Take Your Best Shot: Hawaii

From a Waikiki rainbow to a wedding on Waimanalo Beach, here are some of our favorite Hawaii shots from the Travel Channel community.

Photos

Take a 4-wheel drive about a half an hour north of Lanai City and you will discover Kaiolohia, also known as Shipwreck beach. This windy 8-mile stretch of beach has broken many a ship with its shallow, rocky channel, including a 1940s tanker that lay rusting as a ghostly reminder to mariners to stay away. The rough water also makes for poor swimming, but the views of Molokai and Maui and wide stretch of open sand make this a great place for beachcombing. 960 1280

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Shark's Cove

Shark's Cove

Shark's Cove is not a good place to swim, but you’d be hard pressed to find a beach that is more visually stunning. Iron-rich rocks give the cliffs a deep, red color that contrasts sharply with the turquoise water. The area has strong currents, so we recommend picnics, hikes and sunbathing instead. 960 1280

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Before you head out to snorkel at Hulopoe Beach Park and Marine Preserve, pick up a laminated fish guide at one of the local stores, then get ready for your own version of show and tell. The bay is rich with fish, from striped Moorish idols to our state fish the humuhumunukunukuapuaa. (Try to say that three times.) Once in a while, a friendly green sea turtle might even stop on by to say hello. 960 1280

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For most of the year, Hulopoe Bay, which fronts the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, is the best place for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling on the island. Rent a kayak or bring your own and soon you'll find yourself torn between paddling and stopping to take photos. 960 1280

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Kaholo Cliffs

Kaholo Cliffs

The sea cliffs of Lanai rise nearly a thousand feet above the Pacific. Visitors can travel along the network of four wheel drive roads that traverse the island and enjoy incredible views all along the rocky coast. 960 1280

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Koele Lookout in Lanai

Koele Lookout in Lanai

A horseback ride is the most adventurous way to access the magnificent views of mountains, valleys, and seascapes that can be enjoyed from Koele Lookout. Koele itself has its own unrivalled landscape, symbolized by its towering Cook Island pines. 960 1280

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mountains and Mouflon sheep

mountains and Mouflon sheep

The mountains and remote valleys of Lanai are home to a remarkable variety of wildlife including wild turkey, quail, pheasant, Axis deer, and Mouflon sheep. The deer and sheep can often be found on the sheer cliffs of the island’s high country. 960 1280

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petroglyphs in Lanai

petroglyphs in Lanai

Hawaiians came to Lanai as early as the 15th Century and left evidence of their existence in rock carvings called petroglyphs. If you like scavenger hunts, Luahiwa Petroglyphs are a challenge to find, but for the determined traveler, they offer a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past. 960 1280

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Pueo

Pueo

The sunlit sky above Lanai is home to the Pueo, or Hawaiian short-eared owl. In the absence of streetlights and neon, Lanai’s crystalline night sky is also home to a galaxy of stars, invisible to most of the outside world. 960 1280

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Art in Motion

Art in Motion

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Getting the Shot

Getting the Shot

Croman, a competitive bodysurfer, explains that there is a lot that goes into getting the shot in big wave photography, including strong swimming skills and a lot of patience. Croman also advises wave photographers to have a solid understanding of the ocean: “How it breaks, where it breaks. The tides, the rips, the undertow. It’s dangerous, but knowledge is key.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Waimea Shore Break

Waimea Shore Break

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Kenji Croman  

Glassy Wave in Slow Motion

Glassy Wave in Slow Motion

How does Croman capture waves in slow motion? “I used a slow shutter speed for this image, the sun was positioned in a way that made the wave look very illuminated, plus the motion of the wave all came together for this photo,” he explains. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Diamond Head Sunset

Diamond Head Sunset

Croman recalls the happenstance of some of his photos: “I thought the camera’s focus looked really cool in this shot. I didn’t alter or do any tilt shift effect for this photo. It was accidentally taken this way and I liked it.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Duck Diving a Passing Wave

Duck Diving a Passing Wave

“I saw a bodyboarder ducking through a wave when I captured this shot. The colors looked very refreshing,” says Croman. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Green Wave North Shore

Green Wave North Shore

As the sun was setting, Croman captured this mesmerizing green wave at Keiki Beach on Oahu’s famed North Shore during a very big swell. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Keiki Beach in Slow Motion

Keiki Beach in Slow Motion

One of Croman’s favorite beaches on Oahu is Keiki Beach. “This was taken after the sun set behind the mountains. I used a slow shutter to create the movements of the man walking and the waves.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Milky Wave Beach

Milky Wave Beach

Croman remembers another instance when patience (and a bit of luck) paid off: “I made so many attempts over the years to photograph the Milky Way here in Oahu, but found it very challenging since there’s not too many very dark places that do not have a lot of cloud coverings. I got very lucky on this clear night.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Pipeline Breaking

