View of China mans Hat from Kualoa Beach Park in Oahu

95 Best Things to Do in Hawaii Right Now

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Hawaii, look no further!

We’ve got the inside scoop on all the best activities and attractions the Islands have to offer. From relaxing at the best beaches to cascading through waterfalls, taking a helicopter tour, and much more, we’ve got you covered.

We know that when you visit Hawaii, you want to make the most of your time there. We’ve put together this list of must-see attractions and activities to make planning your trip much easier.

1. Night Snorkel or Dive With Manta Rays

One of the coolest things to do in Hawaii is a night snorkel or dive with manta rays. These gentle giants are a must-see when you’re in Hawaii.

You can do this with a tour company on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

We decided to go with a snorkeling tour, and we were utterly blown away by how unique this experience was. You have to try it if you are visiting the Big Island.

Remember not to touch the wildlife while you are there. This can damage their coating and make them susceptible to infections.

Manta ray seen in the ocean in Hawaii while snorkeling at night.

This Travel Dream contains affiliate links and may receive compensation, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase using one of these links. You can read our disclaimer for more information.

Below is our FAVORITE manta ray tour on the Big Island

Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience

Operated By: Hang Loose Boat Tours

RATING: 4.9/5 stars — With more than 300 REVIEWS

How long is the tour? 2.5 hours

Why choose this tour? This tour company is one of the best on the Big Island. They have hundreds of positive reviews, and they provide a fantastic experience. The guides are very knowledgeable and will ensure you have an unforgettable time. You will most likely see manta rays on this tour. If not, you can reschedule for another day, but that’s unlikely. You can book the Boat Ride Only or the full adventure.

What’s included? 

☑2.5-hour cruise and snorkel

☑ Snorkel equipment

☑Safety briefing

☑Snacks (chips, granola bars, and fruit snacks)

☑Beverages (water, juice, and ginger ale)

What customers are saying:

This was an amazing adventure. The crew was friendly and patient with my 8-year-old. We saw Manta Rays the whole time we were in the water and even saw a pod of bottle-nose dolphins. I highly recommend this tour.”

— Jennifer, TOUR REVIEW

Other Manta Tour Options 

Other Manta Tours

Eco-Friendly Twilight Manta Ray Adventure

Snorkel with Manta Rays- Manta Guarantee

2. Visit the Historic Pearl Harbor

No trip to Hawaii is complete without a visit to Pearl Harbor. This is one of the most historical sites in the United States and is definitely worth visiting. 

You can tour the USS Arizona Memorial and learn about the Pearl Harbor attack.

You can also visit the USS Missouri Battleship and see where the Japanese signed their surrender at the end of World War II. The USS Missouri is the last battleship ever built in the United States.

You can also visit the USS Oklahoma Memorial and the USS Bowfin Submarine while you’re there.

Cody at Pearl Harbor on Hawaii inside

Below is our FAVORITE Pearl Harbor Tour

Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

Operated By: Roberts Hawaii Tours & Activities

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars — With more than 250 REVIEWS

How long is the tour? 5 Hours 

Why choose this tour? We love that this tour is a combination of the Pearl Harbor and City tours. You get the best of both worlds in one. The guides are truly knowledgeable and entertaining, and the tours are very informative.

What’s included? 

☑Pick-up from hotel (Waikiki only)

☑Transportation

☑Driver/guide

☑National Park fees

☑Admission to USS Arizona Memorial

☑Visit to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

☑Downtown Honolulu tour

☑ Visit the Hawaii State Capitol

☑Visit the Statue of King Kamehameha

What customers are saying:

It was the best decision to book this tour in advance. First, at the harbor, they accommodate only 150 people per ride. With the advance booking, you don’t have to stand in line under the heat, waiting if you can be accommodated. You have a specific time to get on the boat. The experience at the USS Arizona was very solemn but the whole thing takes maybe 10 minutes, tops. The best part of our tour was our driver/host! I couldn’t have read in Google the anecdotes and stories he told us during the bus ride. Made the tour worth it!

— Verified Booking, TOUR REVIEW

Other Pearl Harbor Tours

Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, Might Mo, and City Tour

Pearl Habor Tour with Arizona Memorial

3. Take a Helicopter Tour

One of the best ways to see Hawaii is from above. You can see many amazing sights, including waterfalls, rainforests, and volcanoes.

Many companies offer helicopter tours, and they all have different routes depending on which Hawaiian island you visit. You can choose the one that sounds the most interesting to you.

Kauai and The Big Island of Hawaii are our favorite islands to take helicopter tours.

Helicopter tour over the Napali Coast on Kauai with amazing cliff views

Below is our FAVORITE Helicopter Tour in Kauai

Waimea Canyon, Jurassic Falls, & More Helicopter Tour

Operated By: Safari Helicopters

RATING: 5/5 Stars — With more than 40 REVIEWS

How long is the tour? 1.5 Hours 

Why choose this tour? This tour will take you to the best spots on Kauai. You will get access to parts of the island that are not accessible by car. The tour guides are very knowledgeable about the movie history on the island as well as the history of the land.

What’s included? 

☑Helicopter Tour

☑Pilot and staff

What customers are saying:

“Top notch company in Kauai flying the Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon. An experienced safe pilot named Max took us on a breathtaking trip. The playlist for each site beginning to end in my headphones almost brought me to tears. We had a landing on this trip I will never forget. Big thumbs up for Safari.”

— Paula SF, TOUR REVIEW

Other Helicopter Tours

Big Island: Hilo Doors-Off Lava and Rainforest Adventure

Honolulu: Oahu Helicopter Tour with Doors On or Off

Maui: Road to Hana Helicopter & Waterfall Tour with Landing

4. Explore the Napali Coast via Boat

The Napali Coast is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited. This coastline is located on the northern shore of Kauai, and it is absolutely worth exploring.

One of the best ways to see the Napali Coast is by taking a boat tour. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning scenery as you cruise along the coast.

Many people decide to see the Napali Coast via air or boat. If we had to choose one, we would go on the boat tour. 

The atmosphere is just so relaxing, and you get to fully take in the beauty of the Napali Coast. Don’t get us wrong, though; a helicopter tour over Kauai is quite impressive too.

Below is our FAVORITE Napali Coast Boat Tour

Na Pali Sunset & Sightsee Boat Tour

Operated By: Holo Holo Charters, Inc.

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars — With more than 650 REVIEWS

How long is the tour? 3 hours 30 minutes

Why choose this tour? This tour is one of the best to cruise in comfort on the Napali Coast. The guides are very knowledgeable about the history of the Napali Coast and are very courteous and professional.

What’s included? 

☑Dinner

☑ See the Napali Coast, amazing marine life, and more

☑Chance to see humpback whales (in season only)

☑ Learn legend, history, and interesting facts about the Napali Coast

☑ Craft beer, wine, and Kauai Rum Ginger Mai Tais.

