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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Women Biking
Go Biking

Go Biking

Reduce your carbon footprint and participate in Earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking and taking public transit. These alternatives are often cheaper than taking a cab or renting a car. 960 1280

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Reusable Bottles

Reusable Bottles

A plastic bottle often travels thousands of miles before you buy it, so carry a reusable container or drink locally sourced water when you’re on the go. 960 1280

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Non-Stop Flights

Non-Stop Flights

Book non-stop flights whenever possible. A significant percentage of a plane’s carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing. 960 1280

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Buy Local

Buy Local

When and wherever you travel, buy local products whenever possible instead of buying products that have been flown or shipped in from overseas. However, do not buy souvenirs or other products made from endangered animals or plants. In most cases, you can't get them through customs anyway. 960 1280

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Working Farms

Working Farms

Stay at working farm that also functions as inn. This unique experience helps travelers connect with an area’s agricultural heritage --and they cost less than hotels. 960 1280

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Recycle Trash

Recycle Trash

Staying at a hotel? Make sure you ask about the hotel’s recycling program, and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn't recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home and recycle them there. 960 1280

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Hike Marked Trails

Hike Marked Trails

Don’t veer off marked trails when hiking, and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Deposit your trash in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave. Light campfires only in areas where permitted and be sure they're completely extinguished before you leave. 960 1280

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Rent Hybrid Car

Rent Hybrid Car

Choose the smallest vehicle or a hybrid when renting a car for travel. Decline any "free" upgrades that can cost you more in gas. Consider renting an economy car if your personal vehicle is a large, gas guzzler. You'll save gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle. 960 1280

Robert Scoble, flickr  

Stay at Green Hotel

Stay at Green Hotel

Las Vegas is actually at the forefront of green building, and the Palazzo Hotel Vegas is one of the largest hotels in the U.S. to receive LEED certification (along with the huge Aria and Vdara City Center hotels). Ninety-five percent of the building's structural steel and 26 percent of its concrete is recycled material. The swimming pools are heated by solar power, and the hotel claims to save enough energy annually to light a 100-watt light bulb for 12,100 years. 960 1280

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Eat Local

Eat Local

Eating locally is one of the best ways to support a community. Try to shop at farmers’ markets and dine at restaurants with locally sourced ingredients. 960 1280

William Murphy, flickr  

Photos

The road to Hana is long and winding, with interesting stops along the way. Four miles into your trip will bring you to the colorful town of Paia where you can get a fish burger at the popular Paia Fishmarket, then head to Hookipa Beach, also known as the windsurfing capital of the world. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Located on the mid-slope of Maui's Haleakala volcano, Makawao has one foot in its plantation past and another in its thriving arts community. It's also the biggest little town in the area known as Upcountry Maui and is famous for its Hawaiian cowboys, known as paniolo. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

From the air, the Hana Highway looks like a zigzag line drawn by a three year old. It twists and turns for 52 miles and takes anywhere from two to four hours to traverse depending on how many cars you meet on the one-way bridges. In fact, there are 54 bridges and 600 curves to make sure you're paying attention. And please do, because in addition to the traffic, the flowing waterfalls, plunging pools, scenic rainforests and the town of Hana are well worth the drive. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

There are rewards in life that are all the sweeter because of the effort it took to get there. Hana is such a place. Separated from the rest of Maui, you'll feel as if you stumbled upon the land that time forgot. Spend a few nights in Hana and soon you'll have trouble remembering where you came from and wondering why you'd ever go back. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Take a farm-to-table culinary journey at Oo Farms in Upcountry Maui. Located along the slope of Haleakala, the fertile soil of Upcountry is home to some of Maui's finest farmland. Oo Farms is owned and maintained by I'O and Pacific'O restaurants in Lahaina, so their perfect peppers, hearty greens and even local asparagus go straight from harvest to your favorite dish. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Every evening on the northernmost cliffs of Maui's Kaanapali Beach, a cliff diver lights the torches then dives off Puu Kekaa, or Black Rock. This dramatic show is a reenactment of a feat performed by Maui's revered King Kahekili. Surrounded by restaurants, the ceremony also takes on a modern twist, signaling the end of the day and the start of your own private celebration. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Maui has always been a magnet for those who love the sea, from Hawaiian voyagers to whaling ships and modern-day catamarans that glide upon the water. Complete your Maui vacation with a few hours offshore, tacking up and down the coastline with the West Maui Mountains in your view. Add a splash of champagne or a frosty mai tai and there's nothing else like it. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

