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Travel Inspiration
Local Recommendations In Hawaii


Experience Hawai’i in a different way, from donating your time, supporting local businesses or seeing historic and cultural sights and natural wonders.

The statewide Malama Hawai’i program provides enriching volunteer experiences for visitors during their trip. Nā Ala Hele Trail & Access Program’s recreational trails vary in length and conditions across the Hawai’ian Islands.

 Hulihe'e Palace. Photo courtesy of Daughters of Hawai'i


Hulihe‘e Palace was where
Hawaiʻi’s royalty took their summer vacations. The Waikōloa Dry Forest Initiative schedules learning programs, volunteer days, and hikes. Wailuku River State Park has 80-foot rainbow falls and Boiling Pots—a succession of bubbling water pools.
Moon and Turtle

Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill has poke selections and Hawai’i-inspired entrees, while The Fish and the Hog is noted for its barbecue, plus fish dishes. With Waimea among its locations, Merriman’s centers on
Hawai’ian regional cuisine. At Moon and Turtle, try the smokey sashimi, with a Kiawe-smoked soy, Hawai’ian chili pepper water, and extra virgin olive oil. Cafe 100 is noted for their Loco Moco.

Sig Zane Designs honors
Hawai’ian culture through their clothing, and Hana Hou carries handcrafted items by Hawai’ian and Oceania artisans.
Jana Lam Studio Shop InteriorHoomaluhia Botanical Garden Lake Kuou view. Photo courtsey of Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden.

Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail, amid the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, offers amazing views along O‘ahu’s southeastern point. Kualoa Ranch, a nature reserve and working farm, has been a set for TV shows and movies. The Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden is full of flora from all over the world.

The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of
Hawai’i. Founded in honor of the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family, the Bishop Museum is a major institution of Hawai‘i and other Pacific-island cultures.

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Moku Kitchen brings Hawai’i’s up-country farming and ranching bounty into a chic dining setting. Helena’s Hawai’ian Food and Highway Inn are beloved eateries, while Kamehameha Bakery sells malasadas and pastries. Po’ai by Pono Potions makes flavored syrups and has a hip coffee shop and boutique.

produces clothing from their custom prints, Jana Lam Studio produces lifestyle accessories, and House of Mana Up features products by Hawai’ian vendors.
MauiWaikiki Beach and Diamond Head Crater in Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu island. Photo courtesy of Okimo/

Leilani Farm Sanctuary provides a paradise for rescued animals. The Ocean Center—the Aquarium of Hawai’i—showcases Hawai’i’s undersea ecosystem. Hiking in Haleakalā National Park leads to a volcanic landscape and has amazing dark skies from the summit.

Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm grows many varieties, and O’o Farm raises Hawai’ian coffee and fruit trees, herbs and vegetables. Take a tour of Surfing Goat Dairy to see their goats and learn about their cheeses; its near OCEAN Organic Vodka, a farm and distillery.

Maui Wine is known for its Maui Blanc, an off-dry pineapple wine, and holds tastings. Wailuku Coffee Company is a local coffee brand. Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill turns their meat into burgers and other orders. Stillwell’s Bakery & Cafe is known for their cream horns;
Shikeda Bento Patisserie puts modern takes on Japanese bento.

KauiView of the tarro fields in Hanalei valley in Kauai. Photo courtesy of Colleen Sizemore/

Surfrider Foundation’s Kaua‘i chapter holds beach cleanups. Kaua‘i Museum delves into Hawai’ian geology and history. Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge—a safe haven for seabirds—has a historic lighthouse. The Allerton Garden has towering rainforest trees with tall curving roots amid other plants. Waimea Canyon State Park overlooks its deep, colorful gorge of Waimea Canyon.

Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s The Eating House 1849 honors
Hawai’i’s land and ocean culinary heritage. Lappert’s Hawai’i ice cream shop has many flavors. Wailua Drive-In serves up musubis and orders including chili pepper chicken.

Kapa‘a Town is a great shopping area, while Hanapēpē Town is a happening spot with fine art galleries, restaurants and boutiques.

Hawai’I Tourism Authority assisted with this article by reaching out to local experts for their suggestions.