Hawaii vacation rentals

Hawaii Vacations and Life Expectancy Have Big Things In Common

While Hawaii often scores at the top of many lists with some of the best beaches in the USA, a new ranking reported by Fortune magazine caught our eye. According to them, the secret to a longer life could depend on where you live or perhaps even vacation.

In a new study, Hawaii has the highest life expectancy in the USA.

Hawaii came in first with 80.7 years. Other states in the top 5 are Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, and New Hampshire. The study used federal data from the Centers for Disease Control, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Census Bureau.

The secret may be Hawaii weather.

Warm and sunny days mean more time can be spent outside year-round being active. Take this a step further, and there will be many opportunities to make lifestyle changes on your Hawaii vacation that can stay with you long after returning home, perhaps increasing your own well-being.

Your editors walk/hike on average well over 20 miles a week each in addition to regular swimming and other sports. According to Harvard University, just walking an hour a day counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes and can boost immune function.

Here are some of our favorite walks in Hawaii to get you started. If we missed your favorite, add it in the comments.

Kauai – Kauai Multiuse Path or Kukuiolono Park

The Kauai (Multiuse) Path placed fifth in USA Today’s top 10 best recreational trails category for 2021. It’s oceanfront and 4 miles from South Kapaa to Ahihi Point, just beyond Donkey Beach. Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic along the way at Kealia Beach under the shade of oceanfront picnic shelters. You can rent bikes by the hour too. A shorter section from Lydgate Park to Wailua Beach is just 2.5 miles long.

Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course is a hidden find on the South Shore in Kalaheo (the home base for Beat of Hawaii). Not only can you enjoy 9 holes of golf for $15. there are also places to jog, walk and hike for free. You can stroll out to a bluff with great ocean views from the Japanese Garden. Or, from the lower parking lot, head to a Eucalyptus forest. Open daily from 6:30am to 6:30pm.

Maui – Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk and Kapalua Coastal Trail

Stop at South Maui at Wailea for this 1.6-mile oceanfront walk to five Maui beaches. It stretches from Ulua Beach to Polo Beach, and parking is available at either end. You’ll pass famous resorts like the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, Andaz Maui, and the Fairmont Kea Lani along the way.

West Maui features the Kapalua Coastal Trail, which is 1.7 miles from Kapalua Bay to D.T. Fleming Park and the trailhead for the Mahana Ridge Trail. The trail is scenic but has no shelter from the sun, so it is best enjoyed early or late in the day.

Big IslandQueen Liliukalani Garden (Hilo) and Makakawena Beach Hike.

The Hilo Bay area features a variety of multi-use paths and walkways. One of our favorites is the Queen Liliukalani Loop which takes about 15 minutes to complete but don’t stop there if you can do more. Constructed around 1917, this is the most extensive Edo-style garden outside Japan. 

Makalawena beach hike. This 2.7-mile roundtrip near Kailua-Kona is an easy walk, taking under an hour from start to finish. Since it’s very popular, you’ll be seeing others there too. There, on the Kona Coast, you’ll find beautiful white sand and shade provided by palm trees. The hike keeps even more visitors from venturing. Swimming is often calm.

Oahu – Four Popular Walks

Magic Island is located across from Ala Moana Shopping Center at Ala Moana Beach Park. You’ll find Magic Island and its one-mile loop to walk or jog there. Enjoy great views of the ocean and Waikiki along the way. This is popular with locals and visitors.  

Ala Wai Canal Promenade is a 2-mile uninterrupted path along the south side of the palm-lined canal. With no crosswalks and minimal foot traffic, it offers an easily accessible stroll or run through the city’s heart, with some lovely views of Diamond Head. Parking is available at Ala Wai Park, and following the path to the north of the canal around the Ala Wai Golf Course will yield a 3.5-mile loop.

Historic Kapiolani Park, dedicated by King David Kalakaua in 1877, offers a 1.8-mile loop not far from Waikiki Beach. It is a primarily shady route with excellent views of Diamond Head and runs through the iconic Banyan trees of the park. You will also find a smaller 1.1-mile loop around the zoo within the park, and if you are feeling ambitious, there is a 4.8-mile loop that goes all the way around Diamond Head and Kapiolani Park.

North Shore Bike Path runs 4 miles from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay, and passes by many of Oahu’s more secluded beaches.

Waikiki Beach Walk is a meandering 4.8-mile loop down the beach and back, passing various resorts, beaches, shops, and restaurants. This is a favorite of ours early in the day, just after sunrise, when the vibe is totally different, relaxed, and mellow. 


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2 thoughts on “Hawaii Vacations and Life Expectancy Have Big Things In Common”

  1. Japan has the highest life expectancy of any major country, so I think that at least part of the reason behind Hawaii’s #1 ranking is that there is a high percentage of residents of Japanese descent.

  2. Just an FYI: The Waikiki Beach Walk is Not handicap accessible. The Mrs. and I frequently strolled its length prior to my accident and it’s gorgeous! We’re still working on a modified version that won’t tucker her out too much pushing me in the wheelchair!

    Meanwhile we do traverse Ala Moana Park because it’s pretty level.

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