10 Best Places to Visit in Hawaii

If you’re looking for the ultimate tropical getaway, Hawaii should be at the top of your list! The island state is home to some of the world’s best beaches, volcanic wonders, and breathtaking landscapes. In this article, we’ve curated the top 10 must-visit places in Hawaii that are sure to make your trip unforgettable. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation or a mix of both, Hawaii’s top tourist destinations and must-visit Hawaiian attractions have got you covered. So pack your bags, grab your camera and get ready to explore the best of Hawaii!

Oahu: The Gathering Place

Oahu, known as “The Gathering Place,” is one of the best places to visit in Hawaii for tourists and has many recommended places to visit. The third-largest island in Hawaii offers a unique mix of stunning beaches, historical sites, and vibrant city life.

One of the must-see attractions in Oahu is the famous Waikiki Beach, where you can soak up the sun, swim, surf, or just relax on the golden sand. (images of Waikiki Beach below)

best places to visit in Hawaii for tourists

If you’re interested in history, a visit to Pearl Harbor is a must-do. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is home to the USS Arizona Memorial, which honors those who sacrificed their lives during the 1941 attack. You can also explore the USS Missouri Battleship Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

If you’re looking for adventure and stunning views, hike to the top of Diamond Head, a volcanic crater that towers above Waikiki Beach. The hike is relatively short but steep, and once you reach the top, you’ll have an incredible view of the island.

Best Time to Visit Oahu

The best time to visit Oahu is during the shoulder seasons of April to May and September to mid-December. The weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller compared to the peak season of mid-December to March.

MonthAverage Temperature (°F)Rainfall (inches)

“Oahu offers a perfect blend of natural and man-made attractions, ensuring visitors will have an unforgettable time exploring this beautiful island paradise.”

Maui: The Valley Isle

Maui is a highly sought after vacation spot in Hawaii, drawing in millions of tourists every year. One of the most popular places to explore in Hawaii, Maui is known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and breathtaking sunsets. It’s the perfect destination for travelers looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and soak up some sun in paradise.

Take a road trip along the stunning Road to Hana, where you’ll have the opportunity to admire the lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, and incredible ocean views. Snorkel enthusiasts are in for a treat with the chance to explore the Molokini Crater, one of the top-rated destinations in Hawaii for underwater adventures. And for those who are looking for a more serene experience, a visit to Haleakala National Park is a must. Witness the sunrise over the horizon and embrace the stunning colors that light up the sky.

Top Vacation Spots in Hawaii

The Beauty of Maui

Maui’s stunning landscapes and turquoise waters make it one of the top vacation spots in Hawaii. From world-class golf courses to serene beaches and lush rainforests, Maui has something for everyone.

Road to HanaBe amazed by the scenic views along the famous Road to Hana. The road winds along the coast, through rainforests, and over 59 bridges leading to breathtaking waterfalls and botanical gardens.
Molokini CraterSnorkel at Molokini Crater where you can explore the vibrant underwater world that is home to a variety of marine wildlife such as colorful fish, green sea turtles, and exotic reef sharks.
Haleakala National ParkExperience the unforgettable sunrise at Haleakala National Park and witness the otherworldly beauty of the volcanic landscapes, and the remnants of ancient Hawaiian civilization.

Don’t miss the chance to visit Maui, the Valley Isle, one of Hawaii’s most stunning islands.

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Kauai: The Garden Isle

Kauai, often called “The Garden Isle,” is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. With its stunning landscapes, majestic waterfalls, and abundant hiking trails, Kauai offers a picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One of the best places to visit in Hawaii for tourists is the Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This geological wonder features red rock formations, lush greenery, and panoramic views that are truly breathtaking. A visit to Waimea Canyon should definitely be on your list of recommended places to visit in Hawaii.

Famous AttractionsDescription
Na Pali CoastThe Na Pali Coast is famous for its sheer cliffs, blue skies, and turquoise waters. Take a boat tour along the coast to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Kauai.
Hanalei BayHanalei Bay is one of the most picturesque beaches in Hawaii. Relax on the golden sands, go swimming, or simply watch the sunset over the horizon.
Waimea CanyonWaimea Canyon is a must-see attraction in Kauai. With its red rock formations, lush greenery, and panoramic views, it’s often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

If you’re looking for adventure, take a boat tour along the Na Pali Coast, where you can spot dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat. Or, if you prefer a more relaxing experience, head to Hanalei Bay and enjoy the picturesque beaches and calm waters.

best places to visit in Hawaii for tourists

No matter what you choose to do on Kauai, it’s sure to be a memorable experience. Add Kauai to your list of recommended places to visit in Hawaii and discover all the natural wonders that this beautiful island has to offer.

Big Island: Hawaii’s Volcanic Wonder

As Hawaii’s largest island, the Big Island boasts a unique landscape that is filled with natural wonders and breathtaking views. From active volcanoes to black sand beaches, the Big Island is a top-rated destination for tourists seeking an unforgettable Hawaiian experience.

