Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

  • South point
    South point
    by kyoub
  • Pololu road
    Pololu road
    by kyoub
  • Mauna Kea observatory in the clouds
    Mauna Kea observatory in the clouds
    by Nor_Cal_Brad

Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

  • Beaches / Bays

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    Panaluu black sand beach. It's pretty far south, but on the way to the Volcanoe National Park. Although we didn't snorkel there, I understand the snorkeling is very good there. Plus it's suppose to be a great place to find turtles because of the cool water seeping into the bay from underground. But we didn't have problems finding turtles, they were...

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  • Waterfalls

    Hilo Off The Beaten Path

    * Akaka Falls Rd * Off Hwy 19, Honomu, HI 96728 * My first day on the Big Island, my friend Kawika took me to these amazing sheer pits of 'awe' known as 'Akaka Falls. A 442 foot tall waterfall descending down into a deep gorge as part of the Kolekole Stream. Located within 'Akaka Falls State Park just 11 miles north of Hilo at the end of Highway...

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  • Devastation Trail & Overlook

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Off The Beaten Path

    We stopped at the Pu’u Pua’i Overlook & Devastation Trail. There was a picnic table here under shade so we decided to eat our packed lunches. The weather was perfect for a picnic and it turned out to be a really nice, relaxing lunch. Just past parking lot, there is an overlook of Kilauea Iki Crater. There is a path that leads to Devastation Trail,...

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  • Steam vents

    Volcano Off The Beaten Path

    Not really off the beaten path, but there were two very large steam vents here, with a huge amount of scorching steam coming out. One guy put his arm into it, and I can tell you, he jumped away pretty fast.

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  • Pololu Valley

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    It is fun to hike down the Pololu Trail down to the black sand beach below, but don't forget to stop and take lots of pictures on your way down. The views of the cliffs and Pololu Valley, in addition to the beach below, are all beautiful to see. After we hung out at the beach for a while and had a snack, we hiked up another hill and found a tree...

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  • Ka Lae, Ka'u

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    visit the boat docks at south point. Also on the way towards the volcano. I don't believe the hoists are used anymore. The water was an unbelieveable blue color here! We even saw snorkelers here. There was a spot where the water was somewhat accessible---if you climbed a bit. The water was so clear we could see the fish from the cliff. I understand...

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  • Halema'uma'u Overlook

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Off The Beaten Path

    Halema'uma'u changed greatly during the 20th century. In 1924 it was only 1,500 feet in diameter but was filled by a lake of molten lava that bubbled and boiled 2,100 degrees in Fahrenheit. There is currently no red lava visible in the crater, but we have been told that it is only 300 feet below the surface. Who knows...it might be just a matter...

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  • South Point

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    This place is definitely off the beaten track. When I went here in August it was just my family, some cliff divers and I. The southern most point is this big rock face that overlooks the ocean. There is a blowhole right at the point, and if you look to your right you see this magnificent rock face carved by the wind. It's a very neat place. Also, a...

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  • Mark Twain / Captain Cook

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    Mark Twain's Monkey Pod Tree If you have taken the trouble to fly thousands of miles and rent a car to reach this district of the Big Island of Hawaii then you might as well slow down to take a look at the monkey pod tree on the mauka side of the road when driving highway 11 from Kona to Volcanoes National Park since the tourist sights in these...

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  • Kipuka

    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Off The Beaten Path

    Something that a lot of people look at, but do not really see, are the untouched lengths of land that were cut off from their normal environment when lava flowed all around them. When lava flows move downhill as rivers of lava, they frequently leave these patches or islands of ground that is unharmed but now surrounded by the lava. These areas are...

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  • Green Sand Beach

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    Green Sand Beach has to be seen up close to be appreciated. There are tons of green olivine crystals in the sand, which is pretty cool to see. You've got to hike to get there, unless you have a 4-wheel drive. The hike is easy, though. It's over uneven terrain, but it's basically flat, about 4 or 5 miles roundtrip from South Point. Just drive to the...

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  • Watersports

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    Kayak through a historical sugar plantation on a guided cultural wilderness adventure - fun for the whole family! On hot summer days on the old plantations, the most daring kids would grab an inner-tube or almost anything that floated,trespass onto the plantation and "go fluming" in the many ditches and flumes. "Fluming" was a wild, exciting,...

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  • Lava Tree State Monument

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    If you're by Hilo and headed to the Puna Coast, there's an uncrowded unheralded state reserve known as Lava Trees state monument. Here you will find a forest of lava tree trunks that must be the bane of any termite's existence. Formed when hot, fast-running lava cooled as it hit the tree trunks in a mature forest and then quickly receded, Lava Tree...

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  • Waterfalls

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    On the windward, i.e. north eastern side of the Big Island, there are Akaka/Kahuna Falls. Not many people find the way to this beautiful spot with its well-paved paths through a tropical paradise. It´s worth every minute!

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  • Mauna Kea

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    It is quite an experience to go to Mauna Kea for a sunset! I went on one of the tours, as we were just tourists and the tour companies have experienced drivers who take those roads all the time. Also, I don't believe our car rental company covered us to go on Saddle Road, let alone to take it further up towards the summit, so we felt it would be...

