With so many beautiful sites to see during your Hawaiian vacation, it’s easy to overlook lesser-known sites that often hold the most spectacular beauty. Since you only have a limited time in paradise, though, it’s good to try and include some of these hidden gems in your itinerary since you never know when you’ll be able to return. To help you use your time wisely, here is a list of four of these out-of-the-way locations that should find their way onto your to-do list.
Offering spectacular coral reefs filled with exotic tropical fish of all kinds, Hanauma Bay is a great spot for snorkeling, sunbathing, picnicking, or simply enjoying a stroll along the beach. Boasting a sheltered bay entrance, the current in Hanauma Bay is quite gentle, making this an excellent spot for snorkelers of all experience levels, including children. Even though there’s so much to do, the bay’s status as a hidden gem means that you won’t have to fight crowds, even during the busy season.
Mauna Loa Observatory
Located on the Big Island, the Mauna Loa Observatory provides a great destination for astronomy enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Situated among the terrain on the Mauna Loa volcano, traveling to the observatory is like taking a trip to another planet, with reddish-brown and rocky terrain surrounding you on all sides. When you finally arrive at the observatory, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, as well as an up-close look at an official observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Akaka Falls State Park
If you want to experience some freshwater fun while you’re on the island, then Akaka Falls State Park should definitely be on your list. This park is located only 11 miles from Hilo, meaning that you won’t have to travel far from your vacation rental to experience this natural wonder. The highlight of the park is Akaka Falls, which can be accessed via an easy hike through the forest that also provides views of other waterfalls.
Ka‘iwa Ridge Trail
Aside from water activities, one of the most popular activities in Hawaii is hiking. For the adventurous hiker, the Ka‘iwa Ridge Trail offers unbeatable views of both Kailua and Lanikai. Although this trail, at 1.8 miles, is fairly short, it is quite adventurous. Situated near the mountain’s edge, the trail is fairly narrow. However, if you’re willing to brave the conditions, you’ll be rewarded with an array of wildflowers, as well as awe-inspiring views of the coastline below.
One of the best things you can do while you’re in Hawaii is to make friends with a local. You can be sure that some of Hawaii’s secrets are only known to a select few people, meaning they’re tough to find unless you know who to talk to. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep some flexibility in your itinerary in case you learn about one of these obscure locations during your visit.