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Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Introduction to Hawaii’s Natural Wonders

Aloha! Looking for an escape to paradise? Hawaii is home to some of the most stunning and diverse natural landscapes in the world. From fiery volcanoes to crystalline waterfalls, lush rainforests to pristine beaches, the Aloha State offers endless wonders for nature lovers to explore. Join me as we journey across these magical islands and uncover some of Hawaii’s best kept secrets!

Waimoku Falls – Pristine Beauty in Lush Forest

Nestled deep in the heart of Maui’s dense rainforest lies a real hidden gem – the majestic Waimoku Falls. After an invigorating 4 mile hike through trails lined with guava trees and wild ginger, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of this mesmerizing 400 foot waterfall cascading down into a natural pool surrounded by black volcanic rock. The contrast of the brilliant white water against the foreboding dark cliffs is simply spectacular. Take a dip in the crisp, refreshing mountain water – the ultimate rejuvenation after your trek. This tucked away slice of paradise feels worlds away from Maui’s busy resorts and beaches. For an up close experience with Mother Nature at her finest, be sure to check out Waimoku Falls.

Secret Lava Viewing on the Big Island

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

The Big Island is home to Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. While many visitors flock to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, those seeking a more private lava viewing experience should head to the end of Highway 130. Here, a rugged old lava trail leads to an awe-inspiring coastal cliff that delivers front-row views of fresh lava cascading into the ocean. The underground lava tubes empty directly below, creating clouds of steam and explosions as the molten fire meets cool Pacific sea water. Go at sunset for an extra atmospheric experience as the burning red lava glows against the night sky. This hidden spot offers a primal encounter with Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, away from the crowds.

Secluded Papakolea Green Sand Beach

Most beaches in Hawaii have sand in familiar shades of white, black or brown. But the remote Papakolea Beach on the Big Island’s southern tip boasts sand in a color you rarely see – a vibrant green! This unusually hued sand is formed by olivine crystals eroded out of ancient volcanic rocks. To reach this secluded spot, embark on a 2 mile hike through rugged terrain, keeping an eye out for dolphins and turtles offshore along the way. Your effort will be rewarded with a big stretch of beach where the only footsteps in the sand are likely to be your own. Lounge on the soft green grains or explore tidepools brimming with colorful aquatic life. For an experience that’s truly off the beaten path, make the trek to marvel at Papakolea’s mineral-rich sands.

Hidden Underwater Caves on Lanai

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

The island of Lanai may be small, but it holds big adventures for intrepid explorers. Grab your snorkel gear and head to the southern coast’s Hulopo’e Beach to discover a series of underwater lava caves hidden below the surface. Swim out from shore and keep an eye out for the cave openings lurking below. Dive down to explore their inner chambers, adorned with swaying gardens of coral and schools of vibrant tropical fish. Feel like a real-life mermaid while gliding through these secluded caverns far from the busy world above. During winter, you might spot humpback whales frolicking near the caves. Lanai’s underwater lava world offers a magical realm for snorkelers seeking new aquatic experiences.

Private Waterfall Paradise at Honopu Valley

Do you crave the ultimate secluded waterfall? Honopu Valley on Kauai is home to one of Hawaii’s most breathtaking and isolated waterfalls, accessible only by sea or via rigorous 11 mile trail. Arriving by boat allows you to immerse yourself in the utter solitude of this tropical valley. No crowds, no signs, no marked paths – just you and the primeval jungle. Follow the sound of rushing water up through the ferns and flowering hibiscus to discover the towering cascade emptying into a perfect swimming hole. Linger for a picnic on the rocks before venturing further to uncover stunning pools and additional petite falls dotted throughout the valley. Honopu rewards travelers willing to forego convenience and comfort to find their own private waterfall Eden.

Beyond its world-renowned beaches and resorts, Hawaii offers limitless natural treasures for those who long to wander off the beaten path. Revel in the isolation of dripping caves, secluded coves and secret waterfalls. Witness Pele’s molten fury firsthand on a hidden lava overlook. Hike through lush forests to spot wildlife and discover roaring cascades. Lose yourself in this island paradise’s wilder side. Let Hawaii’s hidden gems cast their spell – you’ll soon be craving more adventures in untouched tropical splendor!

