Top Things to Do in Hawaii – Your Complete Planning Guide

Beneath the radiant Hawaiian sun, the waves crash against the golden shores, creating a symphony of sounds that perfectly complements the enchanting aloha spirit that permeate the air.

Welcome to Hawaii, a tropical paradise nestled in the sparkling embrace of the Pacific Ocean. Picture yourself immersed in a dreamlike destination where emerald mountains kiss the cerulean sky. And cascading waterfalls paint the landscape with sheer beauty. Follow along as we help you discover the top 10 things to do in Hawaii!

Whether you’re snorkeling alongside a kaleidoscope of colorful marine life. Or simply lounging by the pristine shores, Hawaii has it all. Follow along as we take a look at the top 10 things to do in Hawaii.

Prepare to be transported to a world of wonder as you venture into the lush rainforests. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural heritage that pulsates through the islands. And indulge your senses in the tantalizing flavors of traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

So, grab your lei and pack your sense of adventure. Then, slather on some reef-safe sunscreen. Finally, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the island of Hawaii. Mahalo and let’s go!

Embrace Your Inner Beach Bum

Why not indulge in the beach lover’s paradise that is Hawaii? With the beautiful beaches as your playground, the possibilities for excitement and relaxation are simply endless.

Waikiki Beach on Oahu is an iconic destination, known for its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant atmosphere. It is a bustling hub of activity, with surfers riding the waves. Sunbathers soaking up the tropical rays, and beachgoers strolling along the shore. So, grab your favorite sunglasses and savor a refreshing pina colada as you lounge in the warm embrace of the Hawaiian rays.

Related Post: Best Hawaii Island for Kids – Which One Should You Choose?

Nestled amidst lush greenery and framed by majestic mountains, the scenic Hanalei Bay on Kauai boasts turquoise waters that gently caress its golden sands. This crescent-shaped beach is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, offering opportunities for surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

Hanauma Bay Oahu Hawaii
Aerial view of famous Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve with beach and coral reef in Oahu island, Hawaii, United States. Summer time leisure and water sports recreation. Nature scenic landscape.

Venture to Big Island’s Punaluu Black Sand Beach, and you’ll find yourself stepping into an out-of-this-world landscape. This unique beach is composed of jet-black sand, a result of the island’s volcanic activity. Against the contrast of the ebony sands, the azure waves crash upon the shore, creating a mesmerizing sight.

On the island of Maui, Kaanapali White Sand Beach captivates visitors with its powdery soft sand and stunning ocean vistas. Stretching along the west coast of the island, this beach offers a serene haven for sun-seekers.

After a day of sun, sand, and surf, it’s time to find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate. Luckily, Tripster offers a wide range of Hawaii Hotels and Lodgings to suit every traveler’s taste and budget.

Choose from an array of options, from luxurious beachfront resorts that offer marvelous ocean views. To cozy boutique hotels nestled amidst tropical gardens such as:

Wake up to the soothing sound of crashing waves, luxuriate in spacious and comfortable rooms. And pamper yourself with top-notch amenities. Book through Tripster today and make your Hawaiian getaway complete with a comfortable and memorable stay!

View looking at Diamond Head State Monument with the Pacific Ocean below on a sunny day in Oahu, Hawaii, USADive into an Underwater Adventure

Strap on that snorkel and explore Hawaii’s underwater wonderland. From colorful coral reefs to tropical fish galore, you’ll feel like you’re swimming in an aquarium – minus the glass walls.

As the sun begins to set, the underwater world comes alive with manta rays gracefully gliding through the ocean. Witness these gentle giants as they elegantly soar beneath you on our Sunset Cruise & Night Manta Swim.

Guided by expert instructors, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these mesmerizing creatures in their natural habitat. Watch in awe as they perform their captivating underwater ballet, a sight that will leave you speechless.

Related Post: Best Snorkeling Kauai – Guide to the Most Beautiful Spots

But the adventure doesn’t end there! Take the opportunity to venture to the North Shore of the island. And immerse yourself in the wonders of other popular snorkeling spots like Shark’s Cove and Waimea Bay.

