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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 10 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
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
Dole Plantation

Dole Plantation

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What started out as a Wahiawa fruit stand in the middle of the pineapple fields in 1950 is now an extremely popular Hawaiian attraction. The sprawling Dole Plantation in central Oahu is a rural throwback to a time when the pineapple helped rule Oahu’s economy. Visitors can sample the sweet yellow fruit, ride on the famous Pineapple Express train and motor out through the fields, take a walk through a huge garden maze, learn how to find fresh pineapple when grocery shopping, and hear how pineapples are grown on plants—and not underground or on trees.More
#10
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 on Maui, Hawaii
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Oahu Circle Island and Snorkeling Tour
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7-Line Maui Zipline Tour on the North Shore
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Dolphin Watch and Snorkeling with Hula and Water Activities
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Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial

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Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise

Star Casual Sunset and Show Cruise

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From Ma'alaea Harbor: Sunset Dinner Cruise Aboard Calypso
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From Ma'alaea Harbor, Maui: Molokini Snorkeling Adventure Aboard Calypso
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Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island, Hawaii
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Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki, Hawaii
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Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History
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Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure

Maui Atlantis Submarine Adventure

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Turtle Canyon Catamaran Snorkel Cruise from Waikiki
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Hawaii

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Fantastic Experience!! Felt Safe throughout.
Brian_K, Jun 2022
Manta Magic - Night Manta Ray Snorkel At Manta Village, Kona, Hawaii
We were able to see several manta rays circling below us and 2 mantas brushed up against our arms and hands which was a scary and thrilling experience.
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Friendly guides took us...
Elizabeth_D, Jun 2022
Big Island of Hawaii unique off-road ATV adventure!
Friendly guides took us on a small group adventure through the Hawaiian backcountry to see a couple of beach spots, a turtle cove and lots of beautiful hawaiian scenery.
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Oahu Tour
Cameron_S, Jun 2022
Hidden Gems of Oahu - Circle Island Tour with Waimea Waterfall
We got to see all of the island without being rushed and learn more about Hawaii along the way.
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Fun experience
Kaitlynn_G, Jun 2022
Captain Cook /Kealakekua Bay
We were able to see some spinner dolphins, go along the coast and learn some Hawaiian history, and snorkel.
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A Highly Recommended Activity
Latanya_B, Jun 2022
Paradise Cove Luau
The history, culture, and activities available made the trip even more enjoyable.
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Wonderful Waterfall Tour
Shelby_B, Jun 2022
Kohala Waterfalls Small Group Adventure Tour
Our knowledgeable, friendly guide, Taro, did a great job informing us about Native Hawaiian history and local culture as he led us to several lovely waterfalls.
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A Necessity for Hawaii!
Latanya_B, Jun 2022
BYOB Sunset Cruise off the Waikiki Coast
Recommend for anyone who wishes to see a sunset, turtle, or even a dolphin!
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Helicopter tour
Audrey_C, Jun 2022
Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
It was just breath taking to see the Beauty that Hawaii has to offer.
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Oahu Northshore
janarousseausmith, Jun 2022
Full-Day Oahu Island Small-Group Tour
It was a great way to see the highlights of what the island had to offer.
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Perfect adventure!
Kristofor_A, Jun 2022
Half-Day Kayak and Waterfall Hike Tour in Kauai with Lunch
The kayak and hike to the waterfall was perfect!
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Great tour of the Island of Hawaii
Margaret_F, Jun 2022
Big Island in a Day: Volcanoes, Waterfalls, Sightseeing, History
We were able to see highlight of the island.
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Definitely one of the...
Sam_S, Jun 2022
Xtreme Parasail in Honolulu, Hawaii
Definitely one of the coolest things to do in Hawaii and the crew at extreme parasailing is amazing!
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Great experience!
Ann_A, Jun 2022
Paradise Cove Luau
There were activities before the show that included getting pictures with parrots, spear throwing, lei making, and “Hawaiian bowling” to name a few.
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BEST EXCURSION WE HAVE DONE
Kyley_F, Jun 2022
Swim with Dolphins in the West Coast line of Oahu
The crew members were absolutely amazing with kids.
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Beautiful hike
Kristoffer_D, Jun 2022
Rainforest Waterfall Trail and Shuttle Service
I look forward to seeing this during rainy season when the falls are in full bloom.
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Amazing helicopter ride
Kristoffer_D, Jun 2022
Royal Crown of Oahu - 60 Min Helicopter Tour - Doors Off or On
He took us places we wanted to see and was so informative about everything.
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60th bday celebration
Wendy_W, Jun 2022
Grand Circle Island and Haleiwa 9 Hour Tour
Great route, nice guide, wished we could stop to see the turtles, guide was very knowledgeable and a great way to learn about Hawaii
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Vaca 2022
Kim_G, Jun 2022
Step Back Into History Pearl Harbor Private Tour USS Arizona and USS Missouri
This experience was something I will never regret coming to Hawaii to visit It was very enlightening.
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Breath taking!
ANDREW_V, Jun 2022
Manta Ray Snorkeling by Night in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
We got to see so many Ray.
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Rainbow trees, black sand...
Carol_C, Jun 2022
Road to Hana Day Trip
Rainbow trees, black sand beach, waterfalls my son, his wife & my granddaughter jumped at 30ft high in the waters, Huli Huli Chicken, Sandy’s banana bread, Christy our driver was incredible and knowledgeable about Hana & Hawaiian culture/history!
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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.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
HST (UTC -10)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Frequently Asked Questions
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