Perhaps you’re a seasoned vet when it comes to Hawaii travel. When people ask you if you’ve been somewhere and you always say “been there done that,” you could use a refresher course in little-known Hawaiian attractions. Sure, the tours and beaches are fun – you probably love doing those every time you come – but maybe you want to check out something a little different this time around too. Get some inspiration from these off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Manoa Chinese Cemetery
This cemetery sure has some history to it. It just so happens to be the oldest and biggest Chinese cemetery in the whole state, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Chinese Soldiers. This tomb pays homage to seven World War II soldiers who died, entombed there in the1940s when their bodies were brought here by clerical accident. It’s located in Manoa Valley in Oahu, right off Manoa Road.
This is pretty cool. If you’re a surf enthusiast – or even if you’re not – you have to check out this homemade fence Donald Dettloff who began crafting it back in 1990. It’s situated on Kaupakalua Road…you can’t miss it because there are about 650 boards in all shapes, sizes and colors. Dettloff first started the fence as a way to keep all his surf boards together so they wouldn’t blow away in a forecasted hurricane. Rather than dismantle the fence after the storm, he kept it up as sort of an unofficial landmark. He keeps adding boards to his fence, which is now included in the Guinness Book of World Records. People who want to retire their surfboards are welcome to add to it.
Located in Maui, the Redwood Trail is a result of the efforts by the USDA Forest Service to plant 130,000 redwood trees over 30 years to restore new growth that came about from the over-logging of the 1800s. Although not as tall as the California red woods, they’re still pretty impressive, with growth spurred on by the moist climate and high elevations. The Redwood Trail is nestle in the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area.
Moiliili Underground Caves
These famous Moiliili Underground Caves, located in Moiliili, Oahu, are made of limestone and contain lots of H2O. Thanks to an old coral reef and rainwater erosion over the last few centuries, the caves are a little-known attraction here. They’re cramped and feature poor air quality but they’re a must-see if you love caves and spelunking. Don’t go if you get claustrophobic though.
The Kaahumanu Church is a big part of the state’s missionary history, with features reminiscent of gothic architecture of New England. It was built from the ground up using locally sourced materials in 1876 on sacred heiau (temple) grounds. This Maui landmark was officially called the town clock in 1964, where you can still attend Sunday services featuring songs in Hawaiian.
Once you’ve checked out the above hidden gems, call us at Hoku Hawaii Tours to uncover even more local sights in Oahu.