To continue our series on Hawaii landmarks, we would love to share with you our favorites! We picked a few from each island, so here is a look at our favorite Hawaii landmarks. Enjoy!
Our Favorite Hawaii Landmarks on Oahu
Pearl Harbor is an amazing place. The aura surrounding the area from the tragic attacks, the solemn feeling you get from peering into the waters, and the way history comes alive when exploring the museums makes for an unforgettable experience. It was too hard to choose just one as a favorite, so we picked two!
The USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri battleship are our favorite places to see at Pearl Harbor. Possibly the most recognizable of all Hawaii landmarks, the USS Arizona Memorial is a very special place which evokes strong feelings when you visit.
The sense of pride you get when stepping aboard the USS Missouri is one in a million. The mighty guns, the surrender deck, and the legacy of her service in three wars is only matched by how much fun it is to explore her decks. A visit to Pearl Harbor is a great way for the whole family to have fun learning about one of the most significant days in American history.
The North Shore of Oahu is the birthplace of big wave surfing. It is also home to many beautiful creatures, such as the Green Sea Turtle. These reasons are why Waimea Bay and Laniakea are our favorite North Shore Beaches.
Waimea Bay has personalities as different as summer and winter. Wave watchers flock to see the giant swells in the winter months as they decimate the reefs and shore. In the summer, there are no waves on the North Shore. You can moor a sailboat in the middle of the bay’s tranquil and pristine waters, and not have to worry about the boat rocking. These “split personalities” of Waimea Bay, ferocious in the winter and friendly in the summer, are why we love it so much!
Laniakea, also known as Lani’s or “Turtle Beach”, is a favorite resting spot for the Green Sea Turtle. It is quite common to see a turtle soaking up the sun while taking a nap on the beach. On occasion, you can see a Hawaiian Monk Seal resting on the beach as well. This beach is one of our favorite Hawaii landmarks because it’s their favorite!
Our Favorite Big Island Landmarks
Mount Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano. Along with the excitement and awe of seeing the magic of Mother Nature in action, the geologic wonders like the volcanic steam vents and Thurston lava tube are a new way of connecting with nature. These amazing natural sites are accompanied by the Jaggar Museum and Observatory which overlook the Kilauea Caldera. All of these Hawaii landmarks can be seen from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo is possibly the most tranquil escape in all the islands. Beautiful landscapes, footbridges looking over koi ponds, and rustic pagodas in this Japanese garden bring you closer to serenity. These spectacular grounds were dedicated to Hawaii’s last monarch, Queen Lilioukalani and they are truly fit for a queen.
Our Favorite Hawaii Landmarks on Maui
The island of Maui is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Lush valleys filled with tropical rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls pouring into shimmering ponds, azure waters meeting white sandy beaches all pepper Hawaii’s Valley Isle. These places are all beautiful but our favorite Hawaii landmark on Maui has to be the black sand beach at Waianapanapa.
Tucked alongside the Hana Highway, Waianapanapa is a great place to stop and escape the hot Hawaiian sun. The black sand bottom gives the water the richest aquamarine color making it one of the most idyllic and inviting beaches in all of Hawaii.
Our other favorite Hawaii landmark on Maui is Wailua Falls. Weaving its way down through the slopes of Mount Haleakala, the Wailua River makes a 200 foot drop into a tropical pond while the mist infuses with the air with a fresh aquatic essence. Wailua Falls is also located along the Hana Highway, making the winding road a hotspot for Hawaii landmarks.
Our Favorite Kauai Landmark
Waimea Canyon on Kauai’s southwest slopes is one of the most unique natural wonders these beautiful islands has to offer. Over 13 miles wide and up to 3,600 deep in some spots, this canyon was carved out by the Waimea River which is fed by Mount Waialeale, the wettest spot on earth.
Dubbed as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” the Waimea Canyon is one of the most picturesque spots on Kauai. A little known thing about the Waimea region on Kauai is the deer population. The fertile land and dense vegetation combined with minimal human development make the perfect habitat for these shy creatures.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our favorite places as much as we love thinking about them! Visit our free travel guide to learn more about all the amazing Hawaii landmarks you can see on vacation.