The Hawaiian Islands have been subject to various travel restrictions for both domestic and international travelers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as of March 25th, 2022, all restrictions for domestic travelers have been removed, while international travelers have to meet general, but easy enough, U.S. requirements. If you’re looking for things to do on these beautiful islands, here are 10 off the beaten path suggestions that go beyond the typical beaches and bars.
1. Hulihe’e Palace (Oahu)
Learn more about the history of Hawaii by visiting Hulihe’e Palace. This historic building was once a summer home used by the Hawaiian monarchy. Nowadays, it’s a museum showcasing various artifacts.
2. Visit Kahuku Farms (Oahu)
Try some of the various goods such as fresh fruit, delicious acai bowls, and homemade pizza offered at this family-owned farm. Visiting Kahuku Farms is a great way to enjoy and support a locally owned business as well as have a relaxing excursion.
3. Hike Wai’anapanapa State Park (Maui)
If you’re looking to explore some of the gorgeous landscapes that make up Maui, consider spending an afternoon at Wai’anapanapa State Park. This beautiful park is home to several hiking trails, as well as black sand beaches and lava tubes.
4. Check Out The Mermaid Caves (Oahu)
These sea caves have long been considered a hidden gem in Oahu. Located along Zablan Beach, this is a great way to add a fun excursion to your vacation. To make sure you have the best time seeing the caves visit when the tide is low and they are most accessible. The areas surrounding them can also be rocky, so water shoes are recommended.
5. Explore The Garden Of The Gods (Lanai)
This stunning rock garden is about 40 minutes outside Lanai city, and is a great spot to see a unique side of the Hawaiian islands. Unlike the tropical landscape that makes up many popular places to visit, the Garden of the Gods features an otherworldly display of rock towers and formations.
6. Check The Glass Beach (Kauai)
This beach is far from your average sandy, or rocky, shore. This small but unique beach is known for being dotted with sea glass. While this likely won’t be your first choice if you’re looking to spend an afternoon lounging in the sun, it is a great spot to explore and find some dazzling polished glass. Unfortunately, there isn’t quite as much sea glass as there formerly was due to visitors taking pieces home with them, but this is still an interesting spot to check out.
7. Visit Lanai Cat Sanctuary (Lanai)
Here’s a great option for all the cat lovers out there! Lanai Cat Sanctuary started in 2004 as a rescue operation seeking to help Lanai street cats. Since then, the sanctuary has expanded massively, and now provides hundreds of cats a place to live. If this heart-warming backstory isn’t great enough, you can also visit the sanctuary and all the cute cats that call it home. The sanctuary doesn’t require appointments to visit.
8. Tour Kazumura Cave (The Big Island)
This lava tube was discovered somewhat recently, but already boasts an interesting claim to fame: it’s the longest known lava tube. Guided tours through the cave are offered, and are a great way to add a little adventure to your trip.
9. Explore Kaumana Caves (The Big Island)
Here’s another option if the various caves dotting the Hawaiian islands interest you. Head over to Kaumana Caves State Park to explore part of a lava tube! Visitors will descend into the cave via a metal ladder and can look forward to checking out parts of the cave. It should be noted that portions of the cave run under private property, limiting the area that is open to the general public, but visiting is still a unique experience regardless. If you do decide to check out Kaumana Caves, make sure to bring a strong flashlight as well as sturdy shoes. Phone flashlights typically won’t be bright enough to provide enough light beyond the entrance.
10. Nakalele Blowhole (Maui)
If you’re up for a bit of a hike, consider heading out to see Nakalele Blowhole. This stunning and fun natural feature is caused by water being forced through an underwater cave, creating a geyser-like display. The hike to reach the blowhole isn’t long – a little over a mile round trip – but it is rocky and rough in several areas. If you do decide to check out this memorable feature, you’ll likely want to wear some sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories