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Natural Hawaii



Hawaii’s natural wonders offer feasts for the senses. From sun-drenched beaches to exotic gardens to colorful sea life, there’s no shortage of ways to immerse yourself in tropical enchantment.



Along with tried-and-true favorites, each island also offers lesser-known nature-oriented possibilities you may want to explore on your next visit! Here are a few ideas to get you started.



Hawaii Nature Center offers hiking and nature camps.

Oahu

Oahu - Opens a dialog offers several ways to enjoy the island's natural beauty from a variety of hiking trails, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and the botanical gardens at Waimea Valley. Diamond Head Summit Trail, a 1.5 mile moderately challenging round trip, offers amazing vistas. If you're looking for a more family-friendly trail consider Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, this paved trail is an excellent spot to view migrating humpback whales (November – May) as well as seabirds and ends at the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse.

If you’re looking to actively engage with the natural beauty you can also help restore a Hawaiian fishpond, plant native trees or assist in a beach cleanup. Malama means to give back, and there's no better way to give back than to volunteer with organizations such as The Hawaii Land Trust, Kualoa Ranch, or Sustainable Coastlines.

“More green time and less screen time” is the theme at Hawaii Nature Center, on both Oahu and Maui, which offers kid-friendly hiking, weekend nature camps, and even nature-oriented birthday parties. Since they also partner with local schools, you’ll want to book in advance. - Opens a dialog

    Waimea Falls in Waimea Valley

    Visit Waimea Valley. In ancient times, community land parcels stretched from mountaintop to sea level, ensuring each had what they needed: heights for medicinal plants; plains for agricultural products; seashore for fish. Waimea Valley, the “Valley of the Priests'' is one such site, carefully rebuilt by a native Hawaiian LLC. Hike the trails, stroll its botanical garden or take a cultural/historic tour.

      Visit Waimea Valley. In ancient times, community land parcels stretched from mountaintop to sea level, ensuring each had what they needed: heights for medicinal plants; plains for agricultural products; seashore for fish. Waimea Valley, the “Valley of the Priests'' is one such site, carefully rebuilt by a native Hawaiian LLC. Hike the trails, stroll its botanical garden or take a cultural/historic tour.

        Waimea Falls in Waimea Valley

        The "world's largest plant maze" at the Dole Plantation.

        The World’s Largest Plant Maze: It takes most folks about an hour to discover eight secret stations of native island flora and wend through the Dole Plantation’s giant maze to the pineapple-shaped garden at its heart. Along with the maze, you can enjoy pastoral views from one of four vintage-style Pineapple Express Trains or take a plantation garden tour to learn about Hawaiian growing methods and crafts.

          Hold a seahorse (very carefully!) at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.

          Hawaii Island

          Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm: Ever wanted to hold a seahorse? There are thousands at Ocean Rider’s sustainable marine aquarium, where besides holding a seahorse, you can learn about everything from pregnant males (yes, you read that right!) to leafy sea dragons. Book ahead, tours tend to fill fast!

            Hawaii Island

            Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm: Ever wanted to hold a seahorse? There are thousands at Ocean Rider’s sustainable marine aquarium, where besides holding a seahorse, you can learn about everything from pregnant males (yes, you read that right!) to leafy sea dragons. Book ahead, tours tend to fill fast!

              Hold a seahorse (very carefully!) at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.

              Explore the 600-foot-long Thurston Lava Tube.

              Explore the Thurston Lava Tube. Hike into the belly of a massive 600-foot-long lava tube to see the solidified drips and waves of what was once hot liquid lava. Nahuku (its Hawaiian name, meaning “the protuberances”), is in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Bring a coat! It gets cold inside - and though much of it is bright with electric lights, if you want to explore the tube’s darker offshoots, you’ll want to bring along a flashlight too.

                This delicious coffee is cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa.

                Tour a Kona coffee plantation! Just above Kailua-Kona, - Opens a dialog a strip of land on the volcanic foothills offers the perfect mix of altitude, volcanic soil and coffee-growing weather for 650+ farms. Many offer tours and coffee sampling. Depending on the season, you could see the white blooms of “Kona Snow” (coffee plant blossoms), or ripe yellow or crimson coffee cherries.

                  Tour a Kona coffee plantation! Just above Kailua-Kona, - Opens a dialog a strip of land on the volcanic foothills offers the perfect mix of altitude, volcanic soil and coffee-growing weather for 650+ farms. Many offer tours and coffee sampling. Depending on the season, you could see the white blooms of “Kona Snow” (coffee plant blossoms), or ripe yellow or crimson coffee cherries.

                    This delicious coffee is cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa.

                    Nine varieties of lavender bloom here at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

                    Maui

                    Smell the lavender. Nine varieties with different bloom times mean year-round blooms in the Mediterranean climate of Kula, where you’ll find Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Take a self-guided tour and soak up breathtaking views of the South Maui coastline and West Maui Mountains, check out the gift shop…and enjoy the lovely scent of sustainable “ahhhhh-loha.”

                      Take some time to explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley.

                      Swirl, sip, savor. When you’re finished at the lavender farm, head 20 minutes down the road to Maui Wine. Wander the grounds, visit the tasting room for some pupu appetizers and sample local wines crafted from six island-grown varietals - everything from Chenin Blanc to Malbec to Viognier.

                      Explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley, where in 1790 King Kamehameha I battled Maui’s army in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. An easy hike along a paved pedestrian path leads from the parking lot to a viewpoint of the iconic 1,200-foot Iao Needle, which served as a lookout point for the Maui - Opens a dialog scouts. The Needle often clouds over in the afternoon, so go early for the best views.

                        Swirl, sip, savor. When you’re finished at the lavender farm, head 20 minutes down the road to Maui Wine. Wander the grounds, visit the tasting room for some pupu appetizers and sample local wines crafted from six island-grown varietals - everything from Chenin Blanc to Malbec to Viognier.

                        Explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley, where in 1790 King Kamehameha I battled Maui’s army in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. An easy hike along a paved pedestrian path leads from the parking lot to a viewpoint of the iconic 1,200-foot Iao Needle, which served as a lookout point for the Maui - Opens a dialog scouts. The Needle often clouds over in the afternoon, so go early for the best views.

                          Take some time to explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley.

                          Enjoy spectacular views from the beautiful 52-foot Kilauea Lighthouse.

                          Kauai

                          The beautiful 52-foot Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1912 in the heart of a wildlife sanctuary. Tour the lighthouse and bring your binoculars! Besides enjoying spectacular views from the rocky point, this is one of the few places on Kauai - Opens a dialog where you might find Laysan albatross, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and red-footed boobies. Other wildlife includes spinner dolphins, green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals - and from December to May, you might spot humpback whales.

                            Beautiful, photographic rainbows can be seen upon occasion here in Waimea Canyon.

                            Hike or drive Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific!” Otherworldly red-walled craters, striped cliffs, waterfalls and rainbows make for very memorable photo ops. For those craving more adrenaline, downhill biking in the canyon is another option.

                            All aboard! On the Kauai Plantation Railway, take a 2.5-mile tour through stands of taro, banana and mango. On this 105-acre working plantation you’ll also have the opportunity to feed its resident goats, pigs and sheep! Grownups can try the combination train ride plus rum safari.

                            From the shoreline to the heights, there are dozens of surprising ways to experience and learn about Hawaii’s natural wonders. You might even take home some new memories along with the suntan!

                              Hike or drive Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific!” Otherworldly red-walled craters, striped cliffs, waterfalls and rainbows make for very memorable photo ops. For those craving more adrenaline, downhill biking in the canyon is another option.

                              All aboard! On the Kauai Plantation Railway, take a 2.5-mile tour through stands of taro, banana and mango. On this 105-acre working plantation you’ll also have the opportunity to feed its resident goats, pigs and sheep! Grownups can try the combination train ride plus rum safari.

                              From the shoreline to the heights, there are dozens of surprising ways to experience and learn about Hawaii’s natural wonders. You might even take home some new memories along with the suntan!

                                Beautiful, photographic rainbows can be seen upon occasion here in Waimea Canyon.

                                Sign Up for Costco.com Emails

                                If you are interested in great deals Costco Travel has to offer, click here to sign up to receive emails. This will ensure that Travel and Costco.com values are sent directly to your inbox.

                                  Once You Are Ready to Travel Again, Costco Travel Can Help

                                  We invite you to take some time to browse around and dream of your Hawaii vacation - Opens a dialog , whether you’re booking for next month or toward the end of next year.

                                    Hawaii Nature Center offers hiking and nature camps.

