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Things to do in Hawaii

Things to do in  Hawaii

Welcome to Hawaii

Anyone can see why the Pacific archipelago of Hawaii is a favorite pick for travelers: cobalt waters, powder-white beaches, volcanic peaks, indigenous wildlife, and rich traditional culture. Hawaii’s vibe is casual and laid-back, with life here mostly lived outside. Locals and visitors divide their time between chowing down on traditional island food, surfing or bodyboarding the waves, snorkeling or diving the coral reefs, or hiking over ancient lava flows.

Each main island offers both expected and unique experiences. Sail and snorkel off the coast of Maui; summit Mauna Kea, kayak with dolphins, and traverse volcanic crater rims on the Big Island; hike through rain forests and valleys on rugged Kauai; and check off Oahu's top things to do, from visiting Pearl Harbour to leaning to surf at Waikiki Beach. For seclusion, empty beaches, and authentic Hawaiin culture, Molokai and Lanai—the two least populated of the main islands—beckon.

Whatever your vision of a dream Hawaiian vacation, the recipe is simple: Choose your islands, choose your activities, choose your pace, book your trip, and enjoy.

Top 15 attractions in Hawaii

#1
Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

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When was the last time you had a snorkel adventure inside of a sunken Hawaiian volcano, or enjoyed a freshly cooked BBQ lunch on the deck of a sailing catamaran? Thanks to its calm, crystal clear waters, bright coral reef, and 250-plus species of tropical fish, Molokini Crater is the most popular spot for snorkeling tours on Maui. Spend a day on a snorkeling tour as you explore the protected marine preserve and come face to face with some of Hawaii's most colorful marine life.More
#2
Road to Hana (Hana Highway)

Road to Hana (Hana Highway)

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Tropical foliage, black sand beaches, rushing waterfalls and incredible views are the calling cards of the legendary, winding Road to Hana. The famous roadway along Maui’s North Shore (also called the Hana Highway) includes 600 hairpin turns and more than 50 bridges and is known as one of the most beautiful roads in the world.More
#3
Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast

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With steep emerald cliffs, lush valleys, and remote cascading waterfalls, the Na Pali Coast is one of Hawaii’s most beautiful regions, and no visit to Kauai is complete without a visit to this magical coastline. There are only three ways to explore the Na Pali Coast—by air, by sea, and on foot—and each offers its own unique perspective.More
#4
Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory

Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory

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Visiting the Mauna Kea Summit and Observatories gives you the feeling of being on top of the world for good reason: You’re actually pretty close. Standing at 13,796 feet (4,138 meters), the mountain is Hawaii's tallest and the highlight of many visitors' trips to the Big Island of Hawaii. The Mauna Kea Observatories (MKO) feature some of the world's largest telescopes, including equipment from Canada, France, and the University of Hawaii, due to its designation as an unparalleled destination for stargazing.More
#5
Honolulu

Honolulu

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Honolulu is so much more than just the sunny resort area of Waikiki, where white sands stretch all the way to iconic Diamond Head. The capital city is Hawaii’s commercial and urban heart, with first-class museums, shopping, dining, clubs, and bars. And every year millions of visitors from around the globe find aloha in Honolulu, where surfboards, sunsets, swimming, and taking it slow are simply a way of life.More
#6
Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay

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The marine sanctuary of Kealakekua Bay ranks among Hawaii’s most scenic spots for snorkeling, swimming, and hiking. The beautiful bay, home to spinner dolphins and backed by green mountain slopes, was the site where Captain James Cook landed—and was later killed—on the Big Island in 1779, forever altering the history and culture of the archipelago.More
#7
Mokolii Island

Mokolii Island

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Located a short distance offshore of Kualoa Point, Mokolii Island is one of Oahu’s most famous landmarks. This small, cone-shaped island attracts adventurous visitors with its secluded coves, rugged hikes, and views of Oahu’s windward coast and the Koolau mountains; the same mountains featured in scenes of the movie Jurassic Park.More
#8
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers visitors a front-row seat to the region’s striking natural beauty. Home to everything from lush rain forest and the Halemaumau Crater to lava tubes and rolling black lava fields—where hot steam still rises from fissures and rifts that dot the rugged landscape—Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must on the Big Island.More
#9
Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Pearl Harbor National Memorial

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Made up of several historic sites and memorials, Pearl Harbor honors and educates the public about the Japanese attack on the United States on December 7, 1941 that propelled the country into World War II. It’s one of Hawaii’s most-visited attractions, and one of the country’s most significant WWII memorial sites.More
#10
Oahu North Shore