It doesn't matter how old you are'when you walk 'through an ocean,' the little kid in you comes out to play. Fantasy mixes with reality as you come nose to nose with wide-eyed tuna and white-tip reef sharks. Yellow butterfly fishes flutter like leaves around coral, while slick stingrays glide by without a care in the world. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Molokini is a small, crescent moon-shaped atoll off the coast of Maui. It's in a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District, which means fishing is prohibited, so it's teeming with life. Take a snorkel or scuba tour and you'll be treated to a kaleidoscope of over 250 colorful varieties of tropical fish. Tours are available out of Maalaea Harbor and Lahaina. Insider tip: Early morning is best because the water is clear. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Maui might be for lovers, but it's also for golfers. And if you love golf, that's even better still. There are 14 courses on Maui, with several ranked at or near the top of the 'world's best' list. The PGA TOUR's Hyundai's Tournament of Champions is held here each year, so you never know who you might see on the course. This particular breathtaking beauty is the Makena North Course. Now that's a view that'll challenge your concentration. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Welcome to Wanderlust O'ahu. Yogis take their practice to the crystal clear Hawaiian ocean for standup paddleboard yoga – the ultimate test of balance. Hawaii was the birthplace for standup paddleboarding, after all, so it's no surprise SUP yoga has taken off here, too. 960 1280

Mike Bernard  

Low lunges meet tall palm trees during yogi, surfer and “blissologist” Eoin Finn’s class at Wanderlust O’ahu. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Wanderlust O’ahu pays homage to Hawaiian culture with classes in the art of carving traditional wood surfboards with Hawaii native Tom Pohaku Stone. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Today’s hottest musical acts like ALO rock the outdoor stage at Wanderlust O’ahu. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Wanderlust festival is the largest multi-day yoga event in the world, with annual events in Squaw Valley, CA, Stratton Mountain, VT, Copper Mountain, CO, and Whistler, British Columbia. In 2013, it has expanded to Chile and O’ahu. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

The infectious beats of musician Michael Franti leads to a spontaneous dance party during Shiva Rea’s “trance dance.” 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Tutu Janet teaches Wanderlust-ers how to play Hawaii’s favorite musical instrument -- the ukulele! 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

In between yoga classes, yogis soak up the Hawaiian sunshine on O'ahu's North Shore. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Wanderlust O’ahu showcases the best of Hawaiian culture -- like these fire dancers from Soul Fire Productions heating up the stage. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Michael Franti, no stranger to the stage at Wanderlust, brings the crowd to new heights with his catchy beats. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Turtle Bay Resort, which hosted this year’s Wanderlust O’ahu, is a 880-acre paradise that sits on the northernmost tip of the North Shore with 5 miles of remote beachfront. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Dancing in the sun on Hawaii's fabled North Shore in your comfy yoga pants? Pure happiness. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Michael Franti leaves the stage to dance with the crowd in his sold-out performance. 960 1280

  

Female surf legend Rochelle Ballard discusses the synchronicity of surfing and yoga during her speakeasy at Surfer, The Bar. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

LYFE Kitchen showcases their new healthy fare with free tastings. Look for the health-conscious food line in supermarkets near you soon. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Yoga meets tightrope for a true balance challenge -- slackline yoga. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Forget your mat -- practice yoga right on the grass at Wanderlust. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

Standup paddleboard yoga lets you soak in the sunshine (and take a dip to cool off) while you practice your down dogs. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan   

Yogis take to the waves for surf lessons on O'ahu's North Shore, where big wave surfing was born. Luckily, there are smaller waves in spots for beginners, too. 960 1280

Ali Kaukas  

The Lush Na Pali Coast

The Lush Na Pali Coast

On Kauai’s northwest side lies the 17-mile Na Pali Coast, a jaw-dropping sight whether you are taking in its panoramic views from a helicopter, boat or on foot along the famed Kalalau Trail (a challenging 11-mile trek for experienced hikers only). With 3,000-foot towering cliffs plunging into white-sand beaches along the emerald Pacific Ocean, Na Pali Coast is definitely a must-see on Kauai. 960 1280

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson   

Untamed Kauai

Untamed Kauai

The fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands, Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle, has developed only 3% of the island for commercial and residential use. Since most of Kauai’s 69,000 residents live along the coastline, the island’s interior remains an untouched paradise. And the locals want to keep it that way—no structure can be built taller than a palm tree (that's about four stories high). 960 1280

M.M. Sweet/Getty Images  

The Grand (Waimea) Canyon

The Grand (Waimea) Canyon

Dubbed "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific," the 3, 567-feet-deep Waimea Canyon is one of Kauai’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Extending 14 miles across the western end of the island, Waimea Canyon is filled with numerous hiking trails for beginners to expert trekkers alike. If you aren’t a hiker, you can still experience the spectacular views from the main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, which takes you to Waimea Canyon Overlook, where you’ll be wowed with sweeping panoramas of the deep gorges and craggy cliffs. 960 1280