Dive into an underwater paradise from the picturesque shores of Waikiki Beach with Tripster’s thrilling snorkeling experiences. Don your snorkel gear and immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of Turtle Canyon with our Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran.

Swim alongside majestic Hawaiian green sea turtles, marvel at vibrant coral reefs, and discover the beauty that lies beneath the waves. The midday sail even includes a hearty picnic lunch to keep you energized throughout this extraordinary adventure.

Whether you choose to explore the renowned spots or discover hidden gems. The memories you create while snorkeling will stay with you long after you leave the islands. So, don’t miss out on the chance to snorkel the seas at least once during your Hawaiian getaway.

Close up of a sea turtle swimming over the reef in blue green water near Oahu, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Sea Turtle Foundation via Facebook

Set Sail and Explore Crystal Blue Waters

Hop aboard a kayak or paddleboard and navigate your way through the turquoise waters surrounding the islands. It’s like being in your own real-life screensaver!

Pssst…want to stay dry and still explore the mesmerizing underwater world? If your answer is a resounding yes, our Hawaii Glass Bottom Boat Tour is the perfect option for you.

Sit back and relax as the glass bottom boat glides effortlessly through the crystal-clear waters. Providing you with a front-row seat to the wonders beneath the surface. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore the marine wonders of Hawaii.

And as the day comes to a close, there’s no better way to savor the beauty of the Hawaiian islands than by embarking on a magical sunset cruise. Tripster offers an array of one-of-a-kind sunset cruises that will leave you in awe of nature’s enchanting display.

Step aboard the spacious 232-foot Star of Honolulu Sunset Dinner Cruise, the largest ship of its kind in Hawaii. With four walk-around decks and a 60-foot observation deck, you’ll have ample space to take in breathtaking views. Enjoy live entertainment from one of the largest casts on Hawaiian waters as you indulge in a delectable dinner.

Related Post: Kauai Catamaran Tour – Discounts & Reviews

Book our Sunset Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay, and you’ll be transported to the historic Kealakekua Bay. Along the way, you’ll pass by more than 50 points of interest and historical sites. Offering a fascinating glimpse into Hawaii’s past. Savor a Hawaiian-style dinner, and enjoy live entertainment. And sip on a complimentary cocktail as you witness the stunning sunset.

Or join our Waikiki Sunset Cruise – Swim & Sail where you can bask in the sun, enjoy the crystal-clear ocean, and swim in its pristine waters. As you sail, be enchanted by the vibrant colors of the sky and keep an eye out for friendly dolphins and turtles that may cross your path. This family-friendly excursion guarantees a safe and relaxing experience, creating memories to cherish.

Photo Alert: Capture the perfect Instagram-worthy shot as the sun dips below the horizon. Casting its warm glow on the tranquil sea. You won’t want to miss it!

a semi front view of a sailing white yacht where tourist are enjoying the view of Kauai sea
photo credit: Kauai Sea Tours via Facebook

Witness Majestic Whales in their Natural Habitat

If you happen to visit Hawaii during the whale season from December through April, prepare yourself for an awe-inspiring experience. During this time, you can witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Swimming, jumping, and playing in the warm Hawaiian waters.

Keep your eyes peeled as you embark on a thrilling whale watching tour! Join Kauai Sea Tours’ Whale Watch Cocktail Cruise or Whale Watch Discovery Tour. Where expert guides and knowledgeable crew members will accompany you on an unforgettable voyage. Guiding you through the secrets and wonders of the whale world.

Related Post: Maui Whale Watching Tour: Which is the Best?

Alternatively, immerse yourself in the excitement and anticipation as you step aboard a magnificent catamaran. Specially designed for these incredible encounters. Experience the sheer thrill of joining our other renowned whale-watching cruises, such as:

Pro Tip: Make sure to bring a pair of binoculars to witness their behaviors in more detail. Or a camera with a zoom lens to capture close-up shots.

