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6 Places You Won’t Want to Miss in Hawaii

The tropical island paradise of Hawaii boasts a bevy of natural wonders and cultural offerings unlike any other place in America. Though there are a lot more to the islands than the many spectacular beaches.

Because of its remote location, Hawaii can be a spendy vacation. It is advised to start saving money to go on your trip as soon as you book so that you can ensure you’re able to make the most out of your time in paradise.

With so many unique islands and offerings, it can be hard to narrow down your itinerary. But here are six must-see destinations that should definitely make your list.

Pearl Harbor

Island: Oʻahu

Pearl Harbor

The bombing of this military base is what eventually led the United States into World War II, so the historical significance of Pearl Harbor cannot be overstated.

A tour of the USS Arizona is preceded by a moving film, detailing the tragic events of the day. The humbling and emotional experience is what makes Pearl Harbor the most popular tourist attraction in the state.

Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ

Waikiki Beach

Island: Oʻahu

Waikiki Hawaii From The Air

Waikiki Beach is not only Hawaii’s most famous beach, but one of the most recognized Oahu beaches in the world.

With 8 different sections that are distinctly different from each other, there are a plethora of activities geared towards tourists seem to go on all day and most of the night.

Come here for surfing, canoe paddling, snorkeling, swimming, boogie boarding, sand combing, catching a golden tan, people watching, or marvelling at a few beautiful Waikiki sunsets.

It is most famous for it’s lively atmosphere and epic surf breaks, and as a playground for the rich and famous. It loses points for being the busiest beach we’ve ever come across, but Kapiolani beach park is a less crowded section.

Image: Edmund Garman (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Polynesian Cultural Center

Island: Oʻahu

This educational and engaging center is a great way to learn about the rich heritage of all of the Pacific islands.

In addition to the numerous exhibits and the vibrant marketplace, guests can also take in an authentic luau conveniently located on the grounds.

 Waimea Canyon

Island: Kauaʻi

Waimea Canyon

Affectionately known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is the crown jewel of the lush island of Kauai.

Believed by many to be the most beautiful of all of the islands, Kauai boasts a variety of natural wonders including the Napali Coast and literally hundreds of cascading waterfalls. But of all the beauty to behold, none are as impressive as the Waimea Canyon.

At approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep, the canyon and its environs offer spectacular hiking and biking opportunities.

Be warned that it is hard to tear your eyes away from the sweeping vistas provided by the Waimea Canyon.

Image: Andrew Baerst (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

The Road to Hana

Island: Maui

The Road to Hana, Maui

The Road to Hana is all about the journey and not just the destination. This scenic drive located on the island of Maui is famous for its majestic views and diverse stops all along the way.

The Road to Hana is best experienced as a day-long adventure, taking the time to stop and visit the scenic overlooks, flowing waterfalls, and cute shops and restaurants dotting the road.

Make sure you have car insurance though; it’s a road which is wide enough for one and a half cars, with cars (and semi trucks and petrol tankers!!) coming from both ways.

Volcanoes National Park

Island: The Big Island

Located on the island of Hawaii, otherwise known as the Big Island, Volcanoes National Park is an ideal way to see first-hand the power of Mother Nature.

Visitors who have the opportunity to explore the crater-filled landscape feel like they are walking on the moon. You can experience the park on foot by hiking, by car by taking the scenic drives, or by air on a helicopter tour.

Traveling by car, you can choose the Crater Rim Drive or the Chain of Craters Road, both offering spectacular views.

There is no better way to start your one-week trip to Hawaii than by simply jumping right in! Aloha!


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. The Road to Hana looks gorgeous Meg. Rainbows included? ;)

    • Rainbows always included … it’s BYO rain though :D Road to Hanna was one of the highlights of our time in Maui, was a crazy drive with such beautiful scenery – can’t wait to get back at some stage!

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