Gorgeous Hawaiian Spots That Haven’t Been Overrun by Tourists Gallery
November 22, 2017
These Hawaiian destinations are great for when you’re trying to actually get some peace and quiet
Gorgeous Hawaiian Spots That Haven’t Been Overrun by Tourists
Hawaii is a dream vacation for many. But because there are so many who set out for a tropical paradise on this island state, a Hawaiian vacation can very quickly turn into a nightmare. When you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing break from work, school, or just life in general, the last thing you want is to be swarmed by tourists. Unfortunately, Hawaii is absolutely flooded with them every year.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should cross Hawaii off the list. As touristy as it can be, there are, in fact, pockets of solitude that the out-of-state visitors haven’t quite gotten to yet. The entire island of Lanai is still relatively pristine and untouched; the smallest of the archipelago, it only has 3,000 inhabitants and one town that lacks both traffic and even stoplights. With so many beaches, you’re also bound to find a few on the island that are pretty secluded, and certain towns are typically overlooked or just driven through by visitors. So if you’re looking for a Hawaiian vacation with all the beauty of the island and none of the crowds, check out these gorgeous Hawaiian spots that haven’t been overrun by tourists — yet.
Ahalanui Hot Pond
While quite popular with locals, the Ahalanui hot pond hasn’t quite been discovered by tourists. Located within Ahalanui County Beach Park, the geothermal swimming hole offers some spa-like relaxation in volcanic hot spring waters at a nice 90 degrees.
The city of Hana, located on the southeastern end of Maui, is a gorgeous and relatively peaceful destination. Take a hike along the cliffs of Wai’anapanapa State Park or visit its amazing black sand beaches, or make a visit to the quiet Hamoa Beach. If you’re looking for a more luxurious vacation, Travassa Hana is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the world.
The art capital of Kauai, Hanapepe is a quaint and quintessentially Hawaiian town with plenty of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. The westernmost bookstore in the United States is located here, and the town is also the inspiration for the fictional town that serves as the setting for the movie and TV franchise Lilo & Stitch.
Lanai’s Hulopoe Bay is a gorgeous beach location that’s far more secluded than Waikiki. The pristine beach is covered in white sand, and spinner dolphins have been known to visit swimmers on the shore.
Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline
Oahu may be the most visited island of the Hawaiian archipelago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid the crowds here. To take a breather, visit the island’s southern tip, where you’ll find the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline. Offering breathtaking views of Oahu, the one-mile Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail will give you great views of spots such as Koko Crater and Koko Head, as well as stunning views of Oahu and other offshore islets. From November through May, you can probably witness whales migrating here. You can also head away from the Makapu’u Lighthouse down the Kaiwi Shoreline Trail, which will lead you to Pele’s Chair, a volcanic formation that, according to local culture, was the last place in Oahu where the fire goddess Pele sat before she left to create the islands of Lanai and Molokai.
Located more than 1,000 feet above the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Molokai’s Kalaupapa Lookout used to be the location of a leprosy colony. Now home to over a dozen residents, the spot is a great place to whalewatch, as humpback whales make an appearance off the coast during winter.
Known as Secret Beach, this beach’s seclusion and relatively large size — 3,000 feet long and 75 feet wide — makes it an ideal Hawaiian destination. Red and black cliffs in the background and gorgeously clear waters make this spot a sight for sore eyes. The cliffs are also covered in lush greenery, and waterfalls in the area complete the picturesque vibe.
Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods)
Halibut Thyme/Wikimedia Commons
The stunning rock formations of Keahiakawelo on Lanai make it look like you’re on Mars. The best time to visit is dusk, when the sunset illuminates the red towers and spires, creating a landscape of orange, red, and purple wonder. When it’s clear out, you can even see Oahu and Molokai from across the water.
Mauna Kea Summit
While you’re on the Big Island, make sure to take a trip to Mauna Kea Summit. The summit is 13,796 feet above sea level, and it’s regarded by native Hawaiians as the place where Earth Mother and Sky Father met to create human life. The sixth highest lake in the country, Lake Waiau, is located here, as are over a dozen private observatories and a visitor center where you can look through telescopes on select evenings in order to stargaze or during the day to get a glimpse of the sun.
Situated on the southern coast of Kauai, McBryde Garden comprises roughly 200 acres of gorgeous botanical garden. Bought by the McBryde family in the late nineteenth century for use as a sugar cane plantation, it became a garden in 1970 and was renamed by McBryde descendants in 2000 (its original name being Lāwa’i Garden). Now a research and conservation garden, McBryde Garden has the world’s largest on-site collection of native Hawaiian flora.
Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, gets its name from local legend which tells the tale of a warrior who jumped off the rock island after his beloved drowned in the surrounding waters during a storm. Rising 80 feet above the water, the rock formation requires a short hike that’s completely worth it for the romantic sunsets one can witness here.
Named so after an oil tanker crashed at the beach in the 1940s, Shipwreck Beach lies on the northern shore of Lanai. Ancient petroglyphs in the area also provide intrigue to visitors. If all of this has convinced you to take the trip to our 50th state, make sure you get familiar with the local lingo before you go by checking out our list of things only people from Hawaii say.