1. Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, Oahu
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens is a little-known 400-acre natural oasis tucked away in Kaneohe perfect for an afternoon stroll. Ho’omaluhia is also home to countless walking and bike trails, a day use area, campgrounds, and a visitor center with an exhibition hall, workshop and botanical library. The garden is open daily, and is free to the public.
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2. Jurassic Falls, Kauai
Located deep in the heart of Kauai is a waterfall so famous I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who wouldn’t recognize it. The waterfall is Manawaiopuna Falls, more commonly known as Jurassic Falls – after its famous appearance in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic, Jurassic Park. The waterfall is located on private property, and you’ll have to contract a helicopter tour company to get there, but we think the view is worth it.
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3. Ono Organic Farms, Maui
Also known as the Maui Exotic Fruit Farm, this farm is family-owned and produces an extensive selection of rare tropical vegetables and fruits, chocolate, and Hawaiian coffee. Located in Kipahulu, off Hana Highway, visitors can attend a fruit tasting tour, where they will sample 10 to 12 organic tropical fruits, and locally-grown coffee, as well as learn a thing or two about organic farming.
4. Kohala Mountain Road, Hawaii Island
Meandering across the northern tip of Hawaii Island from Waimea to Hawi, Kohala Mountain Road will transport you to another place. Known locally as "The High Road," this scenic road measures in at just under 20 miles - and is positively stunning the entire way, passing by rolling hillsides, ranchlands, and some pretty jaw-dropping vistas. Despite the stupendous views and wide open spaces, this mountain road is rarely crowded, and full of magnificent pull offs to stop for either a secluded picnic or a quick photograph.
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5. Papohaku Beach, Molokai
You will be surprised to find very few people on this stunning beach, which is the longest white sand beach throughout the Hawaiian Islands. It is one of two beach parks that allow camping on Molokai, and the swimming can be extremely dangerous unless the ocean is completely flat and calm.
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6. Kaneana Cave, Oahu
Nearly 100 feet high and 450 feet deep, Kaneana Cave is said to be the place where the shark man was said to leave his victims until he was ready to eat them. The cave is dark and wet, so bring sturdy shoes and a flashlight. Various small tunnels that lead from the main cavern have not been explored, mapped, or maintained, so it is imperative that you not enter.
7. Haraguchi Rice Mill Tour, Kauai
Located in the taro fields of the breathtaking Hanalei Valley, the Haraguchi Rice Mill dates back to the 1800s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only remaining rice mill in the state of Hawaii, and the private tour - albeit expensive - is absolutely fascinating.
8. Makawao Forest, Maui
We’ve talked about Maui’s brilliant Redwood trail, and the enchanting Bamboo forest, but the gorgeous Makawao Forest offers some incredible hiking on the Kahakapao Trail where you will see wild Koa, young Redwood trees, Raspberry bushes, Eucalyptus varieties, and fragrant Ginger plants. Located in upcountry Maui at a high elevation, the forest is a little colder than most of the island, bringing a welcome refuge from Hawaii’s typical weather.
9. Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative, Hawaii Island
Only grown in a small section of fertile volcanic soil on Hawaii Island’s Kona coast, Kona coffee is definitely a cut above any coffee you can find, well, pretty much anywhere. Instead of checking out one of the most popular farms, head down to Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative, the oldest and largest Kona Coffee Cooperative in the country. Oh, and be sure to order a coffee float - you seriously will not be disappointed.
10. Munro Trail, Lanai
Located just north of Lanai City, past the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, this 12.8-mile, one lane dirt road offers panoramic views of the island. At the trail's scenic lookout, and on a clear day, you can see the neighboring islands of Maui, Mookai, Kaho’olawe, Oahu, and the Big Island. The road will also take you to the top of Lanaihale, the island’s highest peak, measuring in at 3,370 feet.
11. Hawaii Plantation Village, Oahu
This outdoor history museum tells the story of the island’s sugar cane workers and life on the plantation circa 1850 to 1950, as well as the history of immigration to Hawaii. The village features restored buildings, replicas of various plantation structures, and a few ghosts as well. Of the village’s 25 plantation houses, approximately half of them are haunted. Every fall, the museum is transformed into a haunted house, though due to ghostly encounters and supernatural activities, actors are not allowed to work in the houses by themselves.
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12. McBryde Garden, Kauai
McBryde Garden, Kauai
Located near Allerton Gardens on the southern shore of Kauai, the McBryde Garden is operated by National Tropical Botanical Gardens and encompasses 252 acres, including the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in the world.
13. Kahekili Highway, Maui
Living in the shadow of Maui’s famous Hana Highway is the island’s Kahekili Highway - a road just as pretty and perhaps even more dangerous that its famous neighbor. This is easily the loneliest road in Hawaii, and it is an absolute must-visit for anyone who loves long, winding drives along the coast. Be warned, however, that this is a dangerous drive not suitable for the faint at heart.
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14. Kaimu Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Island
The land that the beach encompasses and the area surrounding it simply didn’t exist twenty years ago. And let’s face it - it’s pretty incredible to walk on land that might be younger than you - especially since so much of the land + wilderness we experience is ancient in comparison. With jaw-dropping views of the Puna coastline - as well as a stunning volcanic landscape, it’s hard not to feel as though you are on the absolute edge of the world.
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15. East-West Center, Oahu
Located on the University of Hawaii Manoa’s campus is the East-West Center, a serene space in the middle of the city that was designated by the United States Congress in order to pursue the strengthening of relationships with the Asia-Pacific region by way of education and research. The center features a zen garden and art gallery with rotating exhibitions.