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson  

Wet and Wonderful Mount Waialeale

Wet and Wonderful Mount Waialeale

Just as the landscapes are diverse on the island, Kauai’s weather is likely to be dramatically different depending on the location. So while beachgoers might be basking in the sunshine on the shore, mountains hikers will be trekking through a downpour. In fact, Kauai is home to Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest areas on Earth, which receives about 450 inches of rain per year. Usually shrouded in mist, Mount Waialeale is best viewed on a helicopter tour, much like most of Kauai’s natural wonders you’ll find. 960 1280

Liysa/Getty Images  

Wailua Falls: Drive-By Wonder

Wailua Falls: Drive-By Wonder

Kauai is known for its beautiful waterfalls, but many of its falls can be viewed only by helicopter or by hiking miles deep into the rainforests. While it is one of the easiest cascades to get to, Wailua Falls is just as awe-inspiring as some of the more hidden waterfalls in Kauai. Even though you can view Wailua Falls from the road, take the more adventurous route and hike the steep but short path down to the waterfalls where you can marvel at the rushing 80-foot cascades. 960 1280

Kauai Visitors Bureau, Damon Moss  

Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay

One of Kauai’s must-sees is Hanalei Bay, a half-moon bay on the North Shore with almost 2 miles of palm-tree lined beaches framed by lush green mountains. Also worth a stop, Hanalei Town is dotted with art galleries and surf shops and is so beachy-cool that it looks like it came right off a movie set, much like the rest of Kauai. 960 1280

Monica & Michael Sweet/Getty Images  

Manawaiopuna Falls/Jurassic Falls

Manawaiopuna Falls/Jurassic Falls

Manawaiopuna Falls, or Jurassic Falls as it’s now known after it was featured in Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, plunges 360 feet into a lush valley. The best way to see this colossal cascade is on a helicopter tour as the falls are on private property—and not Steven Spielberg’s, if you’re wondering.  960 1280

Jack Harter Helicopters  

Movies Filmed on Kauai

Movies Filmed on Kauai

It’s not just travelers that are inspired by Kauai’s picture-perfect paradise. Hollywood is so taken with the Garden Isle’s scenery that it has filmed over 65 movies here, including South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Tropic Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Descendants and Jurassic World. Polynesian Adventure Tours offers a six-hour cinematic tour of Kauai’s most famous movie sites. 960 1280

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson   

Helicopter Tour of the Island

Helicopter Tour of the Island

Only 10% of Kauai is accessible by car, so the best way to see the rest of the island is on an aerial tour. Jack Harter Helicopters was the pioneer in helicopter tours on Kauai (now a thriving industry) when Jack Harter starting offering tours of Kauai’s inaccessible terrain in 1962.  For maximum thrills, take the no-doors helicopter tour. Not only will you get well-earned bragging rights for this high-adrenaline ride, you won’t have to deal with window glare interfering with your jaw-dropping photos. 960 1280

Jack Harter Helicopters  

Endless White-Sand Beaches

Endless White-Sand Beaches

With 50 miles of golden strands, Kauai has a seemingly endless amount of beautiful beaches—more beach per mile than any other island in Hawaii. Some of the most popular beaches include Hanalei Bay and snorkeling favorite Tunnels Beach, both on the North Shore, and the sun-drenched Poipu Beach on the South Shore. But the beauty of Kauai is that you’ll likely stumble upon a hidden beach all your own that will rival any of the more well-known beaches. 960 1280

Kauai Visitors Bureau, Kicka Witte  

Kauai's Wild Waters

Kauai's Wild Waters

Visitors must keep in mind that Mother Nature calls the shots in Kauai. No matter how peaceful and inviting the water looks in Kauai, the island is notorious for its strong currents and dramatically changing conditions. So it is strongly advised to only swim in lifeguard-protected areas and to take beach safety warnings seriously. 960 1280

Matthew Micah Wright/Getty Images  

Fly Straight to Paradise

Fly Straight to Paradise

You can reach Kauai via a short 25-minute flight from Honolulu; Hawaiian Airlines has more than 30 daily flights into Kauai’s Lihue Airport. Due to rising demand, Hawaiian Airlines also has non-stop service between Los Angeles and Lihue throughout the year, with an increased schedule around the holiday season. This is another indication that the island’s popularity is growing, so now is the time to plan your vacation to Kauai, while it’s still not as touristy as the other islands. 960 1280

Hawaiian Airlines  

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