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I spent a year living in the Caribbean where as a local "resident" the standard Sunday Fun Day activity is a boat trip from the US Virgin Islands to Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. The traditional stop along the way is at Sandy Spit...
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British Virgin Islands
This beach was one of my favorites in Tortola. I would likely say the same about every beach I've been to in Tortola so don't mind me. I will say, however, the mosquitoes are rampant as the sunset nears. Bring repellent! I also had a wicked Pain...
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Lee Road, Valley, Spanish Town VG 1150, British Virgin Islands
The Baths at Virgin Gorda were so beautiful and fascinating. You become a child again as you explore around the rocks, climbing up and down through the crevices (don't worry, you'll fit). The water was a bit rough the day I went so I didn't get...
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Playa Sun Bay, Vieques 00765, Puerto Rico
We were lying in the sand in Vieques. We'd been told to watch out for horses, but nothing could prepare me for this. What a majestic experience to see wild horses free on the sands of Sun Bay Beach.
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Puerto Ferro, Puerto Rico
One of my favorite places in the whole world—Vieques! I'm actually a little apprehensive to share, because I'd love to keep it the semi-secret it is. If you time it well, you can have this beach all to yourself.
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Pristine, untouched and unforgettable: There's no other way to describe this natural park just off the northeast coast of St. Croix. Walking trails crisscross the expanse through frangipani and tamarind trees and cacti to beautiful...

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Crocus Hill 2640, Anguilla
One of Anguilla's most secluded beaches, Little Bay is tucked beneath a series of bluffs on the island’s northwest. Usually reached by boat or kayak from Crocus Bay, this tiny, undeveloped stretch of sand hugs a cove with calm turquoise...
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Salmond, Barbados
Heading up north in Barbados is a great way to get away from the bustle of Bridgetown and the hustle of the west coast. And if you’re going north, why not go all the way to North Point? First off, Mondays are the best day for this excursion as...
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Known as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Southern Grenadines, Tobago Cays Marine Park comprises five picture-perfect, uninhabited islands surrounded by a clear lagoon. Here, you’ll find sea turtle nesting sites and feeding areas,...
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Fajardo, PR, Puerto Rico
Pictured is Siete Mares Playa (or Seven Seas Beach) in Fajardo, Puerto Rico—a sneaky strip of sand and local favorite that hides not one, but two semi-private playas off the beaten path. On the far left side of the beach you can find an enticing...
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Happy Bay, St Martin
The start of the path is quite easy to find in Friar’s Bay. Just walk North past Kali’s Beach Bar and past Friar’s Bay Beach Bar until you see a path marked by orange arrows. It should lead up a hill. (There appears to be another path that goes...
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Woodlands, Montserrat
Montserrat, like many islands in the Lesser Antilles, is volcanic by origin and the island’s features are those typical of a volcanic island: steep hills, rich soil, and something many Americans have never experienced, black sand beaches. So,...
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Castara, Trinidad and Tobago
Pressed into the leeward side of Tobago between the sea and the steep rise up to the island’s mountainous Main Ridge spine, the tiny village of Castara offers intrepid travelers the essential aspects of the uncommon Caribbean. On the day we...
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Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Suppose I told you there was a small, remarkably idyllic and fairly unpopulated island in the Caribbean just a short distance from the mainland United States, an island so immaculate, plans were in the works to make it a National Wildlife Refuge,...
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Hilo, HI, HI, USA
Living in Honolulu, nothing feels better than to leave the City for a few days; even if it means heading to the North Shore of Oahu or another island for a short reprieve. On this particular occasion, I booked a ticket to the Big Island of Hawaii;...
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41-741 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795, USA
The only reason why we found this place was because we were headed to see the Halona Blowhole and we just stopped just to see the water. Love at first sight! The sand was soft, the water was a beautiful aqua color, and the waves were gentle. Not...
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2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Smack in the middle of Waikiki’s perennial party, the Moana Surfrider has elegant old bones and the bustle of a big-city hotel. On any given day, the Victorian-era lobby is full of young Japanese brides and grooms, trailed by their...
