Hawaii April 23, 2017
This Untouched Hawaii Paradise Is The Most Underrated In The State
Ka’u, the southernmost district on Hawaii Island and, I guess, subsequently, in the entire country – is also the state’s most underrated destination, according to a
recent Thrillist article detailing the most underrated place in each state. Now, here’s a question for you: how is it that one of the most underrated destinations in Hawaii is also home to some of the state’s most unique spots – including colored sand beaches, volcanic landscapes, and some funky towns? We’re not entirely sure how this slice of Hawaiian paradise could be so overlooked, but we know that once you learn about these 11 epic places, you’ll be booking your flight into the nearest airport, Kailua-Kona.
1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Whether you have lived on Hawaii’s Big Island for your entire life, or this is your first time visiting, you absolutely must explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. A trip to Hawaii Volcanoes isn’t complete without a visit to the Kilauea Caldera, a trip down the Thurston Lava Tube, a walk through the lava fields, a drive down the Chain of Craters Road, and, of course, as much hiking as you can handle!
2. Ka Lae
Located at the end of South Point Road near Na’alehu, on the southernmost tip of Hawaii Island, is this picturesque spot known for its phenomenal fishing and sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Ka Lae, Hawaiian for "the point," is the southernmost post in the entire United States, and is a popular tourist destination, despite its remote location.
3. Ka’u Coffee Mill
Everyone goes gaga over coffee from the famous Kona district of Hawaii Island, but we think the beans from Ka'u Coffee Mill are pretty phenomenal as well. Stop by for a tour of the plantation and a coffee tasting.
4. Papakolea Green Sand Beach
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, the magnificent Papakolea Green Sand Beach is located on Hawaii Island’s southern shore, near Ka Lae, the southernmost point in the United States. It is one of only four green sand beaches in the world, and is created from tiny crystals called olivine, a mineral found in the rocks of the surrounding 49,000-year-old cinder cone, Pu’u Mahana.
This laid-back town has a population of less than 900, is surrounded by lush landscapes, and is the country's southernmost town.
6. Ka'u Desert
This vast and mysterious land located within the southwesternmost district on the island of Hawaii is known as the Ka’u desert, and is home to dried lava remnants, volcanic ash, sand, and gravel – and little else. Inhospitable conditions paired with a lack of rainfall, extreme heat, and a severe scarcity of plant life cause most people to overlook the raw - and desolate - beauty that is the Ka’u Desert.
7. Punalu’u Bake Shop
Visit this iconic bakery for mouthwatering Hawaiian sweetbreads, cookies and pastries, as well as souvenirs and island novelties.
Nestled between Kau Forest Reserve and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Pahala is perfect for those who want to get away from it all.
9. Kula Kai Caverns
These awe-inspiring lava tubes are only a thousand years old, and positively enchanting. On the tour, you'll learn about the formation of these lava tubes, as well as how ancient Hawaiians utilized these geological structures.
10. Shaka Restaurant
The Shaka Restaurant, located in Naalehu, is the southernmost bar in the United States. It's the perfect spot to stop for a break from a busy day checking out the local scenery.
11. Punalu'u Black Sand Beach
Thirty miles south of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the Big Island’s most famous black sand beach. Fringed with coconut palm trees, visitors may fight themselves basking in the sun alongside Hawaiian green sea turtles.
Do you agree that Ka’u is the most underrated in Hawaii? What do you think Hawaii’s most overlooked destination is?