The Hawaiian Islands
November 2023
Travel News Reservations are required at Lē‘ahi - Diamond Head State Monument hike >
Hawaiʻi’s State Parks Welcome You!

The natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands is on full display across its 50 state parks. From lush rainforests and sandy beaches to emerald valleys, cascading waterfalls and volcanic monuments, Hawai‘i’s state parks offer visiting clients limitless opportunities to experience their diverse natural splendor and learn about the rich cultural and geological histories of our islands. Suggest your clients visit one or more of the “can’t miss” state parks below while here.

Rising more than 4,000 feet above sea level, Kōkeʻe State Park rewards visitors with stunning views of verdant Kalalau Valley from high atop the Nāpali Coast. Offering 18 hiking trails spanning a collective 45 miles with something for all levels of trekker, the park’s wondrous forests, landscapes, and native plants and birds are a feast for the senses. Kōkeʻe Natural History Museum, located within the park, provides visitors with area history and information, trail suggestions and guidance, and park volunteer opportunities. The museum also sells unique local-made crafts and books.

No first-time O‘ʻahu trip is complete without a visit to Lē‘ahi, the volcanic tuff cone more famously known as Diamond Head State Monument. One of Hawaiʻi’s most recognized natural landmarks, Lē‘ahi began forming more than 300,000 years ago from a short-lived, though explosive, undersea eruptive event. The 475-acre park encompassing Lē‘ahi offers spectacular views of O‘ahu’s populous southern coastline — including Waikīkī and metropolitan Honolulu — from the summit of its main hiking trail. To improve visitor experiences at the very popular state monument, reservations are required to visit and can be made up to 30 days in advance here. Our advice? Book early as visitor reservations fill quickly on some days.

The highlight of visiting ʻĪao Valley State Monument is viewing one of Maui’s most famous natural landmarks, Kūkaemoku, or more commonly referred to as the ʻĪao Needle — a towering 1,200-foot vegetation-blanketed volcanic remnant that appears spire-like but is actually an erosional ridge. The ʻĪao Needle is surrounded by the visual majesty of the towering cliffs of ʻĪao Valley, site of the Battle of Kepaniwai. The 1790 confrontation saw the forces of King Kamehameha I — looking to put the Hawaiian Islands under his rule — defeating the army of Maui ali‘i nui (ruling chief) Kalanikūpule. A hiking trail in the peaceful, family-friendly park leads to the ʻĪao Needle lookout and through an ethnobotanical garden. Reservations are required prior to visiting and can be made here.

Island of Hawai‘i
Wailuku River State Park, just outside of Hilo on the island’s east side, is comprised of two park areas, one home to Waiānuenue Falls (aka Rainbow Falls) and the other home to Pe‘epe‘e Falls (aka Boiling Pots). Waiānuenue is a scenic 80-foot cascade known for its scenic beauty and frequent rainbows occurring when mist meets sunlight in its large gorge. A succession of natural freshwater pools downstream of Pe‘epe‘e Falls connected by underground caves, Boiling Pots was named for the agitation of its cool waters, which appear to roil and bubble as if boiling hot. (Note: Though you may see others swimming at Pe‘epe‘e when you visit, do not follow. Swimming in its pools is dangerous.) Clients visiting Lapakahi State Historical Park near the island’s northwest tip will take a trip back in time to the remnants of a Hawaiian fishing village established more than 700 years ago. While exploring the partially restored remains of the coastal settlement on a self-guided interpretive trail, they’ll learn about the daily life of Lapakahi’s former residents and about early Hawaiian culture.

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What's New

PGA Tournaments in Hawai‘i

If your clients are avid golf fans, some of the world’s best golfers will be Hawai‘i bound in January for tournaments as the PGA Tour opens its 2024 season with The Sentry, January 4-7 on Maui, and the Sony Open in Hawaii, January 8-14 on O‘ahu. The Sentry — formerly known as the Sentry Tournament of Champions — is set for the Plantation Course at Kapalua and the Sony Open in Hawaii happens at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Upcoming Events

Kaua‘i Quilt Show ›
February 09 - 21, 2024

Honolulu City Lights ›
December 02 - 29, 2023

Maui Pops Orchestra - Holiday Pops ›
December 10, 2023

Kokua Kailua Monthly Stroll ›
November 19, 2023


Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to this month's graduates including Hawaii Destination Specialists and Island Specialists.

Anne Woodley
Holiday Vacations

Nicole Rossi
AAA Northeast

Anne Rendle
Travelmation LLC

Ruben Cano
Apple Leisure Group

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