Hawaii’s Hidden Gems for Honeymooners

You’ll feel like you have the islands all to yourselves at these secret spots.
by Anne Roderique Jones
hawaii

1. Take an ATV ride (and swim in a secret waterfall) on the Big Island

Throw on some clothes you won’t mind getting dirty before racing around Waipio Valley on your own ATV. You’ll splash through puddles, traverse bumpy terrain, pass under towering trees and cross over incredible black sand beaches. When you’re ready for a refreshing swim to wash away those “Hawaiian freckles” (that’s code for mud splatters), local guides will show you the way to the secret waterfall.  

2. Stargaze on Mauna Kea on Hawaii

Bundle up and drive (four-wheel vehicles only!) to the top of Mauna Kea—a dormant volcano that’s also the highest point in the state—for some of the world’s most incredible stargazing. A free nightly program is held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the stunning summit 9,200 feet above sea level.   

3. Eat breakfast at the farmer’s market in Oahu

Want to really feel like a local? Grab a canvas bag and head to the KCC Saturday Farmers’ Market any Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Sip freshly brewed Hawaiian coffee and sample happy cakes, tropical fruit, macadamia nuts and island poke. Pro tip: Don’t miss the grilled pesto pizza from North Shore Farms, ideal for a romantic picnic on the beach.  

4. Go horseback riding on Lana’i

The island of Lana’i is just nine miles from Maui yet feels completely off the map, with zero stop lights, fast food chains or malls. Visit the Stables at Koele, where you’ll find kind and gentle horses for exploring the landscape. The wooded trails and hidden valleys feel especially secluded since they’re designated only for riding.

5. Forage and feast in the forest of Waipoli

At O'o Farm in Upcountry Maui, foodie couples can take an interactive tour of the stunning property. You even have a chance to harvest some of the ingredients for your meal along the way, then dine on a gourmet lunch prepared by chef Daniel Eskelsen.

6. Ride a mule through Molokai

On the central northern coast of this island, honeymooners can hop on mules and ride down 1,700 feet of the highest sea cliffs in the world in  Kalaupapa National Historic Park—passing by waterfalls, rock formations and the crashing waves.

7. Stalk the surfers at Sunset Beach Park

Sunset Beach, on the island’s North Shore, is Oahu’s world-famous surfing spot. Come winter the waves swell to 30-plus feet, perfect conditions for the professional competitions, like the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, that are held here. The calm summer months are ideal for snorkeling, and a romantic sunset sesh in the evenings.  

8. Escape to a forbidden island via helicopter

Channel your inner explorer and set off to Niihau, Hawaii’s “Forbidden Island.” This private paradise can be toured in a half-day; couples are whisked away in a helicopter to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. A picnic lunch for two is included.  

9. Sunbathe on a black sand beach

Black sand beaches can be found all over Hawaii, but Punaluu Black Sand Beach, located on the southeastern Kau Coast on the island of Hawaii, is the most beautiful. Here, dark sand that’s formed by lava rocks is a nesting place for sea turtles, so have your iPhone handy for the most Instagram-worthy honeymoon photos ever.

10. Take a chocolate tour and tasting

Hawaii is the only U.S. state where actual cacao trees grow, and a non-touristy “branch to bar” tour on the eight-acre Steelgrass Farm in Kauai is perfect for chocolate lovers. Post-tour, couples get to sit down to an 11-course tasting. How sweet is that?

Up Next
Na Pali Coast, Kauai
The Hawaiian Getaway You Never Knew You Needed
Get the most out of your trip to Hawaii with travel tips from Lonely Planet’s ‘The Honeymoon Handbook.’
by Lonely Planet4 min read