What customers are saying:

This was absolutely the best part of our entire trip! The whole island was cloudy and rainy, so we weren’t sure how the coast view was going to turn out. But it turns out that only the Napali coast part was sunny, so we got extremely lucky! The views were even better than what you see in those pictures online because you can see even more details. Our guides Cole, Daniel, and Keenan were also fantastic! They made the boat even more fun and they definitely helped get that perfect photo with the coast in the background! Overall, I absolutely loved the experience and I would 100% do it again!

— Rachel, TOUR REVIEW

Other Napali Coast Boat Tours

Na Pali Coast Kauai Snorkel and Sail

Ni’ihau and Na Pali Coast Snorkel Boat Tour

5. Go Whale Watching

During the winter months, you can go on a whale-watching tour and see humpback whales in their natural habitat as they swim from Alaskan waters to give birth in the warm Hawaiian waters. This is an experience that you won’t want to miss.

Depending on which island you visit, you can take a tour or go out on your own. If you visit Maui, you can easily see whales in the wintertime without needing a tour company.

However, if you are visiting Oahu or the Big Island, we recommend booking a tour if you want to guarantee you’ll see whales.

That’s not to say that you can’t see whales on your own on Oahu or the Big Island. In fact, we have been able to spot them on our own, just not as easy as it was on Maui.

Whale swimming in the ocean in Hawaii

6. Kayak the Wailua River

The Wailua River is one of the most popular kayaking routes on Kauai, and for a good reason. This river is on the island’s east side and is naturally stunning, with gorgeous scenery.

You can either rent your own kayak or go on a guided kayak tour. We recommend going on a guided tour for the best experience.

People kayaking in  the Wailua River on Kauai with amazing lush scenery.

Below is our FAVORITE Kayak Tour in Kauai

Wailua River Kayak & Hiking Tour to Secret Falls

Operated By: Kayak Adventures

RATING: 4.8/5 Stars — With more than 65 REVIEWS

How long is the tour? 6 hours

Why choose this tour? This is one of the most epic adventure tours on the island that gives an authentic Hawaiian experience. The tour includes everything from nature, kayaking, hiking, flora, swimming, a gorgeous waterfall, and more. Also, the tour guides are very knowledgeable and ensure a great experience.

What’s included? 

☑Professional Guide

☑Kayak and paddles

☑ Life jacket

☑ Picnic lunch and snacks

☑ Dry pack for personal belongings

☑ BYOBottle to refill for cold filtered water

What other customers are saying

“This was FANTASTIC! our guide Erickson was 10/10. I would do this again. You get 2 snacks, 2 waters, and a dang good sandwich. This is 100% worth it. Would do it again. The beautiful scenery makes for beautiful pictures. The waterfall was spectacular and was refreshing to take a dip after a warm walk. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and I left with a few fun stories as well.”

— Amanda, TOUR REVIEW

Other Kayak Tours

Wailua River and Secret Falls Kayak and Hiking Tour on Kauai

Half-Day Kayak and Waterfall Hike Tour in Kauai with Lunch

7. Watch the Sunset or Sunrise at Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is the highest point on the island of Hawaii, and it offers some of the most incredible views. Mauna Kea is also the tallest mountain in the world if measured from the ocean floor.

One of the best things to do at Mauna Kea is to watch the sunset or sunrise.

Sunrise is more popular than sunset, but they are both incredible, in our opinion. Just make sure to bring warm clothes as it can get quite cold at the summit. 

Depending on the time of year you visit, you might even see some snow. Don’t worry; other parts of the island will not be cold, as they’re not at this very high altitude.

See Also:

The 7 Best Places to Watch the Sunrise on the Big Island

The 9 Best Places to Watch the Sunset on the Big Island

8. Watch the Sunset or Sunrise at Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is home to the Haleakala Volcano.

If you are ever on Maui, make sure to watch the sunrise or sunset at least once from the summit. It is an experience that you won’t forget.

Just like Mauna Kea, make sure to add warm clothes to your Hawaii packing list, as it can get quite cold at the summit.

Cody watching the perfect sunset at Haleakala National Park in Maui.
Sunset at Haleakala’s Summit

9. Check Out Shipwreck Beach

Shipwreck Beach is located on the west side of the island of Kauai, and it’s one of the most visited, if not the most visited, beach on the island.

The beach gets its name from a shipwreck that once rested near the beach.

The beach is a great place to relax, sunbathe, boogie board, windsurf, or kayak. Make sure to check the water conditions before swimming.

If you are visiting in the wintertime, you will be glad to know that Shipwreck Beach is a popular spot for whale watching. Many people have reported seeing whales here during their visits.

Also, there is a 40-foot cliff that you can jump off of if you are feeling adventurous.

10. Visit the Punchbowl National Cemetary

The Punchbowl National Cemetery is located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The cemetery is open every day from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

This cemetery is the final resting place for many veterans and their families. It’s a great place to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made for our country.

If you are looking for a place to pay your respects or learn more about the history of Hawaii, we recommend visiting the Punchbowl National Cemetery.

11. Kayak to the Mokulua Islands

The Mokulua Islands are two small islands located off the east coast of Oahu. These islands are known for their stunning views from Lanikai Beach and the Lanikai Pillbox Hike.

You can kayak to the Mokulua Islands from Lanikai Beach or Kailua Beach Park. You can rent a kayak, venture out on your own, or go on an organized tour.

It should take about 30 minutes from Lanikai Beach and about 45 minutes from Kailua Beach to get to the twin islands. 

Launching from Lanikai Beach is a straight shot to get to the these islands. Depending on the tide and your experience level, it could be more or less time.

A couple kayaking to the Mokes from Lanikai Beach.
A view of the Mokulua Islands from Lanikai Beach

12. Go On a Shark Cage Diving Tour

If you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity, then you should consider going on a shark cage diving tour. 

You will see sharks up close and personal in their natural habitat.

Don’t worry; you will be protected in a shark-proof cage, so there is no need to worry about being attacked.

Most good tour companies will guarantee that you will see sharks on this tour as they take you to the most popular shark feeding grounds.

Man shark diving in a cage in Hawaii

13. Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour

Haleakala National Park is one of the most popular places to visit on Maui. This park is home to the Haleakala Volcano and offers some of the most incredible views on the island.

One of the best ways to experience Haleakala is by going on a sunrise bike tour. You will start your day early to watch the sunrise from the top of Haleakala. Then, you will hop on your bike and ride on a road down the volcano.

This tour is definitely not for everyone as it is quite strenuous. However, it is an incredible experience that you won’t want to miss if you are a biker.

Cody watching the perfect sunset Haleakala National Park in Maui

14. Explore the Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is a 4,000-acre working farm located on the windward side of Oahu. This ranch is home to some of the island’s most beautiful scenery and is a popular place for movie studios to film.

You can participate in many activities at Kualoa Ranch, such as horseback riding, ATV tours, and ziplining.

If you are a movie buff, make sure to do the movie tour to see where some of your favorite movies were filmed.

Me posing for photos while enjoying the views of the Kualoa Mountain Range in Oahu.

15. Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple is a replica of the Phoenix Hall at the Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan. This temple is located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park on the windward side of Oahu.

The Byodo-In Temple is one of the most picture-perfect places on the island and a popular spot to take stunning photos.

If you want to learn more about Hawaii’s history, culture, and religion, we recommend visiting the Byodo-In Temple.

There is a small museum on the temple grounds with exhibits about the history of the Byodo-In Temple and Buddhism in Hawaii.

Be respectful as this is an active temple, and people come here to worship.

Me at the Byodo-In Temple on Oahu with spectacular views of the temple and Kualoa mountains.
Byodo-In Temple, Oahu

16. Drive the Famous Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is one of Maui’s most popular tourist attractions. This road takes you on a winding journey through the rainforest to the town of Hana.

Along the way, you will see some of the most incredible scenery, including waterfalls, beaches, hiking trails, and more.

The Road to Hana is an experience that you won’t want to miss.

Me walking on the road to Hana in Maui with lush scenery all around.
Road to Hana, Maui

17. Stop By Paia Town on Your Road to Hana Roadtrip

Paia Town is a charming small town located on Maui’s North Shore. This town is a great place to stop for a bite to eat or to pick up some supplies for your Road to Hana adventure.

There are also many shops in Paia Town where you can find souvenirs and local Hawaiian products.

18. Explore the Gorgeous Waterfalls

Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. These waterfalls are located all over the islands and are worth exploring.

Some of our favorite waterfalls to visit include Akaka Falls on The Big Island, Waimoku Falls on Maui, Waimano Falls on Oahu, and Wailua Falls on Kauai.

Some of these falls require a hike to get there. Depending on your fitness level, you should be able to find a hike that is suitable for you.

Me and Cody holding hands enjoying the views of Waimoku Falls in Maui.
Waimoku Falls, Maui

19. Nu’uanu Pali Lookout

Looking for something easy and fun to do while on Oahu? The Pali Lookout is one of the most picturesque places on the island. This lookout offers incredible views of the island’s windward coast and has some astonishing history.

The Pali Lookout offers mesmerizing views of Kailua, Kaneohe, Coconut Island, Mokoli’i Island (Chinaman’s Hat), and the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. 

This is an easy and fun activity that the whole family can enjoy.

Spectacular views from the Pali Lookout with lush scenery all around and views of the Ko’olau Mountain Range.
Pali Lookout, Oahu

20. Hike the Famous Green Sand Beach (Papakōlea) 

Papakōlea Beach, also known as Green Sand Beach, is one of the most unique beaches in the world. This beach gets its beautiful green color from the olivine sand found in this area.

The beach is located on the Big Island and can be accessed by a long hike from the parking lot. 

The hike is rough, so pack snacks and water and wear comfortable clothing.

Some locals offer shuttles (mostly pickup trucks) to the beach for a small fee. When we went to Papakōlea the first time, we hiked on the way there but decided to take the shuttle back as it began pouring down rain.

Me on the cliffs at the green sand beach on the Big Island of Hawaii overlooking the ocean with perfect blue water
Green Sand Beach, Big Island

21. Kayak the Kahana Bay River

The Kahana Bay River is located on the windward side of Oahu. This river offers stunning views of the Ko’olau Mountains and has very lush scenery.

Kayaking is a great way to explore the Kahana Bay area as it allows you to get up close and personal with the natural scenery.

It should take about two hours to complete the trip, but it could be more or less, depending on the tide.

This is one of our favorite kayaking routes to explore on our own while on Oahu. There are also tours available if you prefer to go that route.

View of the gorgeous Kahana Bay river with a view of the Ko’olau Mountain Range.
Kahana Bay River, Oahu

22. Explore Haleiwa Town

Haleiwa Town is a charming town located on Oahu’s North Shore. This town is known for its surfing culture and is a popular place for locals and tourists to visit.

There are many things to do in Haleiwa Town, such as shopping, eating at food trucks, and exploring the beautiful beaches nearby.

Haleiwa Town is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of Hawaii.

While there, make sure to have shave ice from Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.

Cody walking around Haleiwa town on Oahu with shops all around.

23. Visit the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is one of Oahu’s most popular tourist attractions. This preserve is home to a beautiful coral reef and a popular place for snorkeling and swimming.

The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is a great place to explore the underwater world of Hawaii. It is also a prime place to learn about the importance of preserving our natural resources.

Reservations are required, so make sure to book 48 hours in advance.

Gorgeous view of Hanauma Bay on Oahu with perfect blue water, coral reef and golden sand.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu

24. Watch Surfing Competitions on Oahu’s North Shore

Oahu’s North Shore is known for its big waves and is an extremely popular place for surfing. Every year in the wintertime (November-April), several surfing competitions take place.

You can catch one of these surfing competitions at Sunset Beach, the Banzai Pipeline, and Haleiwa Alii Beach Park. You will need to check the calendar to see when the competitions are taking place.

Perfect view of Ehukai Beach with gorgeous blue water, white sand and people walking and relaxing on the beach.
Ehukai Beach, North Shore Oahu

25. Visit the Iolani Palace

The Iolani Palace is the former royal residence of the Hawaiian monarchy, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. Located in Honolulu, this palace is now a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public for tours.

The Iolani Palace is a great place to learn about the history of Hawaii, and it is also a beautiful place to visit.

View of the gorgeous Iolani Palace in Oahu.
Iolani Palance, Oahu

26. Explore the Beauty of Punalua Black Sand Beach

Punalua Black Sand Beach is one of the most beautiful black sand beaches in Hawaii. It’s located on the Big Island and is a great place to relax and enjoy the amazing scenery.

One popular activity at Punalua Black Sand Beach is to spot the famous Hawaiian green sea turtles that call this place home. If you’re lucky, you can also spot the hawksbill turtle on this beach.

You can also swim at Punalua Black Sand Beach if the waves are calm.

People enjoying the gorgeous Punalu'u Black Sand Beach on the Big Island.
Punalua Black Sand Beach, Big Island

27. Explore the Beauty of Honokalani Black Sand Beach at Wainapanapa State Park

Speaking of black sand beaches, Honokalani is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii.

This beach is known for its turquoise waters, stunning volcanic cliffs, and perfect black sand.

You can also swim at Honokalani, but you should be aware of the strong currents.

The beach is located on Maui and is definitely worth visiting. Make sure to make your reservations in advance as they are required. This is one of the most popular stops on the Road to Hana, so plan accordingly.

Gorgeous black sand beach at Wainapanapa State Park on Maui.
Honokalani Black Sand Beach, Maui

28. Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

Located on the Big Island, this National Park is a great place to learn about the geology of Hawaii and to see a volcano up close when it’s erupting.

There is so much to do at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that you could easily spend the whole day, or even multiple days, exploring everything it has to offer. From hiking to exploring lava tubes, there is something for everyone.

Me hiking through the lava field at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

29. Snorkel at Two Step Beach

Two Step Beach is one of the best places to snorkel on the Big Island of Hawaii. It’s known for its clear waters and abundance of marine life.

