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This week we’re going to give you some local insight into the Hawaii attractions that are off the beaten path, so to speak. We’ll also inform you of things to do in Hawaii that you would never guess were available in the islands, such as wine tasting. Exactly. Since when did Hawaii have a climate for grapes? Or how about snow? Hawaii’s Big Island actually receives snowfall every winter. Winter in Hawaii you’re asking? We’ve picked out a handful of the most unique Hawaii attractions that are uncharacteristic to Hawaii. And while they may have turned into popular attractions now, it is only because of their mysteriousness and unfamiliarity that has made visitors wish to seek them out.
We’ll start with the two “hidden” spots on Oahu, that we like to showcase to our close friends and family. The first one is Cromwell’s Cove, located east of Diamond Head Beach. You access it by wading through shallow, which is one reason why it was so secluded back in the days. You can swim, snorkel, jump off the rock wall, or picnic along the beach here, and it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Just make sure whatever you bring with you is waterproof, or that you tightly secure it, because accessing this spot definitely requires some water action. The other Oahu attraction is Bellow’s Field Beach in Waimanalo. What makes this stretch of beach so hidden is the fact that it’s only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. This exclusivity has made it a secret spot for locals, but also a popular place for beach goers to frequent on the weekend. With talcum powder like sand and turquoise waters, this beach is pristine and accommodating. Known to be one of the most beautiful places visited by many people, this beach also offers camping and cabins, pavilions with barbeque pits, grassy areas, plenty shade, and bathrooms and showers. It simply is a must see, but chances are, you won’t hear about it from your hotel concierge, restaurant server, or travel book.
The hot springs in Hilo was just mentioned on our travel blog, which is what originally sparked this discussion topic. Many people think of cold climates when they think of hot springs, I know I think of the hot springs I hiked to in the snowy rainforests of Washington, but these hot springs are located in Hilo on the Big Island and are naturally heated by the famous volcanoes and legendary Hawaii goddess, Pele. Lined in lava, this emerald colored pool of fresh water has been improved for visitors by the rock walls and steps leading into the water. Not always a hot spring, this natural pool was used for refreshing swims, with ocean temperature water, and during the volcanic eruption in the 60’s, the underground venting changed which turned the cool pool into a natural hot spring.
When you think of wineries, most people envision the rolling vineyards of California’s hillsides, much like what we see depicted in Sonoma and Napa County. These lands have ideal climates for grapes, which makes it hard to believe that a winery could exist in Hawaii. But low and behold, Maui harbors one of the only vineyards in the state; along the slopes of Mount Haleakala, is Tedeschi Winery. This location is known not only for their traditional red and white wines, but also for their unique pineapple wine and dessert wine. Tedeschi began growing grapes on the slopes of this dormant volcano in 1974, and has been successful for nearly 40 years due to the rich volcanic soil that is found on the slopes of Haleakala.
This next attraction is special because not only is it relatively unknown to most, but also because it is a unique addition to the oldest Hawaiian Island. The Hindu Monastery in the interior of Kauai’s east side is a peaceful place to visit, with tours available every day of the beautifully lush grounds. The 90-minute walking tour takes visitors to highlights among the 353-acre sanctuary, including ponds, buildings, statues, and botanical gardens. This monastery is home to 21 monks who dedicate their lives to the divine within everyone and all things, and the ways of Hinduism. Visitors can call to reserve a spot on the tour or take a self-guided tour through the temple. For more information, check out their extensive website at himalayanacademy.com and if you’re planning a visit, make sure to swap out the beach clothes for monastery appropriate garb!
The last of the uncharacteristically Hawaiian attractions is the snow you will find on Big Island. If this is a point of interest you want to check off your bucket list, then make sure to pack warm jackets and boots in with your swimsuits and sunscreen. Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa receive snowfall every winter, usually between the months of October and March, but has also been know to fall between August and May as well. The mountains actually allow for skiing, so if you’d really like to get contradictive, you can beat the crowds and plan a ski trip to Hawaii. However, there are no lifts, lodges, or grooming, and skiing conditions are not the best. There is a road that 4 wheel drive vehicles can access the summit through, but just remember not to underestimate the weather, as temperatures can drop anywhere from 40 to 20 degrees during the winter time.