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  • Kona trail

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    Travelling north from the sanctuary, you´ll go through 'coffee country' where the famous Kona coffee grows on the hills. The coffee farms invite visitors to come in. Whoever designed this logo certainly deserves a prize. In the old days, donkeys were used to transport the coffee down from the hills to the harbour, and their braying must have been...

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  • Waipio Valley

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    Waipi'o is an amazingly beautiful, lush valley, all the way at the end of the Hamakua Highway, well off the beaten path. The view from the lookout at the top is tremendous, and many people just come here for the view alone. I come back to see it every single time I've been on the island (three so far). We've hiked down into it twice, and it was...

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  • Volcanoes National Park

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    Volcano Winery. 96 miles from Kailua-Kona and 1 mile from Volcano National Park. Free Wine tasting. They even offer a wine made with honey instead of grapes.......very different. Well worth the detour if your a wine drinker and in the neighborhood anyway.

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  • City of Refuge

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    During our walk through the park we saw a lot of beautiful historical sites like The Great Wall, Konane Stones (old Hawaiian checker game), Hale O Keawe Heiau (a temple which houses bones of 23 chiefs), Pu'uhonau (refuge area) and the Halau (a frame structure which was used as work shed and for storage). We used our eyes, ears, senses of touch...

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  • Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    On the west coast, south of Kona, there is the 'City of Refuge' or Puuhonua O Honaunau, an ancient refuge for those who had broken tabus. Getting here was dangerous, but then again, getting caught meant death. Once the refuges were here, they were safe.

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  • Akatsuka Orchid Garden

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    You'll find this Orchid nursery on the way to Volcanoes National Park. I'm sure it's not really off the beaten path, but it was a wonderful place to stop off at and dream of owning some of their beautiful orchid plants. They sell most of their potted plants, and most have already passed inspections and do not need to go through customs to leave the...

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  • Churches / Altars

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    The Painted Church At St. Benedict's Painted Church you may find no one on duty and have the wonderful church all to yourself. The inside is colorfully painted and has many murals of biblical or other religous significance. There is a stand out front with lots of interesting knick-knacks (many religious) to browse. If you want one you just leave...

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  • Kona.

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    Everywhere you go, travel agents approach you to sit through there offer for a time share. You make an appointment to sit through there presentation (about 2-3 hrs). They give free gifts for listening to there demo. They offer free dinner cruises, power sailing, snorkeling etc. About a value of $100.00, it's worth it, and there time shares are a...

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  • Island Tour / Exploration

    Kailua-Kona Off The Beaten Path

    Want to know how to get up near the top of Hualalai (the volcano mountain above Kona)? Take Palani Road out of town (east). It winds a bit, and then straightens out. About a mile after the road gets straight (and speed limit goes up to 45 mph), look for a road on the right called Koloko Road. Go up this road several miles. It does a number of...

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  • Kapa'au

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    Looking for something neat to see on the Big Island ? why not take a drive out to the North Kohala side of the island and see the original King Kamehameha statue in Kapa'au. Years ago, the statue was on it's way to Hawaii, but lost at sea. Another one was made, and set on O'ahu. The original, once found, was retrieved from sea and placed near the...

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  • Laupahoehoe

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    Wander about the Big Island ... drive on over to Lapahoehoe ... now this is beautiful water! It was here that we were able to glimpse at a few Honu (Hawaiian for sea turtle) in the crystal clear water. This is a place I could go and "lose myself" at ... in all it's tranquility. Travel north of Hilo to get to the beach park and plan on a picnic.

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  • Ahalanui

    Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

    The Ahalanui Beach Park (formerly Pu' ala' a) is a great place to spend some relaxing time at. Found just to the east of Isaac Hale State Park in Puna, you won't find many tourists here. The natural pool (with some manmade improvements) is heated to a comfortable 90 degrees(give or take a few degrees) and is situated right on the coast. You can...

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  • Actually, No Path - See Lava Flows by...

    We chose this option to see the lava flows is by sea! I found this tour at $150+tax per person. You can get much closer to see the lava flows than by air. This is a sunset tour because the lava flows are much more impressive to see towards the evening. Located at Isaac Hale Beach Park, Pohoiki Road and Highway 137. Check in 5:45pm, depart Harbor...

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  • Above the Clouds on Mauna Kea

    It is quite an experience to go to Mauna Kea for a sunset! I went on one of the tours, as we were just tourists and the tour companies have experienced drivers who take those roads all the time. Also, I don't believe our car rental company covered us to go on Saddle Road, let alone to take it further up towards the summit, so we felt it would be...

    more
  • Stand at the Southern Most Point in...

    This place is definitely off the beaten track. When I went here in August it was just my family, some cliff divers and I. The southern most point is this big rock face that overlooks the ocean. There is a blowhole right at the point, and if you look to your right you see this magnificent rock face carved by the wind. It's a very neat place. Also, a...

    more
  • See a mountain's shadow on the clouds

    You will not find much to do on the top of Mauna Kea. If you came here yourself, you had better have rented a four-wheel drive vehicle for your descent. You will need to lock it into 4WD-low range so you can use the drivegears to slow your travel down the mountain as opposed to dragging your brakes. Dragging brakes cause heat build-up and,...