Observe in awe as whales navigate the pristine waters, showcasing their playful antics and displaying their immense strength and agility. However, it is important to maintain a respectful distance. Getting too close might result in an unexpected and rather unwelcome encounter with the powerful flick of a whale’s tail.

a stunning image of a blue whale flipping through the air in a vast ocean.
photo credit: Kauai Sea Tours via Facebook

Step Back in Time and Discover Historic Sites

Take a delightful pause from your sun-soaked escapades and embark on a captivating journey through the rich tapestry of Hawaii’s storied past. Immerse yourself in the hallowed grounds of the island’s iconic historic sites, where the echoes of history whisper through time.

Begin your profound exploration at Pearl Harbor, a place of profound significance that serves as a poignant reminder of World War II’s indelible impact. Here, you will have the opportunity to pay homage. And reflect upon the sacrifices made by brave individuals as you delve into the depths of history.

Step onto the solemn grounds of the USS Arizona Memorial, a stirring tribute to the fallen heroes. Whose lives were forever entwined with the tragic events that unfolded on that fateful day. Witness firsthand the sunken remains of the ship and feel a deep sense of reverence for the lives lost in service to their country.

Related Post: Pearl Harbor Tour – Guide to Discount Tickets & Reviews

But the journey doesn’t end there! Traverse the historic decks of the legendary Battleship Missouri, an imposing vessel that witnessed the culmination of the war. As you step in the footsteps of those who shaped history. Marvel at the immense significance of this mighty vessel, where the signing of the Japanese surrender documents marked the end of World War II.

To fully immerse yourself in this remarkable chapter of history, we invite you to embark on our exceptional Pearl Harbor City Tour. This comprehensive all-inclusive pass opens the doors to three extraordinary attractions. Offering you a profound insight into the battleship, submarine, and aviation aspects of this iconic location.

Delve into the spellbinding narratives that unfold before you. As you traverse the historic grounds and gain a deeper understanding of the pivotal moments that shaped the world.

exterior of ground view of Pearl Harbor National Memorial on Big Island, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: NuSmile via Facebook

Immerse Yourself in the Spirit of Aloha at a Luau

Soak up the vibrant Hawaiian culture by attending the island’s signature show – the festive luau. Brace yourself for an enchanting evening where the very essence of Hawaii comes alive through a harmonious fusion. Of melodic rhythms, captivating dances, and an irresistible array of delectable culinary delights.

Get ready to sway your hips to the rhythmic beats of hula. And be captivated by the fascinating performances like the Tahitian dance and Samoan fire-knife dance. Witness firsthand the rich diversity of the Pacific. As each performance weaves together a vivid tapestry of storytelling, history, and the profound spirit of aloha.

Related Post: 5 of the Best Luaus in Hawaii

Indulge in a culinary journey as you dine on the mouthwatering kalua pig, slow-cooked to perfection in an earth oven. Savor the flavors of traditional poi and pulehu chicken, showcasing the best of local cuisine.

For an authentic glimpse into Polynesian culture, catch popular luaus such as Germaine’s and Drums of the Pacific. As you arrive at Germaine’s Luau Hawaii, you’ll be greeted with a traditional Hawaiian shell lei and a Royal Court of Polynesia procession. Germaine’s Luau promises an evening filled with color, excitement, and authentic island hospitality.

Located at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa on Kaanapali Beach, Drums of the Pacific takes guests on a unique Polynesian adventure. Experience demonstrations of arts and crafts that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the islands. Be mesmerized by a symbolic torch-lighting ceremony that sets the stage for an exotic Hawaiian buffet feast.

With authentic performances, sumptuous food, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It’s one of the top things to do in Hawaii where you can create memories that will last a lifetime.

A group of females are dancing on the stage and have a red costume on it.
photo credit: Rock-A-Hula Hawaii via Facebook

Tee Off and Swing into Golfing Paradise

Calling all golf enthusiasts! Hawaii is a golfer’s paradise, boasting world-class courses with breathtaking ocean views and lush green fairways. Get ready to perfect your swing in a setting that feels like a golfer’s dream come true.

Hawaii’s championship courses are scattered across the four main islands, each offering unique signature holes, outstanding scenery, and exceptional layouts. Whether you prefer playing amidst volcanic remains or enjoying a seaside stroll while you putt. You’ll find over 70 golf courses in Hawaii to fulfill every golfer’s desires.