Explore Volcanoes National Park’s Lava Fields

Looking to witness the raw, primal power of an active volcano? At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, you can hike out onto the actual lava flows of Kilauea. This unique landscape offers an immersive experience with the volatile goddess Pele. Lace up your boots and join me as we trek out across the park’s mesmerizing lava fields!

Kilauea Iki Trail – Hike Across A Volcanic Crater

For a real lava extravaganza, head to the Kilauea Iki Trail. This 4 mile loop crosses directly through the crater left behind after a massive 1959 eruption. As you descend into the crater, the landscape transforms into a moon-like scene of volcanic bomblands and lava bubbles frozen in time. Heading further in brings you directly atop the crater floor, where you can stomp and hop from blocky mound to blocky mound. Look down between the rock piles to see steaming vents – reminders that this is still an active rift zone. It’s an eerie and exhilarating feeling being surrounded on all sides by the remnants of Pele’s fury. The crater glows red and orange at sunset, transporting you to another world. For an immersive experience, take the Kilauea Iki Trail.

Kipukapuaulu Trail – Nature Reclaimed Lava

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

See what happens over time after lava flows cover the land on the Kipukapuaulu Trail. This area was smothered by an eruption in 1937, but gradually the native flora took back its foothold. Now the mile-long loop trail winds through otherworldly terrain overflowing with diverse vegetation. Witness ohia trees growing directly out of cracks in the rocky ground. Explore numerous micro-climates created by the convoluted lava topography. Keep an eye out for rare Hawaiian birds that have returned to nest in the recovering forest. While fresh lava represents destruction, this trail represents the regrowth that follows. A sense of hope in the endless cycle of creation and destruction.

Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs Hike – Ancient Hawaiian Rock Carvings

For a cultural encounter, take the moderate 2 mile roundtrip hike to the Pu’u Loa petroglyphs. At the top you’ll find over 23,000 intricate rock carvings etched into hardened lava dating back thousands of years. Meander the boardwalk gazing at depictions of human forms, animals and important events. These carvings offer insight into how early Hawaiians lived and viewed the dangerous forces of the volcano. As you admire the ancient artwork with Kilauea crater in the distance, reflect on Pele’s continued influence over the land and people. Bring along a picnic lunch to soak in the Hawaiian history at the peak’s panoramic overlook. A perfect pairing of nature and culture!

Kaimu Beach Park – Brand New Black Sand Beach

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

For exploring the freshest lava terrain, venture down the new black sand beach at Kaimu Beach Park. Here you can witness the beginning of nature’s regeneration firsthand. Lava completely resurfaced this area as recently as 1990, wiping out the former beach and nearby town of Kalapana. Now fresh new coconut trees sprout up along a pristine ebony shore framed by uneven chunks of volcanic rock. Check out steam hissing from underground tunnels carved by the lava’s seaward march. Keep an eye out for green sea turtles sunbathing on the black beach too. Though the old beach is gone, Kaimu showcases how the lava creates space for new life and landscapes.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park provides rare access for getting up close and personal with dramatic volcanic landscapes. Hiking out across the lava flows offers an immersive escape into a world of fire and creation. From steamy craters to rebounding rainforests, ancient rock carvings to brand new beaches, these trails showcase Pele’s myriad faces. With its constantly changing terrain, the park promises exciting new discoveries on each visit. Whether you seek geological wonders, cultural insights or spiritual connection with the land, this volcanic wonderland beckons for further exploration!

Hike Trails Through Lush Rainforests

In addition to idyllic beaches, Hawaii boasts some of the lushest rainforests in the world. For an immersive jungle adventure, lace up your boots and hit one of the islands’ magnificent hiking trails. Meandering through verdant valleys and peaks delivers encounters with thundering waterfalls, exotic wildlife, and serene bamboo groves. Get ready to traverse misty forests straight out of Jurassic Park and discover Hawaii’s wild heart. Let’s hit the trails under the rainforest canopy!

