Hawaii on a Half Shell
Collected by Jay Rymeski , AFAR Local Expert
A laid-back romp around the pearls of the Pacific. From the big island of Hawaii, up through Oahu, to Maui, Kauai and beyond, there is nothing like being on "island time, man!"
Eleele, HI 96705, USA
With over thirty beaches ringing Kauai, it's hard to have a favorite. Salt Pond is right up there for me. Named for its traditional Hawaiian salt collecting ponds, this beach is protected by an outside reef which makes it great for kids and...
5482 Koloa Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
I rarely get fooled when I follow the local lead and the Koloa Fish Market has my attention. It's easy to start talking about this little fish palace across the street from the post office. Nondescript is telling it like it is. Observing the...
Kauai Multiuse Path(Ke Ala Hele Makalae), Hawaii, USA
Ke Ala Hele Makalae, “the path that goes by the coast,” may be one of the most beautiful and expensive bike paths on the planet. At about $5M a mile, it is worth every bit of effort to explore the entire seven miles. When complete, the trail will...
Hanapepe, HI 96716, USA
Koke'e State Park is home to Kauai's Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It's easy access by road makes it a popular tourist spot. There is a network of roads and trails with otherworldly vistas that dazzle. If you're looking for a...
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...
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...
Chain of Craters Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
There are several hidden treasures among the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. The one that I found most fascinating was a short (0.7 mile) hike from the Chain of Craters road to the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs. I was most fascinated that this land...
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...
Waimoku Falls, Hawaii 96713, USA
I used to live in Maui, right at the start of the Hana Highway, and driving the famous road was a weekly ritual. I recently went back to visit and found it still as breathtaking as ever. To avoid the tourist traffic (Mustangs seem to be the...
4946 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...
Maui, Hawaii, USA
This lovely state park stretches along the rugged volcanic shoreline of western Maui, three miles from Hana. It’s best explored on the 2.2-mile hike that starts at the black-sand beach and follows the dramatic coast, passing lava tubes, rock...
Kapaa, HI 96746, USA
Swift streams and waterfalls continue to carve these vertiginous and rugged valleys as they pour into the sea. One of the most stunning wilderness areas on earth, it also contains ancient Hawaiian ruins of graves, temples, house platforms, and...
Hanalei, HI 96714, USA
"Puff the Magic Dragon, lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee" our guide kept on singing this verse as he was pointing out the smokey dragon in front of us, as we visited this wonderful place (viewed from...
Kapiolani Loop, 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...
Shipwreck Beach, Hawaii 96756, USA
A short stroll up from the beach near the Hyatt in Poipu brings you to the top of sandstone cliffs the ocean is busy carving. Sit here and ponder your insignificance. Then go back to the beach and build a sandcastle. Bird watchers, I spotted a...
Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
You can get close, but it's probably not a good idea to tempt the Spouting Horn along the Poipu coast of Kauai. The blow hole spouts water up to 50 feet when the surf allows, stunning daring viewers who are too close and amusing those far away.
5-5016 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, USA
Opened for just a few hours on Saturday morning, this farmer's market gives you everything you need to start your Kauai day: shell jewelry souvenirs, coconuts juice from actual coconuts, and Hawaiian print shirts.
2335 Kalakaua Ave #116, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
The vibe in Waikiki is the most frenetic of all the spots in the islands, but there is an escape. The scene at the current iteration of the classic Hawaiian hangout, Duke's, is a step back even by Oahu standards. Best approached via the beach to...
1307 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
A pioneer of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, chef Mark Ellman showcases his thoughtful approach to cooking at Mala Ocean Tavern, a harbor-front eatery with dramatic sunset views. Come here for well-executed fusion fare like ahi bruschetta,...
2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Located in the heart of Whalers Village on Kāʻanapali Beach, Hula Grill is a busy hangout with live music seven days a week. You can sit for a meal in the open-air dining room, but the real party happens at the restaurant’s Barefoot Bar,...
Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Trade winds and a casual stroll down Front Street in Lahaina not only decrease the stress and anxiety that most people flee from when arriving on Maui, the fresh air and ambient temperatures allow visitors to see that world in all the shades and...
845 Front St a, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
This airy, oceanfront restaurant can get crowded, so expect a wait whenever you go. It’s worth it, however, for the stellar menu of Hawaiian seafood dishes, plus the tropical cocktails. Pair a ginger mojito or strawberry piña colada...
200 Nohea Kai Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Perched above the waterfall and pool at the Hyatt Regency Resort on Maui is an exceptional sushi house in the middle of paradise. Japengo might look like just another cookie cutter resort restaurant parked inside a luxury compound. The setting is...
200 Nohea Kai Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
The Hyatt brand is world renowned for its service and experience. Their Maui property checks all the boxes for creating the perfect island vacation. From the beautifully executed integration into the ocean environment, to the services and...
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