Hawaii is a chain of volcanic islands located in the central Pacific Ocean and is part of the United States. It is the 50th state of the United States and is the only state located in the tropics. The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Hawaii (also known as the Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau, and Kahoolawe.
Hawaii has a rich cultural heritage, blending the traditions of its native Hawaiian people with those of its many immigrant groups, including Asian, European, and American. This blending of cultures has resulted in a unique and vibrant culture that is evident in everything from the food to the music and dance of the islands.
Hawaii is also known for its stunning natural beauty, with lush tropical forests, sparkling oceans, and stunning beaches. There are countless opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, surfing, snorkeling, and whale watching. The state is also home to several national parks and monuments, including the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
Hawaii is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. In addition to its natural beauty and cultural heritage, Hawaii is also known for its warm and sunny climate, making it a popular destination for sun-seekers. The state is also known for its luxurious resorts and spas, as well as its vibrant nightlife, offering visitors a range of options for relaxation and entertainment.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, this tropical paradise should definitely be on your bucket list.
Here are some of the must-do activities and sights to add to your Hawaii itinerary.
- Drive The Road To Hana
- Head To The Na Pali Coast
- Swim With Dolphins In The Wild
- Visit Waimea Canyon
- Enjoy Shave Ice At Ululani’s
- Get A Glimpse Of Lava
- Watch A Hula Competition
- Conquer The Stairway To Heaven
- Ride A Mule On The Kalaupapa Trail
- Spend Time On Niihau, The “Forbidden Island”
- Catch The Sunrise At Haleakala
- Visit A Black Sand Beach
- Visit A Green Sand Beach
- Visit A Red Sand Beach
- Wander Through A Lava Tube
- Spot Some Turtles
- Take Part In A Luau
- Stare At The Jaw-dropping Wailua Falls
- Watch A Surf Competition At Pipeline
- See Snow In Hawaii On Mauna Kea
1. Drive The Road To Hana
The Road to Hana is a scenic drive that takes you through lush rainforests, past cascading waterfalls, and along the coast of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The drive itself is an adventure, with over 600 hairpin turns and 54 bridges, so make sure to bring a map and plenty of snacks for the journey.
2. Head To The Na Pali Coast
The Na Pali Coast is a breathtaking 17-mile stretch of cliffs, valleys, and beaches on the island of Kauai. There are several ways to experience the Na Pali Coast, including hiking the Kalalau Trail, taking a helicopter tour, or going on a sea kayaking adventure.
3. Swim With Dolphins In The Wild
Hawaii is home to several different species of dolphins, and swimming with these friendly creatures is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Book a boat tour, and you may be lucky enough to see spinner dolphins leaping out of the water, or bottle-nosed dolphins playing in the waves.
4. Visit Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a must-see sight on the island of Kauai. This 10-mile long, 3,000-foot deep canyon offers breathtaking views of the lush, green valleys and jagged cliffs below.
5. Enjoy Shave Ice At Ululani’s
Shave ice is a traditional Hawaiian treat, and Ululani’s is one of the best places to try it. With a variety of flavors and toppings, including coconut syrup and li hing mui powder, it’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot day.
6. Get A Glimpse Of Lava
Hawaii’s active volcanoes are a sight to behold, and there are several ways to experience the fiery power of these natural wonders. Take a helicopter tour over the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano, or visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the glowing red lava flows at night.
7. Watch A Hula Competition
Hula is a traditional Hawaiian dance that tells a story through movement and gestures. Attend a hula competition to see the best hula dancers in action, and learn more about this important part of Hawaiian culture.
8. Conquer The Stairway To Heaven
The Stairway to Heaven is a challenging hike on the island of Oahu that takes you up a steep staircase to the top of a mountain. The views from the top are breathtaking, but the hike itself is not for the faint of heart.
9. Ride A Mule On The Kalaupapa Trail
The Kalaupapa Trail is a scenic path on the island of Molokai that takes you down a steep cliff to the Kalaupapa Peninsula. Here, you can take a mule ride, visit the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, and learn about the history of the Hansen’s disease settlement.
10. Spend Time On Niihau, The “Forbidden Island”
Niihau is a remote island off the coast of Kauai that is only accessible with a special permit. Visitors are allowed to participate in cultural activities and explore the island’s natural beauty, but it’s a unique and unforgettable experience.
11. Catch The Sunrise At Haleakala
Haleakala is a 10,023-foot tall dormant volcano on the island of Maui, and catching the sunrise from the summit is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The view of the sun rising over the clouds and illuminating the landscape is truly magical.
12. Visit A Black Sand Beach
Hawaii is home to several stunning black sand beaches, including Punaluu Beach on the Big Island and Kehena Beach on the east coast of the island of Hawaii. The black sand, created by volcanic activity, provides a dramatic contrast to the bright blue waters of the Pacific.
13. Visit A Green Sand Beach
Papakolea Beach on the Big Island is one of only four green sand beaches in the world. The green sand is formed from a mineral called olivine, which is found in volcanic rocks. A hike is required to reach the beach, but the journey is well worth it.
14. Visit A Red Sand Beach
Kaihalulu Beach on the island of Maui is a hidden gem, known for its red sand and stunningly clear waters. The red sand is created from volcanic cinders, and the beach is only accessible by a steep hike.
15. Wander Through A Lava Tube
The Big Island is home to several lava tubes, formed when lava flows underground and cools, leaving behind a tube-like structure. Take a guided tour to explore the dark, mysterious tubes and learn about the volcanic activity that formed them.
16. Spot Some Turtles
Hawaii is home to several species of sea turtles, including the green sea turtle and the hawksbill turtle. Snorkel or take a boat tour to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
17. Take Part In A Luau
A luau is a traditional Hawaiian celebration featuring food, music, dance, and storytelling. Attend a luau to experience this vibrant cultural tradition and sample traditional Hawaiian dishes like kalua pig and poi.
18. Stare At The Jaw-dropping Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls on the island of Kauai is a stunning, 80-foot tall waterfall that cascades into a turquoise pool below. Take a hike to reach the falls and take in the beauty of this natural wonder.
19. Watch A Surf Competition At Pipeline
The North Shore of Oahu is a surfer’s paradise, and the Pipeline is one of the most famous surf spots in the world. Watch a surf competition to see some of the best surfers in action, or try your hand at surfing yourself.
20. See Snow In Hawaii On Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea, a 13,796-foot tall mountain on the Big Island, is not only one of the tallest mountains in the world, but also one of the few places in Hawaii where you can see snow. Take a tour to the summit to see the snow-capped peaks and admire the stunning views of the island below.
With so much to see and do in Hawaii, it’s easy to see why this tropical paradise is on many people’s bucket lists. From hiking and snorkeling to attending a luau and watching a surf competition, there’s something for everyone in Hawaii. Start planning your trip today and add these must-do activities to your Hawaii bucket list.
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