Pihea Trail to Alakai Swamp on Kauai

On Kauai, the rugged Pihea Trail transports hikers into the spectacular Alakai Swamp. This pristine wilderness is actually a high-altitude bog shrouded in mist and mystery. Along the winding boardwalk trail, keep eyes peeled for rare birds like the Kauai amakihi darting through the towering trees. Look down to spot carnivorous plants like the rainbow-hued lobster claw devouring insects on the muddy forest floor. The dramatic cliffs of Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on Earth, loom in the distance. At the end, take in views of Kalalau Valley from a breezy overlook. With its otherworldly scenery, the Pihea Trail feels like a passage into Kauai’s primitive past.

Bamboo Forest and Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

On Maui, venture into the verdant area known as the Road to Hana to discover the enchanting Pipiwai Trail. This moderate 4 mile trek winds through a literal fairytale forest of giant bamboo stalks creaking overhead before culminating at the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. Enter a true jurassic landscape while passing through stands of massive banyan trees with vines dangling from their branches. Keep a watch for colorful native birds like the apapane sipping nectar from clusters of hibiscus flowers. Make sure to drench yourself in the refreshing mist billowing up from the powerful cascade at Waimoku Falls – the perfect remedy for a day of rainforest trekking!

Awaawapuhi Trail and the Nā Pali Coast on Kauai

For stunning coastal rainforest scenery, venture to Kauai’s iconic Nā Pali Coast. The challenging 11 mile Awaawapuhi Trail follows steep switchbacks down 2000 feet of elevation into a lush valley dotted with thundering waterfalls. As you descend further, the trees give way to reveal breathtaking views of the razor-edged cliffs and sapphire Pacific 2,000 feet directly below. Watch for endemic birds like the Kauai thrush hopping along the forest floor. The trail terminates at a viewpoint of the thin, wispy Awaawapuhi Falls cascading some 3,100 feet in a series of ethereal tiers – an awe-inspiring sight. For an unforgettable rainforest experience, take on the Awaawapuhi Trail.

Makapuu Lighthouse Trail – Coastal Forest on Oahu

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

For an easy rainforest hike near the ocean, check out the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail on Oahu. Wind through Norfolk pines and vine-draped ironwood trees as you make your way up to the historic red-roofed Makapuu Lighthouse. Peer over the edge at cliffs teeming with roosting seabirds like white terns and brown boobies. The blue Pacific Ocean crashes on black lava rocks far below. Look inland through breaks in the foliage to glimpse verdant valleys cutting through the Koolau Mountains. With its sweeping coastal vistas and cool shade, the 2 mile Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is a family-friendly foray into Oahu’s rainforests.

Venture beyond Hawaii’s beaches to discover an interior realm of untamed tropical beauty. Lush valleys, towering waterfalls, endemic wildlife, and primordial landscapes await within its ancient rainforests. Wander through groves of giant bamboo, traverse marshes buzzing with rare birds, gaze out from breezy ocean cliff overlooks. Hawaii’s magnificent hiking trails deliver endless inspiration through its magnificent wilderness one stride at a time. Immerse yourself in the islands’ vibrant interior and uncover your own secret rainforest world!

Relax on Secluded Black Sand Beaches

Alongside Hawaii’s renowned golden and white sand strands, the islands boast a number of secluded black sand beaches perfect for escaping the crowds. Formed by fragments of hardened lava, these darker shores offer a unique tropical atmosphere. Trade the bustle of resort beaches for the peaceful vibes of Hawaii’s off-the-beaten-path black sand havens. Grab your shades and flip flops and let’s unwind on these hidden gems!

