As spring turns to summer, head west across the Pacific with your ‘ohana (family) for a one-of-a-kind getaway in the islands of aloha. Discover new and exciting outdoor adventures amidst Hawai‘i’s breathtaking beauty while zip lining, kayaking, and snorkeling. Take a helicopter ride to a remote rainforest and explore a magical valley where kings once reigned. All this and more awaits.
Leeward O‘ahu recently welcomed Coral Crater Adventure Park (coralcrater.com), where you and your kids can enjoy safe, fun-for-the-whole-family outdoor activities. The thrilling choices include the zip lines, aerial adventure tower, climbing walls, king swing, freefall, side-by-side ATVs, and electric mountain bikes, plus bike and beach adventures. Relax at the picnic area and enjoy food and drinks while playing horseshoes and more. Over on the Windward Coast, take Holokai Kayak and Snorkel’s (holokaiadventures.com) new Guided He‘eia Fishpond Exploration, an off-the-beaten path opportunity to visit an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and learn how early Hawaiians practiced sustainable fish farming. Participate in restoration efforts by removing invasive species with a bamboo fishing pole, explore the fishpond and guard house, and paddle back to He‘eia State Park for a delicious Hawaiian barbecue lunch.
Discover the lush Hāmākua Coast on the Waipi‘o Valley Explorer with Kapohokine Adventures (kapohokine.com). You’ll drive between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes en route to Rainbow Falls in Hilo, shop famous Hilo Farmers Market, wander through Hawai‘i Tropical Botanical Gardens, and experience the majesty of ‘Akaka Falls. The tour ends at mysterious Waipi‘o Valley—Valley of the Kings—home to waterfalls cascading more than a thousand feet to the valley floor. For a completely unforgettable snorkeling adventure, book the Night Manta Experience with Sea Quest Rafting & Snorkeling Adventures (seaquesthawaii.com). Prepare to be amazed as gentle yet enormous manta rays, some as large as 16 feet across and 1,000 pounds, swoop and soar in an underwater ballet, feeding on plankton in the warm Pacific waters while illuminated by searchlights. Sea Quest’s check and departure are just minutes from Hawai‘i Island’s most reliable manta ray spotting location.
Expose your family to an extraordinary view of Maui with the Hāna Rainforest Experience aboard Maverick Helicopters (maverickhelicopter.com). This 75-minute flight reveals Maui’s dramatic landscapes and includes an exclusive landing in the Hawaiian rainforest. You’ll see Maui’s North Coast, Pā‘ia, Ho‘okipa, the famous Jaws surf destination, and the Road to Hāna. The pilot lands in a former taro plantation, enabling you to explore the grounds and experience incredible views of canyons and waterfalls as your pilot shares knowledge of this rarely visited locale. Back on land, explore the sea at Maui Ocean Center, The Hawai‘i Aquarium (mauioceancenter.com), home to sharks, turtles, stingrays, tropical fish, and live Pacific corals. More than 60 indoor-outdoor exhibits showcase Hawai‘i’s marine life, such as the 750,000-gallon Open Ocean Exhibit with a 54-foot walk-through tunnel, turtle lagoon, and Hammerhead Harbor. The Na Mo‘olelo Hawaiian Cultural Program with guest cultural practitioners might feature demonstrations in tapa art, Polynesian crafts, fishing net throwing, weaving, hula lessons, and live music. Take the Behind-the-Scenes Tour and visit the Aquarium’s coral lab, learn about turtles and sharks, and assist with feeding at Turtle Lagoon and Nursery Bay.
Up on Kaua‘i’s north coast, Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens & Sculpture Park (naainakai.org) is a 320-acre wonderland with a diverse array of whimsical and imaginative settings. Take the Family Tour and visit the Formal Gardens, the full-size hedge maze, and the Children’s Garden where kids can explore Jack’s pond, a gecko maze, the treehouse, and a tropical jungle with bridges, tunnels and slides, a kid-sized train, and more. Or time your visit for Keiki Day, one Saturday a month. Book the Jungle Valley Adventure with Princeville Ranch Adventures (princevilleranch.com) and enjoy kayaking, zip lining, and swimming in Kaua‘i’s wilderness. The kayak adventure takes you through a serene rainforest valley filled with tropical sights, scents, and sounds. Hike deeper into the ranch, cross several streams, and arrive at Uluhe Fern Ridge, where guests can ride zip lines over pristine twin waterfalls and then swim, jump, float on inner tubes, and picnic by a beautiful waterfall.