Pro Tip: The wind can be strong enough to send your ball sailing off into the ocean. So hold on tight to your hat and be prepared for some unexpected ball flights!

Prepare to tee off at some of the best golf courses in Hawaii. With its lush fairways, strategic bunkering, and fast greens. The prestigious Club at Hokulia golf course tests the skills of golfers of all levels.

Related Post: Big Island Hikes – 12 Best to Explore

Nestled on the Kona Coast of the Big Island, the renowned Hualalai Golf Course is a must-play for golf enthusiasts. This exclusive course is part of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Providing players with luxurious amenities and impeccable service.

Finally, brace for challenging fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and large undulating greens at the iconic Mauna Kea Golf Course. Teeing off against a backdrop of volcanic mountains and the sparkling blue ocean, this historic course has been captivating players since 1964.

Thanks to the stunning landscapes, challenging holes, and the gentle ocean breeze as your companion, you’re in for a round of golf like no other.

Golf Club and Ball on The GreenSoak Up the Breathtaking Sights and Scenery

From emerald valleys, lush rainforests, and active volcanoes. To cascading waterfalls and rugged sea cliffs. Hawaii is a visual feast for the eyes, offering an enthralling showcase of natural wonders.

Immerse yourself in the ethereal and otherworldly landscapes of Haleakala National Park, where you’ll be transported to a realm of awe-inspiring beauty. As you traverse the park’s trails, be prepared to be captivated by the otherworldly rock formations, vibrant flora, and panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Prepare to be enchanted by the grandeur of Waimea Canyon, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” As you stand at the edge of this majestic geological wonder. Take in the breathtaking hues of red, orange, and green that paint the walls of the canyon.

Embark on the legendary Road to Hana, a winding coastal highway. Where each bend in the road reveals a new natural marvel. Beckoning you to stop, explore, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this tropical paradise.

Related Post: Facts About Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – 30 Fascinating Discoveries

So, grab your camera and prepare to capture the best things to see in Hawaii. But remember, it’s important to put it down every now and then and soak in the beauty with your own eyes. After all, you don’t want your memories to be just a collection of photographs!

But wait, there’s more! Secure our Go Oahu All-Inclusive Pass in advance and unlock incredible savings on your Hawaiian adventure. With the pass, you’ll receive an impressive 65% off admission for 30+ of Oahu’s most popular attractions, activities, and tours.

Choose from 3, 5, or 7-day passes and enjoy the freedom to visit as many attractions as you want during your stay. Plus, as a bonus, each pass includes free admission to an additional Oahu attraction of your choice!

Get your Go Oahu All-Inclusive Pass today! Experience the best of Oahu, or Hawaii for that matter, without breaking the bank!

aerial view of rainbow over Waimea Canyon State Park in Kauai, Hawaii, USAEmbark on Thrilling Trails and Nature Walks

Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to hit the trails! Hawaii offers an abundance of scenic hikes. From easy strolls to more challenging treks that reward you with panoramic views at every turn.

On Maui, make sure to visit the Lahaina Visitors Center, where you can learn about the rich history and culture of the area. And don’t miss the opportunity to explore the stunning Haleakala Crater, a volcanic wonder that showcases the raw beauty of nature.

But for those seeking a different perspective without too much walking involved, our Complete Island Maui Helicopter Tour is the perfect choice. Buckle up as you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the island’s vistas from the comfort of your seat.

Plus, here’s some great news: you’ll also discover a paradise for hikers on the Big Island. Head to Hawaii Volcano State Park a.k.a. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park through the Kilauea Iki Trail, where you can witness the power of an active volcano.

Related Post: Kohala Waterfalls Adventure: In-Depth Guide to Big Island Hiking

Embarking on top-rated hikes is definitely one of the top things to do in Big Island Hawaii. But why not take your hiking experience to a whole new level by joining Tripster’s volcano tours such as:

But it’s not just the sight of the volcanic landscapes that will leave you breathless. The air carries a distinct aroma of sulfur, a tangible reminder of the volcanic gases escaping from hidden vents. This unique scent, although strong, serves as a testament to the island’s ongoing transformation and the fascinating interplay between the elements.

