Top Things To Do in Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated archipelago in the entire world. This in itself brings a uniqueness to not only the geography but also the historic Hawaiian culture. If you haven’t traveled to Hawaii before, this can be a very memorable trip due to the fact that Hawaii is so distant and special in it’s own unique way. The Hawaii trip itself is roughly 5700 miles away from the West Coast of California. The Hawaiian Archipelago consists of approximentatly 137 islands. The 8 largest are the most recognizable to locals but if you’ve visited Hawaii before, you may know 4 of the most visited (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai). So… what can you expect when travelling to the Hawaiian Islands? First off, you can look forward to the geology – these islands were created by a series volcanoes (some still active) and because some islands are larger than others, you will experience variety of different terrains depending on which Hawaiian Island you visit. Next, you can expect a distinct culture. Hawaii’s historic culture is unlike anything else you will experience elsewhere worldwide. Fortunately, Hawaiians have passed this culture to future generations so you’ll still be able to experience it on your Hawaii vacation. Culture comes with history. Point being- depending on what Hawaii tour or activity you attend, you’ll be able to leave was some of Hawaii. Other things distinctive traits you can expect when visiting Hawaii have to be the unbeatable weather, the Hawaiian language, Hawaii’s beautiful beaches and overall mountain scenery, the coffee (Kona coffee from the Big Island is some of the best in the world!), the endless amount of tours, activities, excursions, and adventures, and of course the Aloha Spirit that’s still thriving today! All this is fascinating but you might be still asking yourself, “What are the best things to do in Hawaii?“. Luckily, here at Hawaiian Style Magazine we’ve done just that! Keep reading below to see our list of top things do when in Hawaii…
Top Things To Do By Island
Island of Oahu
Island of Maui
Island of Kauai
Island of Hawaii
Hawaii’s Top Things To Do
Hawaii: The Colorful Paradise State:
The Hawaii islands are a tropical paradise, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in North America. Located 2,600 miles from California, this chain of volcanic islands is often referred to as “paradise found.” The state’s name is said to have come from Queen Liliuokalani who was given the title Kekaulike o Hawaiʻi ʻAina Mamoru Kai (keeper or guardian of Hawaii).” The term Hawaiʻi is the name of a goddess.
Hawaii has 14 islands and atolls that cover an area just smaller than 103,000 square miles. There are seven inhabited islands including Oahu (the most populous), Hawaii Island, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai’s West Side Atoll, or the Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokai Island as well as Niihau and Kahoolawe. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions from deep below the earth’s surface called shield volcanoes.
There are many places in the world that claim to be paradises, but Hawaii really does live up to its name. Visitors can expect year-round sunshine and temperatures in the high seventies all day long every day of the week. This creates an impossibly perfect climate with plenty of opportunities for activities like surfing or hiking during any season. And if you want something more relaxing there’s always sunbathing or snorkeling at one of our gorgeous beaches where you’ll find some amazing tropical fish waiting just below your feet!
Hawaii has so much beauty both on land and underwater that it would take weeks, not just a day or two, to see it all. Visitors can experience the famous volcano Kilauea and other amazing geological features that are unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in America! Every island has its own personality with some of them being more laid back while others offer busier lifestyles for those who want an active adventure.
Adventurous Things to Do in Hawaii
Be sure not to miss these popular activities while exploring Big Island resorts. Hiking Mauna Kea – The tallest mountain in North America (proudly standing at a staggering 13,796 feet) can be hiked without any technical skills whatsoever. All that is required is a little bit of physical fitness and some basic hiking gear. Here below, are some adventurous things to do in Hawaii.
Kilauea Volcano – Since this volcano has been active for over 35 years, you’ll be able to see something new every day! The lava flows continue to change the land on an hourly basis. If you’re lucky, you might even catch it in eruption while visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (home of all things volcanic).
Hawaii’s Grand Canyon – The Koolau Mountains stand at 55 miles from north to south end by 15 miles wide and stretch up nearly 8000 feet high with sheer vertical cliffs that tower 1000s of feet higher still making them one of the most impressive canyons on earth. And yet they are virtually unknown by people outside of Hawaii.
