Travel & Places

Inspiration comes from many things in life and can motivate one to maximize life! When on travel, one may have a scheduled path and planned activities and places to see. But sometimes you may encounter a detour or stumble upon a hidden gem.  Here are a few of my detours or hidden gems of which I came across and didn’t know about, or have never visited before.

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

 

 

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Imperial Sand Dunes near Yuma, CA:
A place where a few movie scenes were filmed, one being Return of the Jedi and others.

 

 

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Palm Springs, CA and LaQuinta, CA

 

 

 

 

Hawaii Experience a few of Hawaii’s hot spots that create great memories at little to no cost : Extraordinary Beaches, Yummy Treats, and Spectacular Hiking!

 

 

Some only dream of visiting a beautiful tropical island with warm blue-green waters, red-orange sunsets, and the soft tones of a ukulele. You might guess this describes a place like the islands of Hawaii. Hawaii is not only a place that offers the beauty of the oceans and challenging hiking trails, but it represents a way of life and culture. A culture that consists of living free and having an open mind; appreciating the environment that surrounds you. From the moment you step on the airplane, the relaxation and feel good vibes begin.

Relaxation and feeling good is just the beginning part of experiencing the Hawaiian islands. There are eight major islands that make up the Hawaiian islands, and I am most familiar with Oahu. I have spent so much time visiting Oahu, that I lost track of how many times I have been there. And with each visit I experience something new; whether it’s hiking a new trail, discovering a new waterfall, or watching a successful and talented artist paint his works right before your eyes, I then fall in love with the place all over again.

As you might imagine, there are countless places on Oahu to fall in love with. To begin, the beautiful city of Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located on Oahu. I particularly do not spend much time lingering around the city per se, but there are a few very cool places to check out on your Hawaii visit. Waikiki Beach is a must see at least one time if you visit Hawaii.   Although this beach is a tourist destination, there are other beaches less populated with tourists.

Diamond Head:  While you relax in the sunshine on that beautiful beach at Waikiki, you will see Diamond Head. IMG_3508If you come to Hawaii, you should visit Diamond Head and hike up the trail at least once. Once at the top, it offers some spectacular views of the coast and surrounding areas. And you’ll get a chance to see the interior of the inactive volcano while climbing the stairs as well as some beautiful views of Waikiki areas. Here are a few photos of my experience at Diamond Head.
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USS Missouri Battle Ship:
This U.S. Naval vessel battleship played a key role in the end of World War II, U.S.S. Missouri, Take a tour:

Beaches:

 

Waikiki beach is one of the hottest tourist spots in Hawaii today and is one of the most recognized places in the world. Its history boasts of a place where Hawaiian high society and royalty came to spend time. Today, Waikiki Beach is home to numerous hotels, shops, malls, water fun, dining, and so much more. There are several water sports equipment you can rent on the beach as well including jetskis,   https://hawaiiwatersportscenter.com/package/jet-ski/, bumbertubes, and banana boats, and more! https://hawaiiwatersportscenter.com/

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One of the historical landmarks on Waikiki is the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It was one of the first hotels established on Waikiki and was a place for celebrities and dignitaries to lay their hats. While there are still a few antique items and things throughout the hotel, such as artwork and furniture, there have been some new and modern touches integrated to ensure a well-rounded experience for any visitor. It has upscale shops, boutiques, dining, and an outdoor patio area to enjoy their own special luau.

 

 

As you continue your journey browsing throughout Waikiki and other areas of Oahu, Hawaii, you will come across a vast array of street art and art galleries. With so much surrounding inspiration, the art is not just confined to a gallery. Several colorful murals, walls, festivals, beach views, and sunsets offer you some of the world’s best eye candy. Every year artists from around the world gather in Kaka’ako and create murals for the POW! POW! Event in February.

Hawaii Street Art 1

North Shore; Oahu, Hawaii: Sunset Beach

During the month of February (Winter); you might get lucky and get the opportunity to witness some of the world’s biggest and best waves. Surfers from around the globe flock to North Shore in hopes of catching their dream wave of a lifetime. In 2017, there was a good chance to witness the Eddie; unfortunately I missed seeing by one week. Waves were enormous that year, and it created unbelievable traffic jams and gridlock as endless numbers of people were lured to the North Shore in hopes in witnessing this big wave event.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eddie

 

 

Bellows Beach; Bellows AFB

Bellows Beach is a less populated beach, camping, and picnic area for islanders to enjoy. However, this beach is located on an Air Force base and is only open to the public on weekends. This makes it great for those who have access to the base during the weekdays to basically have the beach to yourself. This beach made for a primo Television filming spot for TV shows such as ‘Lost’ and some others. It provides some wave action for the boogie board enthusiasts, of which I take full advantage.   The blue green waters are also highlighted beautifully from the morning and afternoon sunshine!

