Hawaii offers an array of activities and attractions, but it is the unique culture, climate and/or geography that make these 10 attractions a must-see. Ranked by number of visitors, this list is composed of the most-visited attractions in Hawaii
Below are our Top 7 Attractions in Hawaii. If you have already been there, done this, of course we are not the experts you are. Let us know what is you favorite Hawaiian Attractions. We'll trust your judgment for our future Top 7 Attractions in Hawaii.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island
The most-visited attraction in the Sate of Hawaii is the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with around 3 million visitors per year. This must-see park encompasses the summit of the world's most active volcano, Kilauea, and the world's most massive volcano, Mauna Loa. The park offers unique hiking and camping opportunities. Start at the Kilauea Visitor Center to receive the latest information on trails, range-led activities, road conditions, and safety precautions.
If you are only visiting for the day explore views of dramatic volcanic landscapes via Crater Rim Drive, an 11-mile road that surround the summit caldera with many scenic stops and short walks. You can also drive down the Chain of Craters Road to explore the East Rift and coastal area where the lava flowed into the ocean in 2003, and, depending on the always-changing volcanic activity, you may be able to view active lava flow. Must-do's are: all the scenic stops on Crater Rim Drive, Kilauea Visitor Center, and eat at the Volcano House.
USS Arizona Memorial, Oahu
Visiting the remains of the USS Arizona will encourage you to contemplate the sense of sacrifice our military personnel endured during the Pearl Harbor attack. The USS Arizona Memorial is the mid-section of the sunken battleship and offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about that fateful day. The guided tour of the USS Arizona Memorial includes a 23-minute documentary film, a short boat trip and a self-guided exploration of the Memorial. Must-do's are: visit the Remembrance Circle, rent the audio headset for the tour, and explore the visitor center.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Oahu
This beautiful, sheltered Hanauma Bay was once damaged by years of excessive use and neglect. In 1990, the City and County of Honolulu began great plans to restore Hanauma Bay. After more than a decade of efforts, Hanauma Bay was restored into a pristine marine ecosystem by reducing the number of visitors, establishing an education program, and instituting supportive restrictions. These improvements have created some amazing snorkeling and swimming opportunities. Must-do's are: visit the education center, pick up a fish I.D. card before snorkeling, and talk with the volunteers at the beach kiosk.
Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, Big Island
Located on the Big Island, the Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a 182-acre park full of archeological sites and reconstructions of an ancient Hawaiian "Place of Refuge". This sacred site was once home to Hawaiian royalty and a place of refuge for those who broke a kapu (ancient Hawaiian law) or defeated military. This Hawaii historical park offers a self-guided tour and learning opportunities. Must-do's are: the self guided tour, photographing the many green sea turtles sunbathing on the beach, and playing a game of kônane.
Haleakala National Park, Maui
The Haleakala National Park preserves the Haleakala volcanic area on the island of Maui. Explore the summit area and/or the Kipahulu area down on the coast, but be aware that these park areas are not connected by road and it will take two separate trips to visit both. Both Haleakala National Park areas are unique; the summit offers spectacular views and scenery, while the valley of Kipahulu is lush and lined with beautiful freshwater pools and waterfalls including the pools of Oheo. Must-do's are: hike the two-mile trail leading through the Oheo Gulch and swim in the lower pools, and visit the visitor center.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai - "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"
Waimea Canyon is the awe-inspiring, breath-taking "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," as Mark Twain dubbed it. The canyon is one mile wide, 10 miles long, and over 3,600 feet in depth. The deep canyon gashes in the landscape look like the claw marks of some immense prehistoric creature. The play of light and shadow throughout the day on the colorful striated layers of rock is extraordinary. A fun pastime is to stand at one of the Waimea Canyon overlooks and watch the reaction of visitor after visitor, as their jaws drop, and they become first speechless and then breathless as they witness this spectacle of nature for the first time, realizing that words fail them and that there must be a God.
Several hiking paths lead to some of the most dramatic waterfalls in Hawaii. Visit the Kokee Museum at the top of the canyon for details, maps, history, etc. Also, be sure to go to the top of the canyon and peek over the Kalalau Valley Lookout for a divinely-inspired view of the Na Pali coastline, majestic waterfalls, and the Blue Pacific, all from well above the perch of sea birds and tour helicopter.
Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Oahu
Also known as the Waimea Valley Audubon Center, the Waimea Arboretum and Botannical Garden introduce you to 36 major botanical collections. Over 150,000 guests per year follow the sunlit paths, explore the gardens, and visit the crystal clear pool below Waihi Falls. Most of the plant collections are native Hawaiian plants, focusing on island ecosystems and is home to a variety of Hawaiian birds. Located in the gorgeous Waimea Valley, The Waimea Arboretum and Botannical Garden is a great experience for the whole family. Must-do's are: have a picnic, and visit the Waimea Valley Audubon Center.