LIMAHULI BOTANICAL GARDEN
Location: NE Corner of the island
It's all the way in the NE corner of the island, basically the end of the road -- the only thing past it is the park/beach.
When to visit: Whenever you're in the area
There's many botanical gardens - a few I waited too long to visit, and they were closed - but I am so glad to of made it to this one.
The garden has a trail/path you follow, bring you into different jungle scenes: down to a river and ends up on the hillside where you can whail watch the ocean.
Unconventional visits: Glass Beach + Japanese Sugar Cane Plantation Cemetery
Location: SW corner of the island
You'll feel like you're not allowed to drive back behind the industrial buildings--but just do it. There's a parking lot for the beach, and the road continues uphill to the cliff for the cemetery and sunset spot. If you see anyone, they'll likely be locals.
When to visit: 1-2 hours before sunset
I went to glass beach and spent time digging around for my favorite sea glass chunks.
Continue up the road by car to park for sunset. Explore the cemetery just before sunset--the golden light illuminates the gravestones. Return to the cliff edge to watch sunset on the cliff.
The drive from Waimea Canyon to the end of the road
Location: Along HWY 550 until the very NW corner of the island
Driving up HWY 550 through Waimea canyon, sightseeing along the day, all the way to the end of the road for a hike.
When to visit: Morning/Day - it's a drive whether you're going to book it to the park to hike, or leisurely drive to sightsee
Unless you're looking to do a long day hike in Napali Coast State Park - plan to leisurely stop along the drive to explore off the roadside. There are many canyon lookouts and other interesting sights like the surface of Mars.
Bring cash--there's fruit vendors everywhere along the roads and in the parking lots of the state parks / lookouts. I basically nonstop snacked on vendor fruit.
The surface of Mars: it just south of the green area on Google Maps, address is approximately: 7200 Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea HI
This is on the side of the road, maybe a hundred feet. You should see others cars parked along the shoulder.
Below is the beginning of the trail at the end of hwy 550: Napali Coast State Park. I got there at 7:30pm, so I didn't have enough time to do this hike, but I wish I had! Even the lead-in trail long the ridge was one of my favorite places I visited. The clouds and mist were rolling up and over the trail.