Discover Hawaii – Best Points of Interest and Activities

Planning a trip to the Aloha State can be intimidating; nearly all of the available information points to the same conclusion: Hawaii is a magical place, and this enchantment pervades each of the islands. This summary is almost certainly correct.

In fact, Her spell is so powerful that many people report having life-changing experiences while visiting her. Despite the fact that there are so many wonderful sights to see and things to do, there are a few experiences that should be at the top of your list. So take notes as we share our take on the Top 10 Things to Do in Hawaii.

#1 Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial

pearl harbour

This historic site is located in Honolulu, Oahu, and it receives positive feedback from visitors from all walks of life. Learn about a historic event and pay tribute to those who died during WWII, particularly in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The USS Arizona Memorial is part of the larger World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which also includes the Battleship USS Missouri and the USS Utah Memorial. This is an incredible and especially solemn experience, a must-do.

Accommodation in Honolulu

#2 Haleakala Crater

haleakala crater

Haleakala National Park on Maui deserves to be at the top of the list. Haleakala, which translates to “House of the Sun,” is widely regarded as the ultimate Hawaiian experience, and you’ll see why as you make your way to the summit. Prepare for a spectacular sunrise by getting out early. Take in the rare plants, such as the silversword, and the breathtaking views of the valley below. It’s a good idea to bring sunscreen and warm clothing, as temperatures can get quite cold. When you reach the summit, you’ll understand why this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Accommodation in Maui

#3 Mauna Kea Summit

mauna kea summit

Mauna Kea, located on the Big Island, has a regal profile that stands proudly, dominating most of the island’s landscape. It is the tallest mountain in the world, measured from the sea floor to the summit. It is considered sacred in Hawaiian culture and provides an unparalleled view, making it ideal for stargazing. Rent a car or 4×4 or take a tour and stop at the Visitors Center (the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy) to learn about Mauna Kea while adjusting to the altitude change. The views from this point are spectacular, but we recommend climbing to the summit for an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to bring warm clothing; you’ll need it.

Accommodation in Hawaii Island

#4 NaPali Coast

napali coast

Many consider Kauai’s NaPali Coast to have the most spectacular scenery in the world, with lush green cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, seemingly bottomless valleys, and unparalleled views of the Pacific. Although it is not accessible by land vehicle, you can hike along the many side trails. The Kalalau Trail is particularly well-known (or infamous!) for being a challenging but rewarding hike. Plan your trip ahead of time because camping requires a permit. If you don’t want to hike, opt for a boat, kayak, or helicopter tour to see the sights without the effort. The NaPali Coast will not disappoint, regardless of how you get there.

Accommodation in Kauai

#5 Waimea Canyon

waimea canyon

Waimea Canyon is yet another of Kauai’s natural wonders. It is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and it is 10 miles long and 3,500 feet deep. Waimea means “red waters,” and the Waimea River, which flows through the canyon, has an unusual red hue. There are three different lookout points on the ride up, as well as numerous hiking trails. Visitors consistently describe this experience as “breathtaking,” which appears to be an understatement.

#6 Kaanapali Beach

kaanapali beach

Maui’s Kaanapali Beach frequently appears on “Best Beach” lists, and it’s easy to see why. This 3-mile stretch of soft white sand is lined with luxury hotels and resorts, as well as outstanding restaurants and shops. Swim or simply stroll along the shore to enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Go snorkeling at the famous Black Rock—a large variety of colorful fish and Hawaiian sea turtles can be found here. If you’d rather just relax and lounge, it’s also an excellent choice.

#7 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

hawaii volcanoes national park

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on Hawaii’s Big Island. Mount Kilauea, the world’s most continuously active volcano, is located here, allowing you to walk on land younger than you! If that isn’t enough, you can also visit Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano. It’s best to plan your visit for more than one day, as the park includes several educational stops, including the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, the Volcano Art Center, and the Puna-Ka’u Historic Archeological District. There are also several hiking trails that offer the best views of the park, including the Kilauea Iki Trail, Thurston Lava Tube, and Devastation Trail. You’ll want to leave your imprint on this newly formed, magnificent terrain!

#8 Diamond Head

diamond head

Diamond Head, one of Honolulu’s volcanic cones, may be the world’s most recognized volcanic crater—shaped it’s like a tuna’s dorsal fin. The trail to the summit was built as part of a military defense system in 1908. Today, visitors can climb to the top and enjoy what is likely Oahu’s most popular hike. The trail from the trailhead to the summit is about 0.8 mile one way, but it can be quite steep in places and has many stairs. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes. The ascent is well worth it because the summit offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the island.

#9 Waianapanapa State Park

waianapanapa state park

Waianapanana State Park is a must-see attraction on Maui and the Road to Hana. Its exotic black sand beach made of volcanic sediment may be its crowning glory. This jet black sand, combined with the lush green jungle and azure Pacific waters, creates a breathtaking sight that should not be missed. However, the park is more than just a quick photo stop on the Road to Hana. Along the hiking trail, explore the sea cave, lava tubes, and even archaeological relics. It’s a stop that the whole family will enjoy.

#10 Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

hawaii tropical botanical garden

The lush and beautiful Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and nature preserve are located on the Big Island. There are over 2,000 plant species here, including heliconia, orchids, palms, and many others. The garden has a number of nature trails that take you through this tropical paradise, where you can enjoy waterfalls, streams, and breathtaking views of Onomea Bay. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the many tropical birds that live here. Dan J. Lutkenhouse, a businessman, gave this masterful garden as a gift to preserve the beauty and seclusion of the area. We believe you’ll be glad you went to such a magical place.

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