One of the must-see sights in Hawaii is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the Big Island. Here, you can explore lava tubes, witness active volcanoes, and take a scenic drive along the Chain of Craters Road. To truly experience the wonders of the park, consider taking a guided hiking tour.

Another stunning attraction on the Big Island is the black sand beaches of Hilo. The black sand is a result of volcanic activity, creating an otherworldly experience for visitors. Relax at the beach, take a dip in the ocean, or explore the surrounding area for a truly unique adventure.

If luxury is what you’re after, the Kona coast offers a wide range of resorts and accommodations. Relax by the pool with a beautiful view, indulge in a spa treatment, or take a sunset cruise for a romantic evening with your loved one.

must-see sights in Hawaii

Whether you prefer natural wonders or luxurious relaxation, the Big Island has something for everyone. Plan your trip to one of Hawaii’s top destinations and discover the uniqueness of this island paradise.

Lanai: The Private Island

If you’re looking for a secluded and luxurious vacation spot in Hawaii, Lanai is the perfect destination. This private island is known for its gorgeous beaches, rugged landscapes, and unparalleled serenity. Start your adventure at Shipwreck Beach, where the stunning shoreline and turquoise waters will take your breath away.

For those who love snorkeling, head to Hulopoe Bay to see a diverse range of marine life and coral formations beneath the surface. Take a scenic hike to Sweetheart Rock and witness the stunning natural beauty of the area.

If golf is your game, Lanai won’t disappoint with its world-class courses, including The Experience at Koele and The Challenge at Manele. Whatever your preference, Lanai is a top vacation spot in Hawaii that offers a unique and exquisite experience.

top vacation spots in Hawaii

Molokai: The Friendly Isle

If you’re looking for a destination that offers an unspoiled, authentic Hawaiian experience, Molokai should be at the top of your list. This peaceful island boasts beautiful beaches, rich cultural heritage, and a slower pace of life that allows you to fully relax and unwind.

top vacation spots in Hawaii

One of the must-visit attractions on Molokai is the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. This secluded peninsula was once a leper colony, and today it tells the story of the thousands of patients who were exiled here and the brave souls who cared for them. Take a mule ride down the steep cliffs to the park or hike the challenging Kalaupapa Trail for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

The stunning Halawa Valley offers a glimpse into Hawaii’s ancient past with its ancient temples and lush landscapes. Take a guided tour with a local resident or hike the steep trails to stunning views of the valley and waterfall.

For those interested in traditional Hawaiian crafts, Molokai offers unique opportunities to learn from local artisans. Visit Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park to see how Hawaiians traditionally used coconuts or take a class in hula dancing or lei-making.

Waimea: The Cowboy Town

Waimea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is a unique and charming town that offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Known as the “cowboy town,” Waimea is a blend of Hawaiian and Western culture. The town is surrounded by rolling hills and cattle ranches and is an excellent place to explore the Hawaiian cowboy history.

Make sure to attend the annual Parker Ranch Rodeo, where you can see real cowboys competing in various rodeo events. Waimea also has a vibrant arts scene, with several local galleries where you can see and purchase unique pieces made by local artists.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Waimea has excellent hiking opportunities, including the scenic Waipi’o Valley trail, which offers breathtaking views of waterfall, streams, and lush greenery. You can also go horseback riding with Na’alapa Stables for a quintessential Hawaiian cowboy experience.

popular places to explore in Hawaii

Na Pali Coast: A Natural Wonder

The Na Pali Coast on Kauai is one of the most popular places to explore in Hawaii, with its dramatic landscapes and stunning beauty. The rugged cliffs, lush valleys, and turquoise waters make this a top attraction in the Hawaiian Islands. You can take a boat tour to admire the beauty from a different perspective or hike along the Kalalau Trail for an adventurous trek through the rugged terrain.

For a truly breathtaking experience, take a scenic helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder. Be prepared to be blown away by the stunning views of the coastline and valleys as you soar through the air.

Na Pali Coast

The Na Pali Coast is a must-visit location in Hawaii and is a perfect place to explore for nature enthusiasts or anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable adventure in Hawaii.

Haleakala National Park: Sunrise in the Sky

Haleakala National Park is a natural wonderland located on the island of Maui. This breathtaking park spans over 33,000 acres and features an array of unique landscapes and recreational opportunities. The park is known for its stunning sunrise views from the summit, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

If you’re an early riser, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the sunrise from Haleakala’s summit. The view from the top of the volcanic crater is truly awe-inspiring and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can also explore the park’s otherworldly landscapes, hike through the fascinating bamboo forests, or simply take a scenic drive through the lush greenery.

While the sunrise is a popular attraction, there are plenty of other things to see and do in the park. Haleakala is home to a variety of ecosystems, from the delicate Hawaiian dryland forests to the subalpine shrublands. Visitors can see rare and endangered species of plants and animals, including the Hawaiian goose, or nene, the state bird of Hawaii.

