The Secret Hawaii Guide: Hidden Gems, Bars, and More

by | Mar 23, 2023 | Destinations, Hawaii, Hidden Gems, Travel Guides, USA

When hearing about Hawaii, we can describe it with no problem. A tropical paradise with gorgeous volcanoes, flawless beaches, untouched tropical rainforests, and magnificent culture. Not to mention, tiki bars and world-class surfing experiences. Thus, we might think we know a lot about Hawaii. However, there are so many hidden gems in Hawaii and secret places that we have never heard of before! This secret Hawaii guide will tell you about them. Get ready for an off-the-beaten-track adventure in this astonishing place in the United States

Secret Hawaii Guide – Summary

  1. Best Hidden Gems in Hawaii
  2. Secret and Unique Hotels in Hawaii
  3. Hidden Bars in Hawaii 

Best Hidden Gems in Hawaii

We have heard about Waikiki Beach and Na Pali Coast, but what about the secret places in Hawaii? These hidden gems in Hawaii will blow your mind!

Papohaku Beach, Molokai

secret hawaii secret beaches in maui

Soak up the sun on this untouched sandy beach in the northwest part of Molokai. Papohaku Beach is a great alternative to the famous Waikiki Beach. Besides being more tranquil and relaxing, this beach is also stunning with its three-miles long sand dunes. Moreover, it is one of the best hidden gems in Hawaii. Although it is considered out of tourists’ radar, Papohaku Beach is developed and has several facilities. You can find campsites, showers, and small restaurants in the area. 

Kawela Bay, Oahu

Hawaii hidden gems Oahu

Enjoy a picturesque scene of sandy coastline, waters tinted in aquamarine and turquoise gradient, and swaying palm trees in Kawela Bay. The flawless landscape is complemented by a soundless atmosphere, making it a perfect place to relax. Moreover, it feels like your own private beach! Kawela Bay is a Hawaii hidden gem that is located on the northern shores of Oahu. Not many people have heard about this spot, making it pristine and relaxing. 

Lanai Cat Sanctuary, Lanai

Do you love animals, especially cats? Then, this hidden gem in Hawaii is your paradise! Lanai Cat Sanctuary is home to around 500 cats. It has a touching mission to provide a home for stray cats on Lanai Island and protect them from unwanted treatments. Enjoy your time playing with these fluffy friends as you visit Lanai Cat Sanctuary. Moreover, you will be happy visiting the sanctuary because it is an ethical and responsible destination

Keahiakawelo, Lanai

Dive deeper into Hawaiian folklore as you visit this stunning, desert-like land. Keahiakawelo or ‘The Gardens of the Gods’ is a landscape comprised of enormous boulders and towering rocks, scattering on the reddish land. People in Hawaii believe that it was formed due to the competition of two priests in burning the longest fire. Thus, the folklore makes Keahiakawelo seems more magical. It is one of the most unique hidden gems in Hawaii that you can check out.

Looking for more hidden gems in Hawaii? Check out our Hawaii hidden gems blog here!

Secret and Unique Hotels in Hawaii

When we talk about hidden gems in Hawaii, we will also go for off-the-radar accommodation. Nothing is better than staying at an accommodation no one knows about. Imagine staying in a hotel or villa that feels like your own. Quiet, serene, and you get everything for yourself! Thus, these hotels and accommodations in Hawaii are the real definition of ‘Secret Hawaii’. Check them out and book them for your next Hawaii vacation!

The Kulani Maui 

Kulani Maui hidden gems in Hawaii secret Hawaii
Photo by: Kulani Maui

Tucked in the quiet area of Maui, this boutique property offers a perfect place to unwind. The Kulani Maui comprises a few bungalows built in a mix of modern and traditional Hawaii architecture. The mood and bamboo accent look authentic and give a cool tropical vibe. Meanwhile, the modern touches make the bungalows look comfortable and warm to stay in. 

The Kulani Maui is indeed a secret hotel in Hawaii. You cannot find any sign that shows the location. However, you are entering a tropical oasis as you arrived. The serene and authentic atmosphere makes it perfect for a relaxing getaway.

Lumeria Maui

Are you into wellness and looking for an awesome retreat in Hawaii? Then, check out Lumeria Maui! The property is a retreat center in Upcountry Maui, as well as an accommodation. You can find a lot of classes here, like yoga, meditation, and healing therapy. Besides that, Lumeria Maui also offers the best organic foods on the island. The meal in Lumeria Maui is locally grown in its own gardens. So, if you are looking for a sustainable and unique place to stay, Lumeria Maui should be on your list.

