Oahu’s Waimea Valley is a harmonious combination of conservation of natural resources and rich Hawaiian culture. The cultivators of the valley are constantly working on forest and animal restoration projects, making several types of tours and volunteer opportunities available.
Go on a botanical tour with their resident botanical specialist or take a complimentary tour of their Hawaiian Living Site to learn about the cultural history and significance of the valley. Or, pay a general admissions fee and make your own adventure, taking an easy, paved hike up through the lush valley, botanical gardens, and historical sites to the famous Waimea Falls (about 1.5 miles round-trip). This is a great opportunity to check “swim under a waterfall” off your bucket list, even with the kids. Lifeguards are standing by allowing tourists to swim supervised under the falls, and changing rooms are available. Be advised, life vests are required, and the status of swimming can change throughout the day depending on the weather.
There are two places to eat at Waimea Valley, the Wailele Snack Shop near the waterfall rest area turnaround, and the Na Mea Ono Grill just outside the Visitor Center. Not in the mood to walk? Shuttles to the falls are available for a fee.
Waimea Valley is abounding in Hawaiian history, learn more about it at their website.
As you explore the nature and beauty of Waimea Valley that ancient Hawaiians and their descendants have fought to preserve, make sure that you show respect by not disturbing, damaging, or removing any rocks or objects from the valley.