Top 10 things to see in Hawaii!

Things to do in Hawaii

Top 10 Things to see in Hawaii!

Hawaii is a tropical paradise that offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in this beautiful state. Here are the top 10 things to see in Hawaii. 

1. Waikiki Beach:

This iconic beach is a must-see for anyone visiting Hawaii. Known for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. Waikiki is the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy some of the best surf in the world. 

You can find Waikiki Beach on the Island of Oahu in the city of Honolulu. When I visited Honolulu I loved the Waikiki area. I would recommend getting a hotel within walking distance of Waikiki if that is an option for you. I was able to walk from my hotel to the Main Street with all the shopping. Here you will find luxury brands as well as popular more affordable brands. There also is a mall you can check out. 

Besides shopping there is a beach! This beach is very busy all the time. I found that it was still fun even with all the people. If your hotel is on the beach then you may have a more secluded section of the beach. All in all this is a great place to go if you have a free day and are wanting to explore. 

2. Diamond Head:

This iconic volcanic crater is a popular hiking spot on the island of Oahu. The hike to the summit offers breathtaking views of the island and the Pacific Ocean.

This is a very crowded hike for many reasons. This hike is is only 1.6 miles so many people are able to complete this hike. What you do not know about the 1.6 miles is that there are many stairs involved. I would not do this hike if you are someone who struggles with stairs. However, the view at the top is worth the trek. You have to climb all the way to the top lookout and take in the view of the Honolulu skyline. 

3. Polynesian Cultural center:

This cultural center on the island of Oahu offers a glimpse into the rich history and traditions of Polynesian cultures. Visitors can take part in interactive exhibits, traditional dances, and live performances.

This is one of my favorite places on earth. The Polynesian cultural center is like Disneyland. When you go to Disneyland you will get a map with different sections of the park being different worlds. When you arrive at the Polynesian center you will get a map that will take you all over the world from Tonga to New Zealand. This is not just some historic site. Each place you visit will have shows, music, activities, food, and more. 

The mission of the Polynesian Cultural Center is to preserve the different Polynesian cultures. Many of the performers are staff at the nearby BYU-Hawaii trying to make money for school. 

When you visit Hawaii you have to go to a Luau. I recommend visiting the PCC and attending the Luau they offer. You will be immersed in the culture of Hawaii through food, song, dance. When I went I got to learn how to Hula from professional dancers. 

Don’t miss out on this experience! This is my favorite thing to see in Hawaii. I recommend spending 2 days here if you can. 

4. Pearl Harbor:

This historic site is a must-see for history buffs. The USS Arizona Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum offer a sobering reminder of the events of December 7, 1941, and the impact they had on the United States and the world.

Visiting Pearl Harbor does not take long, but it is an amazing opportunity to learn about what happened at Pearl Harbor. You have to buy a ticket to enter the site. I recommend going in the morning because the lines can get long. I remember that we were able to walk around the visitor center before we went into a theater to watch short film about Pearl Harbor. After the film you make your way to a boat. This boat will take you out to the USS Arizona Memorial site. This is a structure built on the water over the site of where the ship sunk. Here you can see the memorial wall that has the names of all those that were in Pearl Harbor. The wall lists those that died and survived. 

pearl Harbor

5. Iolani Palace

The Hawaiian islands have not always been apart of the United States of America. The island has a long tribal history. In 1795 the Hawaiian monarchy was established. In 1810 the first European arrived and within 150 years Hawaii would be stripped of its monarchy and join the United States as its 50th state. 

The Iolani palace where the Hawaiian royalty lived is currently open for visitors to come and learn about Hawaiian history. This is a great place to visit to learn about Hawaii. 

6. Maui:

This island is known for its stunning natural beauty and offers a wide range of activities for visitors. From hiking to waterfalls and swimming with sea turtles, to taking a scenic drive along the famous Road to Hana, there’s something for everyone in Maui. 

Maui is smaller than Oahu and it is less busy. If you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, you can get that anywhere in Hawaii. However, I would say Maui is where I would go for a more seculded trip. I fell like Oahu was fast paced and had so many things to do. Maui is more of a go with the flow and be one with nature kind of island.  

7. Heleakala National park:

This national park on the island of Maui offers breathtaking views of the volcanic crater and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can hike, bike, or take a guided tour to the summit. This experience is different from Diamond head because this National Park is much bigger. At this National Park you have two big sections. The Summit district and the Kīpahulu District. 

Summit District 

This National Park is isolated. the NPS warns on their website to come with water, gas, food because there are no amenities near the Summit. The thing to do here is hike into a crater

Kīpahulu District

Here you will experience lush green forests and soft sand beaches. There are options to camp on the beaches in this section of the park. Take a one hour hike to the Bamboo forest


things to see in Hawaii

8. Waimea Canyon:

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is a must-see for nature enthusiasts. This massive canyon offers stunning views of the colorful rock formations and the lush vegetation that covers the island of Kauai.

Imagine the dessert landscape of the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. This Hawaii state park is just like that except lush and green. This state park has 2 trails. 

Iliau Nature Loop

This short .3 mile loop will give you all the views you could want of the canyon. It is short and sweet.  If you are looking for something longer check out the next hike


This trail is 2.5 miles one way and will take you 2,000 feet down the canyon. Round trip is 5 miles and will take you 4 hours to complete. This hike can be muddy and wet so be prepared. This hike will be difficult for a beginner and a fun challenge for an advanced hiker. 


9. Napali Coast:

 This rugged coastline on the island of Kauai is a popular spot for hiking and boat tours. Visitors can take in the spectacular views of the cliffs, waterfalls, and the Pacific Ocean.

The best way to explore this coastline is by Boat. Since this is a sharp and rugged coastline the safest way to explore is in the water. We love doing boat trips everywhere we go. There is just something so freeing about exploring the world by boat. 

If you can afford it this may be the time to splurge on a helicopter ride. This will give you an unreal view of the coastline. 

napali coast

10. Kilauea:

 This active shield volcano on the island of Hawaii is a popular spot for visitors. Take a guided tour of the volcano and witness the power and beauty of the molten lava flowing into the ocean.

Hiking a volcano is such a unique experience. Why would you walk on something that could irrupt at any time? Who knows but lets do it! When you hike a volcano be ready for a steep walk. You can watch a live stream of the volcanos activity here


These are just a few of the many things to see in Hawaii. This state is truly a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich culture, and exciting activities. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Hawaii has something for everyone. When you visit remember to be respectful of the Island, Nature, and the Hawaiian people. 

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