What to do in hawaii?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: June 29, 2024

Exploring the Islands

Hawaii is a unique archipelago with six main islands, each offering distinct experiences. The primary islands include Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island (Hawaii Island), Lanai, and Molokai. Each island has its own special charm, attractions, and activities, making Hawaii a versatile destination for all kinds of travelers.


Oahu, known as "The Gathering Place," is home to Honolulu, the state capital, and the famous Waikiki Beach. The island blends urban culture with natural beauty.

  • Diamond Head: Hike up this historic volcanic crater for breathtaking views of Honolulu.
  • Pearl Harbor: Visit the USS Arizona Memorial and learn about the pivotal events of World War II.
  • North Shore: Renowned for its legendary surf spots like Pipeline and Waimea Bay.


Maui, "The Valley Isle," is celebrated for its stunning landscapes and luxurious resorts.

  • Road to Hana: An epic drive through lush rainforests, waterfalls, and scenic coastlines.
  • Haleakala National Park: Watch the sunrise from the summit of this dormant volcano.
  • Lahaina: Explore this historic whaling village with its art galleries, shops, and restaurants.


Kauai, "The Garden Isle," is the oldest island, known for its dramatic cliffs, lush landscapes, and laid-back vibe.

  • Na Pali Coast: Take a boat or helicopter tour to see these iconic sea cliffs and hidden beaches.
  • Waimea Canyon: Dubbed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," offering stunning vistas and hiking trails.
  • Wailua River: Paddle up this navigable river and explore the Fern Grotto.

Big Island (Hawaii Island)

The Big Island is diverse, with everything from active volcanoes to snow-capped peaks and black sand beaches.

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Witness the power of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
  • Mauna Kea Observatory: Stargaze from one of the best astronomical observation points on Earth.
  • Akaka Falls State Park: A short hike leads you to the spectacular 442-foot Akaka Falls.


Lanai offers an intimate and quiet escape with luxury resorts and unique landscapes.

  • Shipwreck Beach: Explore the remnants of a World War II tanker stranded on the reef.
  • Garden of the Gods: Discover the unusual rock formations in this lunar-like landscape.
  • Hulopoe Bay: Snorkel in this marine reserve known for its clear waters and vibrant sea life.


Molokai is the least developed of the main islands, preserving its natural Hawaiian culture and landscapes.

  • Kalaupapa National Historical Park: Learn about the history of the leprosy settlement and enjoy the dramatic sea cliffs.
  • Halawa Valley: Hike through this lush valley to the twin Moaula Falls.
  • Papohaku Beach: One of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches, ideal for picnics and sunset watching.

Outdoor Adventures

Hawaii offers a plethora of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you're looking to hike, dive, or surf, there's something for everyone.


  • Kalalau Trail (Kauai): A challenging 11-mile trail along the Na Pali Coast offering incredible ocean views and lush landscapes.
  • Manoa Falls (Oahu): A relatively easy hike leading to a beautiful waterfall surrounded by tropical rainforest.
  • Pipiwai Trail (Maui): Hike through bamboo forests and past waterfalls in Haleakala National Park.

Water Activities

  • Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the vibrant coral reefs and marine life at Molokini Crater (Maui) or Hanauma Bay (Oahu).
  • Surfing: Take a surf lesson in Waikiki (Oahu) or challenge the waves at Honolua Bay (Maui).
  • Kayaking: Paddle along the coastlines of Kailua (Oahu) or the Wailua River (Kauai).

Cultural Experiences

Hawaii's rich cultural heritage is a blend of Native Hawaiian traditions and influences from various immigrant cultures.


Experience a traditional Hawaiian feast with music, hula dancing, and storytelling. Popular luaus include:

  • Old Lahaina Luau (Maui): Known for its authenticity and beachfront setting.
  • Paradise Cove Luau (Oahu): Located in Ko Olina, offering a beautiful sunset backdrop.
  • Smith Family Garden Luau (Kauai): Set in a lush botanical garden, featuring a variety of Polynesian performances.

