Things to do

21 Best Things to Do in Hawaii: The Ultimate Bucket List

Hawaii has always been a sight to be seen. Its ambiance is a worldwide famous thing. There are several things to do in Hawaii. Hawaii provides guided tours, helps in group tours, and gives even scenic routes from early morning.

 things to do in hawaii
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20 Best Things to Do in Hawaii

1. Experience Polynesian Culture at a Luau Show

things to do in hawaii
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The first thing to do in Hawaii is to go to The Cultural Center for Polynesians. In Oahu, Hawaii, a luau is one of the most well-liked events. With admission to the Islands of Polynesia theme park included in the price of the luau tickets from the Polynesian Cultural Center, it’s understandable why they are so popular.

Numerous interactive exhibits are available, as well as imitation Polynesian villages, fire shows, traditional dance, and musical and musical performances. Visiting Hawaii is interesting because of all such situations.

1.1. Step Inside the Polynesian Cultural Center

When you purchase tickets earlier, the Center frequently offers discounts. Do try to opt for them if they are available. For obvious reasons, this discount might only be valid when you buy directly from the center. The “no hassle reservation changes and cancellations” offered by the center are a major benefit of purchasing directly from them.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the island’s most popular cultural destinations, and it is situated in the town of Lie in Oahu’s northeastern corner.

For those who are interested in Polynesian culture, it is a fascinating location, but families are drawn here more than anyone else by the variety of family-friendly activities and exciting educational opportunities available there.

2. Night Snorkel with Manta Rays

One of the main things to do in Hawaii is to spend your time in the water during the manta ray night snorkel holding onto a flotation device and looking down. Plankton is drawn in by bright lights that are projected into the water.

As they consume this plankton, manta rays approach the water’s surface very closely. On the Kona coast, numerous companies will take you on a manta ray night snorkel excursion, but not all of them are equally concerned with the welfare of the manta rays.

Since the following tour is a preferred member of the Manta Ray Green List and consistently receives positive feedback, we always suggest it.

3. Meet Unique Animals at the Waikiki Aquarium

 things to do in hawaii
Roberto Reposto/ Unsplash 2019

One of the nation’s oldest public aquariums, the Waikiki Aquarium was formerly known as the Honolulu Aquarium and opened its doors in 1904. Most hotels can be reached on foot from its location in Kapi’olani Park on Kalakaua Avenue.

In comparison to more recent structures like the Georgia Aquarium or even the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the current Waikiki Aquarium building, which opened in 1955, is small. I had never seen many of the fish found in and around Hawaii before, but the Waikiki Aquarium has a good selection of displays of various sizes.

4. Pololu Valley Lookout and Hike

 things to do in hawaii
Kayla Farmer/ Unsplash copyright 2022

The Kohala Mountain’s northern side is cleaved by a long spear called Polol, which means long spear. It is a famous place when it comes to the things to do in Hawaii. The Kohala Coast is the oldest part of the island and has deep valleys and beautiful beaches. Its head is this magnificent wild valley. Most people only travel to the end of Highway 270 to admire the stunning views of the rocky northern Kohala coastline from the Polol Overlook.

Unfortunately, they are unaware that hiking down toward Polol Beach via a few switchbacks offers a much better photographic vantage point. And it is well worth the effort to hike down to the valley floor and spend some time on the beach. Unfortunately, this valley’s only public area is the beach. The land is all privately owned upriver.

5. Venture Up the Diamond Head Crater

It turns out that the Waikiki-area Tuff Volcano, known as Diamond Head Crater, is no longer active. Hikers from all over the world come here to enjoy the area’s rocky ridges and dense vegetation. Over 3000 people try to hike Diamond Head Crater annually, according to a report released by the local government.

Especially if you’re trying to complete the Diamond Head Crater hike in the summer, you’d need a hat and plenty of sunscreens, we’re sure of it. You’ll be exposed to the Sun the entire hike, even though it’s short. It is to be remembered while making the list of things to do in Hawaii.

You can’t forget to remember this. You would be able to grip the crater’s rough patches better with a good pair of hiking boots. Even though you might see people doing so, we strongly advise against wearing sandals and flip-flops! The best way to stay safe and prevent falling on the trail is to put on a good pair of hiking shoes because it is largely unpaved and uneven.

6. Go to Nakalele Blowhole

The Hawaiian island of Maui’s northernmost point is a land mass known as Nakalele Point. The Hawaiian words for “the leaning” are nacelle or n-klele. The Point is well-known for its blowhole and has gained notoriety for its perilous conditions when incoming waves. East of Poelua Bay, you can find the point and blowhole. You cannot leave out your list of things to do in Hawaii with this item.

