Green flags set tires squealing inside Podium Raceway's 44,000-square-foot facility as up to 12 drivers jockey the emission-free electric karts for a Podium finish. Two straightaways send floored pedals toward top speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, and four hairpin turns test karts? handling and drivers? ability to steer with their ponytails. Drivers can take to the track during individual or group races.
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-lane speedway—to contrast its more laid-back attractions, including an interactive playground and 450,000-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.
On Race World Hawaii's track, kids of all ages race each other in tiny, rainbow-hued box cars?all of which run without fuel. Instead, the simple cars are powered by gravity, which pushes them down the track during open-track racing, field trips, and special events. All the while, track marshals supervise, making sure that drivers have the correct safety gear?including helmets, sport shoes that cover the entire foot, long pants that touch shoes for those under 18, and a ship's anchor they can drop to slow down.
The servicemen of Pearl Harbor's naval base were taking some much-needed R&R between early-morning repairs inside Hangar 37 when suddenly they heard a buzzing overhead. With the humming of their own planes and battleships periodically filling the air, this rapidly approaching sound wasn't foreign to their ears, but this instance proved to be drastically different. Thunderous explosions soon overtook Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona struggled to stay afloat as the Imperial Japanese Navy delivered a surprise military strike, which resulted in one of the most devastating attacks on American soil. With a mission to preserve the history of this tragic event, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor opened that very same hangar to the public, hundreds of feet from where ships burned and men courageously fought more than 70 years ago.
Hangar 37's 42,000-square-foot space currently houses many of the museum's artifacts, which include a World War II–era B-25B bomber, Japanese Zero, and naval planes such as the SBD Dauntless. Also open to the public, Hangar 79 displays the actual bullet holes that pierced its windows during the attack, while an authentic WWII maintenance shop contains an exhibit that explains how planes ran on Lucky Strike cigarette materials. Visitors can experience the museum's ever-evolving collection of exhibits––which has included segments dedicated to the Korean War's MiG Alley and the Flying Tigers––through guided tours in both hangars and submerse themselves in the virtual world of the museum's combat flight simulator.
Cool, onshore breezes swirl through the banyan trees and botanical gardens that frame Koko Crater Stables, a spacious facility nestled in the crater of a dormant volcano. Head trainer Piet Mathews, who has more than 30 years of experience tucked under his saddle, leads the center's staff, which draws on more than 20 years of equestrian know-how to conduct trail rides, lessons, and camps. In addition to helping riders to earn their spurs, Koko Crater Stables provides boarding services that include bedding, watering, and daily stall cleanings, ensuring four-legged lodgers remain comfortable and aren't tempted to tunnel out and begin new lives as bankers.
Named a great place for a first date by Honolulu Weekly, The Contemporary Museum provides lover-candidates with plenty of conversational topics as they wander an assortment of accessible, provocative art. Education programs and exhibitions, such as the Contemporary Museum Biennial of Hawaii Artists exhibition, give freshly hatched masterpieces a chance to rub frames with the permanent collection of classics by Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and more. The museum's emphasis on works created in Hawaii also makes it easy to meet the archipelago’s homegrown talent, who are often on-hand to answer puzzled stares and challenge you to aesthetically pleasing arm-wrestles.