Family Travel in Hawaii's Parks
While lounging on one of Hawaii’s beautiful beaches may be the ideal vacation for some, there are countless other ways to appreciate and explore the beauty of the Islands. In addition to its many trails, gardens and scenic lookouts, Hawaii is home to numerous parks, sites and monuments that provide the perfect places to connect with nature and each other. Here are just a few favorites:
Haleakala National Park (Maui): Although this park may be best known for sunrise views from its volcanic summit, its Kipahulu District offers an entirely different experience with sweeping ocean vistas, cultural areas and hiking trails revealing dense bamboo forests and awe-inspiring waterfalls.
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (Oahu): Families looking for an educational experience rich with the history of Hawaii’s involvement in World War II are encouraged to visit this collection of sites at Pearl Harbor. The Passport to Pearl Harbor is an enlightening tour that includes the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.
Akaka Falls State Park (Island of Hawaii): If you're searching for a family-friendly adventure, set out on a short tropical rainforest hike through this state park, to overlooks with stunning views of two of the island’s most exquisite waterfalls. Akaka Falls (442 feet) and Kahuna Falls (100 feet) always present breathtaking backdrops for fantastic vacation photos.
Kokee State Park (Kauai): Take in views of Kauai’s famed Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon on a scenic drive with stops along Waimea Canyon Drive and Kokee Road. Waimea Canyon Lookout, Puu Hinahina Lookout and Kalalau Lookout each offer captivating views. You can even add an educational element with a stop at Kokee Natural History Museum to explore its exhibits and shop for Kauai-made items.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Island of Hawaii): With 333,086 acres of active volcanoes, craters, lava tubes, trails and rainforests, this park will keep your entire family excited and entertained for hours (or even days). Start at the Kilauea Visitor Center, followed by a spin on Crater Rim Drive for the best views of the active summit caldera of Kilauea and access to scenic trailheads. From there, the possibilities are endless.