With the help of the waves and tides, Nakalele Point’s blowhole creates potent water spouts resembling geysers. Up to 100 feet of air can be filled with water spewed from the blowhole. Never turn your back on the ocean while visiting this site, as rogue waves could inflict harm at any time. Visitors should also never stand between the blowhole and the ocean. The death from being sucked into the blowhole is only known to have occurred in one person.

The most active eruption on Maui right now has nothing to do with lava, even though the island has a dormant volcano that will probably erupt once more.

Instead, it’s a forceful seawater explosion that occurs frequently, sometimes as frequently as every few minutes when the wind and surf are both strong. Nakalele Blowhole, a natural geyser where seawater trapped in an underwater lava tube is searching for a way to escape, is located on the island’s northwest coast.

7. Discover the Hidden Beauty of Hanauma Bay

 things to do in hawaii
Michael Olsen/ Unsplash copyright 2018

This area is a well-liked snorkeling location in Hawaii and is protected for the conservation of marine life. Its name comes from its distinctively curved bay. This marine sanctuary, located on the eastern side of Oahu, was created within a volcanic cone and is a haven for a variety of marine life. You must reserve your spot in advance because there is a daily cap on the number of visitors allowed in the bay.

Please remember to check before you visit as it is also closed on some days. The only thing you need to remember to bring is reef-safe sunscreen. Here, you can rent snorkeling gear.

8. Hike a Rainforest and Waterfall Jump

2.6 kilometers long, the Manoa Falls Trail is located close to Honolulu. It passes by filming locations from Jurassic Park and LOST as it winds through a tropical rainforest! The year-round trail is accessible and is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature excursions. All skill levels will enjoy it because of how simple it is thought to be in terms of difficulty.

On this trail, dogs are also permitted so that you can enjoy it with your four-legged companions! Each step required to reach the waterfall, which cascades 150 feet down the mountainside, is worthwhile. For your information, parking at the trailhead has a small fee.

9. Discover the World of Aviation at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

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There is a nonprofit organization called the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Although it was intended for 2,400 visitors per day, the memorial now receives twice as many, bringing in 1.5 million tourists annually as the top tourist attraction in the state.

A long-awaited and desperately needed tower restoration and stabilization project got underway in September 2010 when the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum signed a lease for the Ford Island Control Tower and Observation Deck. This is one of the best sites for people who like space and history. It is a main part of things to do in Hawaii.

The 85,000 square foot Hangar 79 joins Hangar in giving visitors a distinctive aerial perspective of America’s Pearl Harbor battleground. The public was given access to a second hangar by the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum in January 2011. A sizable artistic representation of a Japanese plane getting ready to attack Ford Island or Battleship Row greets you as you enter the hangar’s main area.

To learn more about the events of December 7, 1941, you will have the opportunity to watch a 12-minute movie. Real World War II aircraft from that era, including the Japanese Zero and a Stearman N2S-3, can be seen in Hangar 37’s main exhibit area. The cockpit view in an interactive flight simulator, where you can engage in a virtual dogfight, is even more exciting.

To make your guided Aviator’s Tour as memorable as possible, we offer the assistance of knowledgeable and amiable tour guides. You’ll learn a lot about the history of Hangar 79 and its inner workings, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at how things worked there.

10. Travel back in Time at the Hawaii Army Museum Society

District of Honolulu, Army Corps of Engineers stated that at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, in February, the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii at Fort DeRussy in the center of Waikiki reopened. After a year, a U.S.-managed HVAC project had been completed with the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Mr. Charles R. Bowery, Jr., Executive Director of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, along with representatives from the local Army community, the Army Museum Enterprise, and other organizations.

Battery Randolph, a former coast artillery fortification with two 14-inch disappearing rifled guns mounted on it, was built in 1911 and is now home to the museum, which was founded in 1976.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s “Go For Broke” Nisei Soldiers are among the key exhibits, along with displays on Hawaiian warfare and weaponry, the Coast Artillery in Hawaii, Hawaii’s crucial role in World Wars II, Korea, and Vietnam, and a Gallery of Heroes that pays tribute to all Hawaiians who have served in battle who earned two of the highest honors for bravery in the country.

