Friday, May 27, 2011
There are a few perks that come with being one of the most remote destinations on the planet. Tradewinds bearing fresh air with the scent of plumeria, sure. Cultural distinctiveness, definitely. But undoubtedly one of the best is Hawaii's vast ocean and the bountiful water activities it provides.
Learn to Surf on Oahu
Learn how to surf at the birthplace of surfing. Summertime is ideal for learning on Oahu's near-shore breaks during the consistent south shore swells — just be ready to stay out of the water if a Tahitian storm sends double-overhead swells our way. (Trust us, you'll want to leave those waves to the experts.)
Take a Sailing Trip to Lanai from Maui
The cluster of islands that surround the Auau Channel (Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe) create idyllic tropical landscapes even if you're just standing on the beach. Imagine sailing through it.
Snorkel with Mantas at Night in Kona
Elegant, otherworldly manta rays like to feed at night — this snorkel trip on the Big Island offers the best chance to view them in their natural habitat. The Hula Kai catamaran launches out of Keauhou Bay, walking distance from the Sheraton Keauhou Bay. Unlike their brother sting rays, mantas are not dangerous.
Explore Na Pali's Sea Caves on Kauai
No trip to Kauai is complete without a visit to the Na Pali cliffs on Kauai's north coast. It is an RGB feast: RED-clay mountains covered by thick GREEN jungle that plunge 3,000 feet into the BLUE Pacific. Ask anyone about what you have to see in Kauai. You'll get Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali cliffs — every time.
Diving at Cathedrals on Lanai
Next to Lanai's pristine Hulopoe Bay Marine Preserve is a series of underwater lava tubes that generate majestic colors when hit with sunlight — like colors streaming through the stained glass of a church. Two formations there measure up to 100 feet long and two stories high. At roughly 60 feet deep, you will need diving gear.
Explore Hawaii's largest barrier reef on Molokai
At more than 30 miles long, the Palaau Reef on Molokai's southeastern shore offers sheltered water areas perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and other water sports (Pictured: Kiteboarding off Puko'o Beach. Photo: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner/Creative Commons.)