Three Unique Things To Do on Each of Hawaii’s Islands to Help You Enjoy Hawaii!
Hawaii is a tropical paradise tucked away in the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of 6 islands, and each one has plenty to do if you choose to visit. Here are three things to do on each of Hawaii’s islands, and they are sure to help you enjoy Hawaii!
The Big Island: Hawaii
The Big Island of Hawaii is home to the world’s most active volcanoes, but don’t let this keep you from visiting! They have warnings for these sorts of things. In fact, the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, has been actively erupting since 1983! So what is there to do on the Big Island?
- Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, though it is closed on most holidays, so it’s best to check before you go! And you can purchase a pass online that will be valid for 7 days from purchase. Enjoy day hiking, back country hiking, the Crater Rim Drive tour, the Chain of Craters Road Tour, the Kahuku Unit, and visit two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. To truly take in the most of this natural beauty, you should plan to spend at least one day exploring the park.
- Akaka Falls State Park. Here, you can see two gorgeous waterfalls on one short, .4-mile hike uphill through a lush rainforest filled with wild orchids, bamboo groves, and draping ferns.
- Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi that last erupted approximately 4000 years ago. At 13,796 feet above sea level and over 33,000 feet from the bottom of the ocean floor, Mauna Kea is the tallest sea mountain in the world. In the Hawaiian religion, the peaks of Mauna Kea are sacred. Stop by the Visitor Information Station, the best amateur observation site on Earth! Also, the Onizuka Center holds free nightly stargazing sessions from 6-10 pm. And on weekends, guests can take part in Mauna Kea summit tours!
The Valley Isle: Maui
Maui, known also as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest Hawaiian island. And Maui has been voted “Best Island in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler readers for more than 20 years!
- The Road to Hana Tour. This tour has something for everyone, including the INCREDIBLE beauty of Hawaii! You will be able to catch a roadside waterfall, or enjoy an off-the-beaten path hiking trail. Also, some of the best banana bread stops in the state! Guests can either drive themselves or take any number of guided tours.
- Haleakala National Park Maui. Towering over the island of Maui, 10,023 feet above sea level, in fact, the Haleakala Crater is a dormant volcano with breathtaking views. Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian, and legend goes that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun from its journey across the sky as he stood on the volcano’s summit, slowing its descent to make the day last longer. (You’re welcome.) Catch the sunrise, or the sunset, and learn about how Haleakala contributes to the fragile ecosystem of Maui.
- Ka’anapali Beach. Three miles of white sand beach and crystal clear waters: the literal definition of paradise. And, of course, the ideal way to enjoy Hawaii! Here, you can take in one of the world class golf courses, or zip line above the breathtaking coastline and see the incredible beauty of the beach for yourself. Each night, a cliff diver lights the torches of the cliffs known as Puu Kekaa, diving off Black Rock in a reenactment of a feat by Maui’s revered King Kahekili.
The Gathering Place: Oahu
Chances are, everything you know about Hawaii is on Oahu. Beacause Oahu is the most populous island in Hawaii, the home of Waikiki and Pearl Harbor.
- Kailua Beach Park. The main park here is 35 acres of green space and sand dunes and, since Kailua Beach is less developed than Waikiki, it has more natural beauty. Enjoy the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters as you enjoy Hawaii in this amazing paradise.
- Pearl Harbor. There is a TON to see and do, as well as learn, at Pearl Harbor. It is certainly more than just the USS Arizona, though that is the most important part.
- Diamond Head State Monument. Created about 300,000 years ago by a violent volcanic eruption, the Diamond Head crater has become Oahu’s most recognized landmark!
The Garden Isle: Kauai
Kauai, the oldest island of the Hawaiian Islands, is a place where worries vanish in the trade winds, warm saltwater laps the golden sands of Kauai’s Beaches and the rain-forests of Koke’e host earth’s rarest plants and birds. While here, you will experience the secrets of The Garden Island as you dive into the beauty Kauai has to offer. There is truly no place like the Garden Isle of Kauai.