Many people have also reported seeing turtles, eels, and octopuses while snorkeling at Two Step.

Two Step is located right next to the Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, so you can easily visit both in the same day.

Yellow tang fish swimming in the water seen while snorkeling Two Step in Hawaii.

30. Hike to the secluded Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Beach is one of the most beautiful and secluded white sand beaches on the Big Island. It is located north of Kailua Kona and is part of the Kekaha Kai State Park.

The beach is considered a secret because it takes some effort to get there. You will need to hike for about 25-35 minutes through gorgeous lava fields to get to the beach.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle is also recommended when going to Makalawena. We rented a Jeep for three days and did everything that required an off-road vehicle. After those three days, we returned our Jeep for a cheaper car.

The hike to Makalawena Beach is worth it. Once you arrive at the beach, you will be greeted with stunning turquoise waters and white sand beaches. The best thing is there aren’t many people there since it takes some effort.

Cody hiking through lava fields to get to Makalawena Beach, in Hawaii.

31. Hike to the Famous Polulu Valley

Polulu Valley is known for its lush vegetation and spectacular views.

This valley is located on the North Shore of the Big Island and is a great place to hike and enjoy some fantastic views.

The hike to Polulu Valley is short (about 0.6 miles) but very steep. It should take about 25 minutes one way for the average hiker. It gets pretty slippery after rainfall, so wear proper hiking shoes.

Also, don’t forget to stop by the lookouts for some of the best views of the valley. It will leave you breathless.

The lookouts are perfect places to enjoy the views for those who do not feel like hiking all the way down the valley.

Gorgeous views of Polulu Valley from the lookout with perfect blue water and black sand.

32. Enjoy the Spectacular Views at Waipio Valley Lookout

Another favorite of ours, the Waipio Valley Lookout, has some of the best views in Hawaii.

This lookout is located on the North Shore of the Big Island, and it is easily accessible by car.

You can see the majestic cliffs, lush vegetation, and beautiful black sand beach from the lookout. This is a great place to take photos and enjoy the views.

Hiking into the valley and black sand beach is no longer allowed, but you can still enjoy the views from the lookout.

Gorgeous views of Waipio Valley from the lookout with perfect blue water and black sand.

33. Stargaze on Mauna Kea

Looking for a spectacular activity to do with your loved one while on the Big Island of Hawaii? If so, stargazing on Mauna Kea is your answer.

The summit is home to some of the world’s most advanced telescopes. They work best here since it’s above the clouds and has minimal light pollution. This makes it the perfect place to stargaze.

On our first trip to the Big Island, we stargazed at Mauna Kea on our own. However, we saw some groups with a tour company, and the guide was explaining all of the constellations that were visible as well as other interesting facts about space.

If you love astronomy or want to learn more about the stars, we recommend a tour. 

Multiple tour companies offer stargazing tours on Mauna Kea. We would recommend doing a tour so that you can learn about the stars and the constellations while you are enjoying the experience.

If you don’t care much about the details, then you can just do it on your own like we did.

Cody and I enjoying the gorgeous sunset at Mauna Kea.

34. Cliff Jump at South Point on the Big Island

South Point is the southernmost point in the United States. You can find the lookout on the Big Island.

Cliff jumping here is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is a popular activity for those looking for an adrenaline rush.

If you’re up for it, you can combine this activity with Green Sand Beach since they are both located in the same area.

If you are not a fan of cliff jumping, you can still enjoy the views from the top. They are definitely breathtaking and have some of the best views on the island.

Cody getting ready to jump off the cliff at South Point Cliff Jump on the Big Island.

35. Spend the Day at The Polynesian Culture Center

The Polynesian Cultural Center is a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn about Polynesian culture.

Here, you can learn about the different Polynesian cultures, visit the six island villages, watch traditional dances, and attend one of the best luaus on Oahu. You can also take part in one of their many workshops or demonstrations.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is an excellent place for the whole family. There are plenty of activities to keep your entire family busy.

A band singing at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.

36. Treat Yourself to a Malasada

A malasada is a Portuguese donut that is deep-fried and coated in sugar. 

They are seriously addictive and are one of our favorite things to eat in Hawaii.

You can find malasadas at most bakeries on each island, but our favorite place to get malasadas is Leonard’s Bakery on Oahu.

If you are ever on Oahu, don’t forget to stop by and try one (or two). They are the best malasadas we have ever tried and are simply perfection.

I always stick with the regular with no powdered sugar on top, but there are multiple filling flavors you can choose from, such as lilikoi, coconut, chocolate, strawberry, and more.

Cody in front of the malasada truck waiting on his order.

37. Cool Off With Some Shave Ice

Shave ice is a must when visiting Hawaii. It is the perfect treat to help you cool down on a hot day, especially after a hike or a day at the beach.

Our favorite shave ice spot is Waiola Shave Ice on the island of Oahu. The texture of the shave ice and all of the different natural flavors they offer make Waiola Shave Ice simply perfect.

Don’t worry, though; if you are going to any of the other Hawaiian Islands, you will still be able to find some excellent shave ice.

Tip: If you are a dairy lover, get your shave ice with ice cream on the bottom and condensed milk on top. It just adds another layer of deliciousness.

Me holding a bowl of the rainbow shave ice from Waiola Shave Ice on Oahu.

38. Eat Some Poke

Poke is a Hawaiian dish made with raw fish and other seasonings.

It is the perfect dish to eat if you want something cheap, quick, and delicious.

You can find poke bowls at most restaurants on the islands, and most grocery stores will have a poke counter where you can purchase a bowl as well.

39. Take a Surfing Lesson

If you are looking for something fun to do, we highly recommend taking a surfing lesson.

Even if you have never surfed before, most surf schools will be able to teach you the basics and help you catch your first wave.

It is the perfect activity if you want to enjoy the Hawaiian waves while having fun in the sun.

40. Hike the Pipiwai Trail

The Pipiwai Trail is one of the most popular hikes on Maui. The trail is 4 miles long (roundtrip), and it takes you through a rainforest and a bamboo forest and leads you to a beautiful 400-foot waterfall, the Waimoku Falls.

This is an excellent hike for all skill levels, and it is worth doing if you are driving the Road to Hana.

Me hiking through the bamboo forest on the Pipiwai Trail on the Road to Hana.

41. Spend the Day at Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui. The beach is a mile long with perfect golden sand and turquoise water.

Kaanapali Beach is the perfect place to relax, swim, snorkel, and simply enjoy the Hawaiian sun. 

Kaanapali Beach is where we spotted our first ever Hawaiian green sea turtles; they were the most enormous turtles we have ever seen. This was a spectacular experience that we will never forget.

With some luck, you might even spot the famous Hawaiian green sea turtles too!

If you love luxury on your vacation, you will love Kaanapali Beach. It’s surrounded by high-end resorts, restaurants, and shops.

42. Drive the Pepeekeo Scenic Drive

The Pepeekeo Drive is one of the most scenic drives on the Big Island. It takes you through a rainforest with stunning ocean views and lush scenery.

