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Exploring the Off-the-Beaten-Path Sights of Hawaii Big Island

Hawaii Big Island is the largest and most diverse of the Hawaiian islands. From dramatic black sand beaches and steaming volcanoes to lush rainforests and colorful coral reefs, the Big Island offers something for everyone. But if you’re looking for something a bit different, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path sights to explore. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the more unusual places to visit on the Big Island.

1. Waipio Valley

Waipio Valley is one of the most beautiful and remote valleys on the Big Island. It’s a steep-sided, lush valley located on the northeast corner of the island and is home to a number of historical sites. Visitors can hike down into the valley and explore the old Hawaiian villages, taro fields, and waterfalls. The valley is also known for its incredible views of the coastline and its abundance of wild horses.

Along the way, visitors can explore the many cultural and historical sites in the valley, including the ancient Hawaiian fishponds, petroglyphs, and heiau (temples). The valley is also an important cultural center for the island’s native Hawaiian population, and visitors should be respectful of the culture and customs.

The Waipio Valley is accessible by car, but the road is very steep and winding, so it’s best to hire a local guide or take a guided tour. It’s also possible to hike down into the valley, but it’s a long and difficult journey, so it’s best to be well prepared.

2. South Point

South Point is the southernmost point in the United States. It’s an area of stunning beauty, with rugged cliffs and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. The area is also known for its strong winds and rough waters, which make it a popular spot for windsurfing and kiteboarding.

At South Point, visitors can explore the Ka Lae Heiau (temple), which is believed to be the oldest temple in Hawaii. The area is also home to a number of ancient fishing shrines, as well as several stories of Hawaiian mythology. The area is known for its strong winds and rough waters, so visitors should be prepared for strong currents and large waves.

South Point is accessible by car, but visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive. The area is also accessible by boat, and visitors can find a number of charter companies offering boat tours to the area.

3. Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the Hawaiian Islands. At over 13,000 feet, it’s the highest point in the Pacific Ocean. The summit of the mountain is a popular destination for hikers, and visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the island and the Pacific Ocean. The mountain is also known for its excellent stargazing, as it’s home to several of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

Visitors can take a 4-wheel drive vehicle up to the summit, and there are guided tours available for those who don’t want to tackle the road alone. The summit is also accessible by foot, but it’s a long and difficult journey, and visitors should be prepared for extreme weather conditions.

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At the summit, visitors can explore the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, which offers information about the mountain and its features. Visitors can also take part in the ranger-led stargazing programs, which offer an up-close look at the night sky.

4. Hapuna Beach State Park

Hapuna Beach State Park is a stunning stretch of coastline located on the northwest corner of the island. It’s one of the most popular beaches on the island, with its white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is also a great spot for snorkeling and swimming, and visitors can explore the many tide pools and sea caves in the area.

The park is also home to a variety of hiking trails, as well as a number of picnic areas and camping sites. Visitors can explore the beach and the surrounding areas at their own pace, and there are a number of activities to enjoy, such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Hapuna Beach State Park is accessible by car, and visitors can also find a number of charter companies offering boat tours to the park. There is a small entrance fee to access the park, and visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive to the beach.

5. Kona Coffee Country

Kona Coffee Country is the region of the Big Island known for its production of Kona coffee. The region is home to a number of coffee plantations, and visitors can take part in guided tours of the plantations and learn about the history and production of Kona coffee.

At the plantations, visitors can sample the different types of Kona coffee, as well as purchase freshly roasted beans. The area is also known for its incredible views of the coastline, and visitors can explore the many waterfalls and hidden beaches in the area.

Kona Coffee Country is accessible by car, and there are a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, and the area is known for its strong winds, so visitors should be prepared for gusty conditions.

6. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge)

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is an ancient site located on the western coast of the Big Island. It was once an important religious and cultural center, and it’s now a National Historic Park. The site is home to a number of ancient temples and monuments, as well as a number of traditional Hawaiian artifacts.

