View from Koko Crater hike

Things to Do While Visiting the Hawaiian Islands

The beautiful Hawaiian Islands are a popular getaway destination for couples on their honeymoon, families and friends. Many people come to enjoy the sandy beaches and to gaze at the lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean. For those who want more adventure, there are numerous fun options. Here are some great ideas for getting the most out of your Hawaiian vacation.

Attend a Luau Party

Luaus are among the most popular attractions in Hawaii, and you can find these cultural bashes on each of the four major islands. That means you have your pick of which luau to attend. All luaus offer guests a taste of traditional local or Hawaiian food such as poi, chicken long rice and kalua pig. Live entertainment is usually part of the luau experience as well. Expect to see dancers performing the hula and all sorts of lively Polynesian performances. Fit right in by wearing your favorite Hawaiian shirt or Aloha sundress.

Go Sailing and Snorkeling

The waters surrounding Hawaii are home to an abundance of sea life. Boat charters and tours are a wonderful way to enjoy serene ocean vistas. Relaxing sailing trips take offer amazing views fine dining meals. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can charter a boat for the sole purpose of snorkeling. Never been snorkeling before? Not a problem. Experienced crew can give you beginner snorkeling lessons. Kids can get in on the snorkeling fun too.

Snorkeling takes you beneath the water’s surface into a world where schools of brightly-colored fish swim freely. Keep an eye out for sea turtles and dolphins.

Hang Out with Animals and Sea Life

The Honolulu Zoo is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and interesting animals. View zoo exhibits and learn more about birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Adults and kids of all ages can literally swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Quest. Both places offer a rich educational experience and wildlife is treated humanely.

There are also several beaches around the state where turtles are known to congregate from time to time like the black sand beach in Punaluu on Hawaii Island. And if you really want to be among the creatures, it is hard to beat snorkeling amongst the fish at Hanauma Bay. 

Turtles resting at the black sand beach in Punaluu

Learn How to Surf

Watching surfers ride the waves may spark an interest in learning how to surf. Since long board surfing has deep roots in Hawaiian culture, it’s the perfect place to learn the basics. Before taking a beginner class, make sure you and others in your group know how to swim. Falling off boards happens a lot, and swimming skills are mandatory for safety’s sake. If you can swim, a surfing instructor teaches you how to paddle on a board, catch a wave and how to stand up and ride a wave. There are several good surfing schools, and you can contact them for information about classes before you arrive.

Road to Hana Day Trip

Hawaii has many hidden spots of natural beauty and places where you can comfortably co-mingle with friendly locals. These places are not well advertised, but that’s what makes them so special. If you’re eager to explore Hawaii on a more Intimate level, the road to Hana awaits. The Village of Hana is a small town in Maui and the road to get there is a long and winding scenic adventure. For this drive, you need a rental car that’s easy to maneuver along a narrow roadway. Your road trip begins at Pai and people usually leave in the early morning to pack in more sightseeing.

Expect this three-hour trip to take all day due to slow driving and stops along the way. Any good Hana journey app can guide you to hidden waterfalls, lava beds, tropical rainforests and quiet nature spots. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided bus tour. Whatever way you get to Hana, it’s well worth the effort.

Go Hiking

There are many hikes that range from the super easy paved paths like the one in Makapuu Lighthouse, to the conveniently located ones like Diamond Head to the more challenging ones on the Windward side of Oahu. There is something for every level of experience that reward you with majestic views of the land and sea around Hawaii. It is a great way to get away from civilization for a few hours to enjoy the enchanting natural beauty of Hawaii.

view from the Makuappu Lighthouse Trail bunkers