Hawaii Surf Campers Oahu

Hawaii hidden gems secret places

Go for an out-of-the-box adventure by staying inside a camper van in Oahu! Hawaii Surf Campers Oahu offers an authentic camper van experience, as it is Hawaii’s leading camper van rental. You can sleep in an Instagrammable RV while exploring the beautiful island of Oahu. Moreover, Hawaii Surf Campers offers a lot of fabulous camper vans to rent. You can choose from a 70s-style vintage RV to modern vans with built-up tents. Therefore, it is an awesome option to try if you are traveling in a group. Yeah, who doesn’t love going on road trips with awesome travel buddies?

Volcano House Hotel, Hawaii Island

secret Hawaii accommodations
Photo by: Hawaii Volcano House

One of the things that you shouldn’t miss in Hawaii is the volcanoes. Hawaii has a series of magnificent volcanoes that will take your breath away. Thus, you can see them in Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii’s Big Island. Moreover, it is great to choose accommodation close to the national park as the view is stunning and the location is great. We recommend staying in Volcano Hotel House, a fabulous hidden hotel in Volcanoes National Park. 

Besides being the only hotel in Volcanoes National Park, Volcano House Hotel also keeps a long history. It dates back to 1846, making it one of the oldest hotels in Hawaii. The hotel is designed in a vintage European style. On the other hand, it is also complimented by modern touches in the rooms, restaurants, and services. 

The Inn at Kulaniapia, Big Island

Nestled in the remote area of Kulaniapia Waterfall, The Inn offers a getaway like no other. It has a distinctive ‘back-to-nature’ vibe, as it features a breathtaking scene of the Kulaniapia Waterfall and its surrounding verdant jungles. Thus, The Inn at Kulaniapia has a wide variety of accommodations. Whether you want a humble hotel room or an intimate cottage with lots of facilities, The Inn at Kulaniapia has it all. Therefore, it is one of the hidden gems in Hawaii that will be perfect for everyone who is looking for a quiet stay. 

Paradise Bay Resort, Oahu

This resort in Oahu shows us what a ‘real’ hidden gem in Hawaii is. Paradise Bay Resort is located on the untouched spot of Oahu, tucked away into a lush jungle. It features a breathtaking landscape comprised of verdant rainforests, extraordinary mountains, and a roaring river. Moreover, the resort also offers more than a relaxing stay. It offers a variety of outdoor adventures that await everyone who is an adventurer at heart. 

Although located remotely, Paradise Bay Resort has top-notch facilities. Each room is furnished with a flat-screen TV, kitchen, comfortable beds, coffee machine, and many more. The resort also offers yoga and meditation classes. Therefore, it is a great hidden gem in Hawaii to chill and unwind from bustling everyday life. 

Hidden Bars in Hawaii

Tchin Tchin Bar, Honolulu

If you are looking for a nice place to drink in Honolulu, head to Tchin Tchin Bar! This buzzing wine bar is located in the downtown area of Chinatown. Thus, going to Tchin Tchin Bar might feels like a treasure hunt, as it is not the easiest place to find. Therefore, it makes sense that this bar is considered a hidden gem in Hawaii! 

As a rooftop bar, Tchin Tchin offers a glimmering view of Honolulu during the night. You can sip a glass of wine while enjoying the stunning view and listening to live music. Additionally, Tchin Tchin has a wide range of wine selections. So, if you are a fan of wine, this bar in Hawaii is for you to visit!

Arnold’s Beach Bar and Grill, Waikiki

This bar in Waikiki is simply unique! Arnold’s Beach Bar was built in 1992 and was originally a horse stable. Now, the building is known as a warm local bar in Hawaii. Thus, the most iconic thing about Arnold’s Beach Bar is its great location on the old main street and friendly atmosphere. It is where locals and a few tourists mingle, get a drink, and dance the night away. So, if you are looking for a friend during your vacation in Hawaii, this bar is your go-to! 

Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu

Secret Hawaii bars

Are you looking for specialty cocktails in Hawaii? Then, check out Bar Leather Apron! This small intimate bar is known for its talented barista and excellent cocktail menus. Thus, it has a strong reason to be considered one of the hidden gems in Hawaii. Bar Leather Apron is hidden inside Topa Financial Center and you need a quite long walk to reach the small bar. Nonetheless, you won’t regret finding the bar as it has the most amazing drinks on the island.

Wild Orange, Oahu

Finding this hidden speakeasy bar is a lot of fun! From the outside, Wild Orange Bar looks like an ordinary vending machine. However, you can knock on the ‘vending machine’ three times and someone will open it for you. Inside, you will find a small bar decorated with colorful neon lights. Therefore, Wild Orange is one of the most unique hidden gems in Hawaii.

If you love vegan food, you will love Wild Orange. This bar offers a lot of vegan menus and cocktails. Thus, you can find mostly Asian-fusion dishes in this bar. Order a miso salad and mezcal-based cocktail to get the best hint of Wild Orange. Of course, the flavors are as surprising as they sound!

Discover Secret Hawaii with Travel Buddies

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