Must See Hawaii: Things to Do in Hawaii

This could be a very, very long list of must see Hawaii attractions. After all, there are so many things to do in Hawaii on your trip! So we’ll make this easier on your—here’s our top 5 things to do in Hawaii, by island!

Oahu: Things to Do

You simply cannot pass on Hanauma Bay, Oahu’s most-visited snorkeling beach that is home to thousands of Hawaiian marine life. You’ll find dozens of species of colorful fish, coral reefs, and even green sea turtles here! Diamond Head Crater is such an easy hike for such a gorgeous view of Waikiki. There is a small entrance fee to enter the park, but it’s well worth it! Just be sure to come in the morning or afternoon to avoid the noonday heat.
USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It’s Oahu’s most popular attraction (aside from the Polynesian Cultural Center) and is the must-visit attraction when you’re on Oahu. The beautiful North Shore beaches and towns—like Sunset Beach and Laniakea Beach, plus Hale’iwa Town and Kahuku—are Oahu’s greatest treasure of the rural, laid-back lifestyles of Hawaii. Verdant fields, pristine beaches, breathtaking mountains, what more could you ask for? Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is a short drive from the Pali Highway, and is one of the most memorable lookout points on the island! Hold on to your hats here, it’s windy!

Maui: Things to Do

The Road to Hana (Hana Highway) is Maui’s most popular scenic drive—and one of the most talked-about highways in America. Give yourself a full day to tour the Road to Hana, you’ll undoubtedly make many, many stops along the way! Iao Valley State Monument is home to one of the most famous (and bloodiest) battles in Hawaiian history. It was here in 1790 that King Kamehameha the Great defeated the Maui army in his ongoing efforts to unite the Hawaiian Islands.
Mt. Haleakala, words cannot describe her beauty. At the summit, the landscape looks otherworldy. Along her slopes you’ll find some of Maui’s treasured gems, like the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm or Maui’s Winery (Tedeschi Winery). Boasting botanical gardens and locally-owned farms, Kula Town is home to exotic flowers, age-old ranching practices, fine wines and deorganic coffees. If you’re going on the Road to Hana, you’ll likely start at Pa’ia Town and Beach, where you’ll find a rustic landscape featuring handfuls of craft stores, surf shops, and cafes.

Kauai: Things to Do

Waimea Canyon, a sight to see. A lot of people ask how it came into existence—a massive Grand Canyon-like natural wonder in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Come here and marvel, it’s amazing!
Drive through the Tunnel of Trees on Kauai, roll down the windows and drop the sun roof! The Tunnel of Trees leads you along Highway 520 to famous Poipu Beach. What other reason than “the most photographed location on Kauai” do you need to visit the Spouting Horn Blowhole? Old Koloa Town holds great importance in the history of Hawaii: Koloa is the site of the first successful sugar cane plantation ever built in Hawaii! Believe it or not, the Menehune Fishpond (Alekoko) was built with stones carried from 25 miles away. Hawaiian legend says that Menehune (“little people”) formed an assembly line from Makaweli, passing stones one-by-one until they reached the fishpond’s construction site.

Big Island: Things to Do

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to dozens upon dozens of sites to see. You could spend an entire day (or week!) exploring the wonders of this park. Active volcanoes, underground lava tubes, tropical forests and much more. You can’t miss the Jaggar Museum, where you’ll learn about volcanoes and the history of volcanology. Thomas A. Jaggar played a monumental role in the development of the study of volcanoes right here at Jaggar Museum!

Walk through Thurston Lava Tube, an eerie tunnel where molten lava once flowed through. The damp, dark interior is a cool walk through one of Hawaii’s most amazing natural wonders.Coconut Island is a small park in Hilo Town, located on Kuhio Bay. In ancient times, Hawaiians used Coconut Island as a sacred healing ground.Beautiful Rainbow Falls captivates every visitor that comes here! Rainbow Falls is best witnessed when the sun hits the waterfall in the early morning, when the mist and sunrays blend to create marvelous imagery!

Still looking for things to do in Hawaii?

Check out the blog post, More Things to Do in Hawaii for even more tips! Check out the Hawaii Travel Guide, a collection of our favorite destinations throughout Hawaii. We’re constantly adding more attractions to the travel guide. You’ll definitely find tons more to do on your next vacation in Hawaii!

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