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If I had to pick the Oahu town with the most health-conscious, physically active residents, then I’d say there’s a tie between Kailua and the North Shore. Both border the beach and have implemented biker/runner/walker-friendly paths to ease commutes and to promote healthy options in getting active. Pets get exercise and so do the keiki (children), peddling as fast as they can to keep up with their jogging parents.
If you’re in the process of planning a trip to Hawaii, then you’ll already have noticed the endless possibilities for fun in the ocean or on land. Most of these activities require some aspect of physical fitness, whether it’s climbing up a waterfall or learning how to surf. They’re not only limited to Kailua and the North Shore. You’ll find something fun and outdoors wherever you go. And with the beautiful Hawaii weather, getting active becomes that much more appealing.
Here’s a list of Hawaii Vacation’s Top Five picks for some good, heart-thumping fun:
1) Stand Up Paddling (SUP) – A board, a paddle and some balance will take you a long way in Hawaiian waters. Anyone can stand up paddle – no matter your age, skill level, or furry features (pets SUP, too!) Check out the marine life and get a good core and upper body workout at the same time. You can rent SUP gear from almost any beach stand or hotel.
2) Hiking – Hawaii hikes vary in levels of difficulty. Some, more a stroll in nature while others, leave you mud and sweat covered. Check out some of the hikes Hawaii Vacation featured in the past (with more to come). And read about hiking safety from our own Cindy Scheopner.
Oahu Hikes – Judd Trail • Likeke Trail • Pill Box • Maunawilli Falls • Koko Head • Diamond Head • Kaena Point
Kauai Hikes – Na Pali Coast • Waimea Canyon
3) Surfing – I’ve taught a handful of visiting family members to surf and can honestly (and proudly) say that within 30 minutes of paddling out, they caught their first wave! That just goes to show how easy surfing can be, especially when you have the right gear and guidance. Surf lessons are offered on all islands. Check with your hotel or stop by a beach stand.
4) Kayaking – Go solo or partner up with a friend. Kayaking can be a nice way to enjoy the ocean while strengthening those arm and core muscles. Read about kayaking to Flat Island in Kailua.
5) Shopping? Yes! Whether it’s brisk walking the mall in search of that perfect dress or realizing how much you just spent, shopping can definitely get your heart thumping. There are major malls on almost every island, but be sure to also check out the little boutiques or family-run shops, too. You’ll find some of Hawaii’s most unique treasures there.