Hawaii

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10 Unmissable Activities and Attractions in Hawaii

You may not know this, but Hawaii is made up of eight unique islands. The most visited islands include Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. Discover the smaller islands of Lanai and Molokai on a scenic flight or boat tour. Check out our top ten things to see and do in Hawaii.

  • 1. Diamond Head

    Right next to Waikiki Beach is Diamond Head. Its life has been varied - first it was a volcano, then an army base, and now it's a hikable mountain providing wonderful views!

  • 2. Pearl Harbor

    The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II is one of the biggest tragedies in American history. Visit the memorial to the USS Arizona and learn about its tragic history.

  • 3. Volcanoes National Park

    Take a journey to the center of the earth... almost. See active lava while hiking across craters and unique rock formations. Volcanoes National Park is home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes.

  • 4. Whale Watching

    Every year, majestic whales migrate back to the islands to mate. Whale watching season runs from mid-December to the beginning of April every year.

  • 5. Hawaiian Luau

    A luau is a traditional celebration accompanied with entertainment. In Hawaii, families and friends gather to enjoy food and festivities like hula dancing and live music.

  • 6. Waimea Canyon

    Hike Waimea Canyon, located on the lush island of Kauai. Here, you will find stark contrasts of rock and green forests.

  • 7. Snorkel Molikini Crater

    Explore the protected marine sanctuary of Molikini Crater. See wildlife, such as turtles, coral reef and even monk seals.

  • 8. Iolani Palace

    In 1879, King Kalakaua built his Iolani Palace in Honolulu, which is the only official royal residence in the United States today. Definitely take a guided tour!

  • 9. Drive the Road to Hana

    Drive down the famous winding Road to Hana. This epic voyage takes you through lush tropical forests and past cascading waterfalls all along the way.

  • 10. Haleakala National Park

    Watch the sun rise at the top of Haleakala National Park on the beautiful island of Maui. Not an early riser? Bike down the mountain during the day, or try stargazing at night.

Planning Your Visit

  • When should I go?

    Depending on what you want to see, Hawaii is a top destination year round. If you’re looking for sunshine, visit from April to September. Rainy season from November to March coincides with whale watching season. This is a popular time of year to visit, as you are almost guaranteed to see whales.

  • What's the weather like?

    Unsurprisingly, very warm - no wonder Hawaii is such a popular vacation destination! However, depending on the side of the island you are on, you will experience very different temperatures and weather. This unique terrain offers sunny beaches to the west, tropical showers to the north, and some freezing cold weather on the top of the craters such as Haleakala. Pack alternative clothing if you're going on an excursions.

  • How long should I stay?

    Although in terms of land area it's one of the smallest US states, it's not necessarily easy to get around Hawaii in a small amount of time - there are quite a few islands with so much to see. If you'd like to get a lot out of your trip, plan two weeks and stay at least three days per island.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-10:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Spring may be the best time to visit due to the warm temperatures and lack of rainfall, making hiking and beach visits pleasant. Summer is dry, but the temperature gets very hot, the humidity is high, and the surf is down.

What people are saying about Hawaii

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5,223 reviews

My 2 friends and I did this tour our last day of the trip and it was a great way to end a wonderful vacation. Our tour guide Derek arrived on time in an air conditioned, clean and comfortable vehicle. He was extremely helpful, sharing knowledge and history of the island that he's learned as a guide and also as a resident for many years. He was always sure to communicate the flow of the day or activity we were about to do, what to expect with the terrain and accompanied us on certain walls to point out things we would have otherwise missed. A great guide, adored by many vendors and locals on the tour route. We stayed on the right side of the island and it was great to have someone experienced get us and show us through the southern area and let side of the island. Great trip, would highly recommend.

This is unlike any other luau I’ve ever experienced. The service was elevated to that of fine dining. The food was unbelievable and even better than expected. Native performers present high quality traditional songs and stories. The Andaz is a beautiful site that must be experienced at sunset! If you’re looking for an upscale luau for adults & teen that appreciate farm to table food this is a must!

This was an awesome experience. Great hosts and delicious food. We were lucky enough to see the whales and they gave us a show. The sunset was beautiful. It was a great memory on our trip. Would highly recommend!!

We saw lots of colorful fish, a turtle, an eel and a couple people on our tour saw an octopus and a shark! Don’t worry, the shark was harmless. The crew was great, the food was good, and sealift was awesome!

What an awesome experience! We went whale watching the end of December and saw lots whales breaching, slapping their tales and waving to us with a fin. Book your trip!