Hawaii, a beautiful tropical haven, presents an array of astounding activities and experiences that cater to all visitors. From breathtaking beaches to lush rainforests, this guide will take you through the best things to do in Hawaii. Brace yourself for outdoor adventures, relaxation spots, fun-filled activities, and a glimpse into the Honolulu lifestyle as we delve into the world of excitement this gorgeous chain of islands has to offer.
Unleashing outdoor adventures
Dive into the underwater paradise by snorkeling and scuba diving
Hawaii boasts some of the world's most spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving spots. Immerse yourself in the underwater world of vibrant coral reefs, where an explosion of colors and marine life awaits. Swim alongside graceful sea turtles, playful dolphins, and tropical fish. Whether you're a seasoned diver or a beginner, there are fantastic options for all skill levels.
Discover the hidden wonders of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, where you can head out on a catamaran excursion and snorkel in the sparkling waters to reveal a breathtaking marine ecosystem of dolphins, manta rays, green sea turtles, tropical fish, and much more. Off the Waianae Coast, take a cruise and open swim with spinner dolphins for an adventure you won’t soon forget.
Unveil majestic waterfalls and explore the scenic hikes
Waterfalls grace the gorgeous landscapes of Hawaii, and embarking on hikes leading to these natural wonders is an absolute must. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Manoa Falls on Oahu, where you'll traverse through a lush rainforest filled with towering bamboo and vibrant flora.
Explore Kaiwa Ridge Trail — also known as Lanikai Pillbox — a 1.6-mile trek that promises stunning vistas of the shoreline. Tackling the Maunawili Falls Hike is another worthwhile venture if you’re seeking jungle trails, cliff jumping, and impressive views of Kailua and the cascading waters. Enjoy the mesmerizing landscape as you follow the Koolau Mountain Range along Oahu’s windward side, leading along the river to a gorgeous waterfall and popular swimming spot.
If you’re a skilled hiker who’s up for a bit of a thrill, take on the Mt. Olomana Trail, a perilous, risky, and strenuous journey full of sheer drop-offs, dramatically steep slopes, scrambling rocks, rope areas, and vertical climbs. Also known as the “three peaks” trail, this trek is not for the faint of heart. Your efforts will pay off spectacularly, however, as the hike rewards you with unparalleled views at the top of each summit.
On Oahu’s eastern edge near Hawaii Kai, take the 1,048 steps up the Koko Head Stairs to witness jaw-dropping vistas of Koko Crater at the top. Inside the crater, you can also explore the 60 incredible acres of rare plants at Koko Crater Botanical Garden. Near Aina Haina, take on the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail, a quiet trek that offers panoramic views of the bay and Pearl Harbor.
Head to the beach and ride the waves
Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing, invites you to experience this iconic sport firsthand. With its world-renowned breaks and consistent waves, Hawaii offers an exceptional playground for surf enthusiasts.
Waikiki Beach on Oahu provides the perfect setting for beginners, with long, gentle waves that are ideal for learning the art of surfing. Lanikai Beach is another go-to spot for kayaking, surfing, swimming, and stand-up paddle boarding. You can even kayak over to the Mokulua Islands from Lanikai Beach or Kailua Beach Park.
For a fun afternoon, dolphin watch or jump off “Jump Rock” at Waimea Bay Beach Park on the North Shore of Oahu. Many surfing competitions are held at Sunset Beach and Ehukai Beach Park on the North Shore, with barreling waves that reach 20 feet high at the Banzai Pipeline.
Head to Portlock, where you’ll find a gorgeous coastline that’s home to the perfect sunbathing, swimming, and diving spot at Portlock Point, also known as China Walls. The Spitting Caves offer astounding scenery of glittering waves and a cliffside oasis. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is not to be missed, either, with its world-renowned snorkeling spots and mesmerizing views. Sandy Beach Park in Hawaii Kai is a go-to spot for bodysurfing and kite flying, with thundering and challenging waves.
Unearthing unique experiences
Indulge in the festive spirit of a luau
The luau, a traditional Hawaiian feast enriched with music, dance, and culinary delights, is a cultural experience you don’t want to skip. Immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities as the sound of ukuleles fills the air, the tantalizing aroma of kalua pig roasting in an imu (underground oven) wafts through the night, and graceful hula dancers sway to the rhythm of ancient chants. Experience the true essence of a luau at renowned venues like the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.
Delve into history at Pearl Harbor
Exploring the historical significance of Pearl Harbor is an essential experience for any visitor to Hawaii. Commemorating the infamous attack on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor offers a profound insight into World War II. Explore the solemn and historic USS Arizona Memorial, which rests above the sunken battleship, and pay tribute to the lives lost during the attack. Visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial, where the Japanese surrender ceremony took place, marking the end of the war in the Pacific. At the Pacific Aviation Museum, immerse yourself in the fascinating world of aviation history, from vintage aircraft to interactive exhibits.
Discover the flavors of Hawaiian cuisine
No list of the best things to do in Hawaii would be complete without mentioning the fantastic food. Hawaiian cuisine is an irresistible fusion of flavors influenced by various traditions, including Polynesian, Japanese, and Chinese. Embark on a culinary journey and savor the unique dishes that define local gastronomy. Sample delectable poke bowls, a savory blend of marinated raw fish, rice, and fresh vegetables. Delight in the tender and succulent kalua pig, slow-cooked in an underground imu for hours, resulting in a smoky and melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. Don't forget to cool off with refreshing shaved ice, a beloved Hawaiian treat featuring finely shaved ice drenched in an assortment of tropical fruit syrups.
Embrace the Honolulu lifestyle: Buying real estate in Hawaii
If you are captivated by the allure of Hawaii's breathtaking landscapes, you may consider making this paradise your home. Hawaii offers a range of unmatched real estate options, from grand waterfront properties to sprawling estates. Honolulu, with its cosmopolitan vibes and stunning skyline, presents an exceptional opportunity for those seeking a vibrant city lifestyle. Waikiki, renowned for its pristine beaches and upscale resorts, offers a blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication.
As you embark on your Hawaiian adventure, may the wonders of this tropical paradise ignite your senses, invigorate your spirit, and leave an indelible mark on your heart. With its captivating beauty and charming lifestyle, Hawaii offers an extraordinary tapestry of experiences that will linger in your memories for a lifetime.
If you're ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in Hawaii, let trusted Realtor® Tracy Allen
be your guide to the Honolulu real estate
market. Start your Hawaiian adventure today and make your dream of living in paradise a reality with Tracy Allen by your side.
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash