If one thing is known about the Hawaii holiday, it is that there is no shortage of things to do and see. For this reason, planning a trip to Aloha State can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to choosing which island to visit, which activities to spend your time (and money) on, and places to see. Whether you’re headed to bring back busy Oahu, adventurous Big Island, lush Maui, or Kauai, read on to find out the 20 best not-to-miss things to do in Hawaii. Here are the 10 Best Things to Do in Hawaii.
1. Go Hiking Along a Volcanic Crater
It is no secret that hiking is one of Hawaii’s favorite activities. There are almost too many hiking trails to choose from, thanks to the warm weather of the rainforest and the rainforests, beaches, and volcanic landscapes on the acres. If you can’t decide which hikes to invest in, start with some of the most popular ones, such as Diamond Head on Oahu Island or the Kapalua Coastal Trail on Maui. These are bound to get your blood pumping and provide some incredible ideas along the way.
2. Snorkel in the Clear Hawaiian Water
Hawaii has some of the best snorkeling in the world, hands down. The islands have crystal clear waters with exotic tropical fish, succulent coral, and all kinds of sea creatures. New to snorkeling? Take a dedicated trip with professionals, or check out a life-saving place like Hanuma Bay. Not in a wet mood? Check out the Waikiki Aquarium or Maui Ocean Center to see Hawaii’s marine life.
3. Lounge of One of the State’s Most Beautiful Beaches
So what do most travelers in Hawaii do on vacation? Sunbathe at one of its incredible beaches, of course. Explore our guide to the best beaches on Oahu, Kauai, Big Island, and Maui to get a feel for Hawaii’s spellbinding beaches.
4. Eat Local Hawaiian Food
Traveller’s Golden Rule: Eat Like Local People! Consuming local food is the best way to get a real experience for the islands, especially considering Hawaii’s rich culinary and cultural diversity. Steyer’s clear by researching the best restaurants on Oahu, the best restaurants on Maui, the best cheap food in Hawaii, and the best restaurants to try on Kauai.
5. Tour Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is not the most famous attraction Hawaii has to offer – it is also one of the most important. Pearl Harbor, located in Oahu just outside Honolulu, is much more than the legendary USS Arizona Memorial. There are also several museums, a fully functional warship, and a World War II submarine. With all this historical information, a guided tour is the best way to go about it. Oahu-based Enoa Tours has the most exceptional guides on the island, but some companies will fly you to Pearl Harbor from other islands along with a day tour.
6. Experience an Authentic Hawaiian Luau
There are not many tourists who travel to Hawaii without having to devote at least one night to an authentic Hawaii Lu. If you are on Oahu, get tickets for Old Lahaina Luau on Maui, Smith Family Garden Luau on Kauai, and the entertaining Head of Luo on Sheraton Keauhou Bay on the Big Island.
7. Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Kilauea and Mauna Loa, the two most active volcanoes on Earth, lie within the boundaries of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. If you are on the big island of Hawaii, you want to pay for this unique and exciting attraction. Hike through dry lava fields, watch the awesome glow of an active volcanic crater, or even spend the night inside the park at a campsite or hotel accommodation. Be sure to check the website before driving the bus, as unexpected lava flows can sometimes shut down entire sections of the park.
8. Watch the Sunset on Mauna Kea
Not only is Mauna Kea an important place in Hawaii’s culture, history, and heritage, it is also a magical place to visit. It is the highest mountain in the state at an altitude of 13,796 feet above sea level and it is the highest mountain in the world when measured from sea level to the summit. While four-wheel-capable vehicles (and a stronger disposition) are required to make for the Observatory at the summit, more casual travelers typically travel to the visitor center only 9,200 feet above sea level. Some nights, the local astronomy center puts telescopes outside the center for stargazing.
9. Take in the View at Waimea Canyon
The “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” is not to be missed on Kauai’s journey. 10 miles long and more than 3,500 feet deep, this valley has a range of colors from pink to brown to green, campsites, hiking trails, and waterfalls. Stop by to see one of the sights of Waimea Canyon State Park, or spend a full day exploring the rugged terrain below. Just don’t forget to bring your camera.
10. Spend Some Time at Na Pali Coast National Park
Ten miles from Waimea Canyon, another breathtaking wonder of Kai can be found at Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park. Where Waimea is known for its rocky and desert-like landscape, Na Pali is home to 4,000-foot sea cliffs, hidden sea caves, verandas, and pristine beaches. For experienced hikers, check out the infamous 11-mile Kalalau Trail, although more novice hikers often choose to hiker a small section of the trail onto Hanakapia Beach. Or, take a helicopter trip or a boat trip to experience the landscape from a completely different perspective.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Hawaii
Q. Why is Hawaii so dangerous?
A – Since Hawaii is located in the middle of a vast ocean and the ocean floor drops quickly, the waves and currents can become very large and powerful. Some beaches are dangerous throughout the year while others are dangerous at certain times of the year. It is always best to swim on beaches where there are lifeguards.
Q. What is the best time of year to go to Hawaii?
A – The best time to visit Hawaii is between March and September. This is when the islands have the highest temperatures and the least rainfall.
Q. Is Hawaii better than Florida?
A – Hawaii wins this round. It has better beaches (clear water, warm water in winter, barely cool in summer, maybe a little warm or even with South Florida the rest of the year, some beaches have nice waves and others calm there is water). There are palms everywhere in Hawaii.
Q. Is it expensive to travel by air?
A – Hawaii is one of the most expensive regions in the United States, and the cost of food and living is remarkably high compared to other states. In Maui, travelers can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $15 for breakfast, anywhere from $15 to $30 for lunch, and significantly more for dinner.
Q. How many days are enough in Hawaii?
A – While many vacations are five to seven days long, we recommend staying for at least 10 days to enjoy your Hawaii vacation. It is difficult to adjust to the time change at first and it takes about 3 days to get used to it completely. Therefore, it is important to allow a few days to recover from jet lag.
Q. Where should I go to Hawaii for the first time?
A – Typically, I suggest first-timers start with a trip to Oahu. This is the most popular Hawaiian island, as well as the cheapest. Plus, there are plenty of attractions, activities, fine dining, and shopping. That’s why I think this is the best island to visit in Hawaii for the first time.