Waianapanapa Beach on Maui

Tucked along Maui’s famed Road to Hana, Waianapanapa Beach features a half-mile long stretch of pebbly onyx-hued sand bordered by jet-black lava cliffs. Take a dip in the sparkling emerald waters that swirl and foam around fingers of the old lava flow reaching into the sea. Meander through the beach’s leafy palms to discover ancient lava tubes and arches you can explore. Don’t miss the striking black sandstone caves etched with Hawaiian petroglyphs dating back centuries. At sundown, spread out your beach towel and take in a phenomenal sunset over the smooth obsidian sand. Escape the crowds at this hidden Hana Coast gem.

Punaluʻu Beach on the Big Island

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Home to an endangered species of turtle, Punaluʻu Beach on the Big Island combines wildlife encounters with black sand serenity. As you lounge on the beach’s inky sands formed from lava flowing into the ocean, keep your eyes peeled for the Hawaiian green sea turtle basking onshore. Trail your toes through soft black sands swirled with fragments of emerald olivine crystals that give the beach its sparkly appearance. Don’t forget your snorkel – just offshore the rocky outcroppings deliver excellent opportunities to swim with sea turtles and vibrant tropical fish! The rural Punaluʻu Beach offers an off-the-grid slice of island life.

Kaimū Beach on the Big Island

For exploring brand new black sand, head to Kaimū Beach at Kalapana on the Big Island. Here smooth lava flows from as recently as 1990 mingle with the tumbling blue surf. Wander along the beach and observe how new sprouts of green emerge, signaling nature’s revival. Keep an eye out for steam venting from cracks and holes along the lava crust. Although the former beach town was buried in lava decades ago, Kaimū Beach provides a glimpse at the incredible new beginnings born from the molten rock. A bit surreal, a touch melancholic, entirely mesmerizing.

Onekahakaha Beach on Hawaii Island

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Nestled along the rugged Kohala Coast, Onekahakaha Beach offers another world of unspoiled tropical beauty. Here the volcanic sandforms jutting reef formations perfect for snorkeling. Rent a sea kayak and paddle out for an underwater look at the dazzling marine life. Scan the sand for gleaming black shells and pebbles polished by the surf. Relax under swaying palms before taking a sunset stroll, leaving temporary footprints in the ebony grains. Onekahakaha flies under the radar, promising a peaceful Hawaiian escape off the main tourist track.

Beyond the bustle of popular white sand beaches, Hawaii’s black sand strands remain untamed havens valued by locals. Linger on volcanic sands born from fiery forces of creation millennia ago. Coast alongside ancient lava flows, witness the renewal of land by fresh lava, and commune with endangered native wildlife. Whether you seek legends written in the sand, a photographer’s paradise or simple serenity, discover your perfect retreat on Hawaii’s marvelous and mysterious black sand beaches.

Snorkel with Sea Turtles and Tropical Fish

Ready to dive into Hawaii’s dazzling underwater world? Grab your mask and fins to snorkel with gentle sea turtles and kaleidoscopic tropical fish! Just below the surface, coral reefs teeming with ocean life await discovery. Let’s explore some top spots to embark on memorable undersea adventures across the Hawaiian islands!

Hanauma Bay on Oahu

Home to over 400 species of fish, Hanauma Bay on Oahu offers spectacular snorkeling right from the beach. Dive in and search the reefs to spot bulbous porcupinefish, the Hawaiian state fish with its puffed up spines and googly eyes. Scan the sandy bottom for flounders camouflaging themselves against the seafloor. Look up to see giant trevally actively hunting in the open water, their torpedo-shaped silver bodies glinting in the sunlight streaming down. Don’t forget to smile and wave at the friendly green sea turtles munching on seaweed! With its calm shallow waters and abundance of marine life, Hanauma Bay is perfect for beginner snorkelers.

Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

At Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island, adventurous snorkelers can explore placid waters teeming with tropical fish, then swim out further to encounter reef sharks and dolphins. Hug the rugged cliffs adorned with swaying palm trees to spy on coral gardens overflowing with ornate butterflyfish and bright blue tangs. Dive down to watch yellow trumpetfish hunt along the reef, using their elongated snouts to sneak up on unsuspecting prey. Further out, larger pelagic fish like giant trevally and white tip reef sharks cruise by mysterious underwater caverns and arches. With an underwater world this vibrant, you’ll want multiple days to uncover all of Kealakekua Bay’s treasures!

