in Hawaii, HI

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There’s nothing better than breathing fresh air and getting in touch with nature. State parks, botanical gardens, trails, lakes, and farms are exactly the place to do it – and this area is full of them.

Take a look at all the options within driving distance – you’ll be surprised at how close your next adventure is. We provide the driving directions, but the sunscreen’s on you!
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

1525 Bernice St
Honolulu, HI 96817   Directions

(808) 847-3511


The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum celebrates and chronicles the Polynesian culture, with the world's largest collection of cultural and scientific artifacts on the original residents of the South Pacific islands.

The museum of history and science was founded in 1889. It also has an extensive entomological collection of over 13.5 million specimens, the third largest collection in the United States. The museum was founded by a Hawaiian philanthropist who intended for the museum to hold family heirlooms.

By the late 1980s, the Bishop Museum had become the largest natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific Rim. The Bishop Museum also houses the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium, an educational and research facility devoted to astronomy.

Dolphin Quest
Dolphin Quest

425 Waikoloa Beach Dr
Waikoloa, HI 96738   Directions

(808) 886-2875


Dolphin Quest offers the public an unprecedented opportunity to experience the wonder and amazement of dolphins, with up-close swimming experiences in deep and shallow water. Dolphin Quest is truly a hands-on experience with marine mammals that is like no other.

You'll start your day with specialized training. The dolphins will swim up for their first greeting and you'll get acclimated to the water and your new ocean friends.

During your encounter, you'll feed the dolphins, touch them and play with them. You'll also swim alongside these beautiful creatures in shallow and deep water. Personalized photos and a video CD of your experience will preserve the moment forever.

Besides offering dolphin encounters, Dolphin Quest also is devoted to conservation of marine wildlife through research, successful breeding programs and excellent animal health care.

Foster Botanical Gardens
Foster Botanical Gardens

50 N Vineyard Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817   Directions

(808) 522-7065


Foster Botanical Gardens is an old and stately public garden. It opened to the public in 1931, and has since developed a dizzying catalog of 10,000 kinds of trees and plants, along with a massive orchid collection that is simply breathtaking.

The colorful collection of botanicals and display gardens has expanded to more than 13.5 acres. Foster Botanical Gardens is considered to be a living museum of tropical plants, representing some rare and endangered species from the world's tropics over a period of 150 years.

More than 75,000 visitors tour the gardens annually.

Some of the notable sections are:

  • Lyon Orchid Garden - A collection of Old and New World orchid species
  • Main Terrace - The oldest part of the garden, dating from 1853
  • Middle Terraces - Features palms, aroids, heliconia and ginger plants
  • Economic Garden - Includes an herb garden, spices, dyes, poisons and beverage plants
  • Prehistoric Glen - View primitive plants from around the world
  • The Orchid Conservatory - The variety of orchids here is astounding
  • Exceptional Trees - Showcases 24 trees designated "exceptional"

Hans Hedemann Surf School
Hans Hedemann Surf School

Honolulu, HI

(808) 924-7778


Whether you want to take a lesson or rent a surfboard, Hans Hedemann has you covered. Their award winning staff will guide you through the waves and teach you all the necessary skills. With the lessons located at Waikiki Beach and North Shore, you will surely enjoy the beautiful backdrop while learning to ride the waves.

Honolulu Zoo
Honolulu Zoo

151 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815   Directions

(808) 926-3191


The Honolulu Zoo features more than 1,230 animals in a 300-acre setting that comes from royal beginnings. The zoo was established by grants made by the sovereign monarch of King David Kalakaua. In 1877, the land in the area was beautified and opened as Queen Kapiolani Park in honor of Julia Kapiolani, Queen Consort of Hawaii.

Through the early years, the zoo was a relatively small endeavor until 1974, when the Honolulu Zoo accepted a donation of a camel, an elephant, chimpanzees and deer. Facilities were designed and expanded, influenced by what was happening at the San Diego Zoo in California.

In the 1990s, the Honolulu Zoo went through another transformation, where animals were housed in more natural-style habitat settings and open-air enclosures.

Over 750,000 people visit the zoo annually.

Koko Crater Botanical Gardens
Koko Crater Botanical Gardens

7491 Kokonani St
Honolulu, HI 96825   Directions

(808) 522-7060


Koko Crater Botanical Garden is a unique area that includes a 60-acre basin in the Koko Crater. The hot, dry climate encourages a unique collection of dry land gardens to grow here. The garden offers many opportunities to explore the collection, including a 1.5-hour self-guided walk. Guided tour groups may be arranged in advance.

A dazzling display of plumeria and bougainvillea welcomes visitors at the entrance. The inner slopes and basin of Koko Crater are filled with a wide variety of garden plantings from Hawaii and around the world. Naturalized exotic kiawe and koa haole trees serve as natural boundaries among the four major regional collections: The Americas, Hawaii, Madagascar and Africa. Some of the more stunning plants on display include Cacti, Alluaudias, Sansevierias, Baobabs, Dryland Palms, Aloes, Euphorbias and Adeniums.

Lyman Museum
Lyman Museum

276 Haili St
Hilo, HI 96720   Directions

(808) 935-5021


The Lyman Museum presents the rich heritage of Hawaiian natural history and culture, exploring the Hawaii of the past, present and future. The galleries at the Lyman Museum focus mainly on the natural history of Hawaii and the ethnic diversity of the area.

The Earth Heritage Gallery, for example, chronicles the Hawaiian experience prior to human contact. The bones of two flightless birds unique to Hawaii can only be found here, providing a unique opportunity for the public to learn firsthand about the Hawaiian Rail and the flightless goose. A world-renowned sea shell and mineral collection includes Orlymanite, a rare mineral discovered and identified only in 1987.

The Island Heritage Gallery presents the diversity of the Hawaiian people and their cultures. Learn about the tools and implements on display that native Hawaiians used for fishing and hunting. Fish nets and hooks, baskets, wooden bowls and poi pounders are all part of the extensive tool collection. You'll also see clothing and adornments made from bone, feathers and other natural materials.

The museum began as the Lyman Mission House, which was originally built for New England missionaries. Nearly 100 years later, the home was fully restored and then placed on the National Registers of Historic Places.

The Mission House, adjacent to the Lyman Museum, gives visitors a glimpse of life as it was in the late 1800s.

Waikiki Aquarium
Waikiki Aquarium

2777 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815   Directions

(808) 923-9741


The Waikiki Aquarium offers a unique view into the spectacular underwater world of Hawaii and the tropical Pacific. More than 3,500 marine animals represent more than 500 species. The diversity and colorful nature of these tropical beauties are truly spectacular!

The Waikiki Aquarium is located next to a living coral reef, allowing visitors to look at an actual living example of the beauty that lies beneath the ocean.

Inside the aquarium, you'll view up-close the wonders of the Pacific, including tropical fish, reef sharks, living corals, sea jellies, squid, octopus and so much more!

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of the most popular featured exhibits. The monk seal is one of the world's most endangered marine mammals, and the Aquarium conducts extensive research to reverse the species' decline in the wild.

Every year, 320,000 people visit the Waikiki Aquarium.

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