                                    Oahu

                                    Oahu - Opens a dialog offers several ways to enjoy the island's natural beauty from a variety of hiking trails, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and the botanical gardens at Waimea Valley. Diamond Head Summit Trail, a 1.5 mile moderately challenging round trip, offers amazing vistas. If you're looking for a more family-friendly trail consider Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, this paved trail is an excellent spot to view migrating humpback whales (November – May) as well as seabirds and ends at the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse.

                                    If you’re looking to actively engage with the natural beauty you can also help restore a Hawaiian fishpond, plant native trees or assist in a beach cleanup. Malama means to give back, and there's no better way to give back than to volunteer with organizations such as The Hawaii Land Trust, Kualoa Ranch, or Sustainable Coastlines.

                                    “More green time and less screen time” is the theme at Hawaii Nature Center, on both Oahu and Maui, which offers kid-friendly hiking, weekend nature camps, and even nature-oriented birthday parties. Since they also partner with local schools, you’ll want to book in advance. - Opens a dialog

                                      Waimea Falls in Waimea Valley

                                      Visit Waimea Valley. In ancient times, community land parcels stretched from mountaintop to sea level, ensuring each had what they needed: heights for medicinal plants; plains for agricultural products; seashore for fish. Waimea Valley, the “Valley of the Priests'' is one such site, carefully rebuilt by a native Hawaiian LLC. Hike the trails, stroll its botanical garden or take a cultural/historic tour.

                                        Visit Waimea Valley. In ancient times, community land parcels stretched from mountaintop to sea level, ensuring each had what they needed: heights for medicinal plants; plains for agricultural products; seashore for fish. Waimea Valley, the “Valley of the Priests'' is one such site, carefully rebuilt by a native Hawaiian LLC. Hike the trails, stroll its botanical garden or take a cultural/historic tour.

                                          Waimea Falls in Waimea Valley

                                          The "world's largest plant maze" at the Dole Plantation.

                                          The World’s Largest Plant Maze: It takes most folks about an hour to discover eight secret stations of native island flora and wend through the Dole Plantation’s giant maze to the pineapple-shaped garden at its heart. Along with the maze, you can enjoy pastoral views from one of four vintage-style Pineapple Express Trains or take a plantation garden tour to learn about Hawaiian growing methods and crafts.

                                            Hold a seahorse (very carefully!) at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.

                                            Hawaii Island

                                            Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm: Ever wanted to hold a seahorse? There are thousands at Ocean Rider’s sustainable marine aquarium, where besides holding a seahorse, you can learn about everything from pregnant males (yes, you read that right!) to leafy sea dragons. Book ahead, tours tend to fill fast!

                                              Hawaii Island

                                              Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm: Ever wanted to hold a seahorse? There are thousands at Ocean Rider’s sustainable marine aquarium, where besides holding a seahorse, you can learn about everything from pregnant males (yes, you read that right!) to leafy sea dragons. Book ahead, tours tend to fill fast!

                                                Hold a seahorse (very carefully!) at Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.

                                                Explore the 600-foot-long Thurston Lava Tube.

                                                Explore the Thurston Lava Tube. Hike into the belly of a massive 600-foot-long lava tube to see the solidified drips and waves of what was once hot liquid lava. Nahuku (its Hawaiian name, meaning “the protuberances”), is in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Bring a coat! It gets cold inside - and though much of it is bright with electric lights, if you want to explore the tube’s darker offshoots, you’ll want to bring along a flashlight too.

                                                  This delicious coffee is cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa.

                                                  Tour a Kona coffee plantation! Just above Kailua-Kona, - Opens a dialog a strip of land on the volcanic foothills offers the perfect mix of altitude, volcanic soil and coffee-growing weather for 650+ farms. Many offer tours and coffee sampling. Depending on the season, you could see the white blooms of “Kona Snow” (coffee plant blossoms), or ripe yellow or crimson coffee cherries.

                                                    Tour a Kona coffee plantation! Just above Kailua-Kona, - Opens a dialog a strip of land on the volcanic foothills offers the perfect mix of altitude, volcanic soil and coffee-growing weather for 650+ farms. Many offer tours and coffee sampling. Depending on the season, you could see the white blooms of “Kona Snow” (coffee plant blossoms), or ripe yellow or crimson coffee cherries.

                                                      This delicious coffee is cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa.

