20 Places To Visit in Hawaii

The mere mention of “Hawaii” instantly triggers a cascade of dreamy images in your mind. You can almost feel the warmth of the sunsets casting a golden glow over the palm-fringed Pacific, while your taste buds tingle in anticipation of devouring a luscious slice of freshly picked papaya. The thought of sinking your toes into the powdery white sands makes you smile, and the rhythmic melodies of the traditional hula dance start swaying your hips. Hawaii is a paradise on Earth offering ideal escapes for outdoor aficionados, surfers, Maui snorkeling tours, whale watchers and honeymooners. With so many incredible places to explore in Hawaii, deciding where to go can be a challenge. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our top 20 selections, presented in no particular order, showcasing the best that this magnificent destination has to offer.

1. Waimea Canyon

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is a breathtaking natural wonder on the island of Kauai. With its vibrant hues of red, green, and orange, the canyon offers awe-inspiring panoramic views and numerous hiking trails for adventurers to explore. It’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts, showcasing the remarkable beauty of Hawaii’s landscapes.

2. Napali Coast

The Napali Coast on the northwest shore of Kauai is a mesmerizing stretch of coastline renowned for its rugged beauty. Towering emerald cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and pristine turquoise waters create a picturesque scene that seems straight out of a postcard. The area is best explored by boat or hiking the challenging Kalalau Trail, offering unforgettable views and a sense of adventure. Whether you choose to admire it from the water or trek along the cliffs, the Napali Coast is a true gem of Hawaii’s natural wonders.

3. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring power of nature at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the Big Island. Home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, this unique park offers a glimpse into the dynamic geological processes that shape the Hawaiian Islands. Explore the otherworldly landscapes, walk through ancient lava tubes, witness volcanic activity, and marvel at the glowing lava flows after sunset. With its diverse ecosystems, rich cultural significance, and captivating volcanic phenomena, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper understanding of the Earth’s forces at work.

4. Haleakala National Park

Situated on the island of Maui, Haleakala National Park is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and cultural significance. The park is home to the towering Haleakala volcano, whose summit offers breathtaking panoramic views and the opportunity to witness stunning sunrises above the clouds. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the diverse landscapes, from lush rainforests to volcanic cinder cones. Haleakala is also renowned for its unique flora and fauna, including the endemic silversword plant. Whether you’re embarking on a scenic drive, hiking along picturesque trails, or immersing yourself in the cultural heritage of the area, Haleakala National Park is a true paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

5. Polynesian Cultural Center

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and traditions of Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the island of Oahu. This captivating cultural attraction showcases the diverse Polynesian cultures through interactive exhibits, authentic performances, and immersive experiences. Explore recreated villages representing different Polynesian islands, engage in traditional arts and crafts, and savor delicious island cuisine. Be enthralled by the vibrant music and dance performances, including the renowned evening luau and “Ha: Breath of Life” show. The Polynesian Cultural Center offers a unique opportunity to learn, appreciate, and celebrate the vibrant cultures of the Pacific, making it a must-visit destination for a truly enriching experience in Hawaii.

6. Honolulu

Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination that seamlessly blends urban energy with natural beauty. With its stunning beaches, bustling city life, and rich cultural heritage, Honolulu offers something for everyone. Take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Waikiki Beach, where the soft sands and clear waters beckon you to relax and soak up the sun. Explore the historic sites of Pearl Harbor, including the USS Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri. Indulge in world-class shopping and dining experiences in the lively neighborhood of downtown Honolulu. Don’t miss the chance to visit the renowned Honolulu Museum of Art, showcasing a diverse collection of Asian, European, and Pacific artworks. With its mix of natural wonders and urban delights, Honolulu is an enchanting destination that captures the essence of Hawaii’s unique charm.

7. Waikiki

Waikiki, located in Honolulu on Oahu, is a renowned beach destination known for its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant atmosphere. With luxurious resorts, boutique shops, and excellent dining options, Waikiki offers a perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment. Explore the lively Kalakaua Avenue, indulge in water activities, and immerse yourself in the rich Hawaiian culture. Waikiki is a must-visit paradise where beachside bliss meets urban excitement.

8. Hanalei Bay

Nestled on the north shore of Kauai, Hanalei Bay is a picturesque paradise that captivates visitors with its natural beauty. The crescent-shaped bay is framed by lush green mountains, swaying palm trees, and golden sands, creating a postcard-perfect setting. The calm waters of Hanalei Bay are ideal for swimming, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, while the waves attract surfers from around the world. Stroll along Hanalei Pier, browse the charming shops and eateries in the nearby town, and immerse yourself in the laid-back Hawaiian vibe. Hanalei Bay’s breathtaking scenery and relaxed atmosphere make it a must-see destination for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.

9. Pearl Harbor Memorial

The Pearl Harbor Memorial, located on the island of Oahu, is a significant historical site that pays tribute to the events of December 7, 1941. It commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States’ entry into World War II. Visitors can explore the memorial and museum, which includes the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, and Battleship Missouri Memorial. Gain insights into the bravery and sacrifices of those involved and learn about the impact of this pivotal moment in history. The Pearl Harbor Memorial serves as a solemn reminder of the past and honors the memory of those who lost their lives.

