40 Things To Do in the Islands of Hawaii
When we made last-minute plans to visit the islands of Hawaii, we also did the fastest research EVER to find the best things to do and came up with our Hawaii Bucket List.
Some things on our list were obvious (Go to a luau, Visit Pearl Harbor, See a Volcano at Volcanoes National Park), some we came up with just for fun (Attempt to see both the state bird AND state fish in the wild, Try Mai Tai and Blue Hawaiian drinks), and other items came later after they surprised us on our trip!
No matter what you do on your Hawaiian vacation, it has to be impossible to be disappointed! Can we go back already?
1. Put your walking shoes on and Hike Diamond Head Crater for a breathtaking view. (Oahu)
2. Visit the Dole Pineapple Plantation for a Dole Whip and conquer the World’s Largest Maze. (Oahu)
3. Snorkel in gorgeous Hanauma Bay, which you may recognize from Elvis’ Blue Hawaii. (Oahu)
4. Pay respects at historic Pearl Harbor where you can visit the submerged USS Arizona. (Oahu)
5. Visit Iolani Palace– the only royal palace to exist in the USA. (Oahu)
6. Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.
7. Wander the booths of the Aloha Swap Meet at the Aloha Stadium at the University of Hawaii. (Oahu)
8. Survive the winding Road to Hana where you will enjoy amazing stops and views along Maui’s coast. (Maui)
9. See lava at Volcanoes National Park and go all the way to the end of Chain of Craters Road (Hawaii)
10. Tour a Kona Coffee Farm and sample some of the world’s finest coffee. (Hawaii)
11. Hike to Akaka Falls on the Big Island of Hawaii.
12. See Waimea Canyon and Kalalau Lookout for postcard-worthy views you will never forget. (Kauai)
13. See the NaPali Coast, which you may recognize from Jurassic Park. (Kauai)
14. Walk across the swinging bridge located in the hometown of Disney’s Lilo and Stitch- Hanapepe. (Kauai)
16. Tour a Macadamia Nut Farm or factory, sampling along the way, of course. (Various locations)
17. Going to a Hawaiian Luau is a rite of passage, and we recommend the Smith Family Luau on Kauai.
18. Try Spam and Eggs and other Hawaiian foods (loco moco, kalua pork, poi, etc.). You just may find a new favorite!
19. Be given a lei made from fresh flowers. It doesn’t happen as often as the TV shows make it seem.
20. Learn to make leis (flower, ribbon, or kukui nut). They’re all fun to create and will make great souvenirs to take home!
21. Take surfing lessons (or catch a wave if you already know how!).
22. See the islands by air by taking a helicopter tour.
23. See a whale in the wild. Your jaw will drop.
24. Learn a traditional hula dance.
26. Island hop. You don’t truly get a feel for Hawaii unless you visit more than one island! Trust us, Hawaii is MUCH more than Honolulu and Waikiki!
27. Visit a black sand beach.
28. Swim with sea turtles.
29. Get dinner from an awesome food truck. Hawaiians know how to do food trucks right. You won’t be disappointed.
30. Enjoy a Mai Tai or Blue Hawaiian drink from a local bar.
31. Buy an Aloha Shirt and a dashboard dancing hula doll…because you have to, right?
32. Spot the state bird and fish in the wild (nene goose and the humuhumunukunukuapuaa).
33. Watch for the “green flash” at sunset.
34. Enjoy a Hawaiian Shave Ice. Yes, it’s “Shave” and not “ShaveD.”
35. Walk through lava fields and a lava tube.
36. Spend time watching talented surfers catching some serious waves (Recommended locations: North Shore of Oahu and Ho’okipa lookout in Maui).
37. Attend a local event or festival (For us, it was the 13th annual Spam Jam in Waikiki!).
39. Learn at least a few Hawaiian words and phrases. Know more than just “Aloha” and “Luau.” Find out what your name is in Hawaiian (we are Maleko and Kinipela!).
40. Swim with manta rays at night.
Are we missing anything? Let us know your favorite Hawaiian experiences in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and doggie-daughter, Gizmo. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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