Hawaii offers a genuine adventure as textured and active as one wishes.
Yes, Hawaii is known for its beaches. And true, there’s nothing quite like basking under the warm Hawaiian sun as your cares drift away with each gentle wave that laps at your feet. But there’s a lot more to the Aloha State than soaking up the sun. You can get out and do something! A well-rounded visit includes the most talked about tourist pursuits, lesser-known local adventures, and island hopping.
Whether they’re by land, air or sea, Hawaii’s great outdoor adventures are virtually limitless.
For hikers, there are fabulous nature trails on every Hawaiian island, including treks for beginners and experts.
On Maui, Haleakala is revered as one of the state’s best hiking spots. A favorite hike on Oahu is the 45-minute climb to the top of Diamond Head, where visitors are rewarded with sweeping views of Waikiki, Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean. On the Big Island, head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and take on the Kilauea Iki Trail, a five-mile adventure that begins at the Thurston Lava Tube.
If you prefer to get your exercise the “wheel” way, there are few bicycling excursions as enjoyable as the downhill cruise on the slopes of Haleakala. On Lanai, use your “pedal power” to reach the mysterious Garden of the Gods, a lunar-like landscape dotted with colorful and strangely eroded rocks.
Horseback riding is always a popular outdoor activity. Enjoy “happy trails” on the Big Island, where you can be a paniolo (cowboy) for a day at places like Parker Ranch, one of the largest ranches (175,000 acres) in the United States.
In Hawaii? Yes, indeed. The summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island is usually blanketed with snow from late November through April. Only advanced skiers should attempt to brave these slopes, however.
The ocean provides many exciting recreational opportunities. Take a surfing lesson at Waikiki Beach, where gentle waves and shallow waters are perfect for novices. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay or go SCUBA diving at Cathedrals, located just off Lanai’s south shore. Hook a marlin or tuna on the deep waters off Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Or head to Kauai and enjoy a kayaking trip along the breathtaking Napali Coast.
Take to the skies and get a bird’s-eye view of paradise. You’ll find numerous hang-gliding and helicopter adventures on just about every Hawaiian island. You can even go skydiving on Oahu, where a licensed professional will join you on a tandem jump at 13,000 feet. Imagine the adrenaline rush of free-falling 5,000 feet before your parachute opens!
The list of outdoor activities goes on and on: camping, hunting, clay shooting, sailing, windsurfing, jogging, whale watching, parasailing and so much more. There’s a whole world of adventure awaiting you in the Hawaiian Islands. Just go for it!