Statewide Story Ideas
Hawaii's West Side Stories
Like the classic American musical of the same name, each Hawaiian Island has its own exciting “West Side Story” to tell, minus the Jets vs. Sharks rivalry and rumble of course! Whether it be an adventurous water activity or an exhilarating hike with breathtaking views, there is something to please everyone.
- Waimea Canyon State Park (Kauai) – Waimea Canyon, also affectionately known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” provides unsurpassed opportunities for exploration and breathtaking scenery. The view of the 3,000-foot canyon, with its hues of orange and red splashed against tropical green, is staggering. Contiguous with Waimea Canyon is Kokee State Park, which encompasses 4,345 acres of upland wilderness and is a mecca for hikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Within the park, the Kalalau Lookout peeks over cliffs and gorges down to the Napali Coast 4,000 feet below. For more information, visit HawaiiStateParks.org.
- Waianae Coast (Oahu) – The “country,” as O’ahu residents know it, has some of the island’s most beautiful sunsets and excellent underwater activities. Home to the largest population of Native Hawaiians, Waianae is geographically separated from the city life of Honolulu and still offers true Hawaiian values and practices. Opportunities for ecologically-conscious water adventures abound on the Waianae Coast. Experience a marine biologist crew-led sail with a focus on amazing whale, turtle, reef and dolphin encounters both above and below the water. For more information, visit SailHawaii.com.
- Lahaina Whale Watching (Maui) – Shielded by the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala, the calm and clear waters off west Maui offer some of the best whale watching in the world. Join a whale-watching tour and let expert guides take you to the best spots to observe these gentle giants of the ocean playfully surfacing or blowing spouts of water in the air. Lahaina Harbor is home to a multitude of tours and during the peak whale-watching season between January and early-April, the pier is always buzzing with excitement and activity. For more information, visit PacificWhale.org.
- Kona Coast Manta Ray Diving (Hawaii Island) – The Kona Coast of Hawaii Island offers the best opportunities to spot manta rays in Hawaii. Mysterious and almost alien-like, the manta ray is one of the largest fishes in the ocean with wingspans of up to twenty feet or more. Unlike stingrays, mantas do not have stingers and despite their intimidating appearance, are actually quite friendly. Take a night boat tour and you’ll find yourself swimming within inches of mantas gliding over your head like sinister B-1 Stealth Bombers and somersaulting in mesmerizing patterns. For more information on tours, visit Fair-Wind.com.