Things to do in Hawaii
Visit Pearl Harbor
Bear witness to one of the most significant sites in American history at Pearl Harbor. This is where America was drawn into World War II and is also the site where conflict with Japan ended. Now, the USS Arizona Memorial stands above that ship's final resting place. A host of parks, museums and memorials pay homage to the conflict, giving you further insight into the events of Pearl Harbor.
Sunrise over the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Ride around Kualoa Ranch
Kualoa Ranch is a 1,600 hectare private nature reserve that features history, adventure and popular culture all in one fascinating destination. Located on the island of Oahu, it's a working cattle ranch with the additional attractions of zip-lining, food tours, and horseback riding. It's also where action-packed Hollywood films like Jurassic Park, Godzilla, and Skull Island were made.
The dramatic scenery of Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii.
Hike at Diamond Head Crater
Featuring stunning coastal views and superb hiking trails, Diamond Head Crater is one of Honolulu's defining features. This 300,000-year-old volcanic crater encompasses 192 hectares and was formed during a brief but explosive eruption. If you enjoy walking, you can enjoy the popular hiking trail to the summit of Leahi. Reach the top and get a glimpse into the geological and military significance of Diamond Head.
The incredible Diamond Head Crater with Honolulu in the background.
Snorkel around Molokini Crater
Located a short distance from Maui, Molokini Crater is a great snorkelling and scuba diving destination. This partially submerged volcano crater rises from 100m below sea level to form an islet about 45 metres above the water surface at its highest peak. The waters around it are renowned for their clarity, and with around 250 species of fish calling it home, it's an important marine reserve.
Molokini crater, Maui, is a popular snorkelling and diving destination.
Bursting forth from the land and the sea, Hawaiian volcanoes are a distinctive feature of the Hawaiian island landscape. At present there are five active volcanoes in Hawaii, three of which are located in the popular Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. This region features black basalt beaches, volcanic deserts and the almost continuous eruptions of the world's most active volcano: Kilauea.
Red hot lava flowing in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.
Na Pali Coast
Located on the North Shore of Kauai, Na Pali Coast is a breathtaking mix of ocean views, rugged green mountains, and cascading waterfalls. This place holds special significance to Hawaiians and has been announced as a state wilderness park. Explore on foot and take on the challenging 18km Kalalau hiking trail (if you want a really active holiday), or access the Na Pali Coast by boat and kayak.
Kee Beach aerial and the Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii, USA.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon State Park is regarded by many as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Located on the western side of Kauai, it features a 16 kilometre canyon that is a staggering 900 metres deep in places. The Waimea Canyon also boasts a unique history. It was formed by the steady erosion of the Waimea River, and the collapse of the volcano that formed Kauai.
View from Waimea Canyon Lookout, Waimea Canyon State Park.
Of all the experiences that symbolise and celebrate Hawaiian culture, luaus are the most renowned. Festive feasts bring together elements of Hawaiian and Polynesian tradition in a celebration that includes dance, custom, and authentic Hawaiian food cooked in a covered earth pit. You can enjoy a luau at destinations across the islands, but book early because the best can be sold out months in advance.
Culture is preserved with luau performances all over Hawaii.
Polynesian Cultural Center
Located on Oahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a living museum dedicated to preserving Polynesian history and tradition. Try your hand at traditional Polynesian activities, or watch native representatives as you get an insight into cooking, crafting and dancing Polynesian-style in their Village Experience. The centre also hosts luaus and evening shows daily and has organised tours of Oahu Island.
Take a canoe ride through the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu.
Celebrating the history, culture and environment of Hawaii, Bishop Museum in Honolulu has an extensive collection of Hawaiian artefacts and displays. The museum features a three-storey hall dedicated to exploring Hawaiian culture, along with interactive shows. The facility includes a science centre and planetarium and is open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
One of the artifacts from the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Showcasing the arts of Hawaii along with Japanese, American and European works, the Honolulu Museum of Art was opened in 1927 with the ethos of connecting people using art. From an initial gift of 4,500 artworks, the museum has expanded to house 50,000 pieces. It represents all the major cultures of Hawaii with items dating back 5,000 years.
Paintings inside the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Hawaii State Art Museum
The Hawaii State Art Museum is located in Downtown Honolulu and features semi-permanent along with changing displays. Dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting the art and culture of Hawaii, it boasts three spacious galleries. Once you've browsed the galleries, spend time strolling around the sculpture garden, or release your inner artist in their hands-on activity gallery.
A balloons dress installation in the Hawaii State Art Museum.
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor
Considered one of the top aviation attractions in the US, the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor has two hangars from World War II that house more than 50 aircraft. Some are original planes that flew before and during the Battle of Pearl Harbor. There's also information about more modern aircraft that are used today to defend the Pacific region.
A big drawcard on Oahu is the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor.