Named America's third most difficult golf course by Golf Digest, Ko'olau Golf Club's Dick Nugent–designed course snakes through the crags of the picturesque, 2,000-foot Ko'olau Ridge mountain range, where duffers contend with dramatic elevation changes and the thick vegetation of the tropical jungle. The breathtaking course spans 5,102 yards from the forward tees and 7,310 yards from the back tees, with two sets in between, and its length is compounded by a series of deep ravines, massive sand bunkers, and driver-stealing Pacific loons. After enduring 17 intricate holes, golfers must steel themselves for the dramatic, par 4 18th, where two forced carries and 22 sand bunkers may turn even the boldest of wedge-wielding knights into a quivering lickspittle. Though the formidable seashore paspalum monolith may mangle scorecards, its sweeping, tropical vistas and cascading waterfalls make the course a beautiful and enjoyable haunt for all.
Marksmen weave in and out of buildings clustered on Kapolei Airsoft's barricade- and obstacle-littered fields, an expansive urban terrain that accommodates up to two indoor and outdoor bouts at a time. Under the watchful eye of trained field officials, participants clad in face protection commence contests that simulate military scenarios, urban combat, and armed square dancing. Before firing off 6mm BBs fashioned from ABS plastic at opposing teams, players run through safety instructions at pre-game briefings. Visitors can join new rounds of combat––lasting until midnight every Friday and Saturday––during walk-on contests, via membership outings, or through one of Kapolei Airsoft's party packages.
An offshoot of Roberts Hawaii, which began giving tours of Kauai and other Hawaiian islands in 1941, Hawaiian Ocean Thrills sends a variety of watercraft splashing along the sandy shoreline of Waikiki Beach. Visitors navigate the crystalline waters aboard humming jet skis, gliding banana sleds, or skipping bumper tubes. Guests can also experience the big blue at a distance in a parasail that soars over the waves and affords views of the Oahu skyline. They also swim, snorkel, and lounge on the beach, taking a break from the water to munch a sandwich or salad lunch and make sure their toes don’t turn permanently pruney.
The scorching Arizona sun beats down on Adobe Dam Regional Park, but visitors to Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix keep cool as they splash throughout more than 30 waterslides and attractions. The 35-acre facility is home to an abundance of adrenaline-pumping rides—including a towering tandem water coaster, a spiraling 45-foot funnel, and a four-story six-tube speedway—to contrast its more laid-back attractions, including an interactive playground and 700,000-gallon wave pool. The junior water park accommodates younger guests with kid-friendly funnels, rivers, and racing slides. Food and beverage carts traverse the grounds, while an onsite restaurant, cafes, and pubs fuel fun with full meals, snacks, and drinks. To ensure guest safety, a vigilant staff of lifeguards patrols the park and will swiftly kick out sharks who've shrewdly disguised themselves in bikinis and sun hats.
Glow Hawaii Glow is not about how fast you run—it's about how brightly you shine. The 5K race decks out participants in glowing accessories, and encourages them to wear white clothing so that the course's black-lights have a dazzling effect. At every kilometer of the race, a different surprise or obstacle illuminates runners. And, because these areas are "party zones", participants can jog, walk, or dance along on their surfboard, so long as they reflect the celebratory spirit of the event. After the race, an after-party keeps the glow going with music and luminous decorations.
Natural bamboo and wood fences surround the miniature fairways of Jungle River Mini Golf, whose aptly named course pits putters against a slew of jungle-themed obstacles. Like rainforest explorers, groups of golfers hack through the wild landscape, forgoing machetes for colorful putters or spring-loaded spatulas sized to accommodate guests of all ages. Monkeypod trees, palms, crotons, and banana plants drape over the course, framing many attractions including sculptures of friendly gorillas and dinosaurs emerging from tar pits. The course also features large bridges and waterfalls that meander throughout to create sharp turns and contoured greens.
Designed to recreate Hawaii's native volcanic rock and its thrilling climbs, a multitude of climbing surfaces erupt throughout Volcanic Rock Gym's 3,000 square feet. From 16 feet in the air, a large top-out boulder hangs over an expanse of traversing walls, campus boards, and safety mats. Traditionalists can scale a vertical wall with the reassurance of a physical anchor on the top-rope routes, and rebellious climbers and mountain-goat impersonators can attempt the crack-climbing walls and bouldering façades. In addition, curious spelunkers can explore the bouldering cave, negotiating its ceiling holds and stubborn bats to emerge back in the gym from a massive overhang. Climbing routes change every month to present new climbing challenges and dissuade cheaters from memorizing all the foothold nibs before testing their climbing prowess.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.