- Waimea Canyon. Waimea Canyon State Park is the largest canyon in the Pacific. Here, you will find several Insta-worthy photo spots and overlooks to capture the breathtaking sights. Surrounding the Waimea Canyon is the Koke’e State Park, which occupies 4,345 acres of land. Norfolk pines, Koa hardwoods, native plants and wildlife are just a small fraction of what you will see here. State operated cabins and hiking by permit is available year-round with advance reservations.
- Na Pali Coast. This rugged coastline stretches along the Northwest side of Kauai, and is absolutely GORGEOUS! Here, you can take in the high cliffs, sea caves, cascading waterfalls, and lush green valleys of the coast. During your visit, you can go snorkeling, take a catamaran tour, helicopter tours, and more!
- Hanalei. This idyllic town, located on Kauai’s north shore, is home to everything from historic places to contemporary art galleries. Here, you will find the Waioli Mission House, where you can learn more about the history of beautiful Kauai. Or maybe you would like to see a ukulele concert at the Hanalei Community Center. Also, you can take in the breathtaking beauty of the misty green mountains and try to figure out words to describe their beauty. Fans of the musical South Pacific may recognize the Hanalei Pier, which was featured in the movie version.
The Friendly Isle: Moloka’i
Moloka’i is the fifth largest Hawaiian island. So this island is TINY! In fact, it is only 38 miles long and 10 miles wide. And it has some of the highest sea cliffs in the world and the longest continuous fringing reef. It is said that Moloka’i is the most urban and most “Hawaiian” of all the islands. It is also quite rugged, so it is not for the faint of heart!
- Kaluapapa National Historical Park. In order to even access Kaluapapa National Historical Park, you have to take a 3-mile mule ride. Like I said, Moloka’i is NOT for the faint of heart! Here, you will find the highest sea cliffs in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This serene park is a breathtakingly beautiful place of preservation and education.
- Papohaku Beach. Known as “Three Mile Beach,” this three mile stretch of white sand beach is home to, well, nobody. You will enjoy the “Friendly Island” vibe while taking in the amazing sands, without all the foot traffic. There are campsites, indoor and outdoor shower facilities, restroom facilities, and picnic grounds. And you can take in the incredible views of Oahu from the serenity of the beach!
- Moloka’i’s Seacliffs. The absolute best way to take in the beauty of the Moloka’i Seacliffs is to take a helicopter tour from Maui. What an awe-inspiring way to enjoy Hawaii!
The Pineapple Island: Lanai
Once a pineapple plantation, Lanai is now owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, and he is turning it into a playground for the super rich. This is the smallest Hawaiian island that tourists are allowed to visit.
- Munro Trail. This rugged 12.8 mile trail can only be hiked or biked, you cannot drive. It was named after the New Zealand Naturalist, George Munro, who arrived in 1890. Munro introduced the Cook Pine Trees that you’ll find along the trail.
- Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods). The rock towers, spires, and formations formed by centuries of erosion are at their most enchanting at dusk. But know that the area is only accessible via four-wheel drive vehicle or mountain bike. The area actually used to be part of a native dryland forest, parts of which have survived today. As the sun sets, it casts a warm orange glow on the rocks illuminating them in brilliant reds and purples. And on a clear day, visitors can see the islands of Molokai and Oahu from these high elevations.
- The Cathedrals. For SCUBA divers, the Cathedrals offer an underwater wonderland full of rock formations, coral, and native sea species.
How You Can Visit and Enjoy Hawaii
- Disney’s Aulani, a Resort and Spa. Located on Oahu, this resort offers the beauty of Hawaii with the magic of Disney. Get your Aulani Quote!
- Royal Caribbean Cruise. Get your cruise quote!
- Plan your Hawaii visit today! Not into Disney OR a cruise? That’s ok! I can STILL get you to Hawaii! Get your Hawaii Quote today!