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S High St, Wailuku, HI 96793, USA
The fragrance of plumeria and gentle island breezes greet you upon your arrival in to Maui. Soon after you've de-boarded the plane, received an elegant tuberose lei and picked up your bags, you're off to pick up your rental car. The woman behind...
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2525 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
In an island area of West Maui that draws many transplants and seasonal employees, Dale Simonson’s longevity at 40 years behind a bar is amazing. But top that with his expertise at making tropical drinks and his friendly attitude and the Tiki Bar...
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1, Keomoku Highway, Lanai City, HI 96763, USA
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Find your inner Hawaiian with Auntie Irene and Sandra who present the Hookipa cultural program at the Ko'ele resort on the island of Lana'i keeping the history and culture of Hawaii alive. Ho`okipa, meaning hospitality in Hawaiian, is an on-going...
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56-505 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731, USA
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Take a road trip up to the North Shore of Oahu and go hungry! A stop at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck is a must if you are a garlic and butter lover...and really - who isn't? Make sure you have plenty of napkins!
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78-128 Ehukai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Perhaps lesser known, the Big Island (Hawaii) presents you with incredible fresh fish, local farm-to-table produce, and some very inventive twists on local-style recipes. We had dinner at Rays on the Bay—the name referring to the manta rays that...
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Kilauea, HI 96754, USA
The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is a federally protected peninsula on the north shore of Kauai. It protects a variety of seabirds, some of which nest on the cliffs surrounding the peninsula. The Kilauea wildlife refuge is one of the...
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Hanapepe, HI 96716, USA
At the end of the 11-mile Kalalau Trail lies the most perfectest beach. Gorgeous 360 degree views of cliffs and ocean, fine white sand, natural waterfall for your bathing and hydration needs, tropical fruit ripe for the picking, sea caves, and...
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1813 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768, USA
If you’re looking for tropical tranquility, bypass Maui’s buzzy resort enclaves and head away from the coast to the island’s laid-back Upcountry. At Lumeria, a 24-room wellness retreat, visitors can start the day with a guided...
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100 Hanauma Bay Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
We learned about this hard-to-find, stunning "spitting cave" in our guidebook, Oahu Revealed. Accessed via a semi-hidden public access walkway (there's a sign) in the dead end at the end of Lumahai Road, the short but steep trail leads down to a...
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2427 Kūhiō Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
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Down a tiny alley, next to a surfboard-rental shop, you'll find cubby-sized cafe called Iyasume Musubi. With off-the-path charm, they serve bento boxes, rice bowls, and a wide menu of musubi (including the infamous Spam) for under $10. Don't wait...
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72 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
One of Big Islands nicest beaches, sans prominent road signage. Look for Kekaha Kai state park on your roadmap and find this gem of a beach, white sand, great waves. Only minutes from Kona airport, I was able to soak in some December sun before...
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72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
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Before their scrub, wrap, or massage, spa guests visit the Apothecary, where they choose from a list of ingredients that includes black lava salt, hibiscus, honey, and macadamia nuts. From $795. (808) 325-8000. This appeared in the...
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2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
In Honolulu, just a couple blocks off Kalakaua Avenue sits the Outrigger Reef on the Beach hotel. The open-air lobby with several shops on the ground floor and a tropical garden near the entry make this hotel a quieter and beautiful place to stay...
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1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A fairly new addition to the Waikiki waterfront, the seven-year-old Modern was a dream come true for those young urbanites who never quite felt at home in the more traditional Hawaiian resorts. It’s not directly on the beach—the...
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Chinatown in Honolulu has an enormous number of shops and restaurants, food stalls, and vendors within several blocks of downtown. There always seems to be something new to try or buy. First Friday is a great time to visit Chinatown for the art...
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Magic Island, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Even before I moved to Hawaii, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Lantern Floating Festival. It takes place on Memorial Day weekend in May at Ala Moana Park in Honolulu. An estimated 40,000 people turned out for the 2012 celebration where...
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This was the end of the Hana Highway in Maui. Our guidebook told of a red sand beach, but it specifically left out information on how to get there, in an effort to keep people from spoiling it. Before our trip, I printed out some instructions from...