Molokini Crater off Maui

Molokini Crater’s crescent moon-shaped islet offers some of Hawaii’s most prized snorkeling. A sunken volcanic caldera forms crystal clear protected waters teeming with over 250 marine species. Butterflyfish flit amidst branching staghorn coral bursting with color. Follow the elegant movements of yellow tangs weaving through the reef. Look down into impossibly deep blue water for a chance to spot manta rays gliding by. Sea turtles frequent Molokini’s peaceful inner lagoon, where you can swim right up close to observe them munching and resting. For snorkeling in paradise, schedule a day trip to Molokini’s thriving undersea community off Maui.

Two Step near Puako on the Big Island

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Easy entry and plentiful turtles make Two Step a favorite snorkel spot for families. A natural lava shelf creates a pair of steps for safe ocean access directly atop the reef. Fins on and you’ll immediately see turtles grazing on algae-covered rocks right underfoot. Follow these gentle reptiles out towards deeper water full of vibrant coral. Watch yellow tangs dart quickly into crevices when startled. Spot pufferfish floating ethereally over the seafloor. Sight colorful varieties of parrotfish taking bites of coral with their beaked mouths. With wildlife working the shallows, Two Step offers an awesome snorkeling experience for all skill levels.

Don your snorkel gear and prepare for incredible encounters with Hawaii’s amazing underwater menagerie. Sea turtles, reef sharks, manta rays and thousands of tropical fish await you in the Pacific’s pristine waters. Schedule boat tours to access premier snorkeling craters and coves. Wade right from shore at beginner-friendly beaches brimming with marine life. However you dive in, snorkeling delivers Hawaii’s natural wonders up close and personal beneath the sea.

Learn the History and Culture in Honolulu

In addition to idyllic beaches and tropical landscapes, Hawaii boasts a rich culture and storied history. There’s no better place to dive into the islands’ heritage than Honolulu, capital of Oahu. From ancient Hawaiian sites to memorials honoring Hawaii’s impact on world events, Honolulu offers countless opportunities to discover what shaped these unique islands. Let’s uncover some top spots to encounter the diverse history and culture of Hawaii in this Pacific crossroads city.

Iolani Palace – Hawaii’s Royal Residence

Step back into Hawaii’s monarchy era with a tour of Iolani Palace, the royal residence of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani in downtown Honolulu. Wander the ornate halls to visualize grand galas and intrigue from a bygone era. Examine the throne room and imagine ceremonies with Hawaiian royals decked out in vibrant feathers and kapa cloth. Out in the spacious lawn, peacocks roam just as they did when the palace was inhabited. A visit to Iolani Palace provides an immersive experience into Hawaii’s not-so-distant regal days.

Bishop Museum – Culture and History Exhibits

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Dive deeper into Hawaiian history and culture with a stop at Bishop Museum, home to over 25 million artifacts and specimens. Peruse traditional tools, toys, and textiles for insights into daily life. View prized native bird specimens under glass to learn about unique island wildlife. Reflect on the epic Polynesian voyages that first brought seafaring pioneers to Hawaii’s shores centuries ago. Don’t miss the planetarium shows accompanied by traditional star navigation. For a comprehensive overview of Hawaii’s origins and people, plan ample time at Bishop Museum to uncover its many treasures.

Pearl Harbor Historic Sites – World War II History

As the site of the infamous Pearl Harbor attack that marked America’s entry into World War II, Honolulu holds significance in global 20th century history. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial suspended over the sunken battleship for a profound experience. Nearby, tour the USS Missouri where the Japanese surrendered in 1945. The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum houses WWII fighter planes and offers simulated flights. Seeing these seminal sites firsthand provides perspective on Hawaii’s central role in one of history’s pivotal moments.

