Healthy has a whole new meaning in Hawaii

Tim Firmager
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Hawaii, located in the North Pacific Ocean, has eight major islands extending some 1,500 miles. It’s known for its tropical climate, but it has much more to offer than just a beach destination to sunbathe.

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Local food and drink

With its rich, volcanic soil, Hawaii has the ideal climate for growing crops. It’s no surprise that the concept of local, sustainable eating and caring for the land (‘malama aina’) is so deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture.

Farm-to-table eating has been implemented by many well-known chefs across the islands, including chez Chef James McDonald’s PacificO, IO and the Feast at Lele and by Colin Hazama, Mark Noguchi, Ed Kenney, Wade Ueoka.

A variety of traditional farmer’s markets can be found across the islands, from Hilo Farmer’s Market on Big Island to Mahiku Farmer’s Market on O’ahu, offering locally grown produce from exotic fresh fruits to Portuguese malasadas and of course, Hawaiian poi.

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You can also visit farms across the islands, including The Surfing Goat Dairy, which is one of only two in Hawaii. The dairy is located on the beautiful slopes of Maui’s Haleakalā Crater and has been producing award-winning cheeses for nine years. Visitors can take tours of the dairy and learn everything that there is to know about their goats and cheeses.

Healthy eating is accessible in Hawaii whether you’re eating out or in your hotel room. Companies including Good Clean Food offer a service in O‘ahu, delivering healthy meals straight to your door.

Healthy eating plans can be paired with a number of different types of fun, exhilarating exercise regimes including yoga, hiking up the famous Kalalau Trail, or a traditional hula class.

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Fun exercise

What better way to get a sense of nature than at a yoga class in Hawaii? Kahala Hotel & Resort offers a Stand-up Paddleboard Yoga class on the gentle waters in front of the beach; the classes combine the body-conditioning and joy of yoga with the stability challenge of a stand up paddleboard.

With so many different types of hiking experiences available there really is something for everyone. Enjoy views of the Nā Pali Coast whilst making your way through The Kalalau Trail. Recommended for experienced hikers, this 17km long trail connects Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach along the Nā Pali Coast on Kaua’i.

Visitors to the islands can also climb up one of O‘ahu’s most prominent landmarks, Diamond Head Crater. The crater is a remnant of a volcanic explosion which occurred around 500,000 years ago and is more than 3,500 feet in diameter with a 760-foot summit.

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Through a series of steps, trails and a tunnel, climbing to the top of the Diamond Head provides some of the most breathtaking views in Hawaii, on a clear day you’ll be able to see for miles!

Tours can be booked to avoid extensive parking queues, however are not necessary. Visitors with rental cars are advised to arrive early avoid disappointment.

Visitors can book online prior to travel through tour companies including Oahu Nature Tours.

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Water sports

A perfect way to get in shape and try out a truly Hawaiian activity is to go surfing. Having being featured in numerous different films and TV series, O‘ahu is infamously known for its amazing surf.

Both Turtle Bay Resort and Waikīkī Beach offer some of the best waves on the island, where guests can be taught the skills and given the confidence to practice at one of the local beach front surfing schools.

There is no need to book in advance, simply turn up, get your wet suit on and jump in. For those who like to be a little more organised, you can book prior to your travel through the Turtle Bay Resort website.

For more information on what to do on your trip to Hawaii, visit

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.