When you dream about Hawaii, you might picture yourself trekking through the Island in a Jeep, exploring the wild terrain Indiana Jones style. Or, you might imagine pristine beaches lined with lush tropical rain forests and jagged mountains.
The Island of Hawaii is a true natural wonder. There are endless adventures to embark on while exploring the island. While visiting this charming Island, don’t miss these spots that will leave you with a life-long impression.
Haleiwa, North Shore
Haleiwa is a small, charming hippie beach town nestled on the shore of Hawaii. Banzai Pipeline Beach is one of the most famous beaches, notoriously known as a top surf spot. There are plenty of small secluded beaches along the shoreline to explore or simply enjoy the view unfold. Don’t forget to visit the infamous wings, located in the main town.
One of Haleiwa’s most pictured spots, the wings in North Shore
Not only is Haleiwa known for its prime surf conditions and beautiful beaches, it also has some of the freshest food around. Unique food trucks of all kinds of food are scattered through North Shore, our favorites being lined along 59-712 Kamehameha Highway. While in the main town, head over to Haleiwa Bowls for the best acai bowls you will ever have in your life!
The view from the top of Diamond Head, Oahu
Diamond Head Hike, Oahu
Tourists find this to be a very popular spot if not all for that lovely scenic view. Since it’s primarily an uphill climb, the Diamond Head Hike does take some strength to climb. A novice hiker shouldn’t have too much trouble finishing the hike. Don’t make the same mistake we did by heading out in the afternoon. Due to harsh sun and heat in the afternoons, head out as early as you can to beat the sun!
Waimea Bay, Haleiwa
Waimea Bay is a beautiful, picturesque beach tucked away in Haleiwa. It’s a little piece of heaven on earth. Although strikingly beautiful, the large waves and strong current can be extremely dangerous. While we swam in the water, we couldn’t believe how strong the current was. It took us a few failed attempts just to beat the current’s pull and get out of the water, but the incredible waves were worth it! Many locals head to this beach to body surf and spend their days off, making it a great spot to people watch and enjoy the surf.
The hike up to the Lanikai Pillboxes with Lanikai Beach below, Oahu
Lanikai Pillboxes Hike, Oahu
If you’re looking for a hike that’s on the lighter side, this is the hike for you! The Lanikai Pillboxes offer a marvelous view after a steep uphill climb. The electric blue waves and pristine white sand beaches from above are a sight not to be missed. This is one of the most mesmerizing views I witnessed in Hawaii and recommend adding it to your bucket list! While in the area, check out the Lanikai Beach to cool off and enjoy paradise after your hike.
A hidden swing on the Island of Kauai, by the Beach House Hostel
Kauai Island is a remote, lush tropical Island that is a dream spot for adventurers, adrenaline junkies and those who love natural landscapes. While incredibly remote, the Island offers acres of landscape to get lost in exploring. Waterfalls, secret beaches, challenging hikes with incredible views- Kauai has it all. The Island’s attractions are spread across the Island making it best to rent a car. Renting a car can be expensive, so you can take the bus, or hitch a ride with fellow hostel mates instead. You’ll still be able to get around the Island, it just might take some extra time and creativity to get there.
The Waimea Canyon State Park and waterfall view
Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai
Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, is a beautiful display of nature’s artistry at work. Spanning the horizon with ridged hills and mountains, the canyon is a magnificent sight. Waimea canyon is paved with tons of hiking trails that will take you through the rocky hills and stunning views.
Because we explored the canyon with people who knew of secret trails, we opted for the Kalepa Ridge Trail. Since this trail is unsanctioned and is not maintained, it is very dangerous! While we did hike to the trail’s end, I would not recommend it to any novice hikers. There are some parts of this trail where a simple slip up can be fatal.
Hanakapi’ai Falls (left), Kalalau Trail (right)
Kalalau Trail, Kauai
This trail is one of the most magnificent hikes I have yet to trek on. The trail weaves along the shore of the Na Pali Coast through a tropical rain forest along a narrow pathway. In it’s entirety, the trail is a 22 mile round trip hike. For those without permits, or for those looking for a day trip- the hike to Hanakapi’ai Beach is the perfect middle ground choice.
View from the Kalalau Trail of the endless ocean
The Hanakapi’ai beach hike is 2 miles long, and from there you can venture off an extra two miles to the Hanakapi’ai waterfall. The hike grows in intensity, with more streams to pass, slippery rocks to scale and narrow paths to hike. If you have the energy to hike to the falls, it is absolutely worth the extra trek. Since this is not a hike for novice hikers, I have to warn that it can be a very dangerous hike. Do trek at your own risk and with caution!
Have you ever visited Hawaii? I’d love to hear about your experiences!