Few places allow such easy access to
places of exquisite beauty as Hawaii. From sunrise to sunset, and
often when the moon and stars light the night sky, Hawaii offers a
great diversity of places where the setting is memorably suited to
The many visitors
who come on honeymoons, to celebrate anniversaries or to share time
with a significant other are primed for a great
Here's a look at
some places on each of the islands that won't disappoint. All of
the hikes or activities outlined are easy and readily
Far more crowded
than the Neighbor Islands, Oahu still offers many places of great
natural beauty, where romantic memories are born.
Head to Waimanalo
Beach for a sunrise that brings to life the verdant greens of the
Koolau cliffs. Miles long and up to 1,500 feet high, they provide
Waimanalo with one of Hawaii's most magnificent beaches.
If it's a
spectacular setting for sunset you're after, head to the end of the
road, park your car and make the two-mile, oceanside hike to Kaena
Point, a westward-facing bird sanctuary where monk seals haul up on
a rocky beach and squawking albatrosses build their
The island of
Oahu comes to a point here where Hawaiians believed souls passed on
their way to the next dimension. Catch the sunset as you're hiking
back, with the beautiful Waianae Mountains and sea as
And for those who
don't want to wander so far afield, a walk along Waikiki Beach and
the Kapiolani Park promenade in Honolulu at dusk offers its own
spell-binding magic, with Diamond Head against a pastel sky and the
Waikiki skyline brightly lit against the rich colors of the dusk
Kauai is a
popular honeymoon destination, thanks to its mix of great beaches,
scenic splendor and a smaller tourism footprint.
Just past the
island's famous Waimea Canyon lookouts, up-country Kokee, a
high-altitude Eden at 3,500 to 4,000 feet above sea level, offers a
multitude of hiking options. Many are very easy, including hikes
along trails where you're not likely to see more than a couple of
There's a hike
along a stream, with rock-bound pools that invite a brisk swim,
where the air is fragrant with white ginger. On ridge-line hikes,
magnificent panoramas appear and then disappear behind banks of
quickly moving clouds. A stop at the local ranger station or the
small museum can provide a rest stop where hikers can choose an
itinerary that's sure to please.
Head to Haena for
a sunset walk along the Na Pali Coast, a 15-mile-long series of sea
cliffs and valleys. The vista can be seen in full grandeur from the
east end of Haena Beach or, after a short walk on oceanfront
boulders, from the base of the first of Na Pali's
If sunset and
twilight hiking is out of the question, Na Pali provides a
magnificent perspective any time of day, just a 10-minute walk from
The most popular
and most developed of the Neighbor Islands, Maui is home to
elaborate destination resorts and quiet getaways, including
easternmost slope of Maui's 10,023-foot, volcanic Mount Haleakala,
the town of Hana is separated from the rest of Maui by 50 miles of
twisting road, an obstacle course of one-lane bridges and blind
for its tropical beauty, dramatic landscapes and magnificent
coastline, is a wonderful overnight option for romance travelers.
As the town is often crowded by late morning, it's best to wake up
early to experience the best of Hana. An overnight stay there means
no rushing to make the return trip to your resort, when the
afternoon rush clogs the road out of town.
Beyond Hana lies
the former sugar plantation lands of Kipahulu and the coastal
section of Haleakala National Park, where the pools and waterfalls
at Oheo are a big draw.
come in many forms here, where active volcanoes still roar and
Hawaii's Polynesian heritage is preserved.
No place provides
a more evocative sense of times past than a visit to Puuhonua O
Honaunau, an ancient, oceanfront temple compound operated by the
National Park Service.
It's a 45-minute
drive south of the Keauhou and Kailua-Kona resorts.
Few people visit
at sunset, when the temple complex, rebuilt to scale with an
emphasis on historical accuracy, is silhouetted against a richly
Sit on a rock and
take it all in, relaxed and close to a place that is uniquely
Plan to spend a
night or two at Volcano Village, a rustic outpost on the border of
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
In addition to a
country lodge, there is quite a selection of bed-and-breakfasts and
house rentals to choose from.
At 4,000 feet
above sea level, this isn't the Hawaii of tropic
Although it can
be magnificently colorful when skies are clear, it can also be
misty and cool, which is perfect for long walks on country lanes,
the air fragrant with eucalyptus and ginger and the mist inviting
warmth and romance.
Head to the
oceanfront royal palm grove at Kapuaiwa, a mile west of Kaunakakai,
for a sunset under palms silhouetted against the sky.
The grove was
planted at the vacation retreat of King Kamehameha V in the 1860s.
Watered by springs, the grove of several hundred palms grows on one
of the driest spots on Molokai.
The miles of
beige sand at Papahaku Beach are a beachcomber's dream. On a clear
day, visitors can spot the outline of Diamond Head on Oahu.
Head to the
Garden of the Gods, a rocky, eroded plateau with the feel of South
Dakota's Badlands. It's a place that has a spiritual feel to it.
To contact reporter Allan Seiden, send e-mail to [email protected].