Hawaii Plantation Village – Cultural melting pot

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

After unification in the 1800s, Hawaii became home to a blending of cultures as immigrant groups arrived to work the sugar plantations. At Hawaii Plantation Village, explore authentically-recreated homes from the plantation era representing various ethnic groups. Meet costumed docents demonstrating cooking, crafts and farming from Korea, China, Portugal, Japan and the Philippines. The cultural melting pot of the plantation years indelibly shaped modern Hawaii – learn all about it at this engaging living history museum.

In Honolulu, the intersection of past and present brings Hawaii’s heritage to life. Dig into the legendary Polynesian voyages that led to Hawaiian civilization. Marvel at the impressive Hawaiian monarchy and its majestic palace. Reflect on the island’s pivotal role in World War II history. Absorb the diverse blend of cultures that emerged from Hawaii’s plantation era. Visit Honolulu for an enriching encounter with the people, stories, and events that collectively formed the Aloha State.

Drive the Famed Road to Hana in Maui

On the Hawaiian island of Maui, a legendary ribbon of asphalt beckons adventurers – the epic Road to Hana. This scenic drive winds along breathtaking coastal cliffs, through thick rainforests, and over cascading waterfalls. Let’s journey together along the twists and turns of this iconic 64-mile route. Get ready for waterfalls, beaches, hikes, and nonstop wonders along the unforgettable Road to Hana!

Don’t Rush, Take It Slow

The Road to Hana is all about the journey, not the destination – so take your time. Give yourself at least a full day to leisurely drive and stop frequently. Set out early to beat the crowds. Pause often to soak in views, stretch your legs on short hikes, and explore sights like Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach. With 620 curves and 59 bridges, this route begs for immersive experiences at a peaceful pace. Driving the Road to Hana is a choose-your-own-adventure – ignore the clock and enjoy the magic.

Stop for Iconic Waterfalls

Lush valleys etched by rivers and rain mean dozens of picture-perfect waterfalls await discovery. Stop to see 80-foot Wailua Falls with its perfect plume pouring into a turquoise pool. Further along, stroll through the bamboo forest to view 400-foot Waimoku Falls tumbling down steep volcanic cliffs in a dramatic cascade. Don’t miss the unique Pua’a Ka’a State Park, home to the Venus Pool, a natural lava rock swimming hole filled by a thundering 120-foot waterfall. Prepare to pull over frequently for impromptu waterfall viewing!

Marvel at the Wild Coastline

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

The Hana Highway hugs Maui’s untamed eastern shore, passing alternating cliffs, beaches, and ocean vistas. Gaze at rugged seaside lava rock formations like the pretty burnt-red Holei Sea Arch. peer down over steep precipices into the churning turquoise Pacific hundreds of feet below. Pull off at roadside lava flows to scamper over the jagged terrain. Further along, golden sand beaches fringed by palms offer swimming and snorkeling opportunities. Remember the camera for capturing the Road to Hana’s stunning coastline panoramas.

Make Time for Hikes and Swims

The Road to Hana provides access to incredible hiking trails and hidden swimming holes. Tackle the Pipiwai Trail deep into the lush forest, culminating at 400 foot Waimoku Falls. Clamber down to the pretty Venus Pool, a natural lava rock pool fed by a waterfall perfect for swimming. Visit red sand Kaihalulu Beach then trek 10 minutes to discover Alelele Falls cascading into a hidden cave. With numerous exits for outdoor adventures, you’ll find ample excuses to stretch your legs along the route.

With its renowned ocean vistas, jungle waterfalls, off-the-beaten-path magic and limitless places to stop and explore, the Road to Hana tops the list of things to do on Maui. Prepare for a long day punctuated by impromptu adventures. Drive slow. Wander off the pavement. Linger long at scenic overlooks. Embrace every moment on this epic and unforgettable drive.

Marvel at Waterfalls and Tropical Valleys

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

In addition to stunning beaches, Hawaii’s interior offers countless waterfalls and valleys verdant with tropical foliage. These natural wonders feel hidden in plain sight. Venture off the crowded coasts to discover some of Hawaii’s most spectacular waterfalls spilling over fern-draped cliffs and its lushest valleys overflowing with vibrant jungle greenery.