Hiking to the summit of Mauna Loa – The world’s most active volcano, Kilauea is continuously spewing lava into the ocean. This makes for some incredible views from its vantage point atop Mauna Loa (taller and more remote than its sibling), where you’ll be able to witness first-hand just how much power lurks beneath a seemingly tranquil landscape.
Free Things To Do in Hawaii
Interested in taking a trip to Hawaii but not interested in paying the high cost of airfare? Then you’re in luck! There are tons of free things to do in Hawaii. Tourists can enjoy hiking, surfing, swimming with dolphins, and many other activities without spending a dime. If you want to visit one of these incredible destinations for FREE this year, check out our list below and get packing!
1 – Hike Diamond Head State Monument (Oahu)
Located on Oahu, Diamond Head State Monument is a great day hike for those looking to get their heart rate going. The trail starts off with an incline that leads up the mountain and offers views of the city below. Once you reach the summit (which includes taking in amazing panoramic views), there’s also a historic lookout tower where tourists can spend some time exploring before descending back down.
The total length of this trek is about two miles round-trip which takes about three hours to complete assuming hikers are experienced enough to handle it; otherwise, individuals should plan on four or five hours instead so they don’t experience any difficulties along the way!
2 – Surf at Waikiki Beach (Oahu)
Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of Hawaii and also happens to be free! This scenic stretch is a great place for those with surfboards looking to catch some waves. It’s best during summer months when there are consistent waves, but it can still provide quite an adventure on any day. Waikiki has beginner-level breaks so this activity should be perfect for children as well. Just remember to always keep your eyes peeled for sharks because they’re known to swim these waters!
3 – Visit Haleiwa Town (Oahu)
Haleiwa Town offers visitors an authentic taste of Hawaii that they won’t get anywhere else on this list! The town has been around since 1854 and holds lots of hidden gems such as galleries, boutiques, restaurants, shops selling surfboards, and more. Visitors can also explore the area’s rich history by touring historic sites like Haleiwa Beach Park, Palauea Sugar Mill Ruins, and the Captain Cook Monument.
4 – Visit Punaluu Black Sand Beach (Oahu)
Located on Oahu, this is a hidden gem that tourists should not skip! Punaluu has what many consider to be the best black sand in all of Hawaii so it makes sense why people would want to visit there specifically. Aside from being an incredible place for snorkeling because of its crystal clear waters, visitors will find lots of turtles here as well! Plus those who enjoy hiking won’t have any problem finding the trailhead because it starts right on the beach.
5 – Explore Waikiki’s Historic District (Oahu)
The historic district of Waikiki is a gem that tourists shouldn’t miss during their visit to Oahu! The area has lots of restaurants and boutiques as well as shops selling everything from souvenirs for family members back home to apparel items perfect for exploring other islands in Hawaii.
Visitors can also explore landmarks like Diamond Head Park which was originally an ancient Hawaiian royal cemetery or hike up Puu Kohala Heiau State Monument if they’re looking for an intense workout with breathtaking views at the top. It’s best to explore this historic district on foot because there’s a lot of ground to cover!
6 – Explore the North Shore (Oahu)
With an abundance of surf and nature activities located in or near Waimea Bay such as snorkeling adventures through hot lava tubes or watching whales during their winter migration, the North Shore is both scenic and fun to explore! The area also has lots of delicious restaurants which will make it easy for visitors with a big appetite to find something they enjoy while they’re here visiting. It might be worth mentioning that the waves at this beach are known for being some of the most powerful in all Hawaii so beware if you plan on surfing.
7 – Honor the King of Hawaii at Iolani Palace (Oahu)
Iolani Palace is a must-see attraction for tourists visiting Oahu because it’s one of only two royal palaces in North America that still exist today! Visitors can tour this historical landmark and learn all about life as royalty back when Hawaii was ruled by kings instead of queens or presidents. The palace also has an opulent interior design with beautiful artwork to admire while visitors explore every corner to uncover its history. This destination should be high on any traveler’s list during their visit to Oahu so they won’t regret not seeing it!
Unique Things to Do in Hawaii
If you’re looking for something different than your usual beach day or volcano tour, then this list of unique things to do in Hawaii is just what you need.
