Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
A favorite workout for city dwellers, the 2.5-mile Makiki Valley Loop links three Tantalus-area trails that are usually muddy, so wear shoes with traction and pick up a walking stick. The loop cuts through a diverse tropical forest, mainly composed of nonnative species introduced to reforest an area denuded by the 19th-century ʻiliahi (sandalwood) trade.
The park area around the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park extends from the Valor in the Pacific monument grounds. As you stroll around, you can peer through periscopes and inspect a Japanese kaiten (suicide torpedo), the marine equivalent of a kamikaze pilot and his plane.
One of the USA’s most significant WWII sites, this National Park Service monument narrates the history of the Pearl Harbor attack and commemorates fallen service members. The monument is entirely wheelchair accessible. The main entrance also leads to Pearl Harbor’s other parks and museums.
This marine conservation district comes with Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings: wild and wicked in the winter, calm and tranquil in the summer. But no matter its mood, it’s always ideal for some sort of activity. The narrow Kalaepiha Point separates Slaughterhouse Beach and Honolua Bay . Together they form the Honolua–Mokuleʻia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.
On March 18, 2008, Halemaʻumaʻu Crater shattered a quarter-century of silence with a huge steam-driven explosion that scattered rocks and Pele's hair (strands of volcanic glass) over 75 acres. A series of explosions followed, widening a 300ft vent in the crater floor, which as of early 2011 continued to spew a muscular column of smoke.
About a mile northeast of downtown Honolulu and surrounded by freeways and residential neighborhoods is a bowl-shaped crater, nicknamed the Punchbowl, formed by a long-extinct volcano. Hawaiians called the crater Puowaina (‘hill of human sacrifices’).
It's off the beaten path, but this heiau, near ʻUpolu Point at Hawaiʻi's northernmost tip, is among the oldest (c AD 480) and most historically significant Hawaiian sites. Measuring about 250ft by 125ft, with walls 6ft high, the massive stone ruins sit solitary and brooding on a wind-rustled grassy plain.
The velvety green pinnacle that rises straight up 2250ft takes its name from ʻIao, the daughter of Maui. According to legend, Maui and the goddess Hina raised their beautiful daughter ʻIao in this hidden valley, hoping to shelter her from worldly temptations. But a merman(half-man, half-fish)swam into the valley one night and took ʻIao as a lover.
Driving to the summit requires a few special considerations: you should have a 4WD, be acclimatized and do it during the daytime – the use of vehicle headlights is discouraged between sunset and sunrise because they interfere with astronomical observation. You must descend from the summit 30 minutes after sunset.
About 2 miles northeast of Waikiki, the main campus of the statewide university system was born too late to be weighed down by the tweedy academic architecture of the mainland. Today, its breezy, tree-shaded campus is crowded with students from islands throughout Polynesia.
The Turtle Bay resort hotel sits out on beautiful Kuilima Point . To the east of the building, sheltered Bayview Beach has swimming-pool-placid water and a wide arc of sand. There’s an outer reef that not only knocks down the waves but creates good snorkeling. Rent snorkel sets, bodyboards and beach gear at the on-site Sand Bar .
Next to the soccer field is a popular site for quaint church weddings. The original Waiʻoli Huiʻia Church was built by Hanalei’s first missionaries, Reverend and Mrs William Alexander, who arrived in 1834 in a double-hulled canoe. Their mission hall and mission house remain in the middle of town, set on a huge manicured lawn with a beautiful mountain backdrop.
Charles Lindbergh moved to remote Kipahulu in 1968. Although he relished the privacy he found here, he did occasionally emerge as a spokesperson for conservation issues. When he learned he had terminal cancer, he decided to forgo treatment on the mainland and came home to Maui to live out his final days.
'Ili'ili'opae Heiau is Moloka'i's biggest and best-known heiau, and is thought to be the second largest in Hawaii. It also might possibly be the oldest religious site in the state. Over 300ft long and 100ft wide, it is about 22ft high on the eastern side, and 11ft high at the other end. The main platform is strikingly level.