Here's a shock: When looking for the nation's most idyllic stadiums, one should always check out Hawaii. The land of palm trees and surfer paradise also has a handful of truly picturesque football facilities, with more than one that stand out.
After a rather thorough search, Prep Rally decided that the best of the lot, both for its variety and location, belongs to Wai'anae High (Wai'anae, Hi.). The Seariders -- see, they even have a great mascot -- compete on a field adjacent to the ocean, with panoramic views of the mountains on one side and the water on the other. The field is so scenic that it was used by famed documentary style photographer Catherine Opie as part of her study of high school football across America. You can see the best of those shots here and here.
In short, it's football nirvana.
You can see the rather fetching view of the water from field-level in the graduation photo above. It's worth checking out the views of the volcanic mountains from the field directly below, too.
Sadly, Wai'anae's Raymond Torii Field was closed for the entire 2012 season, forcing the Seariders to play their entire slate on the road. Now the field is back in action, and we can all be happier for it.
While Wai'anae's football facilities may take the cake, it's hardly the only notable field in Hawaii. Of the others, Lahainaluna High (Lahaina, Hi.) is also worth the trip. The field, which is home to the undefeated Lunas, isn't directly on the ocean, but from its elevated position it can appear that the water stretches almost to the edge of the facility. It's gorgeous, as you can see below.
To be fair, a tour of prep football fields in Hawaii can almost feel like sport facility joy ride. Check out Kuniakea Field at Kamehameha School (Honolulu, Hi.) directly below. That clear blue in the background is the ocean.
Meanwhile, Punahou School (Honolulu, Hi.) doesn't have an ocean view, but does capture the beautiful island's most lush tropical features just beyond its fences.
We could go on like this forever, but that would take away time that could be spent on a plane. To Hawaii. To go check out these football stadiums. If you can't go now, make sure to add it to the bucket list. The only thing better than down home high school football is down home high school football surrounded by the world's most beautiful scenery.