The drive is about 4 miles long, and it is the perfect way to see some of the untouched beauty of Hawaii.

There are multiple stops you can make to enjoy the scenery. Our favorite stop is the Onomea Bay and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

We literally stumbled upon this drive by accident on our way to our Airbnb on the Hilo side of the island.

Surprisingly enough, our host gave us a recommended list of things to do, and this drive was on that list. We ended up doing the drive at least four times because it was that pretty.

Views of the lush scenic drive on the Big Island of Hawaii.

43. The Molokini Crater

The Molokini Crater is a crescent-shaped volcanic crater located off the south coast of Maui. It was formed over 150 years ago, and its the only marine sanctuary in Hawaii.

The crater is a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving due to its crystal clear water and the abundance of marine life. It’s also a popular place to spot whales during the winter months.

The crater is about half a mile long and rises 300 feet from the ocean’s surface.

You will need to take a boat to get to the crater. Luckily, multiple tour operators offer tours to the Molokini Crater. 

44. Take a Scuba Diving Tour

If you are into scuba diving, Hawaii is the perfect place to do it.

Multiple operators offer scuba diving tours on all of the Hawaiian Islands. The best part about taking a tour is that they will provide you with the necessary gear. All you need to do is show up and have fun.

Of course, you can also do it on your own if you are experienced and know what you are doing, and you have all the necessary equipment.

See Also: 7 Best Scuba Diving Tours on Oahu You Need to Try

Man diving in Oahu with lots of fish and a coral reef.

45. Splurge at Mama’s Fish House

If you’ve done a bit of research on Maui, you have probably heard of Mama’s Fish House. This restaurant is located on the North Shore of Maui in the town of Paia. Mama’s Fish House is known for its fresh fish caught daily.

The restaurant is pricey, but some say that it is worth it for the experience and the food. We have not been to Mama’s Fish House, but it is on our list for our next trip to Maui.

If you love luxury and fancy restaurants, then Mama’s Fish House might be worth checking out.

46. Cliff Jump at Black Rock

Black Rock is a popular cliff-jumping spot on Maui. The jump is about 30 feet into the ocean.

The cliff is located on the gorgeous Kaanapali Beach, so you can add this to your list of activities to do while there if you are comfortable cliff jumping.

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, cliff jumping at Black Rock might be what you’re looking for. Just make sure to use caution and follow the rules to stay safe.

As always, never feel pressured to do something you are not comfortable with. Always use your best judgment and know your comfort level.

47. Cliff Jump at Waimea Bay Rock

Waimea Bay Rock is another popular cliff jumping spot on Oahu

It can be a 10-30 foot jump into the water, depending on where you jump from.

The rock is located on the North Shore of Oahu at Waimea Bay Beach, across from Waimea Valley. The best time to jump is during the summer (May-October) when the water is calm. Cliff jumping is prohibited in the winter months (November-April).

Just like Black Rock, if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, cliff jumping at Waimea Bay Rock might be what you are looking for.

People enjoying some beach time at Waimea Bay on Oahu with a view of Waimea Bay Rock.

48. Explore Waimea Valley

Waimea Valley is a must-see on the North Shore of Oahu. The valley is full of lush greenery, streams, a waterfall, and hiking trails.

The best part about the valley is that it is home to many ancient Hawaiian sites. The valley was once a sacred place for the Hawaiian people where they would go to worship.

The valley is now a protected area and is open to the public. You can hike through the valley or take a tram tour.

At the trail’s end, there is a gorgeous swimmable waterfall that you can dip in. Life jackets are required, but they are included in your admission fee.

Cody enjoying the views of the waterfall at Waimea Falls with 3 people swimming in it.

49. Watch the Sunset at Sunset Beach

What better way to experience Hawaii than a gorgeous sunset at the beach? Sunset Beach is located on the North Shore of Oahu and is a popular spot to watch the sunset.

The sunsets here are absolutely breathtaking. We recommend getting to the beach early to snag a good spot. If you can’t get there early enough, don’t worry, Sunset Beach is a long beach, so there will be plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the show. You just might have a few people in your photos.

Make sure to stay until the very end to see the green flash (if you’re lucky). It is a brief flash of green that can be seen right when the sun sets.

Sunset Beach with the perfect golden sand and blue water, plus a palm tree.

50. Grab an Acai Bowl From the Sunrise Shack

Across the street from Sunset Beach is the Sunrise Shack. This is a must-stop when you are on the North Shore of Oahu.

The Sunrise Shack is known for its delicious acai bowls, perfect smoothies, and healthy options. The bowls are extremely refreshing and perfect for breakfast or after a long day in the sun.

If you are looking for a healthier option, The Sunrise Shack is the place to go. Try one of their acai bowls, and you will not be disappointed!

The gorgeous yellow Sunrise Shack food truck on Oahu.

51. Explore the Beauty of Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is one of Hawaii’s most beautiful beaches and a must-see when on the island. The beach is known for its clear turquoise water and white sand beach, as well as the perfect backdrop that is the Mokulua Islands.

The best time to visit Lanikai Beach is early morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds. We usually go to Lanikai after hiking the pillbox trail for sunrise.

Parking can be tricky at Lanikai Beach since there is no parking except for residential street parking. You can park at Kailua Beach and walk 20 minutes to Lanikai if you have any issues with parking in the residential neighborhood.

If you are looking for a less crowded beach, we recommend checking out Kailua Beach Park, right next door, with plenty of parking.

A couple kayaking to the Mokulua Islands from Lanikai Beach in the perfect clear blue water.

52. Kitesurf at Kailua Beach

Kailua Beach is one of our favorite beaches on the island of Oahu. The beach is known for its perfect turquoise waters, white sand, and good wind conditions, making it an ideal spot for kitesurfing.

Kailua Beach is located on the windward side of Oahu and is about a 30-minute drive from Honolulu. The best time to kitesurf is in the summer when the trade winds are blowing.

Perfect white sand beach at Kailua Beach Park with perfect blue water.

53. Survive the Olomana Trail

Also known as Three Peaks, the Olomana Trail is one of the most difficult hikes on the island of Oahu. The trail offers jaw-dropping views of the windward side of the island, the Ko’olau Mountain Range, Chinaman’s Hat, Mokulua Islands, Makapu’u Point, and Rabbit (Mānana) Island.

The hike is not for the faint of heart as it includes scrambling over rocks, steep sections, rock climbing, and vertigo-inducing drops. 

The hike is 4.4 miles long, and depending on your pace and which peaks you go to, it can take anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours to complete.

Views of the Three Peaks from the Olomana Trail on Oahu.

54. Hike the Kuliouou Ridge Trail 

The Kuliouou Ridge Trail is one of the top ridge hiking trails on the island of Oahu. 

The trailhead is located in the town of Kailua. The hike takes you through dense forest, open ridges with incredible views, and finally, to a lookout point where you will have stunning views of the Ko’olau Mountain Range, the South Shore, and Koko Head.

