Sight-seeing can get dull if it starts to feel like a checklist of things you have to tick off one at a time. One of the best ways to better experience destinations is through physical activity, whether it be a moonlit walk, snorkel session, or an exhilarating run.
After all, if you decided to take a chance and try Hawaii’s infamous “loco moco,” (hamburger patty, fried egg, rice and gravy) you’ll definitely want to be burning that off!
Part of the allure of coming to Hawaii is discovering its amazing volcanic parks:
- Diamond Head (Oahu) - The run around this giant crater lets you see Oahu’s most famous landmark. Right close by is Kapiolani Park, Hawaii’s most popular jogging spot.
- Kilauea (Big Island) - This volcano is not only the site of frequent spews of lava, but also of an annual marathon, 10-mile rim run around the caldera, as well as a 5-mile non-competitive walk!
- Haleakala (Maui) - The annual “Run to the Sun” from sea level to this dormant volcano’s 10,023-ft summit is no walk in the park, and only accepts a limited number of participants each year.
Ocean View Runs
Hawaii has some of the most magnificent beaches in the world, and whether you choose to run on the sand or pavement, beautiful ocean scenery is a runner’s greatest ally.
- Hanalei Bay (Kauai) - If you like running barefoot on the sand, the two-mile crescent-shaped beach of Hanalei Bay is the place to do it. If you’ve seen the movie “The Descendants,” George Clooney runs along this gorgeous stretch.
- Ali’i Drive (Big Island) - Running parallel to the Pacific, this road offers scenic views of white sand beaches and turquoise water on generally flat, smooth road.
- North Shore (Oahu) - Famous for its big wave surfing, the North Shore is where to go if you want to see pro surfers in action, with popular paths along Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay.
Hiking through lush, tropical rainforest gives you the opportunity to discover Hawaii’s natural flora and encounter amazing waterfalls. Not always ideal, these trails can be uneven or muddy, so it is best to jog in bursts and tread carefully.
- Na Pali Coast (Kauai) - The 11.5 mile Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coast is one of Hawaii’s most exciting and dangerous trails. Not recommended if you have a fear of heights!
- Pipiwai Trail (Maui) - A rocky trek through bamboo forest, over bridges, alongside streams and finally ending with a dip in the pool below the spectacular 400-ft Waimoku Falls.
On top of getting a great workout, running on Hawaii has another perk. At the end of many of these trails, the beach awaits you– and the best part is taking that euphoric plunge into the sea!
About Roxanne Bichard: An active traveler, Roxanne is a part-time travel blogger for Luxury Retreats, a company specializing in Hawaii villa rentals.