From beautiful black, green and red sand beaches to otherworldly caves and lava formations, the Hawaiian Islands are positively chock-full of magnificent hidden gems just waiting to be uncovered. In fact, you could spend a lifetime exploring Hawaii’s eight main islands and never run out of new places to discover. But, just in case you’re not sure where to start, I’ve compiled a list of 16 of the greatest hidden gems in Hawaii to start your bucket list – from the coast of Kauai to the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island.

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We think these are simply some of the best hidden gems in Hawaii. Do you agree, or are there some other spots that you would add to this list? How many of these Hawaii hidden gems have you explored? Let us know in the comments! A few of these spots require a bit of a hike for you to reach them, so we recommend bringing along a navigation app like AllTrails, as well as paper maps for areas without cell service (like the mountainous interiors of many of the Hawaiian islands). One source for offline and printable maps is AllTrails Plus – a subscription service that offers an enhanced experience when compared with the free version of the AllTrails app or website.

Don’t forget to add these 26 outdoor activities to your bucket list, as well as these 31 phenomenal attractions.

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More to Explore

Best Hidden Gems In HI

The Aloha State is replete with incredible sights and places to explore and experience - so many, in fact, that it would be almost impossible to list all of the best hidden gems in Hawaii. But, we're happy to suggest a couple more, in addition to those listed above.

  • Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area. Located on Maui, Polipoli Springs State Recreation Area is one of the best places to explore and experience the island's Upcountry without the crowds that come with a visit to the Haleakala National Park's Summit District. That's not to say you shouldn't visit the latter - you definitely should! - but a trip to Polipoli is definitely worthwhile, as well.
  • Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. This is one of the least visited units in the National Park Service, and it is rarely teeming with visitors. Those interested in the early history of the Hawaiian kingdom should relish a visit to this incredible site. The fact that it's adjacent to laid back Spencer Beach Park doesn't hurt, either.