The hike is approximately 4.7 miles long and can take anywhere from 3-4 hours to complete, depending on your pace.

We recommend starting the hike early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds. The trail can get pretty busy on weekends, so an early start will help you avoid the crowds.

Gorgeous views of Koko Head, Waimanalo, and the windward side of Oahu from the Kuliouou Ridge Trail.

55. Enjoy the Spectacular Views of Oahu on Top of the Diamond Head Hike

The Diamond Head Hike is one of the easiest hikes on the island of Oahu, but don’t worry; the views are still fantastic.

The hike is approximately 1.6 miles long and can take 1-1.5 hours to complete.

Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with 360-degree views of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, and the South Shore of Oahu.

This hike is pretty open and gets super hot once the sun is out, so we recommend starting the hike early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the heat.

Gorgeous views of Honolulu and Waikiki from the top of the Diamond Head Hike.

56. Watch the Sunrise Over the Mokulua Islands

The Mokulua Islands are two small islands located off the coast of Lanikai Beach. The islands are only accessible by boat or kayak, but you can get some of the best views of them from Lanikai Beach or on top of the Lanikai Pillbox Hike.

The best time to see the islands is at sunrise when the sun seemingly comes right up out of the ocean. 

We recommend seeing the sunrise from Lanikai Beach or on top of the pillbox for the best views.

Gorgeous sunrise at the Lanikai Pillbox on Oahu overlooking Lanikai Beach and the Mokes.

See Also: The Top 5 Sunrise Hikes on Oahu

57. See Wildlife on Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach is one of the best beaches on the island of Kauai for seeing turtles and monk seals. The beach is also great for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.

The best time of day to see turtles is between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm when they are basking in the sun on the sand. Be sure to give them plenty of space and do not touch or harass them.

There isn’t a monk seal watching season in Hawaii like the famous whale watching season. However, we did spot multiple monk seals at Poipu Beach without even trying to see them.

As a reminder, monk seals are an endangered species, so it is important to give them space and avoid disturbing them.

Three monk seals lying on the beach at Poipu Beach on Kauai.

58. Snorkeling at Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach is one of the best snorkeling spots on the island of Kauai. The beach is located on the northern shore of the island.

The best time to snorkel is in the summer when the water is calm and clear. We recommend going in the morning before the crowds arrive.

The beach is also great for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.

59. Try to Spot a Turtle at Laniakea Beach

Laniakea Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Oahu to see turtles. If you plan on taking a road trip to this side of the island, make sure to stop by and enjoy some beach time and maybe even see a turtle.

While it’s not guaranteed that you will see turtles, they are often seen basking in the sun on the sand here.

Turtles lying on the beach sunbathing at Turtle Beach on Oahu.

60. Enjoy the Beauty of the Halona Beach Cove

Halona Beach Cove is one of Oahu’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. The beach is located between Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach.

You will have to hike down a very short trail from the Halona Blowhole Lookout to get to the beach. Once you’re down at the beach, you will be rewarded with incredible views of the cove, the ocean, and the nearby cliffs.

Many people quickly stop here to look at the blowhole and the views. Don’t be one of these people; go down and enjoy some beach time at the cove. You won’t regret it!

Perfect golden sand beach at Halona Beach Cove with the gorgeous blue water and fantastic cliffs on both sides.

61. Grab Some Fresh Produce From The Farmer’s Market

If you are looking for fresh, local produce, check out one of the many farmer’s markets on any of the islands.

The opening times will depend on each farmer’s market, so check the schedules before heading there. The earlier you can get there, the better.

Our favorite farmer’s markets are located on the Big Island of Hawaii. If you are ever on the island, check out Hilo Farmer’s Market and Kamuela Farmer’s Market. They are our personal favorites.

Farmer’s markets are a great place to find local produce that is often cheaper and fresher than grocery stores.

You can also find locally made products such as honey, soap, and even jewelry.

Fresh yellow lilikoi with one cut in half.

62. Catch a Rainbow at the Tantalus Lookout on Oahu

The Tantalus Lookout is one of the best places to see a rainbow on Oahu. The lookout is located just above Honolulu and offers incredible views of the South Shore of Oahu.

Many people have reported seeing rainbows here, so keep your eyes peeled when you are at the lookout.

Also, this is a great place to watch the sunset, so we recommend coming here as the sun goes down to enjoy the spectacular views.

Me at Tantalus Lookout on Oahu enjoying the views of the city and the South Shore of Oahu.

63. Hike the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

The Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail is one of the best hikes on Oahu. The trail is located on the east side of the island and offers incredible views of the Windward Coastline.

The hike is easy and paved all the way, but it’s pretty open and gets hot once the sun comes out. Make sure to bring a hat, and wear sunscreen if hiking when the sun is out.

If you visit during winter, you might get lucky and spot some whales while hiking. This is one of the best places on Oahu to spot whales.

64. Spend the Day at Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is one of the most picture-perfect beaches on Kauai. The bay is located on the North Shore of the island and offers stunning mountain and jungle views.

Hanalei Bay is comprised of three beaches: Waioli Beach Park, Hanalei Beach Park, and Black Pot Beach. You will most likely not notice a difference in the beaches, but it’s worth noting. 

The beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. Be aware of the waves in the wintertime as they can get quite large.

We recommend checking the surf report before getting into the water.

Birds eye view of Hanalei Bay on Kauai with perfect blue water and a white sand beach.

65. Visit Queen’s Bath on Kauai

The Queen’s Bath natural pool is located on the North Shore of the island and offers stunning views of the ocean.

The pool is only accessible during low tide, so check the tide chart before heading there.

To get to the pool, you will need to take a short 0.8-mile hike (roundtrip). The trail can be extremely muddy after rainfall, so wear proper hiking shoes.

Once you get there, confirm that you are at the correct pool before getting in the water. The Pool of Death, which is extremely dangerous, will be the first pool you see before getting to Queen’s Bath.

Caution: there have been multiple reports of people drowning at Queen’s Bath, so make sure to take extreme caution when swimming here. Check the surf report, and never go in the water during high tide or while you’re alone.

A few people swimming in Queen's Bath Kauai with gorgeous blue water,  while some watch from the cliffs.

66. Sample the North Shore Food Trucks

One of the best things to do on the North Shore is to eat at one of the many food trucks.

The North Shore is home to some of the best food trucks on Oahu. You can find everything from Hawaiian BBQ to Thai food and, of course, the famous garlic shrimp.

Some of our favorite spots are Haleiwa Bowls, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Sugah Daddeh’s, and North Shore Tacos. Make sure to bring your appetite and enjoy some of the best food on the island.

A plate of garlic shrimp with rice and a Pepsi from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.

67. Hike the Koke’e State Park Trails

Koke’e State Park is located on the west side of Kauai near the Napali Coast. There are over 45 miles of trails to explore in the park.

The area is lush, filled with native plants and birds, and offers some of the most spectacular views of Waimea Canyon.

