Discover the 7 Best Places to Visit in Hawaii

by | Mar 14, 2023 | UNITED STATES, Americas

Are you seeking out the best spots to explore in Hawaii? Find the best places to visit in Hawaii, from romantic getaways to exciting adventures, with our list of 15 picks.

From Pearl Harbor to Bishop Museum, we have compiled a practical travel guide with our top 15 picks to plan your dream Hawaiian vacation.

From stunning views at Na Pali Coast and Mauna Kea to Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, explore these unique locations while immersing yourself in local culture at Hana or the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Best places to visit in Hawaii
Hawaii – Karsten Winegeart

Let’s look at the best places to visit in Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is an iconic site that has been a part of American history since 1941.

It was the site of one of the most devastating attacks on U.S. soil during World War II and remains a symbol of courage, strength, and resilience.

Here’s what you need to know about visiting Pearl Harbor:

Pearl Harbor – Curtis Reese

History Of Pearl Harbor:

On December 7th, 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor in an effort to cripple America’s naval power in the Pacific Ocean. The attack left over two thousand four hundred people dead and injured more than a thousand.

In addition to destroying four battleships and damaging several other vessels, it also marked the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II as President Franklin D Roosevelt declared war on Japan the following day after delivering his famous “Day Of Infamy” speech before Congress.

Guided tours of the two main memorial sites at Pearl Harbor – The USS Arizona Memorial and The Battleship Missouri Memorial – are available to provide visitors with an immersive experience of US history.

Battleship Missouri Memorial – Jeremy Huang

Knowledgeable guides will offer detailed information about each location’s significance within American history and various interactive displays that bring these stories to life for all ages. This tour provides a comprehensive understanding of Pearl Harbor’s legacy and the events that transpired there.

Visiting Pearl Harbor is a must-do experience when in Hawaii, and the next stop on your journey should be to explore the stunning Na Pali Coast.

Pearl Harbor – Robert Linder

Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast is a stunning area of Hawaii located on the northwest side of Kauai. It’s known for its steep sea cliffs, lush valleys, and pristine beaches, some of the most beautiful in the world.

If you like outdoor adventure, the Na Pali Coast State Park provides ample opportunity to explore its untouched beauty through activities such as hiking, camping, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Na Pali Coast – R Gray

Overview of Na Pali Coast:

With towering sea cliffs reaching up to 4,000 feet above sea level and lush green valleys below them, it’s no wonder locals dub this coastline “The Grand Canyon.”

This unique landscape provides visitors with spectacular views from land or air while offering opportunities for an adventure like no other place on Earth. The ocean here is a brilliant azure, abundant with life and ideal for aquatic explorations.

Na Pali Coast – Lisha Riabinina

Best Ways to Experience Na Pali Coast:

One way to take in this area’s beauty is through an aerial tour via helicopter or plane. These tours provide breathtaking views from above while allowing you to get close enough for photos without having to worry about getting too close to any dangerous areas along the coastline.

Na Pali Coast helicopter ride – Jakob Owens

Another great way to experience the Na Pali Coast is by taking a boat tour around its many coves and bays, where you can spot dolphins playing in their natural habitat and whales during certain times throughout the year.

If you’re feeling adventurous, several options are available, including guided hikes along coastal trails where you can explore hidden caves tucked away within these majestic mountainside walls or even dive off one of their many secluded beaches.

Lastly, make sure not to miss out on visiting local attractions such as Kalalau Lookout Point – arguably one of the best viewpoints anywhere on the island – before heading home after an unforgettable day exploring “The Grand Canyon.”

Kalalau Lookout Point – Ron Cogswell via Creative Commons

Na Pali Coast is a stunning natural beauty that should be experienced to the fullest, and Mauna Kea offers another unique Hawaiian experience with its awe-inspiring mountain views.

Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is a stunning and renowned destination in Hawaii, providing visitors with spectacular sights and mild temperatures all year. Standing at 13,796 feet above sea level, it’s the highest point in the entire state.

It’s a place where visitors can experience some of nature’s most spectacular views while enjoying a mild climate year-round.

Situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea is a geological marvel that offers captivating views and numerous observatories near its summit for astronomy enthusiasts.

The mountain is composed mostly of dormant volcanoes that have been inactive for over 4,000 years.

Mauna Kea’s summit area is the perfect place for astronomy fans, as it houses several observatories and research centers that allow visitors to explore the mysteries of outer space.

Mauna Kea – Nula via Creative Commons

Best Ways To Experience Mauna Kea:

One way travelers can experience this majestic peak is by taking a guided tour up the mountain or driving up yourself if you feel confident enough behind the wheel.

Either way you choose will provide incredible views along your journey and access to amazing hiking trails around its base, such as Kilauea Iki Trailhead or Puu Huluhulu trailhead, which offer plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure.

