Offering gorgeous beaches, a fascinating culture and some of the world’s most breath-taking volcanic scenery, Hawaii is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and is a real island paradise.
Whether you want to uncover some history on Ohau, get up close and personal with the natural world on the Big Island or discover one of the world’s most spectacular wonders on Kauai, experience the best of Hawaii with some of the island state’s top attractions.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Known as the ‘Grand Canyon o the Pacific’, Waimea Canyon is a breath-taking sight. Over 10 miles long and 3,600 deep, this spectacle of colourful striated layers of rock is truly amazing. Be sure to visit the top of the canyon for some really spectacular views, where you’ll also find the Kokee Museum.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Big Island
Full of archaeological wonders and reconstructions of an ancient Hawaiian ‘Place of Refuge’, the 182 acre Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on Hawaii’s Big Island was once the home of Hawaiian refuge and served as a place of refuge for those who broke ancient Hawaiian laws known as kapu. Be sure to watch the green sea turtles sunbathing on the beach while you’re there.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu
Years of restoration during the 1990s has turned this once damaged and overused bay into a marine paradise, offering visitors the chance to learn all about conservation programs and enjoy some of the most incredible natural beauty. You can also enjoy snorkelling and swimming here too.
USS Arizona Memorial, Oahu
Located at Pearl Harbour in the state capital of Honolulu, the USS Arizona Memorial serves as a tribute to the soldiers and marines killed during the devastating Japanese attack in 1941. Built in 1961, the memorial attracts more than one million visitors every year. The guided tour of the memorial includes a documentary film and a short boat trip as well as self-guided exploration of the memorial.
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo
Home to more than 80 species of endangered species and rainforest animals, Panaewa Rainforest Zoo is the only tropical zoo in the states. As well as a botanical garden which is home to bamboos, orchids, a water garden and more than 100 types of palm, highlights include the white Bengal tiger, spider monkeys, lemurs and the state bird of Hawaii, nene geese.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is visited by more than 3 million tourists every year, and is quite rightly Hawaii’s most popular attraction. Two of the most spectacular sights include Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano, as well as Mauna Loa which is the world’s biggest volcano. There’s a lot to see here, so it’s best to camp to get it all done, but it’s a great destination for a day trip too.
Cover the 11-mile stretch along the Carter Rim Drive and you’ll see many of the park’s highlights including the coastal area which saw lava flowing into the ocean in 2003. If you’re lucky and the volcanic conditions are right, you might even be able to see the lava flowing.