Kuliouou Ridge Trail
Escape the hubbub of Honolulu and stretch your legs on this 4.4-mile, moderate, out-and-back path. Somewhat steep, this serious glute workout attracts a lot of trail runners, especially on the weekends. The hike begins among rocks and small shrubs, then snakes among massive tree roots, before the dirt stairs near the top. The ridge unfurls gorgeous views of Waimanalo and the Nā Mokulua Islands, as well as Rabbit Island and Koko Crater. Note: drivers have to park in a residential neighborhood, then walk up an access road. Start early to avoid the heat and crowds, and make sure to bring plenty of water.
By Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
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Marveling in Mountain Beauty
Couples can retreat into a different world for the day by exploring Hawaii’s mountains. The meandering, rain forested trails of the Koo’lau Mountains are a quick drive from Honolulu—the Mariner’s Ridge Trail opens to reveal a remarkable view over Oahu’s windward side that inspires sighs from even the most seasoned hikers. Wanderers on the Big Island will connect with Pélé, the volcano goddess, who expresses her longing for the young chief Lohiau by heaving up lava and forming new mountains. On Kauai, a trip to the Waimea Canyon allows couples to daydream together in technicolor by taking in the canyon’s saturated greens, reds, and oranges from overlooks scattered throughout the trail. * While this trail has recently closed (see Erin's comment below), "try Kuliouou Ridge Trail in Aina Hina."
By Andrea Rip, AFAR Local Expert