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.

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Road to Hana
Road to Hana

Road to Hana

The Island of Maui captivates visitors with its diversity. You'll be astonished by its sun-swept beaches, pineapple fields, lush rainforests, quaint villages, and miles of rugged shoreline -- all of which can be experienced on the legendary Road to Hana. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Paia Town

Paia Town

With its plantation-style wooden buildings, Paia Town is a charming community reminiscent of early 20th century Hawaii. The main street is lined with art galleries, fascinating boutiques and craft shops, and a mouth-watering variety of casual restaurants and take-out eateries. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Hookipa Beach

Hookipa Beach

The ocean is quiet in the summer, but in the winter months, monster waves roll in and Hookipa Beach becomes a world class playground for windsurfers and kite surfers from around the world. Not surprisingly, several professional competitions are held here every year. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Fruit Stands in Maui

Fruit Stands in Maui

Fruit stands are a staple along Maui's Road to Hana and it's a must to stop and 'talk story' with the locals. Chances are, you'll learn a few Hawaiian words – like 'lilikoi' (aka, passion fruit), which is every bit as delicious as it sounds. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

bamboo forest

bamboo forest

For many, hiking in a bamboo forest is an adventure full of mystery and surprise. On the path through densely-packed, towering bamboo you'll discover natural pools, waterfalls, and trees ripe with strawberry guava. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Keanae Peninsula

Keanae Peninsula

On the Keanae Peninsula, the views are striking. The breeze amplifies the laughter of children playing soccer in a freshly-mowed field while, more often than not, rainbows radiate like halos above the Congregational Church, which survived the tsunami of 1946. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Rainbows on the Road to Hana

Rainbows on the Road to Hana

You don't necessarily have to look to the skies to find rainbows on Maui. Clusters of rainbow eucalyptus trees can be seen on the Road to Hana along with yellow ginger blossoms and flaming red awaphui ginger that Hawaiians once used as shampoo. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Hana Town

Hana Town

Tranquil Hana Town is an unspoiled village from another place and time. Here, pastures roll right up to the main street and time lays back and allows you to browse botanical gardens or a farmers' market without a care in the world. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Koki Beach

Koki Beach

With its rugged shoreline, unique red sand, and quiet park, Koki Beach on Maui's east coast is an ideal place for a picnic. Here you can watch local surfers test their skills in surf that can be surprisingly strong. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

When the sun is in the right spot, a kaleidoscope of color rises from Wailua Falls, where water cascades 80 feet down a verdant cliff. It's a vivid reminder that the Island of Maui is indeed one of nature's great masterpieces. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

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  

Samantha carrying a fresh palm leaf with Britt and Anna Rogers in Maui, HI. 960 1280

  

One of Maui's many amazing views. 960 1280

  

Sam gathers shells with Anna Rogers and Linda Castro in Maui. 960 1280

  

Iokepe Naeole helps Sam practice her throwing skills. 960 1280

  

Sunrise at the top of Haleakala Crater. 960 1280

  

Even chocolate grows in Hawaii. 960 1280

  

Sarabeth Rings shows Sam how to make a bike-powered smoothie at Laulima Farms in Maui. 960 1280

  

West Maui mountains during a rainstorm. 960 1280

  

Closeup of the tropical plant, taro, from which poi is made from. 960 1280

  

Lopaka Aiwohi teaches Sam and Sarah Ceccarelli how to make poi. 960 1280

  

Linda Castro shows Sam, Britt and Anna Rogers how to weave palm leaves. 960 1280

  

Maui  11 Photos

Photos

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

960 1280

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  

Artist Peggy Hopper is known for her distinctive paintings of island women, with soft tones and gentle shapes that welcome you like a warm embrace. Her gallery is just one of many you will discover on Oahu. The Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum feature enviable collections from around the world. On the First Friday of every month, the Chinatown district of Honolulu explodes into an urban block party with niche galleries and art shows practically on every corner. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

What's a pink Spanish-Moorish hotel doing in Waikiki? The answer: stealing your breath away. The Royal Hawaiian opened in1927 when the era of luxury travel to Hawaii was just beginning. After a five-day sea voyage, passengers would move into the 'Pink Palace of the Pacific,' bringing with them steamer trunks, servants, and even their Rolls Royce vehicles. In 2008, this classic gem underwent an extensive restoration to become the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort. Gorgeous. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

A trip to Pearl Harbor will fill you with pride and also humility. The Arizona Memorial is dedicated to the USS Arizona's 1,102 sailors who were killed when Japanese Imperial forces attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Nearby, the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial honors the battleship where Japan's Emperor Hirohito surrendered to end World War II. A bit of trivia: the Missouri's bow is placed to convey that the battleship now watches over the Arizona so that her sailors may rest in peace. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Oahu is a shopaholic's paradise. Where else can you find Hawaiian-style coffee mugs in a big box store, hand-carved tikis made by those who understand the meaning of each groove, the latest designer brands, warehouse outlets with summer styles 365 days a year, plus, swap meets and farmer markets that offer foods and gifts you might not find anywhere else? 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

What's the best place to surf on Waikiki Beach? Just ask the 'Duke.' Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was Waikiki's best known beach boy, the 'Ambassador of Aloha' who introduced surfing to the world, and always, the consummate gentleman. He was also an Olympic champion who won three gold, two silver and one bronze medals. Today, residents and visitors alike drape leis on his statue as a gesture of aloha. And if you're searching for Waikiki's most perfect waves, Duke marks the spot. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

There's an indescribable something special about Waikiki Beach when the sun goes down. It's an energy, an undercurrent of nightlife that's about to unfold. Sophisticated nightspots. Island music scenes. Mai tais with flavors like lychee, li hing and mango. This is Waikiki Beach--the one and only. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

If you can stand on two feet, you can surf. Perhaps not well at first, but that's half the fun. Waikiki beach boys will show you what you how. You'll start with a lesson on the sand followed by a gentle push in the waves, and off you go. If you're serious, start early in the morning before the crowd shows up. After your lesson, you can rent a board and keep practicing. Watch out. It's addicting. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Haleiwa Town on Oahu's North Shore is part country, part chic, and all fun. It started as a beach town on the outskirts of the cane and pineapple fields and has retained its rustic roots. It's a must-stop for shaved ice, shopping, art galleries and crafts, and of course, good eats. It's also the perfect excuse to move a little slower and linger a little longer. Whether you're on your way to Pipeline and Waimea, or heading back to your hotel, Haleiwa is a 'no hurry, no worry' kind of place. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

'One paddle, two paddle, three paddle. Four to take me home.' These famous song lyrics are synonymous with outrigger canoes and paddling on Waikiki Beach. Hop in and you'll feel the thrill as your canoe glides out to sea. The best part of the ride is when you turn back toward shore and ride the waves in. It's like surfing while sitting down. In paddling there are two words you won't want to mix up: 'hui' means to switch paddling to the other side, while 'huli' means to turn over. Fun, but wet. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Ask anyone who lives on Oahu's Windward side where the best beach is located, and they'll say 'Kailua.' It's a thriving beach town where you can wear your pareo (wrap around) into the grocery store and flip flops (we call them 'slippers') are the only locally-approved footwear. And the beach, let's just say that it's the second-most photographed stretch of sand on the island. Kailua has several kayak rental and surf stores. If you're into kite boarding, this is also the beach of choice. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands  

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

The Hawaiian Islands