There are multiple trails you can take, but the most popular ones are the Awa’awapuhi Trail, the Canyon Trail to Waipo’o Falls, and the Kalepa Ridge Trail. All of these trails are more on the difficult side. 

If you are not an experienced hiker, we recommend trails in the Waimea Canyon. The cliff trail, Iliau Nature Loop, and the Po’omau Canyon Lookout Trail are some of the easier options on the island.

No matter your fitness level, there is a trail for everyone in Koke’e State Park with spectacular views.

68. Watch the Sunset at Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach on the North Shore of Kauai is known for its dramatic cliffs, crashing waves, and beautiful sunsets.

One of our favorite things about Hawaii is watching the sunset over the ocean. What better way to end a perfect day in one of the most beautiful places on Earth than with a spectacular sunset?

Tunnels Beach is also great for swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

It’s a must-visit when you are on the North Shore of Kauai.

Gorgeous golden sand beach at Tunnels Beach on Kauai with perfect blue water.

69. See Lava on the Big Island

One of the most unique things you can see in Hawaii is lava. The Big Island is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

If you are lucky enough to be in Hawaii when the volcano is erupting, you can see lava flowing into the ocean from multiple vantage points.

You can see the lava by taking a helicopter or boat tour, but you can also hike to view the flow from the ground.

Keep in mind that the lava flow is constantly changing, so check for updates before making the trip out to see it.

Also, depending on conditions, access to the flow can be restricted if it’s unsafe or if the path is on private property.

Volcanoes National Park overlooking the volcanic landscape.

70. Explore Lava Tubes

The Big Island is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is a must-see when you are on the island.

One of the most popular things to do in the park is explore the lava tubes.

Lava tubes are formed when lava cools and hardens on the outside but continues to flow through the middle.

Once the lava stops flowing, the tubes are left behind. The most popular lava tubes on the Big Island are Thurston Lava Tube (inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park), Kaumana Caves, Kazumara Caves, Kula Caves, and HueHue Lave Tube.

You can also find lava tubes on other islands, such as Maui, Kauai, and Oahu, but the ones on the Big Island are some of the most impressive.

Me entering the Thurston Lava Tube on the Big Island.
Thurston Lava Tube, Big Island

71. Drink Kona Coffee

Kona coffee is some of the best coffee in the world. The coffee beans are grown on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai and Mt. Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The conditions in this area are perfect for growing coffee with the rich volcanic soil, ample rainfall, and sunny mornings followed by cloudy afternoons.

Many coffee farms offer tours and free tastings. You’ll be able to learn about the process of growing, processing, and brewing Kona coffee.

Some of our favorite coffee farms are Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm, Hala Tree Organic Kona Coffee, and Ueshima Coffee.

72. Ziplining

Ziplining is an excellent option if you are looking for an adrenaline-filled activity.

There are many zipline courses on all of the Hawaiian Islands, so it should not be hard to find one near you, no matter where you’re staying.

73. ATV Tours

Another great way to explore Hawaii is on an ATV tour.

Many companies offer tours, most of which will pick you up from your hotel or condo.

This is an excellent activity for the whole family, and it’s a great way to see parts of the island that you would never be able to see otherwise.

74. Drive the Chain of Crater Road

The Chain of Crater Road is a must-do on the Big Island. It’s 18.8 miles long with 4,000 feet of elevation to sea level.

This road takes you from the summit of Kilauea all the way to the coast. We would plan at least three hours roundtrip to enjoy all the views and stops along the way.

On this drive, you will see different size craters, lava flows, petroglyphs, and possibly some active lava if you are lucky. 

If you’re a hiker, this road also has some of the best hikes on the island.

As a note, this road has no water, food, or gas. Make sure to fill up your tank and pack snacks and drinks before starting the drive.

Cody walking on the Chain of Craters Road on the Big Island near the sea arch.

75. Visit the Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park

The Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, also known as the City of Refuge, is a must-visit on the Big Island.

This park was once a place of refuge for Hawaiian citizens who had broken a kapu (law).

The penalty for breaking a kapu was death, but if you could make it to the Pu’uhonua, you would be safe.

The Pu’uhonua is a place to learn about Hawaiian culture and history.

There are many temples and structures that have been restored, as well as lava fields and coral reefs.

Tip: If you love to snorkel, stop by Two Step Beach after to enjoy the fantastic underwater life. It’s located south of The Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Just leave your car there, change, and walk back to the beach.

Me taking photos at Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park on The Big Island overlooking Two Step Beach.

76. Visit the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is located on the northeast coast of the Big Island, and it is truly a paradise.

This garden is home to over 2,000 species of plants and trees from all over the world. You’ll also find beautiful waterfalls here too.

As you walk through the gardens, you will feel like you’re in a different world.

This is a great place to spend the day if you are looking to escape the crowds and relax in nature.

Onomea Falls Trail on the Big Island, close to the botanical gardens with some ocean views.

77. Snorkel Shark’s Cove

Shark’s Cove is our favorite snorkel spot on Oahu.

You will find many different types of marine animals at Shark’s Cove. You might even spot some turtles and octopuses.

Bring your underwater camera to capture all the fantastic marine life.

The best time to snorkel here is during the summer months. The waves can get pretty big during the winter. Make sure to check the tide report before getting into the water.

Also, make sure to wear reef-safe sunscreen to protect the marine life.

Turtle swimming in the clear water at Shark's Cove on Oahu.

78. Explore Hilo Town

Hilo is the largest city on the Big Island and is a great place to explore.

There are many shops, restaurants, and cafes to enjoy. We also love exploring the farmer’s market, which is the best farmer’s market on the island.

While there, make sure to try some of the local fruits and vegetables.

Also, if you are a history buff, Hilo is home to the Pacific Tsunami Museum, which is a great place to learn about the area’s history.

Me walking towards the front entrance at Malama Market in Hilo Town.

79. Snorkel at Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook Monument

Kealakekua Bay is one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island. The bay is known for its clear water and abundance of marine life.

You will find many different types of fish and turtles swimming in the bay. You might even spot some spinner dolphins if you’re lucky. Many people have reported seeing dolphins here multiple times.

The Captain Cook Monument is also located in the bay and is a great place to explore. The monument is located on the site where Captain Cook was killed in 1779. There is so much history here waiting for you to explore it.

Gorgeous view of the Kealakekua Bay with perfect blue water and amazing mountain views.

80. See The Hōlei Sea Arch

The Hōlei Sea Arch is a natural rock formation located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The arch is formed by lava flows that have cooled and hardened over time.

The arch used to be and still is a great place to take photos. However, you can no longer get as close to the arch as before.

The arch is now roped off, and there is a viewing platform further away from the arch.

Despite the changes, the Hōlei Sea Arch is still a beautiful natural formation, and it is definitely worth seeing when you are on the Big Island.

Gorgeous view of the Holei Sea Arch at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

81. Try the Mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen

If you are looking for a sweet treat, try the mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen.

The mochi is hand-made, and it is absolutely delicious. They have many different flavors, including chocolate, strawberry, and green tea.

You can find Two Ladies Kitchen in the town of Hilo.