Oahu North Shore

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Surfing is king on Oahu’s North Shore, where summer’s placid snorkeling spots are transformed into pounding 40-foot (12-meter) waves come winter. On land you’ll find a peaceful respite from hectic Honolulu, with scenic waterfall hikes, sleepy farms selling tropical fruit, and food trucks doling out garlic shrimp.More
#11
Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park

Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park

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A pleasant stop on the road to Hana, the Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park offers the chance to take a scenic break from the long drive. Stretch your legs on its dirt path to nearby waterfalls and natural pools. The farther you're willing to walk, the taller the waterfalls become and many people bring a picnic to enjoy as a part of this diversion.Totaling five acres the area here is lush with tropical plants which, with the sound of the waterfalls, create a distinct rain forest feel. Picnic tables are set against scenic backdrops, and fish and tadpoles are visible in the shallower pools. Watch for wild birds and mongoose. The walking paths here are not rigorous, but a refreshing dip in one of the pools is a highlight for many on a hot day.More
#12
Kailua Pier

Kailua Pier

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Kailua Pier is the northern bookend to most of Kailua-Kona’s restaurants, shops and bars, a stretch of concrete wide enough to host four-lanes of traffic (if it wasn’t closed off to cars). The historic pier was first built as a downtown fishing dock in 1900 and utilized rocks from deconstructed Hawaiian palace and fort walls, but today few boats moor here. Instead, the pier is mostly used for large events and festivals including the annual Kona Ironman World Championships, which starts and finishes at the pier, and the Kona International Billfish Tournament whose daily catches of sometimes-massive fish species including Pacific blue marlin are weighed from pier-side scales for all to see.On the pier’s northern side, a small beach fronting the King Kamehameha Marriott Hotel has public showers, restroom blocks and hosts community events such as the Kona International Surf Film Festival and the Kona Brewers’ Festival. Aside from the beach, the best vantage forAhu’ena Heiau, a still-revered thatch-roof temple dedicated to Lono and dating to the early 19th century, is from Kailua Pier. Some say the temple is just 1/3 of its original size when built by Island-uniting King Kamehameha I. Because it is believed the monarch also died here, the site and its tiny man-made island remain sacred and off-limits to the public, despite being on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.More
#13
Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

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Dubbed “House of the Sun” by native Hawaiians, Haleakala Crater is the world’s largest dormant volcano and the highest peak in Maui. Set in Haleakala National Park, here you can see a lunar landscape, admire cinder cones and endangered silversword plants, and trek wild hiking trails.More
#14
Hilo

Hilo

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Overlooked by the Manua Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes, Hilo is a laid-back coastal settlement full of sprawling banyan trees, local produce markets, shops, and art galleries. While the town itself is a peaceful getaway, Hilo is most famous for its proximity to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Wailuku River State Park.More
#15
Halona Blowhole

Halona Blowhole

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Once visitors are aware that hālona means “lookout” in Hawaiian, it becomes quite clear what the Halona Blowhole is about: views, Pacific Ocean and blowhole! The Halona Blowhole is one of the most spectacular natural wonders on O’ahu Island; the more than 1,000-year-old geyser-like rock formation is characterized by a hole which propels incoming surf in a narrow, molten lava tube, shooting sea spray high into the air as a result - sometimes up to 30 feet. This is mostly a summery phenomenon but wintertime also has a big ticket item drawing visitors: humpback whales. The lookout point offers unobstructed views of the O’ahu shoreline as well as glimpses of Lanai and Moloka'I Islands on clear days.The coast is home to a special type of coral that requires very little light to live, the Sinularia Leather Coral, where it is possible to find various species like echinoderms, slugs, corals, and eels. And although the marine life is quite plentiful and fascinating, divers should proceed with caution because of the strong and sometimes erratic currents, including the colloquially named Moloka'i Express, which can drag divers out to sea without warning. Visitors should know that below the hālona is one of the most dangerous ocean currents in the world, and should always proceed with care.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Hawaii

Paradise Cove Luau
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Paradise Cove Luau

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Chief's Luau Admission

Chief's Luau Admission

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Te Au Moana Luau at The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort
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Kualoa Ranch - ATV Raptor Tour
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Kualoa Ranch - ATV Raptor Tour