10. Molokini Crater

Situated off the coast of Maui, Molokini Crater is a unique and remarkable natural formation that attracts snorkelers and divers from around the world. This crescent-shaped volcanic crater is partially submerged and forms a protected marine sanctuary. The crystal-clear waters surrounding Molokini offer excellent visibility, allowing visitors to witness an abundance of colorful marine life, including vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and even the occasional Hawaiian green sea turtle. Snorkeling or diving at Molokini is a truly unforgettable experience, immersing you in an underwater wonderland. With its pristine beauty and ecological significance, Molokini Crater is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and ocean lovers.

11. Wailua Falls

Located on the island of Kauai, Wailua Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that showcases the natural splendor of Hawaii. Cascading down a lush green cliffside into a pool below, Wailua Falls is a sight to behold. The dramatic beauty of the falls has made it a popular attraction for visitors and a picturesque backdrop for photography. You can view the falls from a lookout point or venture closer by hiking to the bottom for a refreshing dip in the pool. Wailua Falls is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking the tranquility and beauty of Hawaii’s landscapes.

12. Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is an iconic and scenic drive on the island of Maui. This winding road stretches along Maui’s northeastern coastline, taking you through lush rainforests, past cascading waterfalls, and offering breathtaking ocean views. Along the journey, you’ll encounter picturesque bridges, hidden beaches, and charming roadside stands selling local treats. The road is dotted with various stops and attractions, including the Garden of Eden, Waianapanapa State Park with its black sand beach, and the enchanting Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o. The Road to Hana is a must-do adventure for those seeking to immerse themselves in Maui’s natural beauty and experience the island’s captivating landscapes.

13. Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail is a legendary hiking trail on the Napali Coast of Kauai. Stretching approximately 11 miles along the rugged coastline, this challenging and rewarding trail offers breathtaking views of towering cliffs, lush valleys, and pristine beaches. Hikers can explore the stunning landscapes of the Napali Coast, with opportunities for camping and swimming in secluded coves. The Kalalau Trail is a bucket-list adventure for avid hikers and nature enthusiasts, providing an unforgettable journey through some of Hawaii’s most awe-inspiring scenery.

14. Lahaina

Lahaina is a historic town on the island of Maui, known for its charming atmosphere and rich cultural heritage. Stroll along Front Street, lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants housed in restored buildings. Explore the Lahaina Historic Trail, which highlights significant landmarks and sites, such as the iconic Banyan Tree and the Lahaina Courthouse. Lahaina also offers beautiful beaches, oceanfront dining, and opportunities for whale watching and snorkeling. Immerse yourself in the laid-back ambiance and captivating history of Lahaina, making it a must-visit destination on Maui.

15. Akaka Falls

Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Akaka Falls is a magnificent waterfall that plunges 442 feet into a lush gorge. A short and well-maintained trail takes visitors through a tropical rainforest, showcasing native plants and leading to viewpoints where they can admire the awe-inspiring Akaka Falls. The sight and sound of the cascading water surrounded by verdant greenery create a truly enchanting experience. Akaka Falls is a must-see natural wonder, offering a glimpse into the island’s stunning landscapes and natural beauty.

16. Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a world-renowned nature preserve and marine sanctuary located on the southeast coast of Oahu. The bay boasts a protected coral reef teeming with vibrant marine life, making it a paradise for snorkelers and nature lovers. Visitors can marvel at the colorful fish, coral formations, and even spot sea turtles while exploring the clear turquoise waters. Hanauma Bay’s stunning underwater world and its commitment to conservation and education make it a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable snorkeling experience on Oahu.

17. Molokai

Molokai is an island in Hawaii known for its unspoiled natural beauty and authentic Hawaiian culture. With its secluded beaches, rugged coastline, and stunning cliffs, Molokai offers a serene and untouched paradise. Visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s rich history and traditions, explore the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula, and witness the towering sea cliffs along the northern shore. Molokai’s untouched landscapes and tranquil atmosphere make it a hidden gem worth exploring for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path Hawaiian experience.

18. Lanai Island

Lanai Island, also known as the “Pineapple Island,” is a peaceful and secluded paradise located off the coast of Maui. With its pristine beaches, rugged landscapes, and luxury resorts, Lanai offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds. Visitors can indulge in outdoor activities like snorkeling, hiking, and golfing, or simply relax and soak in the island’s serenity. With limited development and a laid-back atmosphere, Lanai Island is a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation.

19. Maui Ocean Center

The Maui Ocean Center is a world-class aquarium located in Ma’alaea on the island of Maui. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the marine life and ecosystems of Hawaii and the Pacific. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, walk through a tunnel surrounded by sharks and rays, and learn about the conservation efforts to protect Hawaii’s marine resources. The Maui Ocean Center provides an educational and immersive experience, perfect for bothchildren and adults alike, and is a great way to deepen your understanding of Hawaii’s unique marine environment.

20. Oahu Sea Life Park

Situated on Oahu’s eastern shore, the Oahu Sea Life Park is a family-friendly attraction that offers a close-up encounter with marine animals. Visitors can enjoy interactive experiences like swimming with dolphins, watching thrilling sea lion shows, and getting up close to Hawaiian reef fish in the touch pool. The park also showcases educational presentations on marine conservation and hosts various marine animal exhibits. With its entertaining and educational offerings, the Oahu Sea Life Park provides a fun-filled day for animal lovers and those seeking an exciting aquatic adventure.

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