1. Kokee State Park
This lush rainforest preserve is home to one of the best scenic drives in Hawaii, with plenty of hiking trails and campsites. Visitors are able to see Kalalau’s lookout from Kokee which provides an amazing view across Kaua’i’s stunning Na Pali Coastline – but be prepared for a moderate four-mile roundtrip hike! Along the way, you may spot some of Hawaii’s endemic and endangered species, such as the Hawaiian honeycreeper or ‘akiapola’au.
This is a great place for visitors to experience the zip-line jungle canopy tour in Kokee State Park. It’s an exhilarating journey through the tropical rainforest that includes swinging bridges, platforms, and thrilling crossings over deep ravines. There are more than 900 feet of zipline cable so you’ll be sure to get your adrenaline fix!
2. Zip-Lining at Rainbow Falls Adventure Park
This is a great place for visitors to experience the zip line jungle canopy tour within Kauai – it’s an exhilarating adventure with scenic views, including swinging bridges, platforms and exciting crossings over deep canyons. Visitors will see more than 900 ft of zipline cables, providing plenty of thrills along the way.
Rainbow Falls Adventure Park provides visitors with the zip line jungle canopy tour in Kauai, which includes swinging bridges, platforms and thrilling crossings over deep canyons. Visitors will see more than 900 feet of zipline cable providing plenty of thrills along the way; including views of Kokee lush rainforest preserve and breathtaking Na Pali coastlines.
This is a great place for nature lovers to experience this adventure! You won’t be disappointed by these adrenaline-pumping rides through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful sights – they’re sensational! The Rainbow Falls Zip Line Experience is perfect for kids as well since it’s only 300 ft long (or less) and doesn’t last very long so younger children can easily make it.
3. Get a Massage at the Wat Thai Temple:
If you’re looking for a unique experience, head to Wat Thai Temple and enjoy a massage from one of the monks. The temple is home to Thailand’s largest reclining statue of the Buddha – it’s simply breathtaking! You can also explore other Buddhist temples within this compound which are all beautifully decorated with artwork depicting scenes from their religion.
Wat Thai Temple provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a massage from one of their monks. The temple is home to Thailand’s largest reclining statue of the Buddha – it’s simply breathtaking! Visitors can also explore other Buddhist temples within this compound which are all beautifully decorated with artwork depicting scenes from their religion. This experience may be unusual but it is amazing and something that you’ll never forget, getting treatment by someone who has dedicated his life as well as learned skills in order to help others achieve mental peace. If you don’t want your feet touched then let them know ahead of time so they will only touch specific parts on your body or refrain entirely.
4. Watch Dolphins at Sea Life Park (Oahu)
Sea Life Park provides tourists with an opportunity not only to watch dolphins but interact with them as well! This attraction is the perfect place for families with children because there’s a variety of different things to do. Visitors can also learn about conservation efforts and animal welfare programs, watch shows featuring dolphins and other marine life, take pictures in the underwater viewing area, or participate in water activities like kayaking or paddleboarding.
The park also offers other activities like snorkeling for those who prefer the water over land-based ones or they could watch the sea turtles that lay eggs in this area during certain months every year. No matter what activity visitors choose at this spot they won’t regret making a visit here before leaving Kauai behind!
5. Get a Hawaiian Tattoo on Oahu
If you’re looking for an experience that’s unlike anything else, getting a tattoo in Hawaii is the way to go! The art of this tradition originated with Polynesian islanders who used it as a form of protection and they could only receive tattoos from their own family members. In modern times people use them more like fashion statements or reminders about major life events so there are lots of different reasons why someone would want one at all!
Visitors will be able to find professional artists here both inside shops and off-the-beaten-path locations which means they won’t have any trouble finding what they’re looking for. Plus visitors can get these inkings done either in the traditional way or with a modern twist which means they can customize their experience to make it more meaningful.
What to Do in Hawaii for a Week
Hawaii is a place of tropical beauty and rich culture. From the warm beaches to the majestic mountains, it’s no wonder why people flock to this island paradise for vacations all year long. There are many things you can do in Hawaii, but if you’re only going for a short-term vacation, here’s what to do in Hawaii for a week.
