Hawaii September 25, 2017
The Dreamy Country Road In Hawaii You’ll Want To Explore
Throughout the Hawaiian Islands, you will find unsurpassed natural beauty everywhere you go. And while here in Hawaii, we can’t take traditional road trips like our friends on the mainland, the islands are home to several incredibly stunning country roads perfect for a scenic drive. This particular road is located off the beaten path, and is not only home to endless natural beauty regardless of which direction you look, but is home to some of Hawaii Island’s best hidden destinations. Kapoho Kalapana Road, also known as Highway 137 and more affectionately referred to as “red road,” is perhaps the best country road the Aloha State has to offer, even though it is an extremely short stretch of road.
The entire drive stretches from Kalapana — where you’ll bike or hike to the ocean’s lava entry for sunrise — to the Kapoho Tide Pools, where you can relax the afternoon away. This
trip measures in at a meager 17 miles, and stops at seven killer attractions. From black sand beaches to haunted parks and everything in between, this short and sweet drive has got it all.
Let’s just start by saying that, even though the entire drive is phenomenal, it is slightly like riding a roller coaster — full of hills and curves. If you easily get car sick, you might want to take a Dramamine.
1. Kalapana Lava Flow
There are very few places on this planet where you can watch flowing lava in person, and even fewer where you can walk right up to it. Kalapana, on Hawaii Island’s southern shore, is the safest and easiest to access. Not only might you see flowing lava, but you’ll be walking along the youngest land you’ve ever set foot on - which is pretty unbelievable, if you ask me.
For more information about the Kalapana Lava Entry
2. New Kaimu Beach
This picturesque beach did not exist in its current state twenty years ago: the original Kaimu Beach was completely destroyed by lava flows in 1990. Because this mineral-rich beach is relatively new, and the larger Punalu’u is located just down the coast, this picturesque spot remains largely tourist-free.
For more information about this breathtaking beach,
3. Kehena Black Sand Beach
The Hawaiian Islands are home to several gorgeous black sand beaches, including this picturesque stretch of sand. Sometimes known as Dolphin Beach, Kehena is also a known spinner dolphin hangout. The beach was formed during a 1955 lava flow, and is one of the few places in Hawaii that allows nudity.
4. Mackenzie State Recreation Area
This secluded park covering 13 acres on Hawaii Island’s rural southern coast featuring tall ironwood trees, volcanic sea cliffs, and quite a few paranormal encounters. Portions of the King's Trail wind through the park, and according to the National Park Service, improvements to this ancient coastal trail were made in the mid-1800s by prisoners and those unable to pay their taxes. Legend has it that the souls of prisoners who died while working on the trail still wander around the park.
For more information about this haunted spot,
5. Isaac Hale Beach Park
Also known as Pohoiki, this oceanside park is a popular surf spot and boat launch; the park is one of only a few places on the Big Island’s southern shore with such facilities. The park is named in honor of Private Isaac K. Hale, who served in the United States Army's 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division during the Korean War and was killed in action north of the 38th parallel on July 12, 1951.
6. Ahalanui Hot Pond
Ahalanui Hot Pond, found on Hawaii’s Big Island near Pahoa, and surrounded by green grass and palm trees, is the ultimate retreat. Though it is obvious that the cement walls that surround the pond are man-made, the pool itself is naturally geothermal, and its waters are heated volcanically to a balmy 90 degrees. Lava located beneath the park’s surface warms the fresh water that flows in from surrounding terrain.
For more information about this epic hot pond,
7. Kapoho Tide Pools
Perhaps the most popular tide pools in the state, a series of interconnecting pools extend some 200 yards offshore, with many of the pools large enough for snorkeling. Also fun: some of the pools are heated volcanically, and can reach temperatures of up to 90 degrees.
Oh, and did we mention that the views along the way are absolutely phenomenal, and you get to drive through a magical tunnel of trees?
While this gorgeous stretch of road is certainly enchanting, we think you might like
Kauai’s Maluhia Road, as well as Maui’s Kahekili Highway.