2019 Top Must Do Hawaii Activities

Posted by Alex Cortez R(B) on Sunday, January 27th, 2019 at 1:42pm.

The sunrise atop the summit of Haleakala on Maui's Upcountry, visiting the white sands of Lanikai, and partaking on the view of Honolulu from Diamond Head are always going to be must-sees for first time visitors of the Aloha State. But those iconic places only begin to scratch the surface of all the magic and Eden-like settings Hawaii has to offer.&

The islands offer a plethora of lesser known gems worthy of exploration - whether resident, first-time arrival or long-time frequent visitor, blaze your trail. As you start to plan out the year ahead, be sure to add these 10 experiences to your list of ways to explore Hawaii in 2019.

Paddleboarding Under Oahu's Fireworks

Every Friday night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village launches fireworks above Waikiki Beach starting around 7:45 p.m. The display is beautiful from the beach, but even more breathtaking from the ocean, where the colorful lights reflect on its surface. You can take your own paddleboard out from Waikiki, or hire Nocturnal Adventures Hawaii for guided tours on paddleboards equipped with glowing lights that illuminate the marine life down below.

Fireworks on Oahu Waikiki
Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Daniel Ramirez

Skydiving Oahu's Skies Nestled within a sparsely populated stretch of Oahu’s north shore, Mokuleia is home to some of the only companies that offer this experience in the Aloha State — skydiving. The breathtaking community, home to ranches, white-sand beaches and the occasional home, is uniquely protected from trade winds to make the experience more predictable and enjoyable.

At Mokuleia, one can jump out of planes from altitudes up to 14,000 feet. Besides the adrenaline rush that only comes with an entire minute of free fall, one will enjoy awe-inspiring views of Oahu’s North Shore like no other.

Swim with dolphins on Maui

On Maui, you won’t find major tour companies like those on Oahu that offer guaranteed chances to interact with dolphins. But if you’re lucky, you can experience them up close and personal, without the crowds that come with organized tours.

There are a couple places that are often frequented by the marine creatures, including La Perouse Bay in South Maui, at the end of Makena. You must arrive in the early morning just as the sun starts to rise, where you might spot spinner dolphins resting in the clear, azure waters. You can snorkel, SUP or take a kayak, although entering the water can be difficult because of the lava rock. Also, beware that the currents can become strong and there is NO lifeguard station at this end of South Maui

Hawaii's Meadery in Kauai

You’ve probably heard of Maui Brewing Company, Kona Brewing Company, Koloa Rum or Ocean Vodka, which are just a few of many distilleries and breweries based in the islands. But Nani Moon Meadery is a thing in itself, the only meadery in the Aloha State. Based in Kapa’a town in Kauai, the meadery seeks to elevate the world’s first alcoholic drink — honey wine — by infusing it with local flavors like lilikoi, ginger and guava found in the islands.

Tubing through Kauai 

There are lots of ways you can explore Kauai, but one of the least common is by floating down the old irrigation system build in the late 1800s to fuel the plantations. Kauai Backcountry Adventures offers tubing tours down the irrigation system, where you drift through lush landscapes and pitch black tunnels, which you can only see because of with a headlamp.

Hike Maui's Haleakala Crater

Driving to the Haleakala Crater and watching the sunrise is so popular that Haleakala National Park now requires a reservation to do so. But if you’re making the trek all the way up to 10,000 feet, don’t just drive to the top of the crater — hike it.

Haleakala Crater Maui 2019
Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Zenofnow

More than 30 miles of hiking trails span the summit area of Haleakala National Park, where hikes range from short 10-minute walks to multi-day overnight trips. Experience part of Maui that’s entirely untouched, where you can hike across cinder deserts, in addition to exploring native forests with birds and endemic plants.

Snorkel with Manta Rays on Big Island

Take snorkeling a step further and venture out into the dark to view some of the islands’ most majestic marine animals — manta rays. On the Kona side of the Big Island, there are handfuls of tour operators who will lead you on a guided snorkel or scuba dive to interact with the creatures, which feed on plankton. Because plankton are attracted to light, they generally lead the rays closer to lights on boats or those held by divers.

Climb the Koko Head Stairs 

Skip the gym and instead venture outside to Hawaii natural stairmaster — the Koko Head Stairs. With more than 1,000 steps that ascend above Oahu’s Hawaii Kai neighborhood, the stairs offer an awesome workout and a 360-degree view of mountains, beaches and the city of Honolulu once you make it to the top. Be sure to head there in the morning or evening unless you want to brave the midday heat.

Green Sands Beach on Big Island

Papakolea Beach is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Famous for being only one of two beaches with green sand in the United States, residents and visitors should make an effort to visit Papakōlea at some point in their lifetimes. On Big Island's south side, Kau residents enjoy proximity to one of the most unique beaches in the US. Surrounded by azure waters and soaring cliffs, the beach gets its unusual color from the mineral olivine. The best time to visit is generally on weekdays before noon - keep in mind that there is a long hike from the parking lot to the actual beach, so plan accordingly; but of course, the reward is experiencing one of the most incredible beaches on what is the southernmost point of the United States.

Big Island Green Sand Beach 2019
Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Michelle Maria

For those interested in learning more of Hawaii's unique lifestyle and available activities, contact our team of Hawaii real estate experts.

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Specializing in Makena and Wailea real estate, Alex Cortez is fully dedicated to representing his clients ethically and diligently. Contact him at 808.385.5034 or Alex@MauiRealEstateSearch.com for more information.

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