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Island Hopping: Top Three Hawaiian Day Trips

Island Hopping in Hawaii

With so much beautiful scenery to see, you simply can’t limit yourself to one island while either visiting or living in Hawaii. We’ve curated a list of the top day trips to take on more than one Hawaiian locale.

Road to Hana

Road to Hana

As one of Maui’s most beautiful and famous attractions, Road to Hana deserves to be done right, luxuriously and comfortably. Private, small group tours are available from several companies that will enable you to enjoy this sight to the fullest. Many feature a private, limo-van that picks you up from your Maui hotel in the morning and takes you on a journey through this natural paradise. During the drive, you will make many stops along the coast to soak up the sights, from the lava sea cliffs of Kaumahina State Park, to the peaceful village of Ke’anae, to the glistening waters of Waikani Falls. Every stop leads you closer to Hana, an isolated village known to be the last paradise untouched by modern life on Maui. Take your time exploring the village and the Hana Tropical Gardens before enjoying lunch, a swim, a sunbathing session, or some time soaking up the natural beauty around you. This incredible day trip will expose you to yet another side of Maui, and will have you back at your hotel in the early evening, giving you time to watch the sunset and continue unwinding into the night.

Kalaupapa and Molokai

Kalaupapa and Molokai

If you’re located on Oahu, a day trip to Molokai to explore off the beaten path is a must. Board a private plane from Waikiki to Molokai, and get ready to experience all this secluded island has to offer, from the impeccable views from the plane to the local village and its rich history. You will experience views of both Honolulu and Molokai, including the island’s valleys and majestic mountains, Molokai’s incredible, towering cliffs (some of the highest in the world), and the incredible feeling of being on top of the world, all from the window of your flight. Molokai is also full of history, once home to the infamous leper colony where a Belgian missionary spent his life helping those suffering from the disease. Not far from Oahu, Molokai is a must-see if you are in the area. This day trip is a great way to connect with the scenery as well as the island’s past for a truly unique experience.

Haleakala Sunset or Sunrise

Haleakal Sunset or Sunrise

One of the best ways to see Maui is at the dawn of a new day, when the incredible landscape is being basked in the red-colored light of daybreak. Your day will start in the dark of the morning where tour companies offer pickup from your hotel to drive you through the island up to Haleakala, more than 10,000 feet above sea level. While not everyone is a morning person, it is definitely worth becoming one – at least just for one day – in order to experience the spectacular views at the peak. Upon your arrival at the summit, the first rays of sunshine will begin to peek through the clouds, rising above the horizon and bathing you in the light of a new day. You’ll begin to see the land below illuminated, revealing the sheer, breathtaking beauty of the island of Maui. Maui is also known for its sunsets, where the horizon simply explodes into a vision of orange, blue, and violet before night falls over the island and stars begin to light up the night sky. Completely different from the sunrise experience, sunset at Haleakala tends to be less crowded and is both more family- and night-owl-friendly. With an arrival just before the sun starts to descend, you’ll be able to peer out over the colorful crater, seeing the beautiful scenery below, as well as the big island ever-present in the distance. Be sure to stay to watch the stars come out and twinkle up above the volcano. You simply can’t go wrong with either experience!