Some are stunningly beautiful while others simply surprising. You can reach many of these favorite attractions in under an hour – despite the frequent sightseeing stops you’re sure to make along the way.
Huleia National Wildlife Refuge
The site of Indiana Jones daring escape in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Menehune (Alekoko) Fishpond
Said to have been built by the ancient Menehune, the mysterious ‘little people’ who predated the arrival of the Hawaiian people.
Fern-fringed cave up the Wailua River. A favorite site for romantic weddings.
Lydgate State Park
Ideal swimming beach and picnic area.
Dramatic 80-foot waterfalls featured in the opening of the television series Fantasy Island.
Used to announce the birth of a child of the alii (royalty). When struck sharply, the stone would emit a sound that resonated throughout Wailua Valley.
*Photo provided by Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) / Linda Ching
A mountain ridge resembling a man lying on his back. Legend has it that this was once a pesky giant who demanded constant feeding from the villagers. Fed up, the villagers tricked him into swallowing rocks. The giant was so full that he lay down to take a nap and fell into an eternal sleep. We hope.
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
The island’s northern most point, home to an array of protected sea birds.
Captain Cook’s Monument
Located in the town of Waimea, the site where British Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii in 1778.
Russian Fort Elizabeth
Fort built in 1815 by George Scheffer, a Russian doctor – unfortunately (for him) without support from the Czar.
Ten miles long and about 3,600-feet deep. Mark Twain called it “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” An absolute must see!
Dramatic view of cliffs and gorges dropping 4,000 feet into the ocean. Located in Kokee State Park.
*Photo provided by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Ron Garnett