1 Waimea Valley
If you’ve been to Honolulu before, chances are you’ve already been to the royal ‘Iolani Palace and Pearl Harbor. So for something different, take the 45-minute drive up to the North Shore and explore another side of the island. Here’s where you’ll find the Waimea Valley with its unique ecosystems. The changes in the landscape and weather patterns here create a lush environment with world class botanical gardens and historical sites, waterfalls and one of the richest farming communities in all of Polynesia. It’s an entirely different side to Oahu – both figuratively and geographically – where its natural beauty and waterfront landscape seem a world away from the capital city. waimeavalley.net
2 North Shore EcoTours
For a deeper dive into Hawaiian culture, stop by North Shore EcoTours. Time doesn’t permit taking one of the hiking adventures through untouched tropical trails or off-roading to discover ancient rivers and World War II outposts. But there’s always time to absorb the ancestral wisdom of the n Knaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians). These unique perspectives are based in traditional Hawaiian ‘ike (knowledge) and are passed along in such forms as mo’olelo (stories), kao (legends) and oli (chant). One of the most familiar, and intriguing, is hula (dance). The hula workshop teaches the rich history of this important cultural dance. northshoreecotours.com
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