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Maui Nui Luau at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
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Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki, Hawaii
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Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
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Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii
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8 Lines Jungle Zipline Tour on Maui - Eco Tour
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Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise from Waikiki
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Oahu Circle Island and Snorkeling Tour
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Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise
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Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise

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Luau Kalamaku with Buffet Dinner & Show
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Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History
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From Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso
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Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

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Salute to Pearl Harbor

Salute to Pearl Harbor

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Recent reviews from experiences in Hawaii

star-5
Circle island tour
Albert_A, May 2022
Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall
The tour gave us plenty of time to see the sights .
star-5
Amazing experience
Karina_L, May 2022
Paradise Cove Luau
The Hawaiian activities, the buffet style food, and the main show luau.
star-5
Awsome tour and great tour guide.
Luis_G, May 2022
Salute to Pearl Harbor
The ride there was very smooth and got to see a lot of downtown.
star-5
Best way to see hawaii.
Fhe_A, May 2022
Waikiki Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of Honolulu
Best way to see hawaii..
star-5
Road to Hana beauty
Nicole_S, May 2022
Road to Hana Tour - Best of Maui
Our tour guide Justin is a wealth of knowledge everything from history of Hawaii to trees, flowers, secret waterfalls.
star-5
Must do!
Ronak_P, May 2022
1-Hour Guided Hawaiian Parasailing in Waikiki
Would highly recommend to put on your list of things to do while in Hawaii!
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Awesome Manta Rays & Captain & Crew
Patricia_K, May 2022
Manta Ray Snorkeling by Night in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Knowledgeable and helpful crew and captain and Manta Rays Tulare extraordinary to see up close—and we say lots of them.
star-5
Memorable tears
Debbie_D, May 2022
Salute to Pearl Harbor
His Hawaiian name translated to English is Handsome!!!!
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Adventurous
Javier_R, May 2022
Kualoa Ranch - Hollywood Movie Sites Tour
Coming from Chicago Illinois heard it was a nice place to visit so we put it in our bucket list of things to do in Hawaii and we did a enjoyed it 😊👍🏻
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Must do! Sunrise at Haleakala!!!
Raynato_M, May 2022
Haleakala Maui Sunrise Tour w/ Breakfast
Very fortunate to see the sunrise in good weather.
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Great morning at Hanauma!!
john_p, May 2022
Hanauma Bay Transportation
got to see the blowjole as well
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❤️my bike tour
Elizabeth_S, May 2022
Private eBike Diamond Head Ride & Hike
The only downfall is driving in Nova Scotia Canada is not nearly as beautiful as Hawaii was
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Beauty exciting memorizing coolest
Kimberly_M, May 2022
Royal Crown of Oahu - 60 Min Helicopter Tour - Doors Off or On
The most beautiful awesome experience to see the whole island.
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Awesome time
Stephanie_R, May 2022
West Maui and Molokai Special 45-Minute Helicopter Tour
Awesome seeing the waterfalls.
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Informative and fun
Kylie_S, May 2022
Hawaii Small-Group Volcano Experience with Lunch and Restaurant Dinner
He gave a lot of really interesting and cool information about Hawaii and it’s a nice way to get to see some pretty awesome places.
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Beautiful nature
aneet_b, May 2022
Rainforest Waterfall Trail and Shuttle Service
The hike was beautiful not too strenuous but got to see a bit of Hawaii away from the beach.
star-5
Great day trip!
Paula_F, Apr 2022
Tour of North Shore (70%) and Sightseeing (30%)
We enjoyed the waterfall as well as the beaches, and lunch too.
star-5
Great day in Paradise
william_o, Apr 2022
Grand Circle Island and Haleiwa 9 Hour Tour
We loved being about to see the whole island and learn so much about the Hawaiian people and lifestyle.
star-5
Thrill of a life time!!
Linda_K, Apr 2022
Maui Tour : Road to Hana Day Trip from Kahului
Knew all the best stops and waterfalls!!
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Me Time Trip!!
Belinda_T, Apr 2022
Ka Moana Luau
Getting to see all the islands in Hawaii.

All about Hawaii

When to visit

With tropical breezes and ideal beach weather beckoning year-round, there’s really no bad time to visit Hawaii. Look for off-season discounts and the mildest temps in late spring and early fall. Winter brings more rain and higher prices, but north shore swells make for epic surfing, and migrating humpback whales put on a wild display from December through May.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What are the top things to do in Hawaii?
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What are the top things to do near Hawaii?
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