Places Everyone Should Visit in Hawaii at Least Once!

Hawaii is known for its stunning natural beauty, warm weather, and variety of activities. This chain of islands is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in a serene tropical paradise. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, here are some places that you absolutely must visit.

must visit Hawaii beach
Photo by Jess Loiterton Pexels.com

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1. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hawaii and is a must-visit location in Hawaii, especially for newcomers. The soft, white sand, turquoise water, and stunning views of Diamond Head make it the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Here’s the thing, it can be crowded. Head there early in the morning to take in the calm waters and views. Then head to get lunch at one of the many small restaurants in the area.

2. Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in World War II history. The USS Arizona Memorial is a moving tribute to the 1,177 sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The museum and visitor center provide visitors with a comprehensive history of the events that led up to the attack, as well as the aftermath.

must visit Hawaii pearl harbor
Photo by Derwin Edwards: pexels.com

For discounted tickets for Pearl Harbor, head to Groupon!

3. Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is located on the island of Maui and is home to one of the most stunning natural wonders in Hawaii. The park’s centerpiece is the Haleakala Crater, a massive volcanic crater that is over 3,000 feet deep. Visitors can hike or bike to the summit for breathtaking views of the island, or stargaze at the park’s observatory.

4. Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a protected marine life conservation area located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It’s a must-visit place to snorkel and explore Hawaii’s underwater world. There’s something about the crystal-clear water, colorful fish, and coral reefs that make it one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the world.

Be sure to get reservations ahead of time to get into the protected cove!

5. Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Volcano is located on the island of Hawaii and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park to see the lava flows, steam vents, and sulfur banks up close. At night, the glow of the lava illuminates the sky, creating a stunning and unforgettable sight.

6. Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is a scenic drive that winds along the coast of Maui, passing through lush rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas. This location is a must-visit Hawaii activity however, the road is full of twists and turns! Be sure to take your time and stop at the many lookout points along the way.

Some popular stops along the Road to Hana include:

  • Twin Falls: a beautiful waterfall that is easily accessible from the road
  • Ho’okipa Lookout: a scenic lookout point where you can see surfers riding the waves
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park: a black sand beach with volcanic rock formations and sea caves
  • Hana Bay: a peaceful bay with calm waters that are perfect for swimming and kayaking
  • Seven Sacred Pools: a series of waterfalls and natural pools in Ohe’o Gulch that are popular for swimming and hiking

7. Na Pali Coast

The Na Pali Coast is located on the island of Kauai and is one of the most picturesque locations in Hawaii which is why we believe that this is a must-visit location in Hawaii. The rugged coastline, towering cliffs, and turquoise water create a stunning backdrop for hiking, kayaking, or just relaxing on the beach.

If being out on the sea isn’t your jam, make the trek out to Polihale Beach!

Get the best tips, tricks, and itineraries for Maui!

8. Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is located on the island of Kauai. The canyon is over 3,000 feet deep and offers stunning views of the island’s rugged landscape. Visitors can hike or drive to the top for panoramic views of the canyon and the surrounding area.

must visit Hawaii Waimea Canyon
Photo by Kanduri: pexels.com

Here are some tips for visiting Waimea Canyon:

  1. Plan ahead: Before heading to Waimea Canyon, make sure to check the weather conditions, as it can be unpredictable. Also, plan your visit during the morning or early afternoon to avoid crowds and to have enough time to explore the area.
  2. Bring appropriate gear: Wear comfortable shoes for hiking and bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a hat. The temperature can change quickly at the top of the canyon, so bring layers to stay warm.
  3. Decide on the trails you want to take: There are several trails in Waimea Canyon State Park that offer different experiences. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with easier trails like the Waimea Canyon Trail or Cliff Trail. For a more challenging hike, try the Canyon Trail or the Kukui Trail.
  4. Take breaks and enjoy the scenery: Waimea Canyon is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Hawaii, so it’s so important to take your time to enjoy the views, take pictures, and relax. There are several lookout points along the road where you can stop and take in the panoramic vistas.
  5. Be respectful: When visiting Waimea Canyon, make sure to respect the environment and the local culture. Stay on the trails, collect your trash, and be mindful of the local wildlife.

9. Mauna Kea Observatory

Mauna Kea Observatory is located on the island of Hawaii and is home to some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. Visitors can take a guided tour of the observatory and learn about the latest discoveries in astronomy, or stargaze at the Visitor Information Station.

Get insider tips for visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, visiting Kona coffee plantations, and so much more!

10. Island of Lanai

Lanai offers a wide range of natural attractions, including stunning beaches, rugged cliffs, dense forests, and unique wildlife. Visitors can explore the island’s natural beauty by hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, or simply relaxing on the beach. Lanai is strictly for those who want to relax in a remote setting.

The Maui-Lanai Ferry is a passenger-only ferry that runs between Lahaina Harbor on Maui and Manele Bay on Lanai. The ferry ride takes about 45 minutes each way and operates several times a day.

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