Top 10 Tourist Destinations In Hawaii – Isolated, volcanic, beautiful, culturally significant. Hawaii is many things. Each island has its own unique charms and experiences, from soaring over jagged mountains to strolling iconic beach resorts or learning the hula to discovering the fiery legends of Pela.
Whichever island you choose to visit, the magic of Hawaii is rich and deep. Here are the best experiences in the Aloha State.
Top 10 Tourist Destinations In Hawaii
Halema’u ma’u Crater under the stars of the Milky Way in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet
Map Of The 7 Hawaiian Islands
On the slopes of the world’s most active volcano, whose last eruption ended in 2021, this extraordinary park is a dramatic reminder that nature remains very much alive and in constant motion. Incredible hiking trails take you past lava flows and tubes, steam vents and wild beaches, while the long, winding mountain hall passes several notable landmarks.
Shaped by centuries of wind and erosion, the Na Pali Coast is a must-see for any Kauai visitor © chasefogus / 500px
The Na Pali Coast deserves to be at the top of every Kauai visitor’s to-do list. Admire it from a cruise catamaran or brave the elements on your paddleboard and kayak. Hikers can see it up close on the challenging 11-mile Kalalau Trail. Whether you’re on a day hike or a backpacking trip, you’ll encounter a place like no other, where green cliffs rise above wild valley waterfalls.
Hawaii is perfect for short but exciting trips, and the road to Hana is one of the best © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet
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Maui’s Hana Highway, a white-knuckle roller coaster, winds through dense jungle valleys and skirts beneath towering cliffs, with nearly 600 hairpin turns along the way. Fifty-four one-way bridges cross almost as many waterfalls; Driving is only half the fun. Step out and swim in the zen pool, walk in the scent of ginger and enjoy fresh guavas and coconuts.
Next door to Honolulu, Hawaii’s most popular resort has become a haven for clingy plastic lei, coconut shell bikini tops and hip hula hoops. But true aloha and chic-modern style are back. Beach boys and girls make legendary waves during the day and light up the sand with tiki torches after sunset. Hula dancers with faint guitars and ukuleles behind them sway nightly to ancient and modern rhythms in beachside hotels, open-air bars and even shopping malls.
When you go to Haleakala, the first thing you notice is the view of the fragile moon. Then comes a terrible silence. the only sound is the crunch of volcanic ash beneath your feet. The trail continues through hard lava, blond gray cones, and ever-changing clouds. In the coastal part of the park, waterfalls transform into large pools lined with paths, overlooks and bamboo forests.
(Hawaiian Celebrations) show. Funny, of course. But if you want to see real hula performed to invoke the gods and legends through song and dance, visit this prestigious hula competition held in Hilo every Easter weekend. Catching? Tickets should be ordered one year in advance. Fans come from all over the world to see it. Even without tickets, you can enjoy the tour, craft fair, and free performances.
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, now a sobering memorial that still draws many veterans, tourists and military history buffs to Oahu. But the history of this site and the many active US military bases in Hawaii goes back much further, even to the colonization and annexation of the islands in the 20th century, when the rising United States flexed its imperial muscles. The name “Pearl Harbor” itself is a translation of the original Hawaiian name
Submarine, tour the Pacific Air Museum’s aircraft hangers and stand aboard the battleship Mighty Mo, where Imperial Japan officially surrendered in 1945.
Widely considered one of the best beaches in Hawaii (and the US), Kaua’i’s Hanalei Bay is perfect for surfers and beachgoers alike © Glowing Earth Photography / 500px
Repeatedly voted one of the best beaches in the US, the crescent-shaped cove on Kauai’s North Shore delights lazy sunbathers and active beachgoers alike. Surfers can charge massive (and some beginner) waves while spectators surf the golden sands. Surf lessons are held near the pier, and every afternoon locals and visitors light up the grills, crack open cold drinks and watch the day fade.
