Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? If so, you’re probably looking forward to surfing, beaches and rugged landscapes. But do you really know the best places to travel Hawaii to suit your interests and needs? Some holidaymakers want to spend their time in Oahu lounging on Waikiki Beach. Others might want to visit Pearl Harbour or hike to green oases in the heart of the Hawaiian jungle. Here’s a quick rundown on where to visit in Hawaii for everyone from beach-lovers and surfers to adrenaline-junkies who want to fly over an active volcano.
Oahu is the main island in Hawaii and location of the capital city Honolulu. Most of the islanders live in Oahu creating a cultural melting pot of indigenous, American’s and retirees. If you want to experience the best of Hawaii’s night life, this is the place for you. You’ll find dozens of bars and clubs along with classy restaurants. Outside of the city, Oahu has lots of stunning beaches and natural beauty. If you like snorkelling, head to Hanauma Bay and Nature Preserve. Surfers usually stick around North Shore, which has some of Hawaii’s biggest and best waves. Follow the trails up to Nuuanu Pali Lookout for stunning views of the islands against the azure waters of the Pacific. And be sure to take a historical excursion to Pearl Harbour.
Waikiki Beach on Oahu deserves its own place in the list of places to visit in Hawaii. The iconic beach is a favourite among both tourists and holidaymakers. You can head down in the late morning to soak up the stunning views of the coast. Or return later in the evening for the spectacular sunset. Families can relax on the sand and swim in the sea. Stroll further down the coastline and you’ll find a handful of surfing schools. These are the best places to learn how to surf. If you’ve never tried the sport before, book yourself in for a lesson. Instructors will take you out into the gentle waters and show you the basics in a controlled environment. This is also a favourite activity on Waikiki Beach for families. And after a day on the sand and in the sea, head to one of the restaurants along the coast and order catch of the day.
Maui is Hawaii’s second largest island. According to residents and tourists, Maui has some of the best beaches in the Pacific. Most holidaymakers spend their time inside the luxurious resorts and vacation rentals along the coast. Depending on the time of the year you visit, you’ll find dozens of activities. Whale tours are popular during the winter months. You can enjoy the beaches and the spectacular sunrises at any time of the year. If you want to see Maui’s historical centre, head to Lahaina Town. And be sure to check out Makena Beach, Iao Valley and Haleakala National Park.
Big Island covers an area greater than all the other islands put together. The real highlight of visiting this part of Hawaii is the natural beauty and biodiversity. Out of Earth’s 13 climatic zones, this island experiences eleven. You can spend your time on the white-sand beaches in the morning. In the afternoon, you could be hiking in the rainforest. The island’s tallest peaks often have a thin layer of snow. Throw in the abundance of wildlife ranging from tropical birds to seals to wild deer rooting around the forests. Aside from nature, visitors can head to the historical seaside town of Kailua-Kona Town. Or explore the colourful and laid-back ambience in the island’s main town Hilo.
Kilauea in Hawaii Volcano Park is among the world’s most active. The volcano constantly bubbles and has a lake of orange-red molten magma in the pit. Adventurous holidaymakers can join a helicopter tour that flies directly over the volcano. You’ll first start off by flying over the otherworldly landscapes through a seemingly endless stream of rising smoke. Then the pilot takes you towards the crater. Brace yourself as you fly directly above the volcanic pit. As you sit in your seat, you’ll have the chance to gaze down to the bubbling magma a few hundred metres below. This activity isn’t for everyone, and you do need nerves of steel. But the excursion is safe. If there’s a higher than usual level of volcanic activity, the pilot will cancel the trip. Visitors who want to see Kilauea from above need to book their place at least a week or two in advance. Because of its popularity, the limited seats fill up quickly.
Kauai is Hawaii’s northernmost island. The mini-island chain combines the best of nature and outdoor activities. If you want to soak up the great outdoors, this is the best place to visit in Hawaii. You can choose from a selection of resorts and vacation rentals along the coast. Spend your days following the trails through the rainforest in Kokee State Park. Or hike to Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Aside from these attractions, you can trek to Wailau Falls. The towering cascades are Kauai’s most beautiful waterfall. Or head down to Poipu, which holds the title as one of North America’s most attractive beaches.
Where to Visit in Hawaii
Head to Oahu for beaches and a developed tourist infrastructure. Be sure to check out Waikiki Beach and head to Maui for nightlife. Check out Big Island if you want to explore nature and Kauai for a holiday without the tourists.