11. Visit the Road to Hana (The Hana Highway)

The Road to Hana offers much more than just an enjoyable drive through a stunning region of Maui. With a list of places they want to take pictures, most tourists frequently travel quickly toward the road to Hana. This is the incorrect approach. We strongly advise taking a tour on the road to Hana with big windows, a knowledgeable local guide, and only visiting safe, authorized, awesome locations. The road to Hana is an important aspect of Hawaii.

Hawaii Routes 36 and 360’s 64.4-mile-long Hana Highway runs from Kahului to Hana, a town in eastern Maui. Hawaii Route 31 follows the highway east of Kalepa Bridge to Kipahulu.

Even though the distance between Kahului and the road to Hana is only about 52 miles, an uninterrupted drive requires about 2.5 hours due to the highway’s extreme winding, narrow width, and 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide. Nearly all of Route 360s 620 curves, which run from just east of Kahului to the road to Hana, are found in lush, tropical rainforest.

12. See the Humpback Whales– Spot the Sea Turtles on Black Sand Beach

things to do in hawaii
Alexandra Tran/ Unsplash copyright 2020

The Big Island’s Punalu’u Beach is a black sand beach between the towns of Pahala and Naalehu on the southernmost tip of the island. The Hawaiian term punaluu, which has to do with the beach’s sea life past, roughly translates to “coral dived for,” “spring diver,” or “to dive for corals.”

On the beach, you can occasionally also see an endangered Hawksbill turtle in addition to green sea turtles (known as “Honu” in Hawaiian). This is one of the island’s most visited black sand beaches due to the abundance of turtles that frequent it.

Since touching the turtles could weaken their immune systems and make them more susceptible to disease, people are not allowed to handle them on the sand beach. For your safety and the safety of the animals such as sea turtles, it is advised that you keep a distance of at least 10 feet (3 meters) from any sea turtles.

13. Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon, which is located on the south shore of Kauai, is famous for its breathtaking scenery. It is referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and provides a variety of drive-up lookouts, vantage points, hikes, and waterfalls. One of the most remarkable geological formations in Hawaii is Waimea Canyon. It is a great place for the whole family

On the island of Kaua’i, there is a magnificent gorge with a distinctive geological past called Waimea Canyon. The extensive lava and basalt fields of the island were deeply carved out by the Waimea River, which was also responsible for Kaua’i’s catastrophic collapse. Both processes were fueled by the island’s abundant annual rainfall.

Compared to other roads, the Waimea Canyon road is more beautiful and easier to drive. We advise first-timers to travel to the canyon via Highway 550 and return via Highway 552 for a different perspective.

The main viewing area for the canyon is Waimea Canyon Lookout, which provides expansive views and lets you walk right up to the rim. Not just because it’s the first lookout you come to, but also because it offers the most comprehensive view of the canyon, making this the lookout you should go to first.

14. Trek on One of the Many Trails in Kokeʻe State Park

On the island of Kauai, two of the best parks are Kokee and Waimea State Parks. Some of Hawaii’s most beautiful trails can be found in these close-by state parks, and they are unmatched in diversity. You can go on hiking trails.

From the park’s elevation of 4000 feet, visitors can enjoy commanding views of the lush Kalalau Valley, which resembles an amphitheater. Camping in a tent, picnicking, and lodging in the wilderness. Taking a hike through the native rainforest, along the rim of Waimea Canyon, and on other trails in nearby forest reserves.

It is also great for hiking trails. Excellent location for observing native plants, forest birds, and insects. trout fishing and picking seasonal plums. A public hunting area is used for pig hunting.

15. Soar Over the Island With a Helicopter Tours

 things to do in hawaii
Stephen Broone/ Unsplash copyright 2019

On this exclusive helicopter tour of Maui, soar past valleys and secret waterfalls that are inaccessible by land and float above ridgelines that are located at the center of the rough West Maui mountains. The Hawaiian islands provide such experiences. This tour is called the West Maui and Molokai Special Helicopter Tour.

Get a close-up view of a region of the world that has hardly been touched by a man by crossing the channel to the neighboring Molokai. There, vertical sea cliffs drop 4,000 feet to the murky shoreline below. It looks like a tiny island from afar.

Since the majority of the valleys, ridgelines, and waterfalls can only be seen from the air, there is no better way to experience Hawaiian islands than from the cockpit of a helicopter. You will be immediately transported from Kahului Heliport to the center of prehistoric Hawaii on this helicopter tour of the West Maui Mountains and Molokai, where it is said that the remains of ancient chiefs are still rumored to be hidden in these valleys.