#1 Honolulu Zoo:
One of the most popular attractions on Oahu is located right next door to Waikiki Beach. Spend an afternoon with over 500 animals from all around the world as they roam through acres of lush green vegetation. You’ll want to wear comfortable walking shoes because there’s more than just scenery; feed giraffes, monkeys, sea lions or zebras while also exploring special exhibits like Turtle Bay Exploration Trail or Elepaio Aviary where many native Hawaiian birds live free-range.
#2 Hiking to Makapuu Lighthouse:
Hiking to Makapuu Lighthouse:One thing that makes hiking different in Hawai’i is that there are so many choices – all within minutes of each other! This time hike through lush greenery down to Makapuu Lighthouse, a famous spot for weekend picnics and whale watching. Along the way, you’ll see how Hawai’i’s diverse ecosystem makes it easy to find plants like koa trees (for which Honolulu was named) or ‘ohia lehua (‘a tree native only to Hawaii).
#3 Ziplining through Waimea Canyon:
Ziplining through Waimea Canyon:Fly high above this famous canyon on 13 different ziplines in just under two hours! This is one of the most thrilling things to do in Kauai as well as being an incredible sightseeing adventure. You’ll get great views of taro fields, waterfalls, ancient Hawaiian sites, and more than 600 acres of lush rainforest with many rare species found nowhere else in the world.
#4 Dinner and Dancing Honolulu:
Dinner and Dancing: The most popular nightlife activity in Honolulu is to dine out, then hit a club for cocktails or dancing late into the evening. There are more than 150 fine restaurants from which to choose – so get ready for an adventure! But if you want something different, head over to Waikiki Beach Park where buskers (street performers) perform all weekend long including acrobats, hula dancers, and cartoonists with easels.
#5 Hanauma Bay:
Hanauma Bay: Grab a shaved ice and spend the day at Hanauma Bay. The bay is famous for its snorkeling, but you can’t take your own equipment with you so just bring enough cash to purchase something before entering the park.
#6 Shopping at the Waikiki Farmers Market:
Shopping at the Waikiki Farmers Market:You can get fresh produce, meats, and more from 140 vendors every Saturday morning. The market has been around for over 45 years but there’s a whole lot of new things to see with live music performances as well as traditional Hawaiian artisans selling everything from taro-based treats or custom woodwork carvings.
#7 Explore Honolulu’s Old Town district (Kaka’ako):
Explore Honolulu’s Old Town district (Kaka’ako):This is one of Hawaii’s newest neighborhoods that also happens to have some really cool landmarks like old churches, museums, and galleries. Check out Kamehameha Statue Park which features ancient gardens in a beautiful historical setting; eat your way through Chinatown where you’ll find restaurants serving up anything from Hawaiian plates to ramen noodles, or take your time browsing the shops where you’ll find everything from vintage treasures to new fashions.
The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii
The best cities to visit in Hawaii will depend on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a party town, then Honolulu is the place to be. If you want to get away from it all and relax by the beach, then Maui is more your speed. We’ve compiled this list of the best cities in Hawaii so that you can find one perfect for your trip!
Oahu is the most populated island in Hawaii and therefore has more to do than all of the other islands combined. Visitors can visit Pearl Harbor for a history lesson or shop on Waikiki Beach. There are also many great restaurants including Big City Diner, which serves hearty plates that will keep you going throughout your trip!
One thing you should know about Maui is that it’s really hard not to relax when you’re there. You’ll find pristine beaches with gentle waves and plenty of sunshine during both day and night time hours. If relaxation isn’t enough, then try out some stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) before catching some fish off the coast!
If you want to experience volcanic activity, then Hawaii Island is the place for you! There’s plenty of lush greenery and snowy mountains that will make your jaw drop. You’ll find a lot of adventure on this island too with fun activities such as driving around in an ATV or even rafting down the river!
Kauai might be one of the smaller islands (only six miles wide!) but it has some hidden gems like Waimea Canyon State Park. Of course, there are still all sorts of other things to do here including hiking up Mount Wai’ale’ale at nearly 12,000 feet high!
The paradise state is home to many rememberable landmarks, we hope you find ideas from this article that help your decision-making for your next Hawaiian vacation. If you’re looking for a getaway this summer we recommend visiting Hawaii because there’s nowhere better than paradise on earth!