Pipeline Breaking

Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Pipeline is considered one of the most famous and dangerous surf breaks in world. “This shot was taken in April when ‘Pipe’ was going off. This was a big set that rolled in that I happened to snap while in the water,” Croman remembers. “This was the same day, just hours earlier, where the famous whale surfing photos at Pipeline went viral.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Swimming With Sharks

Swimming With Sharks

“I took this shot while free diving with sharks on the North Shore,” recalls Croman. “Amazing experience swimming with dozens of sharks with no protection.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Flying Turtles

Flying Turtles

A less daunting animal to swim alongside than a skark? A “honu,” which means “turtle” in the Hawaiian language. “These beautiful creatures look like they are flying under water. They’re very graceful,” expresses Croman. 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Underwater Vortex

Underwater Vortex

“I love this photo,” shares Croman. “ I took it while the sun was in a perfect position above me and it just really lit the wave up well. You can see the vortex bands in the wave. Not many people know they exist, and if you don’t have goggles on you won’t see it either.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

The Spit Effect

The Spit Effect

“Spit, that’s what surfers call it,” explains Croman. “When the wave is so big and the wind that follows it passes you, it creates this effect.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Wave Falls

Wave Falls

Croman captions this shot: “A wave crumbling to create a waterfall effect; the sun was positioned perfectly to illuminate the wave and the falls.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

Maui Dolphins

Maui Dolphins

Another instance when Croman says patience paid off for him: “I made so many attempts to catch this school of dolphins when I lived in Maui. I would wake up early so many mornings to try and catch the school of dolphins. The morning I moved back to Oahu, I gave it one last attempt. I was successful and swam with the dolphins for a few hours. A great experience.” 960 1280

Kenji Croman  

In the days before Hawaiians had a written language, their history was preserved through the storytelling art of hula. Ancient chants told of lineages, legends, and the traditions that reached far back to the beginning of time when gods created the islands and the Hawaiian people. While it is great fun to learn a few hula moves at a local shopping center or luau, as with any art form, it can take years to master and a lifetime to perfect. 960 1280

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Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon is often referred to as the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific.' The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads you to several lookout points where time seems to stand still and the only movement you see is the shadows of clouds as they pass over the valley. At the end of the road is Kokee State Park with 45 miles of hiking trails. The road is slow and winding, and there's no food or water'just you and nature¬'so start out early and bring everything you'll need. 960 1280

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On the south side of Kauai, the Koloa district stretches from rustic Old Koloa Town all the way to the sunny shores of Poipu Beach. Quaint restaurants and charming shops greet you, and like everywhere else on Kauai, life is slow and meant to be savored. Lappert's Ice Cream is a Kauai original with waffle cones that will bring out the kid in you. To and from Old Koloa Town, a lacy tunnel of trees serves as your gateway, reminding you that beauty is everywhere. 960 1280

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Perched at the northernmost tip of Kauai, the 53-foot Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1913 as a beacon for traveling ships. Although its light was turned off in the 1970s and has been replaced by an automatic beacon, you might say it still calls out to travelers with its incredible view. From December to May, humpback whales are often seen breaching off shore, so be sure to bring binoculars. 960 1280

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Hanalei Pier equals romance. From the song Hanalei Moon to the passion of Roger and Hammerstein's South Pacific, who can resist holding hands while lost in a painted sunset? If the end of the pier could talk, we know it would have many tales of whispered proposals and sparkling engagement rings. 960 1280

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One of the nicest ways to explore Kauai is under your own steam in a one-man or tandem kayak. The beaches surrounding Mount Makana (nicknamed 'Bali Hai' after the island in Roger and Hammerstein's South Pacific) are gentle and inviting, and especially welcome after paddling in the sun. 960 1280

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It's debatable as to which view of Wailua Falls is more beautiful'from the above where you can appreciate its majesty, or from below where the cool mist from the waterfall nourishes the hanging ferns and tropical foliage that create Kauai's popular Fern Grotto. You just might have to find out for yourself. 960 1280

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Oh go ahead. Take off your shoes, roll up your pants, hike up your dress and get your feet wet. As cliché as it sounds, it's simply irresistible. Our suggestion for such frivolous frolic is on Poipu Beach where you'll find a wonderful array of restaurants, and a long stretch of sand where you can either work up an appetite or walk off dessert. 960 1280

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On Kauai, beauty is everywhere, which makes a simple bike ride a non-stop photo opportunity. Pack your camera and a map and set off to explore. You'll see sights you wouldn't see any other way. 960 1280

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It's hard to describe the sheer majesty of Kauai's Napali Coast, with its sheer, razor-sharp ridges that seem to drop straight to the earth. By helicopter, you're privy to cascading waterfalls and hidden inlets, and depending on your pilot, you might even swoop down into a cave. If you thirst for the sea, catamaran cruises and zodiac tours are the way to go. For experienced hikers, the multi-day hike along the rugged coast is among Hawaii's most scenic. 960 1280

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