Best Places To Visit In Hawaii
6 Natural Wonders of The Aloha State
Everyone has a different reason to visit Hawaii. Some might be there to see their family while others to enjoy the surf. If you’re choosing among big island vacation rentals for example, because you want to explore the natural beauty of the state, then these six natural wonders just might pique your interest.
1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The archipelago of Hawaii would not be on this planet had it not been for severe, active, volcanic activity. So it should be of no surprise to know that until today, numerous volcanoes remain on the island. If you’d like to see a couple of them, then check out the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. This 333,000-acre volcanic park is where you can find the world’s most massive shield volcano, Mauna Loa, and one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, Kīlauea.
This park was also declared an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and World Heritage Site in 1987.
If you think you’re just going to walk around in this park, you’re wrong. You can walk through a lava tube, witness a volcano that’s been erupting since 1983, check out the chain of craters road, or even camp overnight! Yup, there’s no shortage of activities to do in this park.
2. Na Pali Coast Kauai
When somebody tells you that Nā Pali Coast is beautiful, you better believe it because it is absolutely one of the most breathtaking sites you will ever see in your lifetime. Meaning “The Cliffs”, this 17-mile long coast looks as if it were painted by the gods. To truly see it in all its majestic beauty, you have to see it not from the shore, but from a boat. From there you will see all the 4,000 feet tall flowing falls, jagged ridges, and verdant cliffs. You can also go on a raft tour to discover the secret beaches and hidden sea caves. If you plan to hike here, best not to do it in winter as the trail can get muddy and slippery.
3. Wailua Falls, Kauai
Ever wanted to see two waterfalls in just one visit? Well, now’s your chance because the Wailua Falls has not just one cascade, but two. If it seems familiar, well maybe it’s because this was part of the opening credits of the well known, long-running 70s television show “Fantasy Island” starring Ricardo Montalbán until today, you will see Wailua Falls on postcards and other souvenir items as a celebration of Hawaii’s beauty. And the best feature of these falls is a trick of the light for in the mornings when the sun hits the water at just the right angle, a rainbow can clearly be seen rising from the base of the falls.
4. Papohaku Beach, Molokai
White sand beaches are always charming, especially when they’re three miles long and happen to be on one of the most scenic states because that’s what Papohaku Beach is. Meaning wall, Papohaku beach is one of the biggest white sand beaches in Hawaii. It is a hundred yards wide and perfect for people who love long walks on the beach. Since it’s so big, there are several things you can do there just like camping, picnicking and body-boarding; however, don’t plan on swimming here anytime soon since there’s no protective reef. It’s also recommended to wear close-toed shoes since there are lots of metal bits in the sand, leftover from the Second World War.
5. Sweetheart Rock, Lanai
Do you happen to be a secret romantic? Then lead your tender heart to Puu Pehe or Sweetheart Rock in the south shore of Lanai. Legend says that the young warrior Makakehau hid his lover, the young maiden Pehe, in the sea cave near the cliffs of Manele Bay. But then a storm came and when Makekahau came back for his lover, she had drowned from the risen water.
The women of the village came down to bury her and just as they were about to place her in her final resting place, the grieving Makakehau asked for one night with his darling. The following day, Makakehau was seen scaling the stone column and placed her body on top. In his heartbroken state, he jumped down to waters below, allowing the sharp rocks to reunite him with his love in spirit. Today, that big stone is what we call Puu Pehe or Sweetheart rock. Indeed the story is tragic, but Puu Pehe is a reminder of a young man’s love for his woman.
6. Mauna Kea
If you think Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on this planet, well hate to break it to you, but you’re wrong. Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, but if you are to measure including the part of the mountain that’s below sea level, then the answer changes to Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Mauna Kea is actually more than 1,360 meters taller than Mount Everest, most of the mountain is underwater. Actually, Mauna Kea isn’t even a mountain – it’s an inactive volcano that last erupted 4,600 years ago. Back in ancient Hawaii, the summit of mount Mauna Kea was considered sacred and only the high ranking nobles could visit the peak. Ancients Hawaiians relied on the forests growing along the mountain for their food and basalts for food and tools.
Today, Mauna Kea remains a thing of beauty, with many an astronomer climbing its slopes to spy on the sky. If you’d like to hike to the top, you can and it’s a mere 8-hour roundtrip hike, as compared to the 30+ hour hike on Everest. Once you get to the top, you can now boast you’ve climbed the tallest mountain in the world.
These beauties did not take a mere day even just a year to be what they are today. Appreciate them and try not to leave your mark so as to leave them as pristine as they can be for the next generation.
Have you been to Hawaii or are you planning to go? Please tell us about!