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A great way to see the island is atop a horse, leaving the direction to the pack while you drink in the views of mountains or the ocean. It may seem cliché, but there really is nothing like riding a horse down a stretch of beach to put you in a romantic state of mind.
Happy Trails Hawaii. Take a guided horseback ride above the North Shore's Waimea Bay along trails that offer panoramic views from Kaena Point to the famous surfing spots. Rates for a 90-minute trail ride begin at $80; a two-hour ride costs $99. Reservations are required. 59-231 Pupukea Road, 1 mile mauka (toward the mountain) up Pupakea Rd. on right, Pupukea, HI, 96712. PHONE: 808/638-7433. happytrailshawaii.com.
Kualoa Ranch. This ranch across from Kualoa Beach Park on the Windward side leads trail rides in the Kaaawa Valley. Rates for a one-hour trail ride begin at $69. Kualoa has other activities such as bus and Jeep tours, all-terrain-vehicle trail rides, and children's activities, which may be combined for half- or full-day package rates. 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaaawa, HI, 96730. PHONE: 808/237-8515. www.kualoa.com.
Turtle Bay Stables. This is the only spot on the island where you can take horses on the beach. The stables here are part of the North Shore resort, but can be utilized by nonguests. The sunset ride is a definite must if you are a friend of our four-legged friends. Rates for a 45-minute trail ride begin at $65. Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehemeha Hwy., Kahuku, HI, 96731. PHONE: 808/293-8811. www.turtlebayresort.com/experiences/outdoor_activities/horseback_riding/.