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

This introduction to diving was excellent for newbies and people who haven’t been diving for a while and need a refresher. The teacher, Doug, was excellent and had a lot of patience for slow and steady learning. You will start off in the pool practicing skills, one of which is getting the wetsuit on!, and then you and a team of dive professionals make your way to the boat. The weather was bad this day and the team worked together with our excellent captain to find a locale where we could all feel safe to jump in and get out. On the way, we saw humpback whales and spinner dolphins! Great team, wonderful experience...I feel comfortable telling everyone to book with this company.

I was misled from your website thinking this included tickets to the Arizona. I think you should specify that as a disclaimer that is very visible so others like me don’t miss out on that experience! Your site says USS Arizona all over but when we went to see it we were turned away!! Very upsetting and frustrating!!

The weather wasn’t very cooperative (rainy, windy, lots of large waves) and we understand that wasn’t their fault but it made for a very tough experience. The guides were very friendly, kind, and wanted everyone to have a good experience however, and kept checking in with everyone. The music was a bit loud.

Absolutely amazing! Our guide was great, we got to see a whale up close and were able to hear them calling during the whole trip. Snorkeling we got to see great animal life, almost ran into a few turtles a few times but managed to steer clear. Overall better experience than I thought it was going to be

We had a great time. Excellent snorkeling and the captain and crew were wonderful. I would skip the snuba unless you have done it before, especially for kids. The instructor was impatient and made the experience stressful. Not worth the extra money at all.