By Mark Faldmo, Jr.
Hawaii is on almost everyone’s list to visit. It truly is a vacationer’s paradise! Each island has its own character and a variety of things to do and see. There are many off-the-beaten-path activities and sites on each island. On your next visit to Hawaii try some of these lesser known activities.
Oahu is known for Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Tourists to Oahu spend most of their time in Waikiki.
Minutes away from Waikiki is the Manoa Valley. Take a short hike from the end of the road through the rain forest to Manoa Falls. Here you can enjoy the beauty of the area and swim in the waterfall pools.
Maui is the most visited island of Hawaii. One of the more popular things to do in Maui is drive the scenic road to Hana. Most who take this drive end their trip in the quaint Hawaiian town of Hana. If you continue 40 minutes past Hana you will end up in Haleakela National Park where you can see the Seven Sacred Pools - one of the best swimming holes in Hawaii (if conditions permit). This is truly a beautiful place.
The Big Island of Hawaii is very diverse. Here you can find eight of the world’s climactic zones making it a unique vacation spot. Volcano National Park is the top tourist attraction.
A unique experience on the north side of the island is Lapahoihoi Point, which is one of the most scenic areas in all of Hawaii. Off the main road you drive down a narrow road to reach an amazing beach park. Here you can watch the large surf crash over rocks that protect the park area.
Kauai, the Garden Island, is the oldest and most beautiful of the main Hawaiian Islands. Only 10 percent of the island is accessible by car. To truly see the island you need to see it by boat or helicopter. For a unique experience, take a snorkel or sailing adventure to the Napali coast and Niihau.
The Napali Coast has 4000-foot sheer cliffs that drop into the ocean and are a sight not to be missed. If you like snorkeling you can arrange a snorkeling visit off the shores of the forbidden island of Niihau.
Only native Hawaiians live on Niihau and you can only visit if invited by a resident. Because of limited access around the island there are some amazing unspoiled snorkeling spots.