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10 Alternative Hawaii Destinations That Aren’t Maui

Hawaii is a destination that has something to offer year-round. With many islands endowed with lush forests, challenging hiking trails and beautiful beaches, a vacation here is sure to be satisfying and memorable. While many people in the state often align their travel radar with Maui, there are other destinations in the state that are just as adventurous and beautiful as Maui. Without further ado, here are alternative travel destinations in Hawaii that will make you want to drop Maui for now.


10/10 North Shore, Oahu

Oahu’s North Shore is a stretch of coast that offers a wealth of things to see and do. Adventures can be found here, from snorkeling with sharks and skydiving to surfing the crashing waves or just camping on the beach, eating, drinking and enjoying the fresh air. The area’s rugged landscape also lends itself to fantastic hikes.

9/10 South Shore, Kauai

Kauai’s South Shore is lined with spectacular beaches, wonderful food, and a nice variety of vacation rentals and resorts. This part of Kauai comes alive in winter, as it also welcomes friendly dolphins and humpback whales. The beaches here are great for relaxing, surfing and camping. Here visitors can drive through the tunnel with tall green trees and explore towns like Old Town of Kōloa, Kalāheo and Ōmaʻo where there are several resorts, shops, boutiques, golf courses and also several beautiful beaches.

8/10 Windward Coast Oahu (East Coast of Oahu), Oahu

Just 30 minutes’ drive from Waikiki and Honolulu, this mesmerizing natural beauty promises visitors a wonderful vacation. It has a serene vibe and features rugged green peaks, beautiful laid-back towns and stunning beaches. Here, visitors can relax at Kailua Beach Park or enjoy a spiritual experience at the Valley of the Temples. There are hiking opportunities on the Windward Coast, and there are also several restaurants, shops, and hotels in the area.

See Also: Experience a Traditional Hawaiian Luau at Oahu’s Paradise Cove

7/10 Pala’au State Park, Molokai

Located on the North Shore of Molokai, Hawaii’s least visited island, this renowned park is one of Hawaii’s most adventurous destinations. Hiking is the signature activity here, and hikers have plenty of trails, many of which lead to thundering waterfalls, sea cliffs, and dense jungles. In addition to hiking, this park also offers camping and stunning views of historic Kalaupapa.

6/10 Honolulu, O’ahu

Honolulu is the perfect travel destination for those seeking a city atmosphere combined with exciting natural attractions. This city is endowed with sparkling beaches surrounded by lush palm trees and classy hotels. The city offers a vibrant nightlife and cultural festivals, and visitors also have attractions like Hanauma Bay, Ala Moana Center, Bishop Museum and so many other interesting attractions to see in this city.

Also see: Planning a visit to Honolulu? Here’s what to do in Hawaii’s capital

5/10 Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hilo is a city of rainforests, beautiful waterfalls, art galleries, museums and restaurants. Visitors here will enjoy exploring the interesting Tsunami Museum, which offers tsunami education and awareness. One can swim, snorkel, or just watch the sea turtles on the city’s beaches. Hiking and skydiving opportunities are also available in Hilo, and caving is also available at the Kaumana Caves.

4/10 Kailua, O’ahu

Located northeast of Honolulu, Kailua is a city with beautiful sandy beaches, numerous restaurants, and many hotels that are always ready to welcome visitors. It’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. Here you can relax at Kailua Beach Park and enjoy some water sports or visit the Lyman Museum to explore the history of the area. For more adventure, visitors can shop at the Kailua Farmers Market, sample delicious food at one of the restaurants, or hit the trails for a hiking adventure.

3/10 Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai

There are many exciting travel destinations that make Kauai a great alternative to Maui, and Waimea Canyon State Park is one of them. Also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, this 14-mile long natural creation sets the stage for a variety of adventures, from hiking to fishing. It has waterfalls, breathtaking viewpoints, and a scenic drive that takes visitors throughout the natural landscape.

2/10 Akaka Falls State Park, Big Island

The Big Island is a great alternative to Maui as it has many exciting attractions to offer. One such attraction is Akaka Falls State Park. Located northeast of the Hilo coast, this park offers visitors the chance to hike and see two mesmerizing waterfalls. Perfect for those looking to relax, this adventure takes visitors through a lush trail surrounded by trees and beautiful foliage on either side.

1/10 Napali Coast State National Park, Kauai

The wilderness of the Napali Coast State is another reason why Kauai is a perfect alternative to Maui. The wilderness area is characterized by towering cliffs, adventurous hiking trails, picturesque beaches and thundering waterfalls. Here you will find some of the most exciting adventures in the world. First of all, the world famous Kalalau Trail is located here. While hiking this trail, one will come across creeks, waterfalls, beautiful beaches and stunning coastal views. Camping, snorkeling, museum exploration, and boat trips are some other things to do here.

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