Anyone who has been to the Islands recently will tell you traffic and crowds at popular destinations are a hassle. Seriously. For real. But the hassle is avoidable. The trick is to get to the many destinations that are out of the Yelp-o-Sphere, without having to sacrifice scenic values to do so.
One of these places is the trail out of Pololu Valley on the Big Island. People walk to the beach but not many know the trail leading to the roadless escarpments on the northern coast.
Going to places that aren't crowded makes some people feel like they are missing out. Not true. Pack a sense of independence in your suitcase and you will be rewarded.
Maui's Hana Highway draws a conga line of rental cars competing for roadside turnouts. The Kaupo Coast (much of it now part of Haleakala National Park) is wide open and undeveloped.
It's natural to want to see the "top" attractions. They got to be popular for good reason. But a slight turn of the wheel (if you know where to go) will get you someplace just far enough out of the buzz, like this lesser known route on the Hana Highway.
The Big Island's Waipio Valley has been attracting nature lovers since Kamehameha the Great surfed there as a boy. Few people realize that if you zig where everyone else zags, you will find yourself in the seldom seen taro field farther up the valley.
The Lyon Arboretum is sitting there in plain sight, not far from Waikiki Beach. But most people follow the tour-bus crowd to nearby Manoa Falls. Lyon has acres of wild gardens and its own falls.
Same goes of Kekaha Kai State Park in Kona. A fair number of people find the place, but it has its more hidden crannies of perfection.
The Keahua Arboretum in Kauai has a couple of trails that get hammered by TripAdvisor devotees. And they are excellent walks. But the Powerline Trail, less than a quarter-mile away, is a botanical wonderland that you will have mostly to yourself. In fact, it's comforting to run into other people in the thick of things.
No Worries Hawaii is a vacation planning guide 20 years in the making. Using a self-test to gather your preferences, the book finds the right island for you, as well as the specific places and attractions you are looking for. Money saving tips and safety advice are also included, as well as the lowdown on private tours.
Trailblazer Travel Books—one for each island—are for independent, active people. They cover all the main attractions, as well as the little known trails, cultural sites, and coastal access spots. Read one before you go and hit the ground running. You won't find splashy gold stars or brochure-type writing. But you will find jewels to call your own away from the throngs. They're all sold on Amazon.com