Seven Sacred Pools on Maui

Accessible on the famous Road to Hana, the Seven Sacred Pools are a series of cascades culminating with the majestic 400-foot Waimoku Falls. This valley provides endless opportunities to marvel at the water’s power. Take a dip in calm pools between rushes of whitewater. Wander through stands of giant bamboo under the forest canopy listening to melodic splashing. Feel the mist on your face as you gaze up at rainbows in the thundering spray. Let the sacred serenity of this lush valley rejuvenate you.

Waipoo Falls on Kauai

On the Garden Isle of Kauai, plunge deep into the jungle to discover remarkable Waipoo Falls. This 800-foot ribbon of whitewater streams off craggy volcanic cliffs, its roar amplifying as you approach on foot. Stop frequently to absorb the hyperreal tropical scenery of impossibly green leaves, vines and fronds. Marvel at the falls’ immense power from an overlook perched just across the steep gorge. Waipoo offers a postcard-perfect encapsulation of Hawaii’s voluminous waterfalls.

Waimea Canyon on Kauai

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Kauai’s Waimea Canyon astonishes all who peer into its deep valley etched with streams and waterfalls. Stop at overlooks to gaze across the reddish cliffs under shifting skies. Look for tiny ribbons of falling water after heavy rains. Descend into the canyon on hiking trails to experience the valley’s microclimates from lush ferns to arid cacti. There’s no quite place like Waimea Canyon to absorb Hawaii’s diverse tropical landscapes.

Akaka Falls State Park on the Big Island

On the Big Island, Akaka Falls State Park delivers a wonderland of lush green rainforest. Follow well-marked paths under a thick canopy of vegetation to two mesmerizing waterfalls. The 100-foot Kahuna Falls’s strong cascade kicks up the most mist. Further down, glimpse 442-foot Akaka Falls plunging vertically in a majestic free-fall. Keep your eyes peeled for rainbows. With fewer crowds, Akaka Falls offers room to roam through the valley and become fully immersed in Hawaii’s lush rainforests.

Venture beyond the coast to a world of roaring cascades, tranquil swimming holes, sheer cliffs blanketed in green, and untouched valleys primeval and wild. Let the elemental power of thundering falls captivate you. Wade into crystal clear swimming holes between spurts of whitewater. Hawaii’s waterfalls and valleys remain the less-explored gems of these islands. Take the road less traveled to uncover their magnificent tropical beauty.

Stay in a Beachfront Bungalow on Kauai

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Imagine waking up to sunrise over the ocean, palm trees swaying outside your window. On Kauai, renting a bungalow on the beach makes this tropical dream a reality. Scattered along Kauai’s coastline, beach bungalows offer an idyllic home base for experiencing the island’s beauty and adventures. Let’s explore some cozy bungalow rentals perfect for a romantic getaway or family vacation on Kauai’s pristine shores.

Hanalei Colony Resort on the North Shore

Nestled on a calm cove overlooking picturesque Hanalei Bay, this resort features delightfully old-school beach bungalows, many newly renovated. Fall asleep to the sound of waves and wake up to paddle boarding right off the beach. Relax on your private lanai and watch sea turtles bobbing in the sheltered cove. Stroll 2 minutes to enjoy sunsets on the pier or take surf lessons in laidback Hanalei town. With its prime waterfront setting, Hanalei Colony Resort lets you live out your tropical bungalow dreams.

Pali Ke Kua Hideaway near Poipu

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

South Kauai oozes tranquility at Pali Ke Kua, just steps from the beach near Poipu. Each artfully-designed bungalow features Hawaiian art and a private outdoor lava rock shower. Gaze out on the crystalline waters of Keoniloa Bay, perfect for snorkeling with green sea turtles. Sign up for hula or lei making classes and get your complimentary beach gear to enjoy the sunshine. Later, relax on your bungalow porch with local wine and chocolate. Embrace the slower pace at this intimate seaside escape.

