Here’s Why Hawaii Is So Much More Than A Beach Holiday
When you think of Hawaii, it’s easy to imagine yourself soaking up the sun with a cocktail in hand by the famous Waikiki Beach. But Hawaii has so much more to offer than just your typical laidback vacay!
Don’t get us wrong, while getting a tan on the sandy shores has its perks, we recommend diving deeper into all that the archipelago has to offer…
Swim with dolphins
Swim along the coastline in the presence of these majestic animals aided by the welcoming and friendly crew of ‘And You Creations’. Make a day of it and take in all AYC have to offer with hula and ukulele performances, paddle boarding, kayaking and a chance to snorkel with turtles.
Welcome to Jurassic Park
Kualoa Ranch is the ideal spot to relive your childhood fantasy of walking with dinosaurs. Whether it is by horse riding, quad bike, bus tour or even a zipline, you’ll be in awe with the valley’s breathtaking scenery and see why so many Hollywood blockbusters have chosen this location as the ultimate backdrop.
A hiker’s paradise
Oahu has plenty of hiking adventures to choose from with each suited to different fitness levels including Lanakai Pillbox Trails, Koko Crater Railway Trail, Crouching Lion, Makapu’u Lighthouse & Tidepools and Diamond Head Crater but if you really feel like a challenge, then the Haiku Stairs (also known as Stairway to Heaven) is for you! Once you have completed any of these treks, it’s time to relax and head over to the Cheesecake Factory, you deserved it.
Pearl Harbour is a national historic landmark with poignant memorials and museums of the tragic attack that hit Hawaiian shores on December 7, 1941. The attack lead to the United States involvement in World War II and the visit is an overwhelming and emotional experience for all.
Dive with sharks – Top Pick!
This experience is hands down a must! Located on the North Shore, ‘One Ocean Diving’ founders @oceanramsey, @juansharks and their amazing team strive for Shark Conservation by bringing much needed awareness to these misunderstood creatures. During your 2 hour charter, you will be delivered a safety briefing before witnessing sharks of the Galapagos and Sandbar variety, but if you’re really lucky you might be able to free dive with the elusive Tiger Shark that are believed to be Hawaiian ancestral spirits. You will leave understanding why they are so vitally important to the balance of our ecosystem and why we need to take action to protect them.
Get a taste of a new culture
For the ultimate cultural experience, look no further than the Polynesian Cultural Centre, where you will consume a traditional smorgasbord watch Hula performances and take part in local traditions. Don’t fret though if you cannot make it there, many of Oahu’s main hotels host Luaus of all sizes to fit your itinerary.
Channel your inner Mick Fanning and make your way to one of the most famous beaches in the world, the Banzai Pipeline (my only beach exception). Once your feet step on the shore, it’s easy to understand why this particular beach is so popular amongst the professionals. Pipe however is considered dangerous so if you’re not experienced, sit this one out, set up a picnic with the yummiest poke bowls on the North Shore and watch the waves roll in.
Snorkel with Turtles
Kick back and snorkel with the locals who bring on a whole new meaning to “chilled out”. Black Rock and Napili Bay Beach are the prime locations to swim with the Green Sea Turtle, also known as “Honu,” while they have a feed on the reef. Give me some fin dude.
Catch the sunrise
On a clear day the sunrise above the clouds at the Haleakala Summit is simply spectacular but if you’re not a morning person then you can check out the beauty of the sunset too where the sky becomes a magical display of colours. Once you’re picked your jaw back up from admiring those amazing views, hop on a bike or even zipline your way down the national park.
Take a road trip – Top Pick!
With 600 turns, 59 bridges, constant weather changes and countless incredible sites, prepare for a long day of exploring! The Road to Hana is home to the most mesmerising and exquisite waterfalls and beaches in Maui including Waianapana State Park’s Black Sand Beach, Kaihalulu Beach, Wailua Falls and Seven Sacred Pools.
Preparation is key though! Once on your way to Hana, there is no reception, minimal places to grab a bite to eat and rarely any signs that point out to each destination so make sure to pack plenty of food and water plus a map for your trip or you could miss out on the many hidden gems Maui has to offer!
- Amy Mercer @amymercer.photos
Title Image: @adventures_ofjess