Waipio Valley, Hawaii (Big Island)
Favorite thing: The lush, coastal Waipio Valley is the largest and most spectacular of the series of amphitheater valleys on the windward side of the Kohala Mountains. It is enclosed by near-vertical 2000-ft (600m) high cliffs and is accessible only by a narrow, excessively-steep 4WD track, making hiking in the best option. The valley is a fecund tangle of jungle, flowering plants, taro patches and waterfalls, and a magical place to experience the spirit of the 'old' Hawaii. The valley has one rustic hotel, some 50 residents, a number of wild horses and a few aggressively territorial farm dogs.