                                                      Nine varieties of lavender bloom here at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

                                                      Maui

                                                      Smell the lavender. Nine varieties with different bloom times mean year-round blooms in the Mediterranean climate of Kula, where you’ll find Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. Take a self-guided tour and soak up breathtaking views of the South Maui coastline and West Maui Mountains, check out the gift shop…and enjoy the lovely scent of sustainable “ahhhhh-loha.”

                                                        Take some time to explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley.

                                                        Swirl, sip, savor. When you’re finished at the lavender farm, head 20 minutes down the road to Maui Wine. Wander the grounds, visit the tasting room for some pupu appetizers and sample local wines crafted from six island-grown varietals - everything from Chenin Blanc to Malbec to Viognier.

                                                        Explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley, where in 1790 King Kamehameha I battled Maui’s army in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. An easy hike along a paved pedestrian path leads from the parking lot to a viewpoint of the iconic 1,200-foot Iao Needle, which served as a lookout point for the Maui - Opens a dialog scouts. The Needle often clouds over in the afternoon, so go early for the best views.

                                                          Swirl, sip, savor. When you’re finished at the lavender farm, head 20 minutes down the road to Maui Wine. Wander the grounds, visit the tasting room for some pupu appetizers and sample local wines crafted from six island-grown varietals - everything from Chenin Blanc to Malbec to Viognier.

                                                          Explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley, where in 1790 King Kamehameha I battled Maui’s army in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. An easy hike along a paved pedestrian path leads from the parking lot to a viewpoint of the iconic 1,200-foot Iao Needle, which served as a lookout point for the Maui - Opens a dialog scouts. The Needle often clouds over in the afternoon, so go early for the best views.

                                                            Take some time to explore the lush, gorgeous Iao Valley.

                                                            Enjoy spectacular views from the beautiful 52-foot Kilauea Lighthouse.

                                                            Kauai

                                                            The beautiful 52-foot Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1912 in the heart of a wildlife sanctuary. Tour the lighthouse and bring your binoculars! Besides enjoying spectacular views from the rocky point, this is one of the few places on Kauai - Opens a dialog where you might find Laysan albatross, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and red-footed boobies. Other wildlife includes spinner dolphins, green sea turtles and endangered Hawaiian monk seals - and from December to May, you might spot humpback whales.

                                                              Beautiful, photographic rainbows can be seen upon occasion here in Waimea Canyon.

                                                              Hike or drive Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific!” Otherworldly red-walled craters, striped cliffs, waterfalls and rainbows make for very memorable photo ops. For those craving more adrenaline, downhill biking in the canyon is another option.

                                                              All aboard! On the Kauai Plantation Railway, take a 2.5-mile tour through stands of taro, banana and mango. On this 105-acre working plantation you’ll also have the opportunity to feed its resident goats, pigs and sheep! Grownups can try the combination train ride plus rum safari.

                                                              From the shoreline to the heights, there are dozens of surprising ways to experience and learn about Hawaii’s natural wonders. You might even take home some new memories along with the suntan!

                                                                Hike or drive Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific!” Otherworldly red-walled craters, striped cliffs, waterfalls and rainbows make for very memorable photo ops. For those craving more adrenaline, downhill biking in the canyon is another option.

                                                                All aboard! On the Kauai Plantation Railway, take a 2.5-mile tour through stands of taro, banana and mango. On this 105-acre working plantation you’ll also have the opportunity to feed its resident goats, pigs and sheep! Grownups can try the combination train ride plus rum safari.

                                                                From the shoreline to the heights, there are dozens of surprising ways to experience and learn about Hawaii’s natural wonders. You might even take home some new memories along with the suntan!

                                                                  Beautiful, photographic rainbows can be seen upon occasion here in Waimea Canyon.

                                                                  Sign Up for Costco.com Emails

                                                                  If you are interested in great deals Costco Travel has to offer, click here to sign up to receive emails. This will ensure that Travel and Costco.com values are sent directly to your inbox.

                                                                    Once You Are Ready to Travel Again, Costco Travel Can Help

                                                                    We invite you to take some time to browse around and dream of your Hawaii vacation - Opens a dialog , whether you’re booking for next month or toward the end of next year.


                                                                      About the Author: The above piece was written by Julie Robinson, Marketing Coordinator at Costco Travel. Julie has a passion for travel and she regularly writes about her experiences.


                                                                       
                                                                       
                                                                       
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