 

 

Hiking: Waimano Pools Hiking Trail and Waterfall.

 

 

This hiking trail was both challenging and rewarding. The muddy trail, tree roots and elevation made for a slight dangerous walk and climb down towards the beautiful pools and waterfall, and doing the hike on a rainy day didn’t make it any safer. But this one hiking experience is one that is worth every step.

 

 

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Koko Head is the eastern side of  Maunalua Bay and the southeastern side of the Island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi. On its western slope is the community of Portlock, a part of Hawaiʻi Kai. You will enjoy wonderful views of Haunama Bay and beyond.  The climb can be grueling and scenic, so its a good idea to take a rest and take in the views.

 

Read more about Koko Head trail and treats and places in Hawaii, please read my guest blog over at http://www.SOSTravel.co.uk

READ MORE: THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS UNCOVERED

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A Closer Look at Koko Head Stairs: Hiking Trail, Hawaii

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Koko Crator Head Trail:  ‘Koko Head Stairs’:  The spectacular views will not be the only thing that gets your heart racing during this extraordinary hike up the Koko Head stairs.  This climb of approximately 1,050 stairs (or railroad tithes) is a challenge for any exercise enthusiast and will definately offer a cardio workout like no other.

Koko Head is the eastern side of  Maunalua Bay and the southeastern side of the Island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi. On its western slope is the community of Portlock, a part of Hawaiʻi Kai. You will enjoy wonderful views of Haunama Bay and beyond.  The climb can be grueling and scenic, so its a good idea to take a rest and take in the views.

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There is a section where a larger drop to a ridge is located below, so you take your time and go slow if needed.  You may be huffing and puffing half way up the climb, only to learn you have quite a ways to go and are getting higher and higher.

 

 

This is a view from below it may be approximately half way up, but it still looks like there are quite a few steps to go to reach the top.

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When you reach the summit you will be blown away!  It seems to always be windy up there, so be prepared to hang on to your hat or water bottle and be safe.

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Things to remember:
1.Wear sunglasses and sunscreen
2. Drink plenty of water
3. Bring camera
4. Hike may take between 1-3 hours

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View up top Koko Head
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View from top of Koko Head
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Koko Head views

READ MORE ON HAWAII HIKING AND NATURE
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Florida
Miami South Beach
:
Ah,..a travelers dream. South Beach in Miami, Florida is the ultimate tropical dream scape. With wide beautiful beaches, crystal blue-green waters, and a vast variety of tasty eatery.

 

 

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Tampa-Clearwater:
The infamous Clearwater Beach is the beach of all beaches. With beautiful hotels and murals, it makes the whole beach experience a unforgettable.

 

 

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Myakka River State Park, Deep Hole: Sarasota:
Located in Sarasota, FL, this beautiful park has a ton of nature! You can also bring your bicycle and ride around the park and take in the serene water views, birds, wildlife, tall pine and oak trees, and lots more.  There is a small hiking trail that leads you out to an elevated walking bridge called the Canopy Walkway.

Another park area is the Deep Hole. This is about a 2 mile one way trail through wild fields and open marshlands. A 134 feet deep sink hole where hundreds of alligators congregate and hang out.  As you approach the deep hole, and the water comes into view, its almost like a scene from a scary movie in which you see dozens of alligators of all sizes roaming amidst the area.  It can be intimidating at first, but take your time, keep a watchful  eye and be aware of your surroundings. It is quite a remarkable place to see. There are also the roseate spoonbill ibis which are beautiful to watch as they mill around the alligators and other animals. On this particular area of the park, they only allow about 30 visitors a day, so its best to arrive early. And you need to get a parking pass – it was about $6 a vehicle at the time we were there in 2017.

 

 

 

 

About Fitlife360:

A health and fitness enthusiast with a passion to help others achieve living the healthiest happiest life possible. Fitlife360 is an online place where like minded followers and friends share ideas, tips, and discussions about health, exercise, nutrition, travel, hiking experiences, photography, art, and much more. Our goal is to encourage a sense of mindfulness and achieve self awareness in this crazy stressful world we all live in. For guest blog inquiries, please contact me; love hearing from you, friends, and followers, please contact me at fitlife360@yahoo.com.

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