If you’re feeling more daring, take part in one of the many stargazing tours offered by local companies that will take you on an unforgettable journey through our galaxy.

Mauna Kea – telldeathphotography

When heading to this remarkable place, it’s wise to remember a few things when organizing your excursion.

Firstly, bring plenty of water as temperatures can drop significantly during night hours, and hydration is key.

Secondly, dress appropriately since winds can be quite strong at higher altitudes; warm layers are recommended even during summer when days are hot, but nights cool down quickly due to the lack of air pressure from elevation gain.

Finally, remember that cell phone reception may not always work properly due to its remote location, so plan accordingly before heading out into the wild blue yonder.

Mauna Kea is a must-visit spot for those seeking to witness Hawaii’s breathtaking natural scenery. Next, let’s explore Waikiki Beach and discover its many attractions.

Mauna Kea – Vanessa Fortier

Waikiki Beach

Overview of Waikiki Beach:

Waikiki Beach is a famous place in Hawaii. It runs two miles along Oahu’s south shore and is known for its white sand and clear water.

Located on Oahu’s south shore, Waikiki Beach boasts two miles of white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a paradise for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, SUPing, kayaking, and watching the sunset.

It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike who come to enjoy swimming, surfing, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach. Nearby, one can find a variety of eateries and stores to purchase snacks or mementos.

Waikiki Beach – AussieActive

Best Ways to Experience Waikiki Beach:

The best way to experience Waikiki Beach is by getting out into the water. Whether it’s swimming in its calm waters or catching some waves with your surfboard – there’s something here for everyone.

For those looking for an even more thrilling adventure – try to stand up paddleboarding (SUP) or kayaking around the Diamond Head crater. If you prefer to stay dry, why not take a leisurely stroll along its coastline while admiring its breathtaking views?

Waikiki Beach – Vishnu Tadimeti

Tips for Exploring Waikiki Beach:

For a complete Waikiki Beach experience, bring all the necessary items, such as sunscreen, hats/sunglasses/beachwear, etc.

Before doing things like surfing or snorkeling, check with the lifeguards to see if there are any risks because of strong currents.

Finally, don’t forget to bring cash, as many restaurants and shops only accept cash payments.

Waikiki Beach is a great place for luxury travelers because it has much to do and beautiful views.

Next up on our tour of Hawaii’s best places to visit is Diamond Head – an iconic volcanic crater with breathtaking scenery.

Waikiki Beach – Sergio Smirnoff

Diamond Head

Diamond Head is an iconic landmark located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It’s a volcanic tuff cone formed about 300,000 years ago and stands 760 feet above sea level.

Diamond Head provides stunning Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, and Pacific Ocean vistas from its summit. You can hike up to the crater or just enjoy its beauty.

The name “Diamond Head” comes from British sailors who thought they had discovered diamonds in the area when they saw calcite crystals glistening in sunlight during their voyage in 1825.

Diamond Head – Chase O

Best Ways to Experience Diamond Head:

The best way to experience Diamond Head is by hiking up it. The trail takes you around 1-1/2 miles with an elevation gain of 560 feet as you make your way through tunnels, steps, and switchbacks until you reach the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views over Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. If you’re not feeling adventurous enough for a hike, there are other ways to enjoy this natural wonder, such as taking guided tours or simply admiring it from afar at sunset for some truly spectacular views.

Diamond Head – Eric Tessmer via Creative Commons

Tips for Exploring Diamond Head:

Finally, arrive early before sunrise so that you can beat any crowds on your ascent up one of Hawaii’s most beloved landmarks. After all, nothing beats watching a beautiful sunrise over Honolulu while standing atop this majestic mountain peak.

Diamond Head is an iconic landmark that offers stunning views of the Hawaiian coastline and provides a great opportunity for exploration. Hana, a charming destination on Maui’s eastern shoreline, offers an array of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Diamond Head – Craig Petrou via Creative Commons


Situated on the eastern coast of Maui, Hawaii, is Hana, a picturesque small town. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty and secluded beaches. You can enjoy a wide range of activities in Hana’s beautiful natural setting, from kayaking to snorkeling.

There are also many cultural attractions, such as the historic Ka’uiki Head lighthouse and nearby Kalepa Ridge. With its lush rainforest, waterfalls, and black sand beaches, it’s no wonder that Hana has become one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist destinations.

Hana – dronepicr via Creative Commons

Best Ways to Experience Hana:

There are numerous opportunities to savor the wonders of Hana. One great way is by taking a scenic drive along the famous Road to Hana, winding through dense jungle terrain with breathtaking views around every corner.

Another option is an aerial tour, an incredible bird’s-eye view from above.

There are a lot of hikes in the area for people who want to do something more active, from easy strolls along well-marked trails to hard climbs up steep ridges and cliffsides with great views at the top.