Haleakala National Park Quick Facts

LocationMaui, Hawaii
Area33,265 acres (134.62 km2)
EstablishedAugust 1, 1916
Visitors (2019)1,092,904
Things to DoSunrise at the summit, hiking, camping, stargazing

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply a nature lover, Haleakala National Park is a must-see destination in Hawaii. So pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready to experience the magic of Maui’s Haleakala National Park.

Haleakala sunrise

Waikiki Beach: Sun, Sand, and Surf

You can’t visit Hawaii without spending at least a day at Waikiki Beach, one of the most popular places to explore in Hawaii. This iconic beach on the south shore of Oahu stretches for two miles and offers golden sands, warm waters, and endless sunshine.

If you’re seeking adventure, hit the waves and try surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, or kayaking. Or if you prefer to relax, simply sunbathe or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters. You can also book a catamaran or sunset cruise to take in the stunning views of Diamond Head and the Honolulu skyline.

Waikiki Beach is more than just a beach, it’s a vibrant neighborhood with plenty of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Stroll along Kalakaua Avenue to explore the boutique stores and luxury brands. Or head to the Waikiki Beach Walk, a bustling outdoor plaza with live entertainment, art galleries, and a variety of dining options.

“Waikiki is one of the few places in the world where you can surf a wave and take in views of the city skyline at the same time.”

So whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or a taste of Hawaiian culture, Waikiki Beach has something for everyone. Book your trip today and experience the magic of this top attraction in the Hawaiian Islands.

popular places to explore in Hawaii

Pearl Harbor: A Historic Site

If you’re interested in history, a visit to Pearl Harbor on Oahu is a must. This historic site pays homage to the events that took place during World War II and is one of the top attractions in the Hawaiian Islands. When you arrive, you can watch a documentary film about the attack on Pearl Harbor before heading out to the USS Arizona Memorial. This moving tribute sits above the remains of the battleship and is accessible only by boat. You can also explore the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, where you can take a self-guided audio tour of the submarine, which served in the Pacific during WWII.

If you’re interested in military history, another must-see is the Battleship Missouri Memorial. The ship was the site of the Japanese surrender that ended WWII. Visitors can take a guided tour of the battleship, which includes a glimpse at some of the ship’s most interesting areas, including the state rooms and the navigation bridge. There’s also a gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs to remember your visit.

Pearl Harbor World War II Memorial

Road to Hana: A Scenic Adventure

Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey on Road to Hana, one of the top attractions in the Hawaiian Islands. This legendary scenic drive is located on Maui and takes you through lush rainforests, waterfalls, and stunning coastal views that offer an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

As you drive along, you’ll discover numerous opportunities to stop and explore various attractions, including the Twin Falls, a magical spot with magnificent waterfalls and tropical flora, the Wailua Falls, a stunning 80-foot waterfall that cascades down a lush green cliff, and the Garden of Eden Arboretum, home to over 500 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants.

Road to Hana

Take your time driving the Road to Hana and be sure to pack your camera to capture the breathtaking views and beautiful scenery along the way. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker, nature lover, or just looking for a scenic drive, the Road to Hana is a must-visit destination on your trip to Hawaii.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Nature’s Fury

If you love exploring natural phenomena, you should not miss the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, one of the top attractions in the Hawaiian Islands. Witness the power of nature as you hike through the park, explore the lava tubes, or take a scenic drive along the Chain of Craters Road. Keep in mind that the park is subject to frequent closures, so check the website for current updates before you go.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Kileauea blew its top in 2018 and now delights visitors with a spectacular lava lake. In addition to the molten lava, the park features a unique ecosystem of plants and animals that have adapted to the harsh volcanic environment.

The visitors’ center, located just inside the park, provides information and exhibits on the geology and biology of the area. You can also watch a 3D film about the park’s history and help support the park by purchasing books, maps, and other educational materials, as well as food and beverages.

popular places to explore in Hawaii

Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, as conditions can be unpredictable at higher elevations. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen on hot days. As with all natural wonders, be respectful of the environment and follow the park’s rules and regulations.

Conclusion: Explore the Best Places in Hawaii

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure to include these top 10 places in your itinerary. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or beach bum, Hawaii offers something for everyone. These recommended places to visit in Hawaii are perfect for tourists, and they will surely leave you with lasting memories.

Don’t miss out on the best places to visit in Hawaii! Choose from the top-rated destinations on Maui, Kauai, Oahu, the Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai. You can explore stunning beaches, natural wonders, and iconic landmarks to make your vacation unforgettable.

With so much to see and do, Hawaii is the perfect destination for travelers looking for adventure and relaxation. So, pack your bags and head to this tropical paradise for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Start planning your trip now and discover the best places to visit in Hawaii for tourists!

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