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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
This ocean overlook is perfect for spotting whales during their winter migration. In fact, on three Saturdays in winter, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary conducts its annual whale count from this spot, one of several around the island. The lookout was rebuilt and doubled in size a few years ago, and it's now easy to hop on the cement bike and walking path just below for a coastal stroll or ride. Most days you can see clear to Lihue and beyond. If you packed them, bring your binoculars.
The village is dramatically ensconced at the base of a steep, long, winding road right beside the Wailua River. Of course, in the days of King Kaumualii, there wasn't a road, just access by boat, and so it made the perfect hideout for his war canoes tucked away in this crook of the Wailua River. Today, there's a replica Hawaiian village in place of war canoes—numerous thatched-roof structures and abundant plant life. Yet, the lack of human activity here makes it seem abandoned, which may be why Hollywood found it an appealing location for the movie Outbreak.COST: $5. OPEN: Daily 9--5.
At the end of the road, high above Waimea Canyon, Kalalau Lookout marks the start of a 1-mi (one-way) hike to Puu o Kila Lookout. On a clear day at either spot, you can see a dreamy landscape of gaping valleys, sawtooth ridges, waterfalls, and turquoise seas, where whales can be seen spouting and breaching during the winter months. If clouds block the view, don't despair—they tend to blow through fast, giving you time to snap that photo of a lifetime. You may spot wild goats clambering on the sheer, rocky cliffs, and white tropic birds. If it's very clear to the northwest, look for the shining sands of Kalalau Beach, gleaming like golden threads against the deep blue of the Pacific.
This 1½ mi self-guided walking tour takes you to 14 different plaques with historic photos and stories mounted on buildings throughout Hanapepe town. Businesses and shops in town sell a map of the tour for $2; however, you can often pick one up free with a coupon found in many guidebooks on promotional-brochure rack stands.
This dramatic divide and fertile river valley once housed a thriving Hawaiian community of taro farmers, with some of the ancient fields still in cultivation today. From the lookout, you can take in the farms on the valley floor with the majestic mountains as a backdrop.
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