 16. Take a Dip in the Queen’s Bath Swimming Hole

Despite its picturesque appearance, the swimming hole at the north shore where the Queen’s Bath on Kauai is located is extremely hazardous. It is particularly dangerous to swim in if you’re not careful because the naturally occurring sinkhole is enclosed by black lava rock but is occasionally exposed to rough surf waters.

Check the weather before making the journey to these turquoise waters because this swimming spot in particular has seen drownings due to waves and the current. Take a dip in the water if the waves are predicted to be less than four feet high.

A popular attraction on Kauai’s North Shore is the Queen’s Bath. It’s a tide pool, an igneous rock-encircled sinkhole surrounded by luxuriant vegetation. It is rumored that royalty enjoys unwinding on the north shore, The Queen’s Bath. There are locations in the nation that are devoted to the Hawaiian royal family because the state has its own royal family. Now, after a brief but strenuous hike, it serves as the final destination.

A Queen’s Bath once stood on the north shore of the Big Island, but it was destroyed by lava flow following the 1987 eruption of Kilauea. Following that, Kauai on the north shore was chosen as the location of the new Queen’s Bath. It has since developed into a well-liked tourist destination, ranking among the top summertime attractions on the north shore.

17. Wine, Dine, and Enjoy the View on a Dinner Cruise

Enjoy a night of sailing in the warm Hawaiian waters with endless glasses of champagne in hand while indulging in the chef’s creations with a tasting menu that has been prepared.

This is a great option for people who enjoy the ocean view and swimming by marine life. Join the Star of Honolulu for a five-course dinner cruise, where the ship’s master chef will treat you to a delectable meal.

Eat Maine lobster and steak tenderloin, drink a welcome “champagne” and two other premium drinks, and then unwind while taking in the breathtaking views of Diamond Head and Waikiki. It is the best for a romantic sunset dinner cruise. There is plenty of space on the four decks to relax and take in the sunset.

18. See an Inner-City Waterfall: Rainbow Falls

Within easy walking distance of Hilo town is Rainbow Falls, a sizable waterfall in the Wailuku River. If you visit a little early in the day—possibly even before breakfast—you’ll have a good chance of seeing rainbows, and they are very simple to get to. A 30- to 1-hour stop is recommended.

A lava cave where the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon, supposedly lived is where the Rainbow Falls descend 80 feet. In terms of accessibility, location, and how close you can get to the waterfall, the Rainbow Falls triumph over its noticeably higher (422 ft) neighbor, the Akaka Falls. You can either view the waterfall directly from the parking lot or, after a short hike, from the top of the falls.

The height of the falls can vary depending on how much rain fell upstream in the days before, from roaring to a trickle. However, rainbows can still be seen even if the waterfall’s flow has been reduced to a trickle. It is best if there is a lot of water flowing (and falling!) in the waterfall.

19. Taste a Hawaiian Poke Bowl

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Jonathan Borba/ Unsplash copyright 2019

You already understand the magic if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to eat an outstanding poke bowl. The eye-catching color of pink, all those delectable toppings, and flavor that melts in your mouth. It is a part of Hawaiian culture.

Several delicious ways can be used to present a poke bowl, a traditional Hawaiian dish. The presence of cubed, raw ahi tuna is what defines it most prominently. Salmon, hamachi, octopus, and even tofu are occasionally used in a poke. Salt and other dependable and diverse seasonings are used to marinate the fish. Normally, rice and furikake are served with it.

A poke bowl, which is pronounced “Poe-kay”, is a Hawaiian rice bowl with raw fish—typically tuna—served on top of the rice, vegetables, and other ingredients. It is a long-lasting part of the Hawaiian culture

20. Spend a Couple of Days Around Kealakekua Bay

The Captain Cook Monument and Hawaii’s best snorkeling are at Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on the Big Island. It follows that it gets busy frequently. It takes less time to board and exits the boat on this 12-person small-group tour that is scheduled to avoid the crowds. This gives you more time to snorkel on the coral reef.

21. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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All year long, Mauna Loa and Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks are without a doubt worth visiting. Halemaumau Crater at Kilauea’s summit, the Thurston lava tube, Volcano House, and the drive down Chain of Craters road to the Holei sea arch should not be missed. Active volcanoes are a part of Hawaii.

The Hawaii tropical botanical garden or Hawaii tropical bio reserve also helps in acquiring a lot of knowledge regarding flora and fauna.

A whole family trio should be considered going to Hawaii. The coral reefs, coconut island, and the north and south shores, all work for the beauty of Hawaii.

Read about Hawaiian islands.

Also check out, Best Beaches in Oahu



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