Hawaii Travel

Iao Valley

December 14, 2015

Can someone fly me back to Hawaii please? Although I really can’t complain about the weather up here in Connecticut lately because it’s been absolutely gorgeous, I’m still missing the surf, sand, and sun of Maui. And that’s just one reason that I’m so excited to share the pictures I took on my trip with you guys over the next few days! It’s just another excuse to daydream about being back on island time.

Funnily enough, one of my favorite things that I did with my dad was up in the mountains and not on the beach. On my second day, we drove up to Iao Valley and explored one of the island’s worst kept secrets.

Unlike where we were staying right on the beach, Iao Valley showcases a totally different side of the island. Just a few miles up from the waterfront, the valley is covered in dense rainforest and has a very lush feel to it.

The site is famous not only for it’s natural beauty and stunning views, but also for the historical importance that the valley holds in Hawaiian history. In the 18th century, the Battle of Kepaniwai was fought here and resulted in the Hawaiian islands finally being united under one king. On a darker note, it’s said that so many men died during the battle that the river ran red with blood… Very eery to think about and almost impossible to comprehend nowadays because the site seems so peaceful.



We explored the grounds and I took full advantage of the fact that you could wander off of the path and wade through the river and climb up rocks to get better views (only on approved sections of the park though, I’m a good girl).



While I’m a total beach nut, I really enjoyed getting to explore Iao Valley and learning the history of such a sacred landmark. Doing things like this made me feel as if I was getting to see more of the island than a normal tourist would, which I think is important no matter where you’re traveling.



Have you ever been to Hawaii? Do you try to do non-touristy things when you’re traveling too?

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  • This looks gorgeous! Definitely an area I’d want to explore if I ever make it to Hawaii!

    • Courtney

      Iao Valley was the definition of gorgeous! I’d also love to go back and spend some more time there!

  • How awesome is this! Love all the photos here! Happy Monday to you!

    • Courtney

      Thank you so much! It’s hard to take a bad picture when the scenery around you is so gorgeous!

  • Amazing pictures! 🙂

    • Courtney

      Thank you!!

  • Great pictures! I would love to visit Hawaii.
    Xo, Christianne

    • Courtney

      Hawaii’s absolutely gorgeous!! I’ve only been to Maui and the Big Island, so I’d love to explore more if I get to go back again!

  • I haven’t even been and now I want to go back with you!
    The Adored Life

    • Courtney

      The more the merrier!

  • It was really interesting to read the story behind this river, and sounds like you had a lovely hike!

    • Courtney

      The history behind the site was fascinating! I’m a bit of a history nerd so I love to learn information like that!

  • Amy Ann

    If you find someone to fly you back, take me too! It’s so lovely.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Courtney

      That would be so much fun! Maui is so gorgeous and I really hope that I’ll be able to go back someday soon!

  • This place is so gorgeous! Take me with u!

    • Courtney

      Iao Valley was beyond anything that I expected! So gorgeous!!

  • I loved what you said about learning more about the place we are visiting rather than just simply sightseeing. I think it definitely adds to the experience rather than that location just being another destination to cross off our checklist.

    <3 Trou

    • Courtney

      It’s definitely so important and something that I’ve tried to do better on the past few years while traveling! I’m a bit of a history buff so I always find the story behind things to be so interesting!

  • Wow, how super gorgeous! I have been to the Big Island before but not any of the other islands… I am dying to go to all of them.

    xo, alison*elle

    • Courtney

      I’ve only been to Maui and the Big Island too, and I’d love to get out and explore more! Hopefully on my next trip!

  • Wow looks gorgeous!!


    • Courtney

      Maui is so beautiful! Although I might be a bit biased since I’m convinced that I might have been a beach bum in another life!

  • beautiful photos!

    • Courtney

      Thank you so much!

  • Great photos, I love Hawaii and always dream of going there.


    • Courtney

      Thanks!! I’ve only been to two of the Hawaiian islands but they were both so beautiful!

  • laurajaneatelier

    IT looks so Lush and amazing there

    • Courtney

      Iao Valley really was absolutely gorgeous! I couldn’t believe how the island can look so different when you just drive a few miles away from the beach!

  • Alice

    Gorgeous pictures! Hawaii is such an amazing destination!
    Fashion Soup

    • Courtney

      The islands definitely are! I already can’t wait for my next trip back!

  • This trip looks so amazing! I’ve always wanted to go, and these photos make me want to go even more now!!! xx
    Flaunt and Center

    • Courtney

      Maui is absolutely gorgeous!! I’m getting such bad wanderlust looking back over my pictures from our trip!

  • blushingkay

    I haven’t been to hawaii. It’s definitely on my bucket list. You took awesome photos.


    • Courtney

      Thank you so much! Hawaii (and Iao Valley) is too beautiful not to take good pictures of!

  • Very beautiful photographs!♥


    • Courtney

      Thank you so much! Iao Valley was so beautiful!

  • wow, thats a beautiful place!


    • Courtney

      Iao Valley is so gorgeous! I can’t believe that I’d never heard of it before on my other trips to Maui!

  • Stunningly beautiful, fabulous photos Courtney!

    • Courtney

      Thank you so much!! Iao Valley was amazing!

  • Gabrielle

    Haha oh my gosh, I genuinely feel as though I’ve stepped into an episode of Hawaii Five-O – it looks incredible! I’m so keen to visit Hawaii and so this post has fuelled that want, wonderful snaps! 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    • Courtney

      I think that everyone should get to visit Hawaii at least once! The islands are absolutely gorgeous and there’s so much to learn about the history of the islands and peoples!

  • Wow. Hawaii looks as if it is similar in my country! I would want to visit it someday!

    Everglow ~ Styleccentric Fashion’ | BLOGLOVIN

    XOXO Alyssa

    • Courtney

      The Hawaiian islands definitely have a very tropical feel to them! I love the fact that you can spend the morning at the beach and then 30 minutes later you can be in the rainforest!

  • Amazing place 😉


    Mónica Sors



    • Courtney

      Iao Valley was absolutely gorgeous!!

  • theemasphere

    I can’t get over how stunning your pictures are and how beautiful Hawaii is!! It’s definitely on my must travel list after reading your posts! Iao Valley looks insanely gorgeous!! So glad you had a fabulous time babes xxx


    • Courtney

      Maui is absolutely gorgeous! And I couldn’t believe how beautiful Iao Valley was when we hiked it!

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