitchen in Ward center or Rainbow Drive-In on Kapahulu Avenue to get a taste of this local fusion cuisine. If you’re in the mood for a sweet drink, guava juice or POG (Passionfruit, Orange, Guava) is the right choice.


Kahuku shrimp

When you take a circle-island trip, this meal is a must-try part of your North Shore exploration. All through the North Shore area, especially around Kahuku, you’ll find a number of food trucks that offer local shrimp. Fried up with butter and garlic, served with fresh lemon and a scoop of rice, this food demands your complete attention as you dig in with your spoon or local style, eating with your hands. Keep your eyes open for these roadside treats when you make your way north, heading for the famous surf beaches, ziplining, or historic Haleiwa town.

Spam musubi

spam-musubi-655The Hawaiian Islands are the most remote archipelago on the planet. With nothing but deep sea for thousands of miles around, canned meat was one of the most readily available staple foods for a long time before freezers and airplanes became common. This circumstance, paired with a strong Japanese culinary influence, led to the creation of Spam musubi – a thick slice of fried Spam on top of a portion of rice, wrapped together with nori seaweed. This snack is a perfect addition to your beach picnic, a satisfying pick-me-up on your next hike and a hangover breakfast that hits the spot. Small, simple and affordable, you can get some at Iyasume Bento shop on Seaside Avenue in Waikiki. If you get hungry during a tour, Spam musubi is available at most convenience stores and many diners.

While this selection is far from complete, it does give you a starting point for a culinary exploration. Get inspired by what these rich and fertile islands have to offer you and treat yourself to a truly unique dining experience that doesn’t require a large budget.

Lingo You Should Know: Common Hawaiian Words and Phrases

Lingo You Should Know: Common Hawaiian Words and Phrases

Aloha, e komo mai!

We’re delighted you’ve decided to come to Hawaii and we know that you and your keiki are going to have a wonderful time. If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s a very different world here in the islands and while we’re very much a part of the United States, a lot of the culture is carried over from the natives who inhabited these beautiful lands long before it became a tourist destination.

Among these differing customs, many travelers will find themselves facing bits of a language they’re completely unfamiliar with. In fact, we’ve already tossed in a couple of common Hawaiian words and phrases. If you haven’t turned to Google yet:

Aloha, e komo mai! – Hello, welcome!


Throughout your Hawaiian travels, as you get more involved in everything that’s going on outside your hotel room, you’re going to find yourself wishing you had a Hawaiian dictionary. Here are some common words and phrases you’ll want to know and keep an ear out for:

Greetings, Farewells, and Courtesies

Whenever you enter a new establishment or meet new people, you may hear:

Aloha kakahiakaGood morning

Aloha ‘auinalaGood afternoon

Aloha ahiahiGood evening

Aloha ‘oe – Aloha to you

Kipa hou maiCome visit again

A hui hou kakouUntil we all meet again

Mahalo – Thank you

Jot these down as they may be some of the most common things you hear!


Imagine walking along in downtown Honolulu and the need for a restroom hits. When you find it, you’re faced with two options: Kane and Wahine. Anyone unfamiliar with these common Hawaiian words would be confused, but it’s quite simple. Kane is man and wahine is woman, and should you happen to forget, just remember that both woman and wahine start with a “w.”

If you have children, you may also hear kamali’i, keikikane, or kaikamahine, which mean children, son, and daughter, respectively. Other words worth knowing include makua for parent, makuahine for mother, and makuakane for father.


Should you get lost and ask a local for directions, don’t be surprised if they answer with mauka or makai. Don’t worry, they’re not derogatory terms making fun of you. The two are used as a means of saying towards the mountain or towards the ocean and, seeing as how you’re surrounded by mountains and oceans, they come in handy a lot.

Miscellaneous Words to Know

You may be asked if you want to enjoy some poke (say it like the locals: “po-kay”) on the lanai, which would mean enjoying a raw seafood dish on the patio. Someone may suggest that you explore the kai and swim with honu, or explore the ocean and swim with green sea turtles. You may be offered ono ohana-style food, or delicious family-style, or even be offered a malasada, or a Portuguese donut.

There are many beautiful aspects of Hawaii and the local language is one of them. This starter guide will get you through the door, but part of the fun of exotic travel is learning as you go.

Enjoy the islands and kipa hou mai.