Hawaii is a very popular vacation destination with over 17.75 billion visitors per year. If you haven’t been to the Aloha State yet, you’re truly missing out.
Planning your trip can be a challenge because there are so many amazing Hawaii attractions to visit. You don’t want to go all the way to the islands only to feel like you might be missing out on something.
We’ve put together a list of our four favorite things to do in Hawaii. Whether you’re an Aloha State first-timer or a regular visitor, there’s something on our list for you.
1. Go Whale Watching
The warm and shallow waters surrounding the islands of Hawaii are a perfect place to whale watch. The North Pacific humpback whales leave Alaska during the fall month to find their winter home in Hawaiian waters. This is also where they’ll mate, give birth, and nurture their calves.
You’ll have the most luck whale watching between December and May. While they can be seen from all the islands, the Auau channel is one of the best places in the world to spot them.
2. Take a Cruise
Whether you’re cruising to Hawaii aboard an oceanliner or taking a sunset ride on a smaller vessel, you must see the islands by boat.
Of course, you’ll have many more amenities and live more luxuriously aboard a cruise ship. If your budget and time constraints allow for it, consider booking with a major cruise line. Enjoy being able to rest and relax while on your next Hawaii cruise in style.
Sunset boat rides are perfect for people on a tighter budget or with fewer days to work with. There’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from the open waters.
3. Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
One of the best places to visit in Hawaii is the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The park is home to two volcanoes, including Kilauea, one of the most active volcanos on Earth.
Take a day hike to see the lava flows of Mauna Ulu or the petroglyphs at Pu’u Loa. Nahuku is another must-see destination with a huge lava cave to explore.
Fill your rental car with gas and take a scenic drive to the Chain of Craters Road. Here you’ll find 18 miles of various sized crates, old lava flows, and maybe even active lava. You can park in several places to hike or take in the breathtaking view.
4. Get Under Water
If you love the water, one of the best Hawaii things to do is to get your swimsuit on and explore.
Many different tour companies provide diving and snorkeling tours. See if you can spot any sharks, manta rays, eagles rays, turtles, or eels.
If you prefer more heart-pounding dives, consider visiting O’ahu or Lana’i.
In O’ahu, you can dive down to see the wrecks of USS YO-257 and San Pedro. The watery graves of the navy oiler and decommissioned hospital ship are close enough to see in one dive.
Lana’i is a well-known diving spot for its superior visibility and cavern dives. Visit Cathedrals I and II to see if you can spot new species of fish and rarely seen invertebrates.
Starting Planning Things to Do in Hawaii
Now that you know what to do in Hawaii, it’s time to plan your visit. We think our four things to do in Hawaii are enough to get you off to a good start.
Check out our Travel section for more tips on planning your next vacation.