The islands of Hawaii are a beautiful and tropical paradise that many people dream of; there are white, sandy beaches, cool and clean water, as well as hot summer heat all year round. Hawai’i has become a popular tourist destination over the years, whether you are going to see the volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii, or snorkeling in the clear blue water surrounding Oahu, there is sure to be something for everyone. If your next vacation is to the islands, here are some fun things to try to really experience paradise.
Haleakala National Park - Maui
Maui is a tourist hot spot, and for good reason; weather that is not too hot and not too cold, plus every tourist attraction under the sun. However, the most popular point of interest is the Haleakala National Park, which features an inactive volcano that visitors can climb to watch the sun rise. It’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, barring severe weather such as hurricanes. There are several stops along the way that offer cultural insight to the island’s history, and gift shops are available to purchase souvenirs. Because of the high altitude, it’s not a trek for everyone; people with respiratory problems, pregnant women, or people under the age of 16 may experience some issues climbing to the summit. However, if you do manage to make it to the top, the view is breathtaking.
Snorkeling at Molokini - Maui
While on Maui, the islet of Molokini is another point of interest to try. This landmark was once the site of military testing, but now is a popular point for snorkeling tours in Hawaii. The water is blue, and the air is crisp and clean, perfect for cooling off after a hot day in the sun. Aside from snorkeling, there are also diving tours, and sailing tours in a glass bottomed boat. If you’re lucky, you might even see a pod of dolphins, or swim with sea turtles.
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii National Park - Hawaii (Big Island)
If seeing an inactive volcano on Maui didn’t get your blood pumping, why not fly over to the Big Island of Hawaii and see an active volcano? Kilauea one of the islands active volcanoes, which continues to contribute to the size of the island every year. Tours are available to see the volcano and truly take in the sheer power of nature. It’s truly a whole other world right here on Earth, and is a must see destination before your vacation ends.
Surfing on the North Shore - Oahu
Honolulu is a popular tourist hot spot, and at times being in the urban center can be overwhelming. Oahu is home to some of the biggest waves on the island, perfect for getting on a surfboard and hitting the water. Even if you’ve never surfed before, this is a must-try activity for anyone who craves a rush of adrenaline.
Pearl Harbor - Oahu
The events of World War II might be behind us, but the scars of our past never truly fade. The USS Arizona Memorial is open to the public, offering insight to the events of WWII and how it affected life here in the U.S. Admission to the USS Arizona Memorial is free, though any bags you have need to be checked in for a small fee, and you can purchase tickets to partake in other Pearl Harbor attractions as well. This is a great activity for the whole family.
Horseback Riding - Hawaii (Big Island)
Hawaii is quite possibly one of the most beautiful islands, full of bright green trees and fresh, clean air. A ride through the forest is a great activity for adults and kids alike, as it allows everyone to take in the majesty of the island without your legs getting tired. Additionally, you can book the tour to include a waterfall swim, which is incredibly refreshing after being in the heat for several hours.
Helicopter Tours - Kauai
Kauai is a gorgeous, small little island that is full of fresh air and bright greenery. To experience the island’s beauty all at once, book a helicopter tour to fly you over all of the important landmarks on the island. The blue sky, green trees, and ocean for miles around will be sure to leave you breathless.
Off Roading and Snorkeling - Lanai
Lanai is a tiny island off the coast of Maui, but although it is small, it still offers plenty of things to do for the whole family. You can book a ferry to carry you across the water to the island, and, once there, you can go on a guided 4x4 tour around the island that hits many major landmarks. You can see exotic birds, incredibly mountains, and of course, the ocean where you can snorkel after the tour. The whole experience is incredible, and is a must visit for any visitor to Maui.
No vacation would be complete without visiting some of the shopping centers around the urban areas of each island. Honolulu, Oahu is ripe with designer brands and outlet stores, and Hilo (on the Big Island) features many small shops and stores that feature items and souvenirs for tourists.
Luau - Oahu
Food, music, traditional dancing, and more! A luau is a time of celebration, merriment, and good food and dance. Luaus are a great way to see live Polynesian dancing, and get a feel for the more traditional Hawaii experience. They are usually not too terribly expensive either. So, if you want to see how a hula is done, or are just interested in trying lau lau (a delicious food made with pork), a luau is the place for you.
Merrie Monarch - Hawaii (Big Island)
If you are lucky enough to be around the Hilo area during Merrie Monarch, you are in for a treat. Merrie Monarch is a celebration of Hawaiian culture, and features dancing and music that is native to the islands. It is usually held at the beginning of April, and while you can always view it on the television, it’s always best to go and experience it live. Great for the whole family, as it will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Whether you want a relaxing visit to the spa, or you want an adrenaline fueled adventure, Hawaii is a great place to experience true nature and beauty as it was meant to be experienced. From surfing to horseback riding, and everything in between, Hawaii has something for everyone.