Hawaiian History and Museums

  • Bishop Museum (Oahu): Learn about Hawaiian history, culture, and natural science.
  • Hulihee Palace (Big Island): Visit the former summer residence of Hawaiian royalty in Kailua-Kona.
  • Kauai Museum (Kauai): Discover the history and culture of Kauai and Niihau.

Heiau and Sacred Sites

  • Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (Big Island): A National Historical Park preserving an ancient place of refuge.
  • Wailua Complex of Heiaus (Kauai): Explore the sacred sites and temples along the Wailua River.
  • Ulupo Heiau (Oahu): One of the oldest and most significant heiaus on the island.

Relaxation and Wellness

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Hawaii offers world-class spas, yoga retreats, and wellness centers.


  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (Big Island): Indulge in luxurious treatments inspired by Hawaiian traditions.
  • Grand Wailea (Maui): Enjoy a wide range of spa services in a stunning oceanfront setting.
  • The Modern Honolulu (Oahu): Experience contemporary spa treatments in the heart of Waikiki.

Yoga and Wellness Retreats

  • Kalani (Big Island): A retreat center offering yoga, meditation, and wellness workshops.
  • Lumeria Maui (Maui): A luxury retreat focusing on yoga, meditation, and holistic health.
  • Still & Moving Center (Oahu): A wellness center in Honolulu offering yoga, dance, and mindfulness classes.

Gastronomic Delights

Hawaii's culinary scene is a melting pot of flavors, blending traditional Hawaiian cuisine with influences from Asia, the Pacific, and beyond.

Local Cuisine

  • Poke: A traditional Hawaiian dish made from marinated raw fish, often served with rice and various toppings.
  • Plate Lunch: A hearty meal typically consisting of meat, rice, and macaroni salad. Try it at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue or Rainbow Drive-In (Oahu).
  • Shave Ice: A refreshing treat of finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrups. Matsumoto’s (Oahu) and Ululani’s (Maui) are popular spots.

Farm-to-Table Dining

  • Merriman's (Maui, Big Island): Enjoy dishes made from locally sourced ingredients at this renowned restaurant.
  • Haleiwa Joe's (Oahu): Known for its fresh seafood and stunning views of Haiku Gardens.
  • Hanalei Dolphin (Kauai): A favorite for fresh, local fish and a relaxed riverside setting.

Food Tours and Farmers Markets

  • Aloha Food Tours (Oahu): Explore Honolulu’s diverse food scene with a guided tour.
  • Maui Swap Meet (Maui): Held every Saturday in Kahului, offering local produce, crafts, and food.
  • Kauai Community Market (Kauai): A farmers market at Kauai Community College featuring local vendors and fresh produce.

Shopping and Souvenirs

Take home a piece of Hawaii with unique souvenirs, local crafts, and island-inspired fashion.

Local Markets and Boutiques

  • Aloha Stadium Swap Meet (Oahu): Hawaii's largest open-air market, great for souvenirs and local crafts.
  • Lahaina Cannery Mall (Maui): A mix of shops, restaurants, and local artisans.
  • Kapa'a Art Walk (Kauai): Held on the first Saturday of every month, featuring local artists, food vendors, and live music.

Hawaiian Crafts and Products

  • Koa Wood Items: Beautifully crafted from native Hawaiian wood, available at various local shops and galleries.
  • Aloha Wear: Iconic Hawaiian shirts and dresses, perfect for a tropical wardrobe.
  • Hawaiian Coffee: Take home a bag of Kona coffee or other locally grown varieties.

High-End Shopping

  • Ala Moana Center (Oahu): One of the largest open-air shopping centers in the world, offering luxury brands and local boutiques.
  • The Shops at Wailea (Maui): A high-end shopping destination with designer stores and fine dining.
  • Kukui'ula Village (Kauai): A charming shopping area with upscale shops, galleries, and restaurants.

In a place where the land meets the sea and ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern luxuries, every visitor finds their own piece of paradise. Hawaii is more than a destination; it’s an experience that stays with you long after the journey ends.

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