Must See Attractions and Things To Do In Hawaii

When making a list of the must see attractions in Hawaii, it is important to first point out that there are 6 main islands to visit. Here is the list of the islands; Oahu, Maui, Hawaii island, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai. Not everyone who visits Hawaii will visit all of those islands on their visit. However this list does include the must see attractions for the entire state including locations from most of those islands.

Must See Attractions and Things To Do In Hawaii

Nā Pali Coast – For the adventurous souls wanting to rough it in Hawaiian wilderness, many seek out the secluded splendor of the Nā Pali Coast State Park. Translating to “high cliffs” in Hawaiian this reflects the high cliffs that run along the shore which reach over 4,000 feet above sea level.

This 6,175 acre park is located on Kaua`i’s North Shore and stretches from Ke`e Beach all the way to Polihale State Park.  The Nā Pali Coast State Park is inaccessible by vehicles and can only be reached by hiking, helicopter drop-off, kayaking, or paddling boarding in.

There are some some snorkel & boat tours that take you to the Napali Coast.

Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast

Mauna Kea – Sitting at over 13,796 feet above sea level, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the Pacific Rim and one of the most sacred sites for ancient and modern Hawaiians. Its full name is Mauna a Wākea which translates to “white mountain”.

Mauna Kea is a volcano that was created around 1 million years ago while the last eruption took place around 4,600 years ago. In ancient times, there was a kapu (law) that only high ranking tribal chiefs were allowed to visit the peak.

CHECK OUT: Big Island Tours

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea as seen from Waikoloa.

Haleakala – The allure of Haleakalā National Park on Maui is not limited to the natural beauty it has to offer. The air bubbles with a sacred atmosphere and offering a sense of spiritual rejuvenation to the over 1 million people who visit this location annually. The sprawling 33,265 acre park is roughly 19,000 acres of wilderness teeming with rare native plants and animals throughout.

CHECK OUT: Maui Tours

Haleakala Crater - Image Credit: Wikipedia.

Haleakala Crater – Image Credit: Wikipedia.

Kailua Beaches – On the island of Oahu, there are many beaches, but the top beaches in the whole state and on the entire island are in Kailua. Mainly, Kailua beach park, Waimanalo and Lanikai. Located on the windward side of the island, these iconic beaches are world renowned for crystal clear turquoise water and miles of soft white sand.

You can do several fun activities in Kailua, and many of these include pickup and drop of from Waikiki, like:

Kayak to Flat Island or Mokulua

Stand Up Paddling SUP Lessons

Snorkel Beach Experience

 

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach

Hanauma Bay – Over 3,000 visitors a day visit Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu for their opportunity to swim in its warm, protected warms and snorkel with over 400 species of fish and various species of coral and other marine life.

Historically, this was a recreation area for Hawaiian nobility such as King Kamehameha the Great and his wife Queen Ka`ahumanu who enjoyed fishing here as well as entertaining guests and hosting games.

 

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay

North Shore During Winter – The north shore of Hawaii during the winter months of December to March is world renowned for surfing in particular the Oahu north shore. Iconic Bonzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach are first to come to mind. However Pe’ahi also known as Jaws on Maui and Kauai’s north shore near Tunnels beach are also well known for large swells.

CHECK OUT: Oahu North Shore Tours

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Waimea Canyon – Waimea Canyon is a popular attraction located on the far western side of Kauai in the Waimea Canyon State Park. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is known for its colorful red soil, depth, and spectacular views.

The canyon is free to visit with plenty of parking and public facilities. There is an accessible path that leads to the scenic lookout. Camping, off-roading, and rock climbing are currently forbidden.

CHECK OUT: Kauai Tours

Waimea Canyon.

Waimea Canyon.

Hamakua Coast – The Hamakua Coast is located on the northeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Known for it’s green rolling hills and fertile soil for farming, this coast offers steep cliffs and rugged coastal highway covered in jungle. As Mauna Kea slopes east the climate goes from alpine, to rainforest, all the way to tropical shoreline.

CHECK OUT: Big Island Tours

Onomea bay trail

Onomea bay stream.

Kealakekua Bay –  Home to Captain Cook monument, is a deep water bay, known for it’s snorkeling and dolphin encounters. Considered by many to be some of the best snorkeling in the world.

Kealakekua Bay is located on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona. On the morning of January 17, 1779 Captain James Cook and his crews on the Resolution and Discovery sighted Kealakekua Bay.

CHECK OUT: Big Island Tours

Kealakekua Bay

Kealekakua Bay

Volcano National Park – Established in 1916, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park,  is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawaiʻi on the Big island of Hawaiʻi.

Home to two active volcanoes, Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s most massive subaerial volcano this park is worth a visit.

CHECK OUT: Big Island Tours

Volcano National Park

Road to Hana – One of the loveliest drives in the world, the Road to Hana is a all day experience best begun early in the morning and returning before dark. It is 52 miles of narrow roads one lane bridges and challenging curves.

It also is an exceptional display of canopied rainforests, galleries of waterfalls, and scenic coastal views. Since there is only one very expensive gas station and no eateries along most of the ride, a full tank of gas and a picnic lunch is highly recommended.

CHECK OUT: Maui Tours

Road to Hana

Road to Hana

Waikiki Beach – Located on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. In the Hawaiian language, the word Waikiki literally means sprouting spring. Freshwater used to flow down into the lowlands from the mountains providing an abundance of drinking water for the inhabitants.

Today, Waikiki is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of the world. With it’s white sand beach and gorgeous aqua marine waters, the majority of the hotels in Oahu are located in this neighborhood in the heart of Honolulu.

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Waterfalls – Waterfalls are abundant in Hawaii. The Big Island features, Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls along with many waterfalls along the Hamakua Coast all the way to Waipio Valley. Maui has waterfalls all along the road to Hana, Kauai has Wailua Falls, Jurassic Park falls and many waterfalls on Mt. Waialeale, the second rainiest place on earth. Oahu has Manoa falls and several falls on the north shore and along ridge lines.

Akaka Falls.

Akaka Falls.

Helicopter Tours – Take to the sky and fly above Hawaii on a thrilling and scenic Hawaii Air Tour. Airplane and Helicopter Tours take you above the clouds and over historic landmarks, waterfalls and volcanic landscapes, and so much more. Enjoy brilliant island panoramas, and endless scenic views from a unique birds-eye point of view.

 

Paradise Helicopters

Paradise Helicopters

Molokai Sea Cliffs – The Hawaiian Island of Molokai is home to the tallest sea cliffs in the world? These magnificent cliffs tower between 3,600 and 3,900 feet above the ocean. Most people can view this incredible coastline by booking an inter island flight or taking a helicopter ride.

Molokai Sea Cliffs - Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Molokai Sea Cliffs – Credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Valley of the Kings – Located on the northern Hamakua Coast, the sacred valleys begin with Waipio and end with Pololu Valley at the end. This area was the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I, and an important center for political and religious life in Hawaii.

Pololu Valley

Looking down into the Pololu Valley from the trail.

Luaus – Luaus are Hawaiian feasts held to celebrate life’s milestones. Today, locals throw luaus with their family and friends to celebrate baby’s first birthdays, graduations, weddings, and the arrival of special guests. When visiting Hawai`i, many tourist can attend luaus to experience to sights, sounds, and food of Hawai`i.

 

Luau

Things to do in Hawaii

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