Check out These Hidden Gems in Hawaii
If you’re a seasoned Hawaii traveler, you’ve likely done all the tourist traps many times over. While there’s nothing wrong with doing all those tours, seeing the museums and going with what’s comfortable, sometimes it’s fun to go off the beaten path to get a different perspective of these inspiring islands. Here are some hidden gems to check out.
Created by Donald Dettloff back in 1990, the now-famous surfboard fence on Kaupakalua Road started out as a creative way to keep all the boards moored together during an impending hurricane that was due to hit the island. He never took the makeshift fence down after the storm and instead kept it up for all to enjoy. The rainbow of colors is attractive to the eye and acts as a truthful testament to all that Hawaii embodies. Dettloff has added many more boards since then (the total is currently up to 647!) and he now appears in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Moiliili Underground Caves
In Moiliili, Oahu, you will find the famed Moiliili Underground Caves, made of limestone and filled with good old H2O. Created thanks to an old coral reef, the caves became what they are today thanks to rainwater erosion over the centuries. Just be careful, as the caves are cramped, with poor air quality, so don’t do it if you’re a beginner or hate small spaces.
Manoa Chinese Cemetery
This oldest and biggest Chinese cemetery in all of Hawaii features the Tomb of the Unknown Chinese Soldiers honoring seven such soldiers who perished during World War II. They were entombed there in the 1940s when their bodies were shipped to the state by accident. You will see this at the back of Manoa Valley in Oahu, which you can get to from Manoa Road.
The Redwood Trail in Maui is the culmination of 30 years of the USDA Forest Service planting 130,000 redwood trees in Hawaiian to bring back growth after the over-logging of the 1800s. They’re not quite as impressive as their cousins in California, but you will still be amazed by their majestic height and greenery, made possible by the moist climate and high elevations. You can get there from the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area.
A crucial part of Hawaii’s missionary history, the Kaahumanu Church is similar to the Gothic architecture of New England, created from scratch using only local materials in 1876 on Heiau grounds. This steeple is well recognized as a Maui landmark and earned the official town clock designation back in 1964. You can go there for Sunday services, with all songs in Hawaiian.
Sure, it’s great to take a tour by expert guides like Hoku Hawaii Tours, but if you’re a regular visitor to Hawaii, check out these above gems to see something different.