You can experience so many different things and see many amazing landscapes in Hawaii such as hikes, beaches, waterfalls, mountains, volcanoes, stargazing, snorkeling and many more outdoor adventures!
The best thing about Hawaii is that it’s not all about beaches. What I love most about Hawaii is the pristine nature. You can find beautiful tropical mountains that offer adventurous hikes, stunning waterfalls and epic volcanoes.
There are so many great places to go hiking in Hawaii. In fact, hiking is my favourite activity because you can experience the breathtaking natural scenery up close.
As you may know, I go by @wanderlusterprincess on Instagram. I love inspiring others with my travel photos and visual stories from around the world. I was born and bred in Prague (Czech Republic) and I still live there.
I’ve always had this passion for being abroad. I have a serious case of wanderlust. Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved traveling and exploring new places where I can find hidden gems.
I think my Grandma Eva inspired me a lot to travel and explore the world. She visited almost every country in the world and spoke seven languages. She also took me to Hawaii when I was 13 years old so that was actually my first time visiting.
She always said that Hawaii is the most beautiful place on earth and I couldn’t agree with her more. I have been to 49 countries and Hawaii still remains my favorite place ever!
Visiting Hawaii for 3 Weeks This Year
I have been to Hawaii five times. The longest time I stayed there was one year. I lived there from 2012-2013. My first visit was when I was 13 years old in 2002 and I distinctly remember the feeling of stepping off the plane in Honolulu, Oahu. The tropical breeze immediately carried the scent of Hawaiian flowers to me.
I saw the green lush tropical mountains, beaches, rainbows and it was everything I’d ever imagined. I’ve been to six of the islands several times over a span of 17 years and I still feel the same way. Hawaii is paradise to me and that’s why I had to visit again this year.
In October, I visited Hawaii for three weeks which (as mentioned prior) was my fifth time visiting the islands. This time I came with my boyfriend Matthias and my family. We flew from Prague to Honolulu on Oahu which takes more than 24 hours with two layovers.
This trip took me to four islands – Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. My visit was all about island-hopping and round trips around the islands. The maximum number of nights we stayed at one place was three. We were constantly on the move and saw a lot of incredible places.
Some days I would wake up at 4:30am to go hiking to see a sunrise, then spending the whole day exploring and finishing with amazing sunsets at another magnificent location. To be honest, sometimes I was exhausted but it was all worth it!
If I had to choose a favourite place for this trip it would have to be Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kauai. On this trip I hiked two times to Nāpali Cliffs and I also went on a boat tour to see Napali Coast from the other side and seeing those cliffs felt so unreal!
I have never seen such a magnificent coastline/cliffs. Whether taking in these sights by land, boat or air, the ruggedly beautiful Na Pali Coast will leave you marveling at the sheer size and beauty of its cliffs. It is one of the least-disturbed wildlands of Hawaii and one of the best places to enjoy outdoor adventures.
The Best Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy in Hawaii
For travelers who want to experience the best attractions of Hawaii, my first recommendation is to go hiking! There are many different hikes on the islands to choose from. It’s the best way to get up close and take in the beautiful natural scenery of Hawaii.
My second recommendation would be to see the sunrise on the top of Haleakala on Maui. Haleakala is Maui’s highest peak (3,005m) and means “house of the sun”. Witnessing the sun soar from the summit—in all its striated glory—is downright astonishing.
It’s a very popular attraction and that’s why you need to make a reservation two months in advance on the national park website to see the sunrise.
Another must-do and one of the best outdoor adventures in Hawaii is visiting Lanikai Beach. Lanikai means “heavenly ocean”. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Two offshore islands called the Mokulua Islands can be seen from the beach.
Combine that with the soft white sand and azure blue waters and you have an idyllic tropical postcard spot. Don’t forget to hike to Lanikai Pillboxes for sunrise too – definitely the best sunrise view on Oahu!
My favourite outdoor adventures and hikes on the Hawaiian islands are:
- Lanikai Pillboxes Hike
- Crouching Lion Hike
- Kualoa Regional Park
- Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden
- Lanikai Beach
- Waimanalo Beach
- Kaawa Beach
- Sunset Beach
- Awaawapuhi Trail
- Kalepa Ridge Trail in Kokee State Park
- Canyon Trail in Waimea Canyon State Park
- Wailua Falls
- Tunnels Beach
- Taro Fields Lookout in Hanalei
- Polihale Beach
- Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls
- Kaihalulu Beach
- Waianapanapa Beach
- Pololu Valley Trail
- Green Sand Beach
- Waipio Valley
- Akaka Falls
- Rainbow Falls
- Volcanoes National Park
- Pololu Beach
The Best Food and Accommodation in Hawaii
Hawaiian cuisine is influenced by many cultures and settlers throughout island history – Polynesian, Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese influences.
My favorite local dishes are Poke (raw fish), Lomi Lomi Salmon (fresh tomato and salmon salad), Banana Bread, Acai Bowl, Shaved Ice (ice-based dessert made of finely crushed ice and sweet condiments or syrups) and Malasadas (fried type of doughnut).
In terms of restaurants/eateries I would definitely recommend Duke’s in Waikiki for a delicious breakfast buffet, all the different shrimp trucks on the North Shore of Oahu, Sunrise Shack at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu and the banana bread stands on the road to Hana.
When it comes to accommodation in Hawaii, I tend to stay in hotels, b&bs and rental houses. Some of the rental houses are authentic Hawaiian style homes which is really great! My favourite hotel in Hawaii is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki – aka the Pink Palace. The hotel was built in 1927 and it’s one of the oldest hotels in Hawaii.
Tips for Enjoying the Best Outdoor Adventures of Hawaii
1) Buy Good Hiking Shoes: You should definitely bring good hiking shoes with excellent grip. I do not recommend hiking in sneakers. The trails are usually very muddy and slippery and you are often hiking on mountain ridges so not having good hiking boots can be dangerous.
2) Rent a Car: The best way to explore the islands is by car. I recommend renting a car.
3) Visit During Shoulder Season: The best time to visit Hawaii is during shoulder seasons – October, November or April-May.
4) Use Inter-Island Flights: The best way to travel between the islands is by plane.
5) Visit Multiple Islands: If you are going to fly all the way to Hawaii, you might as well visit multiple islands, as inter-island flights aren’t that expensive. Inter-island flights cost between 50-100 USD. Some islands have more than one airport. Keep this in mind when booking your flight, hotel and car hire.
6) Be Careful Swimming in the Ocean: Hawaii has some dangerous swimming spots! If you’re planning on visiting a beach without lifeguards and flags, make sure to research its safety conditions first.
Hawaii has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, but also some of the most dangerous. Conditions often change without warning! Rip currents, high surf and shore breaks here are no joke.
7) Learn a Few Hawaiian Words: You will hear Aloha, Mahalo, Kokua and many other Hawaiian words on every corner.
Mahalo nui loa for reading guys!