Hawaii for the Soul
Collected by Caroline Eubanks, AFAR Local Expert
Hawaii is where my soul belongs, soaking up salty sea breezes and chowing down on malasadas and spicy shrimp.
Waimea, HI 96743, USA
13,700 feet above sea level is the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Several companies offer tours for sunset viewing from the summit, followed by stargazing down at the visitors center at about 9000 feet. Incredible experience! You...
Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
This used to be the old highway to get from the leeward to the windward side of the island. It was literally built into the side of a mountain and was barely hanging on. It’s now been replaced with a proper 4 lane highway complete with a tunnel,...
423 Kaumakani St, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Unlikely as it may be, if you climb the steps to 1208ft (or 368m) at Kokohead, there is quite a bit of street art...er, trail art. Usually spotting the tagging at the conclusion of an intense and beautiful hike is a disappointment, but the...
Hana Hwy, Hawaii, USA
The famous Hana Highway. This loop around the eastern side of Maui is truly spectacular. There are many reasons to pull over and just look around. From the waterfalls, the beaches, and jungle, this spot might have been my favorite. It was a one...
3901 Mokulele Loop, Lihue, HI 96766, USA
Kauai is stunning on the ground, but in the air, it's spectacular. The island's small size becomes its strength as you're able to experience its beauty from afar (pun intended) and can soak up so much more than you could on foot. Head down to the...
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731, USA
The long line up at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck is a sure sign that the shrimp is good and fresh. With locals and tourists practicing their patience with the crowds and the generally unorganized way people decide to align themselves in what should be...
49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
Why would a local visit a tourist attraction? Because Kualoa is a beautiful escape and a place to appreciate Hawaiian culture. Building sprees that began in the early 1900s spread across Hawaii with no concern for desecrating places of cultural...
Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA
Shave Ice is a great way to cool off on a hot Hawaiian day and enjoy a Hawaii flavored favorite treat. There is no better place than Haleiwa to find shave ice stands on as many corners as Starbucks frequents in Seattle! Flavors come in all sorts...
933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
1603, 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...
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...
Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
If there is one geological formation that represents the island of Oahu, and perhaps the entire state of Hawaii, it is Diamond Head. This crater, formed about 300,000 years ago, prominently sits right next to Waikiki and makes its way into many...
1610 Haleukana St, Lihue, HI 96766, USA
This takeout place was full of local people during lunch. Off of Highway 50, go west of the Kukui Grove Shopping Center, and south on Puhi Road. It's in a weird industrial area surrounded by cargo trucks, but a great place to stop by for chicken...
Round Top Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
My favorite part about living in Hawaii is the view from where I live. I am tremendously blessed to have the spectacular 'perch' that I do looking over Diamondhead, Waikiki, Honolulu, and past the airport to Ko'olina. If you are looking to see...
364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
The grand koa wood staircase was shining with a new coat of oil as the focal point of the room; it’s beautiful curves lead the eye gently from the second floor down to the first floor. Men and women dressed in ornate gowns and neck-restricting...
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA
The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the World's Only Drive-In Volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here,...
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786, USA
Sure, it sounds a little cheesy, but if you're planning a day-long drive around the island, the Dole Plantation is a fun stop. You can take a quick restroom break, grab a smoothie at the cafe in the back, and pick up some tropical treats and...
74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
It hardly seems like Hawaii could be a part of the United States without its own brewing company. The most popular brewery is the Kona Brewing Company on the Big Island. With its year-round beers including Longboard Island Lager, Firerock Pale...
Hilo, HI, HI, USA
If you take Highway 19 from Waikoloa, you'll drive past what looks like acres of moon terrain. And then all of a sudden, there appear small hills, then mountains with all shades of sepia and green tones. Waimea is considered cowboy country, and...
Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
This fighter plane sank during a training exercise during WWII when the pilot ran out of gas and had to ditch the plane. It's a smaller wreck but still really cool, 97 feet to the sandy bottom. There are large schools of fish jammed into the...
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...
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
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,...
Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796, USA
Often described as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, this 10-mile-long Kauai valley is a kaleidoscopic array of scarlet earth, verdant valleys, and raw volcanic crags. Bands of color streak the corrugated landscape, each representing a different...
Koko Head, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
Just west of Honolulu lies Koko Head, the famous tuff cone of the now extinct Koko Crater volcano. Best known not for its geological features, but for nature's take on the 'stairmaster', Koko Head is a favorite hike with visitors and locals alike...
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