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Legend has it that Molokini was a beautiful woman who turned into stone © M Swiet Productions / Getty Images
Hawaiian legend says that Molokini was a beautiful woman who was turned to stone by the envious Pele, goddess of fire and volcanoes. Today Molokini is a legend among divers and divers. The crescent-shaped rock, located just a few miles off the coast of South Maui, is the rim of an ancient volcanic crater that eroded and sank below the ocean’s surface over the centuries. The shallow waters found here are more than hospitable for corals and a calling card for more than 250 species of tropical fish.
No other place evokes a keener sense of Hawaii’s history. The palace was built under David Kalakaua in 1882. At the time, the Hawaiian monarchy followed the diplomatic protocols of the Victorian world. The king traveled abroad, met with leaders of different countries and received foreign ambassadors here. Although modern and opulent for its time, the palace did little to assert Hawaii’s sovereignty against the powerful US-influenced business interests that overthrew the kingdom in 1893. Two years after the coup, former Queen Liliuokalani, who succeeded her brother David, was convicted of treason and spent nine months in prison here at her former home.
When the giant rollers come down, head to Oahu’s North Shore to see Hawaii’s surfing rock stars (you can also see them ride professional waves at Maui’s Houkipa Beach and Kauai’s North Shore). There is no need to remove the large camera lens from the howitzer. you can practically look these surfers in the eye as they paddle into the monsters. Or test your adrenaline levels by learning to drive
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Kauai’s Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is worth the trip © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet
The “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” stretches 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, carved by centuries of erosion and the collapse of the volcano that created Kauai. Views along the way explore rugged cliffs, towering waterfalls, and endless chasms along the winding scenic gut. Steep trails take hikers to canyon bottoms, coastal ridges, and deep into mountaintop swamps.
A mysterious green orb full of ghosts and legends. Holy place. Retreat from the outside world. The special distillation of all these ingredients makes Waipiʻo irresistible. Some simply take photos from the panoramic view, one of the most famous views on the Big Island. Others descend to the valley floor with a local guide to walk the black sand beach and gaze at the distant waterfalls and hear the stories and legends of the surrounding region.
Manta rays gather on the west coast of the Big Island, providing an essential experience for snorkelers and divers © Russell C Gilbert RCG Maru Photography/Getty Images
Waianapanapa State Park
The alien wonders of the ocean will become accessible to all on the Big Island. Go night snorkeling or diving off Kailua-Kona and come face-to-face, eye-to-eye, and sometimes belly-to-belly with giant Pacific manta rays. These graceful giants glide beneath you like dark angels, dancing a shadow ballet that is heartbreakingly beautiful and utterly mesmerizing. Best of all, you don’t need to be a water expert to enjoy this unforgettable adventure.
Culturally and scientifically significant, Mauna Kea is a must-see for visitors to the Big Island © Tec Petaja / Lonely Planet
According to Hawaiian tradition, the summit of the Big Island’s Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the islands, is where earth and sky meet. Today’s astronomers feel much the same way, and over the past fifty years have used the cleanest air on the planet to build more powerful observatories, often facing hundreds of Native Hawaiian protesters who consider the mountain sacred. Although science and spirituality continue to be at odds, visitors can still join in the stargazing above the stars.
Downtown Honolulu and the Aloha Tower, built in 1926 as a navigation aid for Honolulu Harbor © John Seaton Callahan / Getty Images
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In Hawaii’s cosmopolitan capital, Oahu’s South Shore, you can dine in the pan-Asian alleys of Chinatown, gaze out to sea from the iconic Aloha Tower, and explore the only royal palace in the United States where Hawaii’s last monarch served house arrest. . . Explore the world’s largest open-air mall, then pay your respects at Pearl Harbor.
On Molokai’s Kalaupapa Peninsula, once home to a colony of Hansen’s disease-stricken Hawaiians, there are still churches and communities that cared for patients © Alexander Howard / Lonely Planet
More than half of Molokai’s population is of Aboriginal heritage, and local residents prioritize the preservation of the land and culture over tourism promotion schemes. However, the visitors
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