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  • Visit North Kohala

    On the northern side of the island, it can easily be missed. It is not off the main highway. From HWY 19 approaching Waimea you could take 250 or 270 and there is a quaint little town where the 250 and 270 meet at Hawi Road and Akoni Pule Highway (270). A few artisan shops, galleries, restaurants and pretty good ice cream from the Kohala Coffee...

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  • Hawaiian Vanilla Company

    So, preparing for my upcoming trip and scouting out things I may want to see and/or do, I came across this interesting place. The Hawaiian Vanilla Company. Lunch, dinner, tea, gift shop, garden, tours all surrounding the idea of vanilla. Located on the northeastern side of the island. The luncheon sounds delectable!Unfortunately, we didn't get a...

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  • Actually, No Path - See Lava Flows by...

    Considering viewing the active volcanoes on the Big Island via helicopter. There are several helicopter tours to choose from with various lengths of time, premium seat observation, combined tours with ocean, waterfalls, etc. Sometimes those extra frills can add up to a costly excursion. I found one I may consider that was reasonable priced. So, I...

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  • Kehena Beach

    Near Mile Marker 19, Off Highway 137, Near Hilo, Big Island, HawaiiOne of Big Island's unofficial yet very private nude beaches - not well known to tourists but very popular with the locals, especially of the 'counter-culture' variety. Located just off Highway 137 in a residential district, a climb down the cliffs, to a beautiful hidden black sand...

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  • Mauna Kea - Surreal at the Summit

    Mauna Kea is the highest mountain on the island, and it takes awhile to drive there, so not many people do it. It's an inactive volcano. When we drove up there we felt so high above everything else, way above the clouds, that it felt very surreal, like being on another planet. It's rather desolate that high up (almost 14,000 ft.), with lots of red...

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  • Horseback Riding in the Kohala Mountains

    I'd actually never ridden a horse before, but I thought this would be a fun, interesting way to see another remote part of the island, and it was. A number of ranches around Waimea and Kohala offer guided horseback rides for riders of varying skill; the one I picked is called Paniolo Adventures, and is in the heart of the Kohala Mountains on the...

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  • Waipi'o Valley - The Edge of the World

    Waipi'o is an amazingly beautiful, lush valley, all the way at the end of the Hamakua Highway, well off the beaten path. The view from the lookout at the top is tremendous, and many people just come here for the view alone. I come back to see it every single time I've been on the island (three so far).We've hiked down into it twice, and it was the...

    more
  • Hike Devastation Trail to the Crater Rim

    A short, easy but awesome hike in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the 2-mile round trip dash to the Rim of Helemanu Crater on the west fork of the Devestation Trail. If you hike it in May, you'll not only see the geologic wonders of an areas recovery from Kilauea Iki's 1959 explosion, but also a riotous flower show, full of blooming ohia trees...

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  • Snorkel the Geo-Heated Kapoho Tide Pools

    Do you love snorkeling but hate to be in the water so long that you shiver? Don't worry about that at the Kapoho Tide Pools, were geo-thermally heated fresh water warms the salty ocean tide pools to create a unique and beautiful snorkeling experience. When the tide is out, the water is so clear and shallow that you really don't even need to snorkel...

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  • Cliff Jump at the southern most point of...

    Driving south from Kona, you will see a turn off for Ka Lae, also known as South Point. We followed the drive just to say that we have been to the southern most point of the United States. I guess I really wasn't expecting much, maybe a sign for the tourists, saying "You're here!"When we finally got off of the dusty road and to Ka Lae, there was...

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  • Will and Grace

    Once you arrive in this part of the big Island you will find every single place called something like “The Southernmost bar in the US”, “The Southernmost grocery store”, “The last beer in the South” etc, just because this place really is the southernmost point of the US. But, one tiny store had the name “Will & Grace”. I was curious and went to see...

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  • Hike Pololu Trail down to black sand...

    It is fun to hike down the Pololu Trail down to the black sand beach below, but don't forget to stop and take lots of pictures on your way down. The views of the cliffs and Pololu Valley, in addition to the beach below, are all beautiful to see. After we hung out at the beach for a while and had a snack, we hiked up another hill and found a tree...

    more
  • Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Historic Park in...

    On the Kona side of Hawaii is a little visited but interesting beachside historic park that contains pre-contact Hawaiian fishponds and a large heiaiu (a stone platform used for religious ceremonies). Built on a lava field, this nice little park has a few miles of hiking trails and a protected beach for relaxing. A long house (haulau) has been...

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  • Get a Great Tan at Kehena Nude Beach

    Lots of web sites describe Kehena Beach, an isolated strip of black sand off Rte 130 in Puna, as one of the most attractive beaches near Hilo. And, amazingly it is all that if you like attractive naked people. Though nude beaches are illegal in hawaii, Kehena beach turns out to be a well-known (among locals) and tolerated clothing optimal stretch...

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Hawaii (Big Island) Off The Beaten Path

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