Me waiting for my turn to get into Two Ladies Kitchen in Hawaii.

82. Try Loco Moco for Breakfast

Loco Moco is a traditional Hawaiian breakfast dish. It is usually made with rice, a hamburger patty, gravy, and an egg.

Some places also add bacon or Spam to the dish. Loco Moco is definitely the way to go if you want a good Hawaiian breakfast. 

We tried Loco Moco two years ago for the first time, and we have been hooked ever since. We actually had it for dinner the first time, and ever since then, it’s been our go-to Hawaiian meal.

83. Grab a Beer From Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company is one of the most popular breweries in Hawaii. They have a few different locations on the Big Island and Oahu.

The brewery offers tours, tastings, and a gift shop. We love grabbing a beer from Kona Brewing Company after a long day of exploring.

Also, make sure to try one of their pizzas while you are there; you won’t be disappointed.

84. Paddle an Outrigger Canoe

An outrigger canoe is a traditional Hawaiian canoe that is paddled by 1-6 people.

Paddling an outrigger canoe is a great way to see the coastline of the Hawaiian Islands in a traditional fashion.

You can rent an outrigger canoe from many different places on the island or go on an organized tour.

85. Take a Chocolate Farm Tour

Did you know that Hawaii is one of only three states in the US that grows cacao?

The Big Island is home to many different chocolate farms where you can learn about the process of making chocolate.

One of our favorite things to do on the Big Island is take a chocolate farm tour.

Some of the farms even offer free tastings. You can also purchase the chocolate to take home with you.

86. Go Surfing

If you have always wanted to surf, Hawaii is the perfect place to do it.

There are many different surfing spots on the island, so you can find one that suits your skill level.

You can sign up for a lesson if you are new to surfing. Once you get the hang of it, surfing is a lot of fun and a great way to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii.

Make sure to check the surf report before getting in the water and avoid surfing in areas with strong currents, such as the North Shore of Oahu, during the winter months.

87. People Watch at Waikiki Beach

Located on the island of Oahu, Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world. Waikiki is lined up with hotels, restaurants, and multiple luxury shops.

If you love to people watch, go to Waikiki Beach if you are on the island of Oahu. Oahu is the most populated island in the Hawaiian archipelago, and Waikiki Beach is where you need to be to see the most people.

Gorgeous views of Honolulu and Waikiki from the top of the Diamond Head Hike.

88. Go to the Spa

Thinking of extra ways to relax on your Hawaii vacation? How about going to the spa? The spa is great for relaxing after a long day of exploring the island.

There are many different spas on the Hawaiian Islands, so you can find one that suits your needs.

Going to Hawaii with your significant other or your best friend? Booking them a massage is an excellent way to surprise them with a nice gesture.

89. Hike to Manoa Falls

Manoa Falls is one of the easiest hiking trails on Oahu. The trail is located in Honolulu and takes 1-2 hours to complete. The roundtrip distance is about 1.7 miles.

This trail is easy to follow and is a great place to see some native plants and birds. The trail also has incredible jungle views, and at the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with a beautiful 150 ft waterfall.

There are signs prohibiting swimming in the pool, but many people do it anyway. We don’t recommend swimming in the waterfall, especially if the water is murky or not moving due to the threat of leptospirosis. You also need to beware of falling rocks.

People enjoying the view of the 150 ft waterfall at Manoa Falls on Oahu with a pool below.

90. Hike The Koko Head Stairs

Koko Head is located on the island of Oahu. The trail is 1.6 miles roundtrip, and the hike to the top of the stairs takes about 1-2 hours to complete.

Koko Head is not for the faint of heart due to its steepness. You will be hiking up an old railway used to transport supplies up to the top of the crater during World War II.

There are about 1,048 stairs, and it is a great workout. The views from the top are absolutely amazing, and it is definitely worth the hike. 

This is another open hike, so make sure to plan accordingly. Bring a sunhat, sunscreen, and lots of water to stay hydrated.

Cody at the start of the Koko Head Stairs Hike.

91. Visit the Dole Plantation

The Dole Plantation is located on Oahu and is open every day from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

The plantation is a great place to learn about the history of pineapple production in Hawaii. You can tour the plantation, visit the Pineapple Garden Maze, and indulge in the famous Dole Whip.

If you have kids in your travel group, the plantation is a great place to let them run around and explore. There is also a shop where you can buy souvenirs.

Cody holding a Dole Whip from the Dole Plantation on Oahu.

92. Drive to Ka’ena Point

Ka’ena Point on the island of Oahu is the westernmost point in Hawaii. The drive to Ka’ena Point from Honolulu takes about one hour or more, depending on traffic.

The drive is very scenic, and there are a few pull-offs where you can stop and take in the views. 

Once you get to Ka’ena Point, there is a long but easy 5-mile hike that you can take. It took us about three hours to complete the hike. If you have enough time, consider hiking Ka’ena Point. If you are lucky, you might even spot some monk seals.

This is by far one of our favorite hikes on the island. Make sure to bring lots of water and snacks, though, as it is a completely open hike. Sunglasses, a hat, and a sun shirt are also good ideas.

Me hiking the Ka'ena Point Trail, amazed by the gorgeous views all around, including the ocean and Wainae Mountain.

93. Explore Hana Town

Hana Town is located on the island of Maui at the end of the Road to Hana journey.

The town is small, but it is a great place to relax and experience the slower pace of life. There are a few shops, restaurants, food trucks, and cafes.

Many people tend to rush and skip spending some time in Hana after completing the long and winding road to get there. 

We recommend taking your time and exploring the town of Hana. You might even want to consider staying overnight!

94. Eat at Ae’s Thai Kitchen in Hana

If you are looking for a great place to eat in Hana, we recommend Ae’s Thai Kitchen. The food is delicious and reasonably priced. 

We had the Pad Thai and the Drunken Noodles, and oh my goodness, they were both incredible. The service was excellent, and the staff was very friendly as well.

This is by far one of my favorite restaurants/food trucks in Hawaii.

The red Ae's Thai Food Truck in the town of Hana on the island of Maui.

95. Explore Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

The Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden on Oahu is one of the most picturesque places on the island.

This garden is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and enjoy the natural views. The park is huge and offers spectacular views of the Ko’olau Mountain Range.

This is one of the places in Hawaii that we can never get tired of visiting. There is so much to see, and we always find something fun to do or a new angle to shoot every time we visit.

Me hiking through the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens on Oahu overlooking the Ko'olau Mountain Range.

The Wrap Up

There you have it, our list of the top 95 things to do in Hawaii! From hiking to relaxing on the beach to taking a helicopter tour, there is always something new to discover on these majestic islands. 

No matter which island you choose to visit, there is sure to be something for everyone.

So what are you waiting for?! Start planning your trip today!

Mahalo for reading our post. Until next time, Aloha!

RELATED ARTICLES:

71 Awesome Things to Do on Oahu With Your Family

Which Hawaiian Island is the Best to Visit

The Top 15 Hikes in Oahu