Waimea Plantation Cottages on the West Side

For a larger bungalow perfect for families, book a plantation-style cottage at Waimea Plantation. Nestled on a grassy coconut grove overlooking the ocean, these colorful vintage cottages exude laid-back charm. Let the kids run around on the spacious lawns while you swing in a hammock on the shady porch. Later, stroll down to the jetty to watch spectacular sunsets over the water. With room to spread out plus a pool and beach access, Waimea Plantation offers a heavenly Hawaiian home base.

Kumulani at Hanalei on the North Shore

Perched on a bluff overlooking pristine Hanalei Bay, these luxurious Balinese-style bungalows epitomize romance. Soak in your round spa tub out on the private lanai and look for whales spouting offshore. Let the waves serenade you as you sleep on silky sheets. Walk down to the beach to snorkel, surf, or just relax on white sands. With 24/7 concierge service, Kumulani pampers couples seeking an intimate and indulgent island escape.

Trade crowded resorts for your own private piece of paradise when you stay at a Kauai beach bungalow. Linger on the lanai and soak in the tropical vistas and sea breezes. Snooze to the soothing roar of waves. Wake up and dip your toes in the sand right outside your door. Kauai offers so many ways to live out your Polynesian beachfront dreams in a cozy bungalow escape.

Watch the Sun Set Over the Pacific Horizon

As the sun begins its gradual descent over the broad Pacific horizon, Hawaii delivers some of the world’s most stunning sunsets. Each evening offers a unique experience as colorful hues blend and change minute by minute. Let’s explore some exceptional spots across the islands for watching in awe as the sun dips into the sea amidst picture-perfect backdrops.

Mahana Bay on Oahu’s North Shore

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Escape the crowds at Oahu’s famous sunset beaches and head to Mahana Bay instead. This small cove on the North Shore sees far fewer visitors. Sit on the soft white sand and look out at surfers enjoying the last waves of the day. Out on the horizon, watch as the burning orange sun sinks into the gentle blue Pacific, accentuating the famous North Shore clouds. For a peaceful and low-key sunset experience,Mahana Bay is tough to top.

Haleakala Crater on Maui

For an unforgettable sky spectacle, make the trek up to the summit of Haleakala to witness sunset from 10,000 feet. As the sun melts into the horizon, look down at the immense crater bathed in ever-changing hues of orange, pink and purple. Watch the shadows lengthen across the moon-like volcanic landscape. Bring a jacket, as it gets cold quickly after sundown. Haleakala rewards those who brave the high altitude with Hawaii’s most stunning sky show.

Kee Beach on Kauai’s North Shore

With its remote north shore location at the end of the road, Kee Beach offers a more secluded sunset experience. Take in the panoramic coastline views as the golden light shimmers over the emerald Na Pali cliffs in the distance. Wade into the calm crystal waters that reflect the pastel colors illuminating the sky. Look back over your shoulder at the towering palm trees silhouetted against the fading light. Kee Beach captures stunning sunsets without the crowds.

Mauna Kea Beach on the Kohala Coast

Escape To Paradise: Discover Hidden Gems in Glorious Hawaii

Consistently good weather and clear skies mean Hawai‘i Island boasts prime sunset viewing. On the Kohala Coast, watch from soft golden sands at Mauna Kea Beach as the fiery sun sinks into the horizon. Out on the sparkling waters, late surfers skim waves illuminated orange and pink. Let the soothing sound of breaking waves enhance the experience. With ideal conditions almost daily, Mauna Kea sets the stage for dreamy sunsets with toes in the sand.

However you choose to experience it, watching the sunset over the ocean is a time-honored Hawaiian tradition. Marvel at the ever-changing palette of colors painting the sky. Gaze out as the fiery sun seems to melt into the distant watery horizon. Savor the sweeping coastal vistas bathed in golden twilight. However many times you witness it, Hawaii’s remarkable sunsets reveal a new beauty each evening.