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Leonard’s is a good stop for traditional malasadas. Nearby Ono Hawaiian Food is a traditional place serving Haawian food. Also Ono Seafood is the best place I’ve found for poke in Honolulu. Sansei Sushi is a chain with locations in Oahu, Maui &the Big Island With good discounts if you arrive when they first open.

In Haleiwa stop by Matsumoto’s for shave ice.

The Pali Lookout is a short drive up Highway 61 from Honolulu is a good place to catch the sunrise.

Twenty minutes drive north brings you to the Byodo-in Temple another spot to photograph early in the day. 

Probably the most interesting part of the island to photograph is the stretch from Hanauma Bay up to the Makapu'u Lookout. The view above Hanauma Bay requires a wide angle or fisheye lens in order to capture the entire cove.


The Paia Fish Market on the north shore is an excellent place to stop for lunch.

Haleakala National Park  Its worth getting up before dawn to drive up to the summit of the crater to watch the sunrise, but dress warmly as it gets cold up here.

Road to Hana   This is the most scenic drive on the island with numerous waterfalls and lookout spots along the road. Right before the town of Hana is Waianapanapa State Park, another place worth a stop. 


Na Pali Coast  Boat trips leave from the marina at the south side of the island and run along the dramatic west coat of the island. You can also take helicopter tours to better see some of the inaccessible parts of the island. 

The Kalalau Trail is an 11 mile hike that is considered the best in all of Hawaii and is the only part of this coast you can hike.

Hanalai Valley Overlook  Near Princeville this overlook gives a great view of the Taro fields below.

Kailua Falls  This double waterfall is one of the must see falls on the island.

Big Island  

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park  The view if the Kilauea Crater is best seen at night when you can see the orange glow and also get a good view of the stars as this park is in a remote part of the island. Drive to the end of the crater road to see the lava fields close up. From here you can walk to a vantage point to see the lava flows.

Pu'uhonua O Honauau National Historical Park  A Hawaiian archeological site, a short drive south of Kona is worth a stop to photograph the carved statues.

Akaka Falls  Near Hilo, these falls are the tallest on the island.

On the far north part of the island near the town of Hawi is the Polulu Valley Overlook, a good sunrise location to photograph.

Copyright 2015 Jim Babson