Though the Hawaiian Islands may be home to endless summer weather, we still get look forward to the days when the water warms up, temperatures increase, and the sun shines brightly overhead. While technically these 13 outdoor activities in Hawaii are perfect any time of year, we especially love hiking through unsurpassed natural beauty, swimming under waterfalls, and cooling off in Hawaii’s waters during the summer months.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Explore the breathtaking Waimea Valley + swim in the popular Waimea Falls.
An area of historic cultural significance, the Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden is home to 35 distinct plant collections, with one of the most impressive collections of Polynesian plants in existence. The main trail is approximately 1.5 miles round trip, and is entirely paved, with plenty of unpaved offshoots to check out along the way, until you make it to the valley’s crowned jewel: the stunning Waimea Falls, an idyllic waterfall swimming hole complete with lifeguards and life jackets.
Sip wine + relax at the beautiful Volcano Winery.
The unique Volcano Winery is located at 4,000 feet in elevation on the slopes of an active volcano and nestled between two volcanoes on lava-covered land that allows Symphony Grape Vines to flourish. Founded in 1986, Volcano Winery is the only winery on Hawaii Island, and one of only three commercial wineries in Hawaii. It is also the southernmost winery in the United States.
Stroll along Maui’s Kapalua Coastal Trail.
Part boardwalk, part meandering waterfront path, and all incredible, the Kapalua Coastal Trail is perfect for those of all skill levels, including small children. The trail begins at Kapalua Beach before meandering down the shoreline to Namalu Bay, across Oneloa Bay’s sand dunes, and through the Ritz-Carlton before arriving at D.T. Fleming Beach Park.
Go ziplining above one of Hawaii’s most famous waterfalls.
Skyline Eco-Adventures Akaka Falls Zipline is the only zipline tour across Hawaii where you are able to soar through the sky above a 250-foot waterfall. The epic zipline tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours, and includes seven tandem ziplines - each more incredible than the last - above lush forests and jaw-dropping scenery.
Hike to the stunning Hanakapi’ai Beach + Falls.
Situated along Kauai’s fabled Na Pali Coast is Hanakapi’ai Beach and Falls, accessible only via a strenuous day hike. Though diffiult, the hike to Hanakapiai is an absolute must-experience for anyone who isn’t experienced enough to tackle the famous Kalalau Trail. Two miles of hiking will lead you to the stunning Hanakapi’ai Beach, an awe-inspiring slice of paradise carved into the cliffs of this iconic coastline. You can either rest here and head back to your vehicle, or add another two miles to reach Hanakapiai falls.
There’s no better place to play than the incredible Makapu’u tide pools.
These utterly divine tide pools are perfect for days where you want a little more adventure than nearby beaches typically allow, though unfortunately, these tide pools aren’t necessarily easy to access.You’ll find the steep and rocky trail that leads to this picturesque series of tide pools near the halfway point on the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail near a whale watching lookout, but unlike the main trail, which is full-paved, the path to the tide pools isn’t exactly maintained well - so venture at your own risk.
Stroll through Allerton Garden.
Upon entering the enchanting Allerton Garden, you are sure to fall head over heels in love with this incredible destination. Established and curated by Robert Allerton, this 80-acre garden is tucked into the Lawai Valley on the southern shores of Kauai, and is transected by Lawai Stream.
This glass-bottom boat tour is fun for the whole family.
Hop aboard the Haleiwa Queen, a 50-foot power catamaran that features four glass-bottom view ports - one in each corner of the boat - that peer into the ocean below. Be sure to keep an eye out for tropical fish, sea turtles, stingrays, whales, dolphins, living coral reefs and even shipwrecks.
Check out one of the world’s only red sand beaches.
Located almost in the heart of Hana town, on the eastern coast of Maui, is one of the few red sand beaches in the world. The breathtaking Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach is one of the most incredible wonders you’ll see in your lifetime, and an absolute must-visit, as long as you are accustomed to navigating cliff edges with less-than-perfect footing.
Take in the scenery at the summit of Oahu’s Diamond Head.
Perhaps one of the most iconic images associated with Hawaii is the towering silhouette of Diamond Head crater on the southernmost tip of Oahu. The view of Diamond Head via airplane is iconic, the hike to the summit is mentioned in every guidebook, and you can even see the volcano from the famous beaches of Waikiki. Once used for military training, the government-owned property has since been opened to the public, and is now the most iconic hike on the island for tourists.
Tour a Kona coffee farm on 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 – and nowhere will you find a better cup of authentic Kona coffee than at the famous Greenwell Farms. On the tour, visitors can learn about each stage of production of Kona coffee on this historic farm, and enjoy free samples of various coffee products under the Hawaiian sun.
Check out the sacred Kukaniloko Birthing Stones.
Found on the outskirts of Wahiawa in the middle of a sugarcane field, a few hundred yards from the intersection of Whitmore Avenue and Highway 80 is an unsuspecting sacred site you could easily drive past if you weren’t aware of its existence. Here, located in the middle of a field, you will find a group of rocks, known as the Kukaniloko Birthing Stones, a sacred Hawaiian site that has seen countless royal births over the last several centuries.
Get away from it all at one of the state’s most beautiful campgrounds.
Malaekahana Beach Campground, a secluded and remote slice of paradise perfect for a weekend spent getting in touch with nature. Found just 55 yards off Kamehameha Highway between Kahuku and Laie is this 37-acre campground surrounded by ironwood trees and backing up to a pristine white sand beach. Pitch a tent, or rent an adorable plantation style cabin.