Kualoa Ranch is 4,000 acres of beauty, history and adventure! It is most well known for serving as the filming location for the blockbuster "Jurassic Park" and the ABC hit series "Lost."
Kualoa is a private nature reserve and working cattle ranch, as well as a popular tourist attraction and filming location on the windward coast of Oʻahu in Hawaii.
I visited Kualoa Ranch with KOS Tours, the first and only HUMMER off-road tour operators in Oahu, Hawaii.
Just a 5-mile drive northeast of Downtown Honolulu, the Nuʻuanu Pali Pali Lookout offers panoramic views of the sheer Koolau cliffs and lush Windward Coast.
The mere mention of Hawaii is enough to prompt visions of grass skirts and colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas. While you will find some kitsch in Honolulu, you’ll also find art museums, bike paths, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Tourism is, by far, Hawaii's biggest industry and continues to grow annually. More than nine million people from around the world visit the Hawaiian islands each year. Hawaii's strategic location in the Pacific Rim also fuels the state's modern economy. Hi-tech companies and financial institutions establish themselves here, the closest place in the United States to the markets of Asia.
Waikiki is the center of Honolulu's tourism industry, with thousands of high-rise hotels, restaurants, boutique stores, and nightclubs. The world famous golden sand and clear blue ocean lure millions of visitors each year.
Makua and Kila, located in Kuhio Beach Park, was designed by sculptor Holly Young. The sculpture is based on Fred Van Dyke's Makua Lives on the Beach, a children's story about the Hawaiian values of love and respect for ohana (family) and the ocean in which a young surfer, Makua, who befriends a Hawaiian monk seal, Kila. Kila helps Makua line up at the best spot at Sunset, and gives him good advice when he gets in trouble at school. Makua in turn nurses Kila back to health when he is injured.
Surfing is believed to have originated long ago in ancient Polynesia, later thriving in Hawaii. It was once a sport only reserved for alii (Hawaiian royalty), which is why surfing is often called the “sport of kings.” King Kamehameha I himself was known for his surfing ability.
On Kuhio Beach, a bronze statue of Duke Kahanamoku welcomes you to Waikiki with open arms. Duke was a true Hawaiian hero and one of the world's greatest watermen, a master of swimming, surfing, and outrigger canoe paddling.
Jeff Spicoli: Well Stu I'll tell you, surfing's not a sport, it's a way of life, it's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, "Hey bud, let's party!" - Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Diamond Head is Hawaii’s most recognized landmark and is known for its historic hiking trail, stunning coastal views, and military history.
The 0.8 mile hike to the summit of Diamond Head is steep and strenuous, gaining 560 feet as it ascends from the crater floor. The postcard view from the top is spectacular and during winter months, visitors may observe passing humpback whales.
Diamond Head Lighthouse is a United States Coast Guard facility located on Diamond Head in Honolulu. The lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
The USS Battleship Missouri Memorial (left) and the USS Arizona Memorial (right).
The USS Arizona is a 184-foot memorial honoring the 2,388 Americans who died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
"To the Memory of the Gallant Men Here Entombed and their shipmates who gave their lives in action on 7 December 1941, on the U.S.S. Arizona" — Inscription in marble with the names of Arizona's honored fallen sailors.
Meeting two survivors of Pearl Harbor.
The only royal palace in the United States, Iolani ("Royal Hawk") Palace served that function for just 11 years. It is the former home of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani.
Street signs in Honolulu's Chinatown Historic District.
A variety of souvenirs for sale on a busy Waikiki street.
A street artist performs for passerbys in Honolulu.
One of the top Hawaii attractions includes the Polynesian Cultural Center, which features a 42-acre facility on the North Shore of Oahu. Founded in 1963, the nonprofit Center was created so that the students of nearby Brigham Young University Hawaii could work their way through college by sharing their island heritage with visitors. The students come from an area that covers approximately 12 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
An entertaining demonstration of the ancient Polynesian skill of coconut tree climbing at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Within eight simulated tropical villages, performers demonstrate various arts and crafts from throughout Polynesia.
The symbolic story of Mana and his beloved Lani, punctuated by Polynesian dance, music and blazing fire knives, is told in “Ha: Breath of Life,” a stunning, evening show featuring over 100 Polynesian natives, special effects, animation, and surround sound.
Giraffes take a moment to grab a morning snack inside the Honolulu Zoo.
Zebras and giraffes inside their exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo.
A white-handed gibbon at the Honolulu Zoo.
Despite an overall declining trend globally, green turtle population growth rates are variable among nesting populations and regions. The Hawaiian green turtle population is actually increasing in abundance and has increased 53% over the last 25 years.
Have you ever seen a beach with black sand? Because of constant volcanic activity, you'll find white sands and black sands on the island of Hawaii. Located on the southeastern Kau coast, Punaluu Black Sand Beach is one of the most famous black sand beaches in Hawaii.
A black sand beach is an amazing sight and the Big Island of Hawaii has several beaches with black sand to check out.