Yes, Hawaii is known for its great beaches. And true, there’s nothing quite like basking under the warm Hawaiian sun and feeling your cares drift away with each gentle wave that laps at your feet. But there’s a lot more to the Aloha State than soaking up some sun. You can get out and do something!
You can explore Hawaii on land, air or sea and take advantage of all the state has to offer.
For hikers, there are fabulous nature trails on every Hawaiian island, including treks for beginners and experts. On Maui, Haleakala is revered as one of the state’s best hiking spots. A favorite hike on Oahu is the 45-minute climb to the top of Diamond Head, where visitors are rewarded with sweeping views of Waikiki, Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean. On the Big Island, head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and take on the Kilauea Iki Trail, a five-mile adventure that begins at the Thurston Lava Tube.
If hiking is not your thing and you would rather pedal your way through Hawaii, you will not be left out. Haleakala offers a downhill ride that is very enjoyable in both exercise and scenery. Then there is the Garden of the Gods on Lanai. This looks like the surface of the moon with very colorful rocks.
Horseback riding is always a popular outdoor activity. Enjoy “happy trails” on the Big Island, where you can be a paniolo (cowboy) for a day at places like Parker Ranch, one of the largest ranches (175,000 acres) in the United States.
There is even skiing on Hawaii. Yes, you read right, skiing! The top of Mauna Kea will usually surprise you with snow from November to April. Be prepared, however, these slopes should be reserved for the most advance skiers. Amateurs should try something else on Hawaii.
And, of course, there is the ocean. This is an area that should not be overlooked. Believe it or not, some people have gone to the island and never stepped foot in the water! Gentle waves along with the shallow water make learning how to surf at Waikiki Beach perfect. Hanauma bay offers snorkeling while off Lanai’s south shore are the Cathedrals, which is a wonderful SCUBA diving location. Deep Sea fishing can be found off Kailua-Kona and the Tuna and Marlin are ready to be caught. If you would like to kayak, head on over to Kauai and go along the Napali Coast for some breath taking views.
To see all the beauty of Hawaii from the top, try hang gliding or helicopter at one of the many providers on the island. Oahu even has skydiving to offer you. There, a licensed instructor will show you how to not panic when you jump out of a plane at 13,000 feet so you can open your shoot on time. Do not worry, though, it will be a tandem jump, and if you do go blank, the instructor will pull the cord for you.
The list of outdoor activities goes on and on: camping, hunting, clay shooting, sailing, windsurfing, jogging, whale watching, parasailing and so much more. There’s a whole world of adventure awaiting you in the Hawaiian Islands. Just go for it!
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