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...
3666 Kuiloko Rd, Eleele, HI 96705, 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...
49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
Kualoa means “long back,” and the land and name fit with its massive mountain range. Established in 1850 and known as a sacred place, it was a residence of kings, training ground for royalty, a sanctuary and refuge. King Kamehameha III’s physician...
933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
An experience that many people look for when they visit Hawaii is the classic Waikiki Beach scene. With so many hotels along nearby Kalakaua Avenue (Waikiki's main street), there is a place for everyone. One of the favorite events in Waikiki is...
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...
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
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...
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
The gecko is the "aumakua" or symbolic protector of Kona Brewing on the Big Island and the little lizard serves them well. This year marks the 18th annual Kona Brewers Festival, always held the first weekend in March. The lizard delivers with over...
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
If the touristy Waikiki scene isn't your style, I recommend booking a room on the North Shore, where life is quieter, less congested, and more "local." Turtle Bay is the only resort hotel located on Oahu's North Shore and the perfect place to get...
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,...
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...
Kaihalulu Beach, Hana, HI 96713, USA
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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