22 Amazing Hidden Gems To Uncover In Hawaii
It's not just long walks on the beach...
1. The Surfboard Fence
2. Moiliili Underground Caves
3. Redwood Trail
4. Sanju Pagoda
Why It's Awesome: Built in 1966, the 119-foot pagoda at Honolulu Memorial Park on Oahu is a replica of a temple in Japan. It is said to be the largest pagoda in the U.S.
Accessibility: The pagoda once housed urns, but it is now crumbling and has been closed due to safety concerns, although it can still be viewed from the outside.
5. The Wallaby Colony
6. Red Hill
Why It's Awesome: Inside Red Hill, and 450 feet underground, runs a train that services 20 massive fuel tanks that were built to be safe from attack during the World War II era. It's one of Hawaii's most amazing engineering feats and was placed alongside the Eiffel Tower, Hoover Dam, and Panama Canal as a historic landmark. It is still used by the Navy, and fuel flows directly from the facility through a three-mile tunnel to Pearl Harbor.
Accessibility: It was top secret until the 1990s when it was declassified. After the Sept. 11 attacks, tightened security made Red Hill off limits to the general public.
7. Kapiolani Community College Cactus Garden
8. Koloa Sugar Mill
9. Big Island Bees
Why It's Awesome: Garnett Puett became famous in New York for his beehive sculptures, which are now included in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., before moving to the Big Island to start his bee farm.
Accessibility: Big Island Bees in the Kailua-Kona area includes a free museum on the history of beekeeping and honey tasting.
10. David Hockney's L'Enfant et les sortilèges
11. Pu'u o Mahuka Heiau
Why It's Awesome: This heiau is the largest on the island and sits on a hillside overlooking Waimea Bay. It may have been constructed as early as the 1600s, and for the Hawaiians it served as a major focal point for social and political activity. During the late 1700s, when there was great upheaval, it is likely that humans were sacrificed at the temple, possibly for success in war.
Accessibility: The heiau is off of Pupukea Homestead Road and is free to the public during daylight hours.
12. Manoa Chinese Cemetery
13. The Liljestrand House
Why It's Awesome: This house built for Betty and Howard Liljestrand in 1952 on the side of Oahu's Mount Tantalus was designed by Vladimir Ossipoff, who pioneered Hawaii's mid-20th-century modern architecture. It is one of Ossipoff's most spectacular homes, fitting in seamlessly with its unusual rainforest surroundings.
Accessibility: One of the Liljestrand's children, Bob, hopes the residence will serve to inspire lovers of architecture and design and shows the house on request.
14. Kahumana Farm and Café
15. Kaahumanu Church
16. Mu-Ryang-Sa Buddhist Temple
Why It's Awesome: The temple’s name, Mu-Ryang-Sa, means “Broken Ridge Temple.” The construction of the first temple began in the 1980s, but the neighbors complained that the roof of the main hall exceeded city and county height limitation. The roof was eventually topped and construction was finally completed after 13 years. The colorful Buddhist temple is built in traditional Korean style with a gate featuring the Four Heavenly Kings, a bell tower, and a peace pagoda.
Accessibility: The temple sits in the back of Oahu's Palolo Valley and welcomes visitors.
18. The Vintage Cave
19. Zoe The Golden Zebra
Why It's Awesome: Zoe is a rare golden zebra with gold stripes, blonde hair, and blues eyes. She is not an albino, but her golden color is caused from amelanosis, which is characterized by a lack of pigmentation. The golden zebras are not known to survive in the wild, because they are targeted by predators for looking different, and Zoe is the only known golden zebra in captivity.
Accessibility: Zoe lives at the Three Ring Ranch Exotic Sanctuary on the Big Island, which does educational tours by appointment for small groups of six or more.
20. East-West Center
21. The Corsair Airplane Wreck
Why It's Awesome: This plane has been underwater since 1946, when the pilot ditched it after engine problems during an exercise. The plane lies on the sandy floor about 100 feet deep, where it is guarded by eels and rays, and is still in good condition with the propeller standing tall and the cockpit seat still intact.
Accessibility: If you scuba dive, the wreck is accessible from Oahu's Portlock.