6 Glorious Gems of Hawaii
When you hear the name Hawaii, most people think of the Pearl Harbor Memorial, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and world-class beaches and resorts. But while all of those things are worth a visit (or two!), Hawaii has so much more to offer. Whether you purchase a Hawaii cruise or a fabulous Hawaii vacation package, here is a list of six other magnificent gems that you’ll be wanting to say “aloha” to before your trip is done.
1. Punchbowl Crater – Honolulu
Punchbowl Crater is an extinct volcanic tuff cone that serves as the location of the National Military Cemetery of the Pacific. The Hawaiian name, “Puowaina,” translates to “Hill of Sacrifice.” While a cemetery might seem like a strange suggestion for somewhere to visit, it is a beautiful place to remember the sacrifices of the men and women who have served the United States and its allies while also enjoying soaring views over the Honolulu skyline.
2. Shrimp Trucks – Oahu
A visit to Oahu wouldn’t be complete without stopping for lunch at one of the delicious shrimp trucks that dot the island. The shrimp comes in multiple flavors, from hot & spicy to pineapple to garlic, and can be served with a variety of sides. Top it off with some chilled pineapple or cold guava nectar to make your meal complete.
3. Macadamia Nut Farm – The Big Island
Everyone knows about Hawaii’s famous pineapples, but did you know Hawaii grows delicious macadamia nuts as well? The Big Island offers two different places where you can learn how these delectable treats are grown and prepared: the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation in Keaau just south of Hilo, and the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company in Historic Kawaihae, near Kona. Watch as they create their products and maybe bring home a sample or two.
4. Nuuanu Pali Lookout – Oahu
Watch as the big city of Honolulu fades away into lush greenery as you drive through the forest to reach the scenic Nuuanu Pali Lookout – located over a thousand feet above the Oahu coastline. Only a five-mile drive northeast of downtown, this scenic overlook offers breathtaking panoramic views of the sheer Koolau cliffs and lush Windward Coast.
5. Road to Hana – Maui
The Road to Hana is famous for many reasons, and it is a stunning drive; however, many people simply zip through it and stop only at the famous picture spots before heading on to another activity. It’s important to take your time and give yourself the opportunity to truly appreciate all that the Road to Hana has to offer by way of sights and history. Furthermore, almost everyone stops their drive and turns around in Hana, but if you’re feeling adventurous and you’re in a capable vehicle, we recommend continuing on past the typical stopping point and enjoying more of what this beautiful side of the island has to offer.
6. Pools of ‘Ohe’o (aka Seven Sacred Pools) – Maui
Described as “verdant and diverse,” the O’he’o Gulch is a beautiful valley created over many years by a rainforest stream – punctuated by many cascading waterfalls and plunging pools that empty into the Hawaiian ocean along the Kipahula coastline. For those of you who are feeling daring, this is the perfect place for swimming and cliff-jumping. It is simply spectacular!