surprise! 10 Activities You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Hawaii

Did you know you can visit a replica of a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Oahu? Can you buy a novel from the westernmost bookstore in Hawaii, USA? If you’re looking for an unusual experience on the island, check out these ideas. The possibilities are sure to be surprising.

1. Stroll through the largest Edo-style Japanese garden outside of Japan

Lili’uokalani Queen’s Park and Gardens in Hilo.
Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

Queen Liliokalani Park and Gardens is a peaceful Edo-style Japanese garden on Banyan Avenue in Hilo, Hawaii Island. The park is named after Hawaii’s last reigning monarch and is also a tribute to the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The park covers 24 acres and visitors can see fish ponds, rock gardens, pagodas and Japanese stone lanterns, as well as the traditional Japanese gate – the red tori. Travelers can also take a short walk over the pedestrian bridge to reach Moku Ola, a small island also known as Coconut Island. At leisure, arrange a picnic, take a Tai Chi class, or just enjoy the expansive views of the town and Hilo Bay from the largest Japanese garden outside of Japan. It’s in Hilo. Who would have thought!

2. Visit a replica of a 950-year-old Buddhist temple

Byodo Temple

The peaceful, non-sectarian Byodo House is open to everyone on Oahu.
Photo: Grace Maeda

Travelers arriving at the end of a winding path in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park ahu will find majestic Byodoin. Nestled at the foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains, this striking building is a replica of the 950-year-old Byodo-in Temple in Uji, Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple at Kāne’ohe was built in 1968, like the Queen’s Park and Gardens at Lili’uokalani, it commemorates 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. Away from the bustling streets of Waikiki, this nonsectarian temple is peaceful and open to all.

3. Explore the Museum of Global Cultures, once the heiress Doris Duke

Shangri-La Home

Shangri-La is the center of Islamic art and culture on Oahu.
Photo: Tracey Chen

On the slopes of Lē’ahi, also known as Diamond Head, is the former home of billionaire heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke. The late Duke was often referred to as “the richest little girl in the world” and her hobbies ranged from piano and gardening to surfing (which she learned from Duke Kahanamoku). Her extensive world travels have brought with them an invaluable art collection. her home on Oahu, Shangri-La, adorned with beautiful treasures from her travels in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Overlooking the ocean, the house is today overseen by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The property is a center for Islamic art and culture, and the Honolulu Museum of Art offers guided tours.

4. Get lost in a giant pineapple garden maze

Plantation Giant Maze

The giant pineapple maze at Dole Plantation was once thought to be the largest maze in the world.
Photo: Courtesy of Dole Plantation

In 2008, Dole PlantationThe Pineapple Garden Maze has been declared the largest maze in the world. Although it no longer holds the title, Oahu’s Labyrinth is one of the few permanent plant labyrinths in the United States. Here, visitors can navigate a labyrinth of tropical plants that span 3 acres and nearly 2.5 miles of walking trails. Treat yourself to a refreshing Dole Soft Serve when you’re out of the maze.

5. Crack coconuts at the rare coconut tree farm

Punak Palms

Punakea Palms on Maui is a rare coconut palm farm.
Photo: David Croxford

Look in any direction in Hawaii and you’re likely to spot a coconut tree. Although Aloha is full of them, it is still rare to encounter mature coconut palm farms. in Maui, Punakea Palms Is the only coconut farm on the island, and probably in the whole of Hawaii. This family-run farm offers educational tours of coconut palms, explaining the growth stages of the plant, the practical uses of the husk and coir (coconut fiber), and how coconut palms got to Hawaii. One of the most exciting features of this tour is the tasting. Visitors can identify different flavors of pure coconut water from coconuts at different maturity stages. After a trip to Punakaia Palms, tourists leave as coconut connoisseurs, which may come in handy for the remainder of their Hawaiian stay. After all, coconut is a quintessential flavor and ingredient in many cocktails and snacks associated with islands.

6. Pet miniature animals on the slopes of Mauna Kahālāwai

Lahaina Animal Farm

Lahaina Animal Farm and Petting Zoo is an exciting attraction for children and adults alike.
Photo: David Croxford

Animal lovers need a collection Lahaina Animal Farm and Petting Zoo. This isn’t just a petting zoo; it’s a miniature animal farm with miniature horses, miniature cows, and even miniature pigs. At the farm near Punakea Palms, visitors can feed and pet horses, fluffy cows, baby goats and adorable pigs. But that’s not all. There is also a 37 year old tortoise and some New Zealand rabbits on the farm which are actually quite large (males can grow up to 11 lbs, females are bigger). The farm is an off the beaten track attraction that excites kids and adults alike.

7. Play with hundreds of cats on Lanai

Lanica Conservation Area

Lāna’i Cat Sanctuary has more than 600 cats.
Photo: Steve Cherniak

Many people know about luxury resorts in Lanai.However, it is also home Lanai Cat Sanctuary. The non-profit organization draws from the city of Lanai and native and endangered birds such as ‘ua’u, Or Hawaiian petrels, which create ground nests. The center takes care of more than 600 rescued cats and welcomes everyone to spend a day with them.

8. Continue Indiana Jones– Adventure through one of Hawaii’s richest fossil sites


Makauwehi Cave is one of the richest fossil sites in Hawaii.
Photo: David Croxford

Maakauwahi Caves on Kauai’s south shore is the largest limestone cave in Hawaii and one of the richest fossil sites on the island. The cave began to form more than 400,000 years ago as a sand dune that was later turned into limestone. About 7,000 years ago, the ceiling collapsed, creating a natural amphitheater. Today, visitors can enter the cave — a natural wonder unique to Kauai — to learn more about where paleontologists and archaeologists unearthed pollen, seeds, animal bones and ancient Polynesian artifacts.

9. Get spooked on a hawaii ghost tour

lopaca capanue

Storyteller Lopaka Kapanui guides visitors through Oahu’s most active paranormal streets.
Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

It’s not all blue skies and sunshine in Hawaii. Generations of residents are well versed in sharing local ghost stories and superstitions that will send chills down the spine of any visitor. One expert in telling these horrific stories is Lopaka Kapanui. For more than 20 years, Kapanui has led ghost tours through Oahu’s most active paranormal streets.his Hawaiian Mystery Tours educate locals and tourists about the spiritual history and culture of Hawaii. Kapanui shares legends and oral traditions about mysterious sightings and haunted places, and provides evidence from historical accounts and newspaper clippings.These tours are not only extraordinary out-of-the-box goosebumps, but experience the more popular attractions and luau.

10. Buy books at America’s westernmost bookstore


Talk Story Bookstore is located in Hanapēpē, the westernmost bookstore in the United States
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Ben Ono

Located in the town of Hanapepe on Kauai, storytelling bookstore is the westernmost book Shopping in the US – it’s a book lover’s paradise.From bestselling novels to beloved recipe books and retro comics, local books The store has something that will interest every reader. Stop by the charming bookstore in Old Town Sugar City to browse an impressive collection of old and new titles, as well as rare out-of-print titles.

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