In addition, conquering these trails is not just about a journey through time and geology. It’s also a great way to burn off those extra calories from indulging in delectable Hawaiian cuisine!

Lava Flowing over cliffs into the ocean at Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park - The Big Island, Hawaii, USAIndulge in Local Delights and Eat Like a Hawaiian

Did someone mention food? Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with the flavors of Hawaii’s local cuisine. From mouthwatering poke bowls to satisfying plate lunches, there’s an abundance of delectable island fare to indulge in.

Hawaii is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, and eating like a local is the key to truly experiencing the island’s flavor. Explore charming Mom and Pop style cafes and eateries in Maui, like Charley’s Restaurant in Paia or Lahaina Pizza Co. On Oahu, indulge in fusion menus at upscale spots like Doraku and Roy’s Waikiki.

For a taste of Kauai, make sure to visit Duane’s Ono Burger, a roadside stop famous for its delicious burgers. And on the Big Island, immerse yourself in regional cuisine at Merriman’s, where the island’s bountiful ingredients take center stage.

Just be sure to save some room for the iconic shave ice – no Hawaiian vacation is complete without this refreshing treat! And to elevate your foodie experience, don’t miss out on Tripster’s Hawaii food tours.

Related Post: Romantic Restaurants in Hawaii: A Dining Guide to Each Island

Gather your Ohana and embark on our Honolulu City Lights and Dinner Tour. Indulge in a 3-course meal at the renowned Original Roy’s Restaurant. Savoring delicious dishes like Roy’s famous Short Ribs and decadent desserts. Afterward, unwind at the Tantalus Lookout, where you can admire the city lights and starry nights. Creating a picturesque end to your evening.

Alternatively, maximize your time on Oahu with our Island and You Tour. This full-day adventure takes you on cultural exploration and sampling local Hawaiian meals and treats along the way. Discover the island’s hidden gems and find your perfect Oahu souvenir.

For food lovers, the Kauai Food Tour – Hanapepe Walking Tour is a must. Join an exciting culinary adventure, sampling the island’s tastiest restaurants, food trucks, and neighborhoods. This tour is suitable for all ages, fitness levels, and appetites.

These tours will allow you to savor the best flavors of Hawaii. While immersing yourself in the island’s rich history and culture. Bon appétit!

A dining room with white cloth covered tables and wooden chairs decorated with colorful flowers and large openings in the wall and an ocean view at Orchids in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Halekulani Hotel via Facebook

Embrace the Aloha Spirit and Discover the Magic of Hawaii Today

Get ready to answer the call of the Hawaiian islands! Indulge in the ultimate sensory delight as you bask in the golden rays of the sun. Find solace amidst the tranquil shores or seek out the thrilling adventures that await beneath the crystalline waters.

Sway to the intoxicating melodies and graceful movements of the hula. Allowing the rhythmic beats to resonate within your soul. Embark on a gastronomic odyssey that reflects the vibrant tapestry of cultures that call Hawaii home.

With an abundance of wonderful options, deciding where to start may feel overwhelming. But fear not, every adventure on this list of top ten things to do in Hawaii is guaranteed to be a blast! No matter which path you choose to tread, each step will be imbued with the spirit of aloha. Infusing your journey with warmth, wonder, and unbridled joy.

Related Post: Oahu vs Maui: Which is Better?

And here’s a secret to maximize your savings: bundle your admission to Hawaii attractions with other must-try experiences through Tripster. By booking our Vacation Packages, you can save a fortune while enjoying the best that Hawaii has to offer.

So grab your camera, bid “aloha” to the palm trees, and let the memories begin. Mahalo for joining us on this tropical escapade. Until next time, keep that laid-back island vibe alive and embrace the aloha spirit wherever you go!

Tell Us, What Other Best Things To Do in Hawaii Would You Add to Our List?

What other top things to do in Hawaii did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!

Avatar photo

Written by Archie Villaflores

Over the years, he has won numerous national contests for news and editorial writing, but he has recently discovered that his true passion...

Have something to add? Post it here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you a Tripster?

Create an account to get access to exclusive pricing and rewards.

Tagged in this post

Hawaii Planning

Read more about

Tours & Activites