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Top 17 hidden gems to visit in Hawaii

  1. Sail to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai’s north shore for a truly spectacular experience. This rocky peninsula is home to a plethora of seabirds, including albatrosses, and frigatebirds, as well as Hawaiian monk seals basking on the nearby beaches. Plus, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore, giving you stunning views of the coastline. So, why not hop aboard and head to this wonderful refuge?
  2. Prepare to be amazed by the wonders of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument! This vast marine protected area spans an impressive 140,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to over 7,000 species, many of which can only be found here, including whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of corals.
  3. Step aboard and prepare to be amazed by the wonders of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park! Located on the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokai, this park tells the story of the thousands of people who were sent to live there when they contracted leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the settlement and its residents. So, why not take a trip to this amazing park and discover its secrets?
  4. Fancy a break in Kauai? Then the Waimea Canyon State Park is the place for you! With its dramatic canyon views, it has earned the nickname “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” There are plenty of hiking trails to explore, ranging from easy strolls to challenging hikes that give you panoramic views of the canyon and the surrounding forests.
  5. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: This bay on the east coast of Oahu is a popular spot for snorkeling and swimming thanks to its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life. Visitors can rent snorkeling gear and explore the coral reefs, or simply relax on the sandy beach and enjoy the views.
  6. Pololu Valley Lookout: This scenic viewpoint on the north coast of the Big Island offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and the lush valley below. Visitors can hike down to the valley floor for an up-close look at the black sand beach and the waterfall at the end of the valley.
  7. Manuka State Wayside: This park on the Big Island is a great place for a picnic or a hike, with several trails that wind through the surrounding forests and offer panoramic views of the coastline. There are also several historic sites in the park, including the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple.
  8. Ahupua’a ‘O Kahana State Park: This park on the island of Maui is home to an ancient Hawaiian agricultural system known as an ahupua’a, which is a land division that runs from the mountains to the sea. Visitors can learn about the history of the ahupua’a system and explore the surrounding forests and beaches on the park’s hiking trails.
  9. Ha’ena State Park: This park on the north shore of Kauai is known for its stunning beaches, including the popular Ke’e Beach, as well as its lush forests and cultural sites. Visitors can hike the Kalalau Trail, which winds along the coast and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs
  10. Wai’anapanapa State Park: Located on the Road to Hana in Maui, Wai’anapanapa State Park is known for its striking black sand beach, created from volcanic lava flow, and the freshwater caves that visitors can explore. The park is also home to several historical sites, including ancient Hawaiian burial sites and heiau (temples). Visitors can also hike along the coastal trails and take in the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
  11. Honolua Bay: Located on the northwest coast of Maui, Honolua Bay is a popular spot for both surfers and snorkelers due to its clear waters and abundant marine life. The bay is surrounded by stunning cliffs, beaches, and forests, making it an ideal destination for those seeking natural beauty.
  12. Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park: Located on the northwest shore of Kauai, the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park offers some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in Hawaii. The park’s towering cliffs, secluded beaches, and challenging hiking trails make it a popular destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts.
  13. Maunawili Falls Trail: Located in the Kailua region of Oahu, the Maunawili Falls Trail is a scenic hike that takes visitors through lush rainforests and past stunning waterfalls. The trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and is a great way to experience Hawaii’s natural beauty up close.
  14. Akaka Falls State Park: Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Akaka Falls State Park is home to two stunning waterfalls, including the towering Akaka Falls, which cascades over 400 feet into a pool surrounded by lush vegetation. The park’s hiking trails take visitors through lush greenery and past several other smaller waterfalls and streams.
  15. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area: Located on the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, Hapuna Beach is a white sand beach with crystal-clear waters that offer excellent swimming and water sports opportunities. The beach is also surrounded by lush vegetation and has facilities like picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.
  16. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Located on the southeast coast of the Big Island, Punalu’u Beach is famous for its unique black sand, formed from volcanic activity. The beach is also a popular spot for turtle-watching, and visitors can often see green sea turtles basking on the beach or swimming in the ocean.
  17. Lanikai Beach: Located on the windward coast of Oahu, Lanikai Beach is known for its stunning crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views of the Mokulua Islands. The beach is popular for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports, and its tranquil atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful escape.