Hana – Tristan Ramberg

Tips for Exploring Hana:

The best tip for exploring this part of Maui is patience; some roads can be narrow or bumpy, so you’ll want to take your time while driving around (and don’t forget sunscreen). Additionally, be sure you’re prepared before heading out, and bring enough food, water, sunscreen, and bug spray, as these items may not always be readily available in remote areas like this one.

Finally, if possible, try visiting during off-peak times; this will allow you more freedom when planning your trip without having large crowds competing with you for spots at popular sites or activities.

Hana is a great place to see and experience the amazing beauty of Hawaii, with its breathtaking views and a variety of fun things to do. With its long history and cultural importance, the Bishop Museum takes visitors on a trip through Hawaiian culture that they will never forget.

Hana – Aaron Zhu via Creative Commons

Bishop Museum

In Honolulu, the Bishop Museum is an extensive natural history and cultural institution that boasts over 25 million artifacts and specimens from Hawaiian culture to science, art, botany, zoology, geology, and beyond.

It houses over 25 million artifacts and specimens in Honolulu, ranging from Hawaiian culture to science, art, botany, zoology, geology, and more.

Charles Reed Bishop founded the museum as a tribute to his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who was a direct descendant of King Kamehameha I.

It also serves as an educational resource for both locals and visitors alike with its interactive exhibits that highlight Hawaiian culture throughout time.

Bishop Museum – Jimmy Emerson via Creative Commons

Best Ways to Experience Bishop Museum:

The most effective way to take advantage of this exceptional museum is by joining their organized excursions.

Go to one of the unique occasions, such as talks or film screenings at the planetarium theater, investigate the displays independently, and engage in different activities held all year round, including hands-on workshops for kids aged 4-12.

Moreover, you can shop until you drop by its gift shop, which features books about Hawaiian history and souvenirs inspired by traditional Polynesian designs, like jewelry crafted from lava rocks and wooden bowls carved with intricate motifs that evoke natural elements like waves or clouds.

Bishop Museum – Daniel Ramirez via Creative Commons


What is considered the best Hawaiian island to visit?

Hawaii is an attractive vacation spot for people of all ages, with each island possessing its own particular character. Of the eight main Hawaiian Islands, Maui is considered the best for visitors looking for an unforgettable experience. Maui stands out among the other Hawaiian Islands for its unparalleled natural beauty and exciting activities. The perfect balance between relaxation and adventure makes Maui one of the most sought-after destinations in Hawaii. From the luxury resorts and spas to the local restaurants, galleries, and boutiques, Maui will surely provide a memorable experience.

Maui – Pascal Debrunner

Why is Hawaii the best place to visit?

Hawaii is ideal for those looking to experience a mild luxury bespoke trip. Hawaii provides an idyllic backdrop of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and verdant rainforests for those seeking a luxurious vacation. From surfing to snorkeling and kayaking, Hawaii offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy in its warm climate throughout the year. There are also plenty of cultural attractions like luaus and hula performances, which add to the unique Hawaiian atmosphere. In addition to these natural wonders and activities on each island, countless restaurants offer delicious cuisine from around the world, making it easy to find something special while exploring this beautiful paradise.

Hawaii – Chloe Leis

What is the number 1 attraction in Hawaii?

The number one attraction in Hawaii is undoubtedly the beaches. From Kauai’s Na Pali Coast to Oahu’s Waikiki Beach, each island offers a unique and breathtaking beach experience. With warm temperatures year-round, crystal clear waters, and miles of sand stretching as far as the eye can see, it’s no wonder why so many flocks to these Hawaiian shores for their holiday getaways. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or want to relax in paradise, there’s something here for everyone – making it easy to understand why this destination tops lists around the world.

Waikiki Beach – Haotian Zheng

What is the prettiest place to visit in Hawaii?

Hawaii’s most beautiful place to visit is the Na Pali Coast on Kauai. This magnificent stretch of coastline presents verdant cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and luxuriant valleys that will leave you in awe. The area also provides an abundance of aquatic wildlife, from dolphins to whales and sea turtles to colorful fish, making it perfect for snorkeling or diving. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views from above or want to explore beneath the surface, this remarkable landscape has something for everyone.

Na Pali Coast – Karsten Winegeart


In conclusion, Hawaii is a beautiful destination with many amazing places to explore. From the historical Pearl Harbor and Bishop Museum to the breathtaking views of Na Pali Coast and Mauna Kea, you can find something for everyone in this tropical paradise.

For those seeking an extraordinary journey, Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are two of the finest locations to explore in Hawaii. Hana offers unique sights, while Kualoa Ranch provides plenty of activities to keep you busy all day.

Haleakala National Park, Polynesian Cultural Center, Volcanoes National Park, and Manoa Falls are also great options if you want to make your trip even more special.

Kaanapali Beach or Kalaupapa National Historical Park offers interesting experiences, so don’t miss out on these incredible destinations when planning your Hawaiian getaway.

Hawaii – Peter Vanosdall


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