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53 - 360 Kamehameha Hwy, Hauula, HI 96717, USA
A trip to the North Shore is a must for any visitor on Oahu. It is an easy day trip from Honolulu or Waikiki to swing around Hawaii Kai up the windward (east) side of the island and make several stops along the way. The best shrimp in Hawaii is up...
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Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
[Dragon's Teeth is near a sacred and ancient burial ground. If you go to this area, please respect the locals and the burial ground]. The geological sites in Maui are fascinating...so many different things to see on such a small island. We walked...
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The trees look as if they have plotted a slow attack to take over the road. Vines hang down trying to slyly block my way and hinder my vision. The road isn’t straight nor does it have any defined shoulders or boundaries. The asphalt is laid around...
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Ho'olehua, HI 96729, USA
Molokai is the place to go if you are looking for a relaxing Hawaiian trip off the beaten path. The island is a short flight from anywhere in Hawaii or you could travel by ferry from Maui. Although this small island has so little traffic that...
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There are some things no matter how touristy one must do. After all, these things became "touristy" for a reason, usually because they're good. Eating shave ice in Hawaii is one of those things. It's not your typical snow cone, the array of...
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Kapaa, HI 96746, USA
Swift streams and waterfalls continue to carve these vertiginous and rugged valleys as they pour down into the sea. One of the most stunning wilderness areas on earth, it also contains ancient Hawaiian ruins of graves, temples, house platforms,...
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Kapiolani Rd, Princeville, HI 96722, USA
For a tourist destination in the US, Queens Bath is pretty unique. And by unique I'm not referring to the cool rock formations, or the dramatic waves that come crashing in from all directions. No, I mean it's unique because it's kinda dangerous if...
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Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Beautiful warm surf at chuns reef on north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Tasty waves for longboard and short. Can get big winter, so be careful.. park right across from beach, lock up, don't leave valuables. surf with sea turtles until sun goes down....
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Waikīkī Beach, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Keep an eye out on the beach and you just may catch an amazing show of Hawaiian culture and teamwork, as friends and families compete in outrigger canoe races on Waikiki beach.
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423 Kaumakani St, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Have you been here? Tell us about it below!
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Laniakea Beach, North Shore, HI 96712, USA
More commonly known as Turtle Beach, this Oahu North Shore cove often attracts honu, aka Chelonia mydas, the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles. These big, friendly giants can reach 400 pounds as adults and are herbivorous, feeding primarily...
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47-4841 Old Mamalahoa Hwy & Dahana Ranch Rd, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
Become a Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) for a day and do an actual cattle drive while on the Big Island of Hawaii. Even though it was a rainy, moody day, it was the perfect unique experience to have in Hawaii. Hawaii is much more than beaches! More...
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Coming back from north shore o get some coffee and stumbled on the surfing the nations coffee shop on the main drag in wahiawa. "if can , can. If no can, no can.". Sums up how people live life in Hawaii. We try our best to do things in a certain...
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Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, USA
Kauai's Hanalei Bay may be one of the most magical places on the planet. I swear some of the locals start paddleboarding at sunrise and don't come back in until sundown. I've paddleboarded in calm waters, but this was my first time trying to...
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Pololū Valley, Hawaii 96755, USA
One of my favorite discoveries of Kohala, Pololu Valley provides not only a fantastic view, but a rewarding hike. We thought there was just a short hike down to the beach where you can walk along the shore or valley's creek. However, we somehow...
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Waimea Bay, Hawaii 96712, USA
Families gather at this North Shore cove—all golden sand and peacock-colored swells—in summertime. Adventurous types swarm the rocky headland—a riotous scene that resembles Where's Waldo? or Richard Scarry's...
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247 Beach Walk #601, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
There's a certain kind of peace that one feels when basking in the Waikiki sun. You go there, banana daiquiri on one hand, and a trusty old camera on the other. You capture the moment and say to yourself, "ahh...this is paradise."
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‘Akaka Falls, Hawaii 96720, USA
I call this the "postcard shot." Akaka Falls resides in the appropriately named Akaka Falls State Park, which is just a short car ride from the town of Hilo on the Big Island. Park the car for a small fee (based on the number of passengers and...
