I know you are ready for a vacation to Hawaii, because who isn’t?
Now that you have planned what you’re going to pack on your trip it’s time to talk about where to go. Each island is home to some of the most breathtaking views and scenic places. It can be a little overwhelming at first to try and plan everything into your trip, but we have made that decision a little easier with the six most scenic places in Hawaii to take your breath away.
6 Most Scenic Places in Hawaii to Take Your Breath Away
What: Lush gardens, beautiful waterfalls, immaculate coastlines
Where: Big Island (Hawaii)
How to See: Travel by helicopter is preferred
Why: There is nothing quite like seeing the Kohala coastline from high above the ground while you’re in a helicopter. Originating from the impressive Kohala Volcano that last erupted approximately 120,000 years ago, these seven valleys offer up an amazing landscape and unique geography distinct to this region.
Cut from rainwater erosion, the valleys are the epitome of the postcard-perfect lush gardens, stunning waterfalls, and scenic coastline the define Hawaii’s pure elegance. Taking a doors off Kohala helicopter tour is one of the best decisions you’ll make when visiting Hawaii.
What: Sunrise, sunset, and stargazing
Where: Big Island (Hawaii)
More Info: Drive to the summit
Why: Visiting the summit of Maunakea will provide you with unmatched views of the Big Island. There are a few options available to you upon arrival. Most people suggest that you drive to the summit to watch sunrise or sunset. Due to the sheer size of the dormant volcano, researchers and scientists have placed 14 observation telescopes on the mountain. These telescopes allow you to stargaze in one of the best locations on Earth. If you stay for sunset make sure you stop at the Maunakea Visitor Information Station to view the stars. We suggest that you do as much astrology research as possible before you choose to do this activity.
Since you will drive from sea level to 14,000 feet in about two hours, you might experience altitude sickness. Make sure you understand the dangers of subjecting someone to these potentially harsh conditions.
Keahiakawelo – Garden of the Gods: Lanai
What: Volcanic rock garden
Where: 45-min drive from Lanai City, Maui
More Info: 4-wheel drive vehicle is required
Why: Located about 45 minutes from Lanai City in Maui County, Keahiakawelo – or “Garden of the Gods”- offers a unique look at Hawaii’s past. Before you leave Lanai City, make sure you have enough food and supplies because there are no stops along the Palawai Basin for about 45 minutes.
What makes Keahiakawelo so special is you leave behind the lush green landscapes for a barren moonscape that is littered with car-sized boulders and red dirt. We suggest that you park your car (in a safe location) and set out on foot. While on foot you will be able to experience the rugged terrain and stumble upon spots with sweeping views looking out towards Molokai and Oahu. If you would like to cool off you can enjoy a trip to Polihua Beach, which is an additional 30 minutes away.
If you plan to visit this location please be respectful of your surroundings and do not stack, stand on, or remove the rocks.
What: Volcanic landscapes, lava flows, doors off experience
Where: Big Island (Hawaii)
More Info: Travel by helicopter is preferred
Why: Mount Kilauea is home to one of the world’s most active shield-type volcanos. Located on the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii, Kilauea is still considered an active volcano, and it will erupt again. If you want to see the volcano from above, Tropical Helicopter offers you a unique tour of the entire volcano. Travel Channel refers to their tour “the hottest helicopter ride on Earth” due to having the doors wide open.
When you choose to do a doors off lava tour, you get the chance to see Hilo’s lush rain forests, Mauna Loa’s vistas and the plunging Wai’anuenue (Rainbow Falls) which are all along the way before you reach the volcano. When you approach the volcano you will be 500 feet above, which allows you to feel the heat of the flowing lava and open vents. You will feel waves of hot air rolling off the subsurface flows, which can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees. There’s no bigger thrill than leaving the doors behind so there is nothing between you and the sights!
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
What: Panoramic Views
Where: Pali Highway located between Honolulu and Kailua
More Info: Accessible by car
Why: If you are a fan of sweeping panoramic views and a scenic drive through the forest, then the Nu’uanu Pali lookout is the right destination for you. Located just a short five-mile drive northeast of downtown Honolulu, the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout offers an incredible vantage point of Kaneohe and Kailua, Mokilii. While you’re gazing across the lush landscape you will notice Hawaii Pacific University’s Windward campus, Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, and the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base.
You can access the lookout spot by car and be sure to pack a light jacket. You might experience strong winds while out of your car.
Hawaii Circle Island Experience
What: Full island experience
More Info: Can only be done in a helicopter
Why: If you think there is just too much to see in a short amount of time, then a full island tour is the right option for you. When you choose this tour you have the exclusive opportunity to see all five volcanoes, including the active and erupting Kilauea Volcano. On your way to the volcano, you will fly over the world famous Kona Coffee Belt, Green, Black and White Sand Beaches, and even a desert (yes, this isn’t a typo).
As you are on your way to the majestic Kohala Mountains you have the opportunity to see the quaint little towns and sweeping rainforests. Once you reach the Kohala mountains you will come face to face with towering 2500’ waterfalls and sheer cliff faces that makes them the most spectacular valleys in Hawaii.
If you are interested in this tour, check out the Hawaiian Circle Island Experience today!
Don’t Limit Yourself
Since there are so many options to choose from, make sure you ask your friends and family what their priorities are and what they want to see the most. It is important to note that these are just a sampling of the most scenic places in Hawaii to take your breath away.
For more information on each helicopter tour and about the most scenic places in Hawaii, contact Tropical Helicopters today.