When it comes to the allure of Honolulu, it’s no surprise that this beloved destination is bursting with beauty and things to do. The appeal of blue waters, cultural experiences, and some of the best beaches around is undeniable. Yet, among the popular attractions and things to see, there’s a quieter side of the island for those who seek a more immersive Hawaiian experience.
If you’re itching to venture beyond the typical hotspots, plenty of hidden gems and remote adventures are waiting to be explored. If you’re staying with us at the Twin Fin or find yourself in Honolulu and drawn to the idea of stepping off the beaten path, check out these secret corners and embrace the rhythm of the island from a different perspective.
Hiking in Hawaii is basically a right of passage, considering the many picturesque trails and jaw-dropping views. And while we all love the popular routes that show off Hawaii’s natural beauty, sometimes we’re in the mood to try something refreshingly different.
This one is for adventure lovers and nature seekers! The Makua Caves Hike offers an unreal experience about an hour north of us here in Waikiki. As you tread the path less traveled, you’ll wind through lush green trails and vibrant flora. And these aren’t just any trails — they lead to caves just begging to be explored. Venture into these rocky chambers, check out the unique rock formations, and take a moment to watch how the sunlight dances through the cave’s crevices — it’s a pretty neat perspective! This adventure comes with its own bragging rights — because how many people can say they’ve explored caves and conquered trails all in one go?
While Kaena Point Hike is on the north side of Oʻahu, it’s worth the short day trip! Just over an hour’s drive from the Twin Fin lies this captivating adventure brimming with rugged charm. The trail leads you through a treasure trove of nature — think coves, cliffs, and blowholes. After a 2.5-mile journey, you’ll find yourself at the Kaena Point, and oh the sights you’ll see — Waianae Coast at the south and Mokuleia at the north. You may even be lucky enough to spot some wildlife from the point. Keep your eyes peeled for basking seals, frolicking dolphins, or whales making a splash. If you’re not in a rush, Kaena Point is one of the best places to watch the sunset on the island. Just watch your step and pack a flashlight for the trek back!
Honolulu’s Cultural Kaleidoscope
Our island is steeped in culture, and we love nothing more than embracing the Aloha life. Beyond the bright blue waves and swaying palms lies a tapestry woven with threads of tradition, history, and community. As you venture beyond the typical areas around Honolulu, you’ll be surprised by the artisanal treasures and discover facets of our Hawaiian culture.
One of the best hidden gems within walking distance of the Twin Fin is the Kaka’ako district, renowned for its vibrant street murals. As you wander through the colorful streets and alleys, you’ll see how the Kaka’ako Street Murals project has turned the neighborhood into a wide-open gallery. The larger-than-life murals show off the incredible talent of our local artists and narrate the tales of our island’s past, present, and future. Make a day of it and turn your adventure to Kaka’ako into a scavenger hunt — how many murals you can find?
Dive a little deeper into Honolulu’s cultural tapestry and carve out time to visit the enchanting Shangri La. This hidden oasis, a creation of the visionary Doris Duke, stands as a testament to the blending of cultures. The moment you arrive, you’ll notice stunning Islamic architecture, carefully curated interiors, and lush gardens all around. Shangri La’s charm lies in its fusion of East and West. Take your time to fully immerse yourself, wander pathways, and marvel at the beauty — you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of the layers that make up Hawaii’s culture and an appreciation for the threads that weave our world together.
Another fantastic way to experience the Hawaiian arts and culture scene is to stop by the Surf Shack here at the Twin Fin! We host rotating Artists in Residency who showcase their outstanding work and connect with our visitors.
Nature’s Hidden Treasures
While Honolulu’s bustling streets and beautiful beaches call your name, you can’t miss out on the natural treasures to be found. These wonders bring out the playful spirit of Hawaii’s natural beauty. Plus, they make for some pretty epic things to do while on vacation.
Just a short drive from energetic Honolulu, the Pali Lookout stands out as a true off-the-beaten-path adventure. The moment you step foot here, the vista of the deep blue ocean meeting the shoreline greets you with aloha hospitality, and the peaks and valleys stand strong. If you want to add a bit of adventure to this scenic point, the nearby hiking trails travel through forests, greenery, and a sprinkle of serenity. Along with a jaw-dropping backdrop, let’s not forget about the history of the Pali Lookout — in 1975, this is where the Battle of Nuuana took place. Whether you’re a history buff or into exploring, this hidden gem promises an afternoon of excitement.
Venturing a bit south of the Twin Fin, you’ll stumble upon a wonder known as Spitting Caves, nestled within the Halona Point Lookout. The view from here is — in a word — awesome. It’s all clear views of the surrounding sea and sky beyond the rocky cliffs. The ocean displays incredible power here as the waves crash against the shoreline, and the water appears to “spit” high up into the air — it’s nature at its most impressive! Spitting Caves also offer peaceful pockets where you can simply sit back, relax, and watch the show.
A Walk on the Wild Side at Honolulu Zoo
Spanning over 42 acres of diverse habitats, the Honolulu Zoo is home to island, savannah, and tropical forest landscapes. Mere minutes from the Twin Fin, the Honolulu Zoo is the perfect way to spend a day with the family. Here, you can see some of the most incredible animals in the world, like an enormous Galapagos tortoise, black rhinoceroses, zebra, and a giant salamander. Pro tip: the best time to visit the zoo is early morning. The temperatures are slightly cooler during this time, and the animals are typically more inviting and playful. Or, visit at dusk for a Twilight Tour and see the animals’ bedtime routine. No matter what time you decide to go, you can’t go wrong when checking out the Honolulu Zoo!
Your Journey to the Twin Fin
After all that exploring and adventuring, your journey back to the Twin Fin will feel like coming home to your own private paradise. At the Twin Fin hotel, we’re not just your hosts, but your partners in creating unforgettable moments. Relive the day by sharing stories with your family on your oceanfront balcony, spend the evening relaxing on the beach, or chat with our concierge and let them help you plan another big day of fun.
And to fit in all that exploring, we have a Weekly Stay Special just for you! Stay with us for seven nights or more and save up to 40%. So go ahead, start planning your Hawaiian escape, and let us be home base for unforgettable adventures. Book with us at the Twin Fin and make your stay as incredible as your Honolulu explorations.