10 Things to Do in Hawaii

If you’re looking for things to do in Hawaii to make your trip extra memorable and exciting, then this list is for you. Explore our 10 places to visit while traveling the Aloha state.

a mountain range juts out from cloud cover at haleakal? national park in hawaii

10. Take in the Sights at Haleakala National Park

 

Hawaii is a popular destination for beautiful landscapes. Therefore it’s no surprise that there’s three different parks on this top ten list, starting with Haleakala National Park. The park is divided into two sections – Summit and Kipahulu. Summit’s highlight is unquestionably the volcanic crater that the park is named for. This summit boasts amazing sunrise and sunsets. A scenic, winding coastal route takes you to Kipahulu. Once there, more than two dozen pools with freshwater fish invite swimmers for a refreshing dip in paradise.

 

an overhead shot of the uss arizona at pearl harbor in hawaii

Photo: Travel Weekly

9. Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial

 

No trip to Hawaii is complete without a stop to pay your respects at the Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial. The memorial is situated directly above the sunken battleship.  This battleship is the final resting place for over 1,100 sailors and marines killed on December 7, 1941, the “day that will live in infamy”. While it’s unquestionably one of those most somber things to do in Hawaii, it’s certainly an important site to visit. At the moment of writing, the monument is currently closed for repairs. But boat tours around the memorial and other Pearl Harbor-inflicted ships are still available.

 

the red green landscape of waimea canyon state park, one of the things to do in hawaii

8. Go Hiking at Waimea Canyon State Park

 

Also called “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, Waimea Canyon is ten miles long and up to 3,600 feet deep on the island of Kaua’i. Translated, Waimea means ‘reddish water’. It’s given this namesake for the canyon’s red soil which is just as striking as its contrasting lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. Like the Grand Canyon, there’s plenty of hiking trails to be found that are perfect for the beginning trekker and experienced climbers.

 

molten lava flows at hawai'i volcanoes national park, one of the things to do in hawaii

Photo: Jack Ebnet

7. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

 

If you want a glimpse into how the Hawaiian islands came to be, then make sure you visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. As the name implies, the park is comprised of two active volcanoes: Kilauea and Mauna Loa. As recently as 2018, massive eruptions at Kilauea forced its closure. However, most of the park is now open again.

 

a massive pineapple maze at the dole plantations, one of the things to do in hawaii

Photo: Reddit

6. Dole Pineapple Plantation

After you’ve finished setting some blistering laps around the K1 Speed Kapolei track on Oahu, visit Dole Plantation. Known as the pineapple destination on the island, here you’ll find plenty of pineapple gifts. They’ve got everything from candies to hand sanitizer. In addition, they have a Pineapple Express train tour, plantation garden tour, a massive pineapple garden maze, and even an onsite grill. Of course, a visit to the Dole Pineapple Plantation isn’t complete without an order of the world-famous Dole Whip. The Dole Whip is one of the most refreshing things to do in Hawaii on a warm day.

 

turquoise ocean and white sand beach at waikiki beach in hawaii

Photo:  Islands

5. Catch a Wave at Waikiki Beach

 

If you plan to catch a wave while in the birthplace of surfing, then you’ve got to visit Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. People  surf this popular beach ever since the 1800s. Back then, Hawaiian royalty took to the waves on early forms of longboards. In the early 1900s, the man who popularized surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, called this beach his home, creating an influx of visitors keen to learn the sport. If the beach itself doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always relax in one of the many high-end hotels that line the coast. Or browse its many luxury designer brand stores, restaurants, and clubs.

 

 

visitors encounter living history at kona coffee living history farm, a thing to do in hawaii

Photo: Carnival

4. Kona Coffee Living History Farm

 

Over two billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day. Find out how it all begins with the Kona Coffee Living History Farm on the Big Island. Step back in time and see how a Kona coffee farm operated from bean to cup. This award-winning experience immerses you in the early 20th century, as all staff are costumed, and original practices like milling/drying the coffee, lunch preparation for the farmers, and more are performed right in front of your eyes. Naturally, the farm sells 100% Kona coffee and other items that are made in Hawaii. Plus, it’s non-profit, so all proceeds go towards educational programs and preservation projects. This thing to do in Hawaii should also put an extra perk in your step.

 

a large stingray swims in front of visitors at the maui ocean center in hawaii

Photo: Meet Hawaii

3. Dive Deep at the Maui Ocean Center

 

If you want to see what’s below the water’s surface without snorkeling/scuba diving, then explore the Maui Ocean Center. This aquarium and oceanography center on Maui is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. You’ll observe Hawaiin green turtles at Turtle Lagoon. Meanwhile, the Living Reef exhibit features over 40 Hawaiian coral specials that exist in both shallow and deep reef environments. And their Open Ocean Exhibit gets you up close with sharks, stingrays, and hundreds of fish without having to don a pair of flippers and goggles.

 

lush gardens and palm trees at the princeville botanical gardens in hawaii

Photo: Arrived

2. Princeville Botanical Gardens

 

If you’re looking for things to do in Hawaii with more lush environment, here’s another option. Started as a personal hobby for a family, Princeville Botanical Gardens turned into a sought-after tourist destination on the island of Kauai. Originally cattle land with barely any native flora, the land into a paradise by the family. The park features some of the healthiest specimens on the island. These specimens include potent medicinal plants, rare and endangered flowers, delicious fruit trees, and even organic chocolate. Regarding the latter, visitors can actually try their homemade chocolate, as well as honey from their on-site hives. Tours are offered four days a week, so be sure to book your trip to the gardens in advance.

 

k1 speed couple racing

Photo: K1 Speed

1. Try an Authentic Racing Experience at K1 Speed

 

While go-karting might not be the first attraction that comes to mind when planning a trip to Hawaii, there’s plenty of reasons why you need to visit K1 Speed while on the island of Oahu. For starters, their karts are all-electric. Therefore, you won’t be breathing in noxious exhaust fumes or smelling like a gas station when you leave. Plus, they go FAST. Thanks to their instant torque, these karts have much faster acceleration than gas-powered karts. Junior karts take kids 48” or taller to speeds of 20mph. Meanwhile, anyone 4’10” or taller can try their hand at their adult karts that go up to 45mph. Their track is inside an air-conditioned building, so it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. It’s always a good day to hit the track at K1 Speed.

 

If you’re looking for a fun time with your group, be sure to book a group event! This provides private racing, a race for position on the track, and more! Plus, their meeting rooms are perfect for post-race celebrations. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush in paradise, K1 Speed Kapolei is a must-visit.

 

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