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Turtle Bay, Kawela Bay, HI 96731, USA
Shaka! We got to stay on the beautiful North Shore of Oahu for two weeks in December. Typical beautiful Hawaii winter weather, the rain and clouds would usually break in the late afternoon, just in time for happy hour. We caught some surfers doing...
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End of Rte. 560, Hanalei, HI 96714, USA
Flying over the Hawaiian Islands in a helicopter is one of the most thrilling experiences one can enjoy during a trip to Hawaii, providing views of places inaccessible to most travelers. The island of Kauai is especially spectacular. Gliding along...
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2233 Kalakaua Ave Suite 304, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
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Satisfy your sushi cravings at Doraku Sushi. This reasonably-priced Japanese restaurant's owner is the son of Benihana's founder and located on busy Kalakaua Avenue—right in the middle of the action. Feast your eyes on this ahi poke: local tuna,...
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3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
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If you're hungry for a deliciously carb-heavy Hawaiian plate lunch, why not go to Rainbow Drive-in and enjoy a meal fit for a president? It's true: President Obama ate there as a kid and tries to make it back during his visits. Starting at 7 am,...
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2335 Kalakaua Ave #203, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
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For me, ceviche is a mandatory menu item: if I see it on the menu, that's what I'm having. I was a little hesitant about "Polynesian-style ceviche" at the Hula Grill, but ordered anyway. I shouldn't have worried: it turned out to be a magnificent...
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1113 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
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From the dingy exterior, you might expect Little Village Noodle House to be a hole-in-the-wall, but it's surprisingly cute and nicely decorated inside, with fountains, decorative woodwork, and nice tables and chairs. The chef's special fried rice...
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933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
The Portuguese sure know their desserts. If you’re a fan of the Belem tart, you’ll love what they’ve done for Hawaii. Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu makes malasadas, a light balled form of the doughnut. After an overnight flight from Sydney to ...
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651 Waipoli Rd, Kula, HI 96790, USA
Not all food indulgences have to be unhealthy, as the popular O’o Farm located in the Maui highlands proves daily. O’o Farm began in 2000 as the brainchild of two Maui restaurateurs who wanted to offer high-quality, Maui grown ingredients to their...
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For traditional Hawaiian food, I go to my favorite lunch truck. Try the lau lau, which is pork or sweet potato wrapped in a taro leaf and a tea leaf. — Hoku Haiku 66-412 Haleiwa Rd., Haleiwa, (808) 321-5967. This appeared in the June/July 2013...
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Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Known for stand-up paddleboard tours, Coconut Adventures also offers sunset sails for small groups that go out of Haleiwa Harbor. —Hoku Haiku Haleiwa Harbor, (808) 372-1218. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue. Read more about Hoku Haiku’s...
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59-720 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
To find out the latest surf gossip, head to the Pupukea location of this grocery chain. Girls call it Dudeland because it’s where surfer guys hang out. —Hoku Haiku 59-720 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, (808) 638-8081. This appeared in the June/July...
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59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Everyone is crazy for the chocolate haupia pie here, but the shrimp plate is also so good you’ll want to lick your fingers. —Hoku Haiku 59-024 Kamehameha Hwy., Sunset Beach, (808) 638-8207. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue. Read more...
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57-091 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731, USA
We only have one resort on the North Shore: Turtle Bay. It’s set right on the beach and has a 36-hole golf course. Every Tuesday the resort’s bar hosts open mic night. —Hoku Haiku 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, (808) 293-6000. This appeared in...
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Hawaii, USA
We started the 10,023 ascent up Mt. Haleakala in Maui with both wonder and a little trepidation. (We were repeatedly warned, by locals and by signs, not to ride the car's brakes on the way down lest we wanted them to fail!) We found ourselves in a...
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96-2556 Mamalahoa Hwy, Pahala, HI 96777, USA
In the least-populated district of the Big Island, near Pahala, lies a group of pristine, cloud-haloed coffee farms. Called "Cloud Rest," these spruce-studded coffee farms lie on the slopes of the majestic Mauna Loa and enjoy rich, fertile soil...