At the park, visitors can explore the many archaeological sites, including the King’s Courtyard and the pu’uhonua (place of refuge). Visitors can also take part in ranger-led tours of the park and learn about the history and culture of the area.

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the park is located on the western coast of the island.

7. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is located on the northwest corner of the Big Island. It’s a stunning area of coastline, with rugged cliffs, tropical vegetation, and a number of archaeological sites. The park is home to a number of ancient Hawaiian villages and temples, as well as a number of traditional fishing shrines.

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At the park, visitors can explore the many cultural and archaeological sites, as well as take part in ranger-led tours and learn about the history of the area. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and dolphins, as well as a number of seabirds.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the park is located on the western coast of the island.

8. Pololu Valley

Pololu Valley is located on the northern tip of the Big Island. It’s a stunning area of coastline, with rugged cliffs, lush vegetation, and a number of hidden beaches. The valley is also home to a number of ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites, and visitors can explore the many heiau (temples) and petroglyphs in the area.

At the valley, visitors can take part in ranger-led hikes, which offer an up-close look at the valley and its features. Visitors can also take part in kayaking and canoeing tours of the valley, as well as explore the many hidden beaches and coves in the area.

Pololu Valley is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the valley is located on the northern tip of the island.

9. Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State Park is located on the eastern coast of the Big Island. It’s a stunning area of coastline, with lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and a number of hidden hiking trails. The park is also home to a number of ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites, and visitors can explore the many heiau (temples) and petroglyphs in the area.

At the park, visitors can take part in ranger-led hikes, which offer an up-close look at the park and its features. Visitors can also take part in kayaking and canoeing tours of the park, as well as explore the many hidden beaches and coves in the area.

Akaka Falls State Park is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the park is located on the eastern coast of the island.

10. Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon is located on the western side of the Big Island. It’s a stunning area of coastline, with lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and a number of hidden hiking trails. The canyon is also home to a number of ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites, and visitors can explore the many heiau (temples) and petroglyphs in the area.

At the canyon, visitors can take part in ranger-led hikes, which offer an up-close look at the canyon and its features. Visitors can also take part in kayaking and canoeing tours of the canyon, as well as explore the many hidden beaches and coves in the area.

Waimea Canyon is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the canyon is located on the western coast of the island.

11. Puako Petroglyphs

The Puako Petroglyphs are located on the western side of the Big Island. They are a stunning collection of ancient Hawaiian carvings, depicting a variety of figures, animals, and symbols. The petroglyphs are believed to date back to the 13th century, and they offer insight into the culture and beliefs of the ancient Hawaiians.

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At the site, visitors can explore the many petroglyphs, as well as take part in guided tours of the site and learn about the history of the area. Visitors can also explore the surrounding area, which is home to a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and dolphins.

Puako Petroglyphs is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the site is located on the western coast of the island.

12. Papakolea Beach

Papakolea Beach is located on the southern coast of the Big Island. It’s a stunning stretch of coastline, with its crystal blue waters and white sand. The beach is also home to a number of ancient Hawaiian archaeological sites, and visitors can explore the many heiau (temples) and petroglyphs in the area.

At the beach, visitors can take part in guided tours of the area, as well as explore the many hidden beaches and coves in the area. Visitors can also take part in snorkeling and swimming tours of the beach, as well as explore the surrounding area, which is home to a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and dolphins.

Papakolea Beach is accessible by car, and visitors can find a number of guided tours and rental car companies in the area. Visitors should be prepared for a long and winding drive, as the beach is located on the southern coast of the island.

Conclusion

Hawaii Big Island is an incredible destination for those looking for something a bit different. From dramatic black sand beaches and steaming volcanoes to lush rainforests and colorful coral reefs, the Big Island offers something for everyone. But if you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path, there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path sights to explore. From Waipio Valley and South Point to Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach State Park, the Big Island is full of unique and exciting experiences. So if you’re looking for something a bit different, the Big Island is the perfect destination.