The Iconic Islands: Best Places to Visit in Hawaii

Best Places to Visit in Hawaii

Hawaii is the ultimate holiday destination for a bachelor’s getaway or even a fun-filled trip with friends and family. They are a group of eight iconic islands, famously referred to as the Sandwich islands.

Even though Niihau and Kahoolawe, two of the eight islands are out of bounds for visitors. The other six islands of the Hawaiian archipelago: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii, with a plethora of locations are still yours to explore. 

This beach haven is certain to never break the hopes of any traveler owing to the superabundance of the best place to visit in Hawaii. From endless entertainment and partying on the beaches to exploring the most pleasing places, perfect shores, and mouth-watering cuisines, you will yearn to return as soon as you have left.

Aloha on this Hawaiian adventure!

Best places to visit in Kauai islands: 

Kauai island has been nicknamed The Garden Isle as it is the go-to destination for those who love to stay close to nature. 

Situated at the northernmost end of the Hawaiian island chain, Kauai is the perfect selection for lush greenery and a breath of fresh air. It is one of the best places to visit from September to November and April to June. 

The various attractions of Kauai islands are as follows. 

  1. The stunning Wailua Falls

Wailua falls are twin sections of the Wailua River and these falls cascade down from a height of 80 feet. They offer a spectacular view in the early hours of the day when the mist from the falls and the bright ray of the sun reward the sky with a mesmerizing rainbow. 

The stunning Wailua Falls in Kauai islands in hawaii

A little adventurous hike to the base of the falls can make the effort worthwhile. It is also the ideal destination for kayaking and other water sports.

  1. Waimea Canyon State Park

The dramatic spectacle of the Pacific commonly referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific,’ stretches over a distance of ten miles. 

Waimea Canyon State Park in Kauai islands in hawaii

With a depth of 3,600 feet, this landscape offers rafting tours and hiking challenges to the daredevils. Thus, this Canyon is among the best places to visit in Hawaii for the strong-willed. 

  1. Princeville Botanical Garden

Princeville’s abundant greenery and diverse range of flora and fauna justify the name of Kauai island. This place portrays the island’s stunning and exquisite history in true wilderness and is a heaven for budding botanists.

Princeville Botanical Garden in Kauai islands  hawaii

Not only will the flowers awe you, but also the palm, fruit, and fig trees sway you off your feet with their dramatically exposed roots. Definitely a Jurassic park experience! 

Tip: What makes Princeville’s botanical garden the best place to visit with family are the guided tours that include seeing beehives working, and sampling the freshly produced honey, and cacao.

Must visit places in Oahu islands:

Oahu is the water heaven of the Hawaii archipelago as it is the land where surfing originated. Not just that, Oahu, the ‘Gathering Place’  also caters to the needs of the energetic and adrenaline-filled tourists as it presents them with endless water sports options from snorkeling to diving.

Additionally, history buffs can bask in the rich history of the place dating back to the second world war. The places to visit here include Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, and Pearl Harbor. 

4. The Diamond Head State Monument and the Waikiki Beach

Creating a distinctive appearance on the coastline of the crescent-shaped beach, the Diamond Head State Monument was a site that offered a coastal defense to Oahu island. It is the go-to destination for a panoramic view of the region. 

Diamond Head State Monument  in hawaii

Waikiki Beach, on the other hand, is the hub of fun and liveliness. Being the biggest Hawaiin beach it doubles up as the best place to visit in Oahu Hawaii, for canoe paddling, boarding, surfing, snorkeling, and getting a gorgeous tan.

The Waikiki coastline is lined with restaurants, shops, cafes, and entertainment venues, making it perfect for an enjoyable holiday.

  1. USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor

USS Arizona Memorial speaks bravely of the World War II Valor, i.e., of the soldiers who were martyred on the USS Arizona. 

USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor in hawaii

Situated at the National Historic Landmark, Pearl Harbor has been an active military base since 1941. The fun fact about this destination is that due to the enormous popularity of the sunken ship, this free-of-cost tour requires prior reservations. 

Additionally, history enthusiasts who want to check out WWII artifacts can also visit the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Oklahoma, USS Utah, and Battleship USS Missouri. 

Best tourist places to visit on the Molokai Island of Hawaii:

Molokai is renowned as the Friendly Island due to the aura of the place. For all those who wish to escape from the glitz and glamor of the world, Molokai caters to them with its rich and untouched waterfalls, tropical rainforests, historic settlements, and the world’s highest sea cliffs. 

Time to explore why Friendly Island is so friendly.

  1. The seclusion seekers beach – Papohaku

Due to the charisma of the Hawaiian beaches, it is rather impossible to locate a beach that does not have swimmers and sunbathers. So, for those who wish to escape the enthusiastic sports aficionados, Molokai is the best place to be at. 

The seclusion seekers beach in Molokai Island of Hawaii

This magnificent beach spread over 10 acres with an enormous three-mile stretch of white sand is counted as the best place to visit in Hawaii for couples for solitude. 

Tip: The right time to visit the beach is in summer as the waters can be dangerous during the other half. 

  1. Explore the historic parks, and stunning sea cliffs and go on a cultural hike

With a population of 11 residents, Kalaupapa National Historical Park sits majestically at the base of the soaring sea cliffs in the world. It is also the site to learn about the history of Hansen’s disease and go on an adventurous trail of the ironwood and eucalyptus forests. 

Famously known as the destination for the migratory humpback whales during winters, the sea cliffs of Molokai are a sight to behold. To get an awe-inspiring and breathtaking view of the coastline, plane rides are also available at the location. 

Explore the historic parks, and stunning sea cliffs and go on a cultural hike in hawaii

Talking about the only destination for cultural hikers, the Halawa valley, situated at the eastern end of the island is respected as the oldest settlement in Hawaii. With a handful of residents, this is the destination for those who wish to disconnect from the world and connect with nature. 

With thick rainforests, hidden valleys, and lush waterfalls, get ready to be swept off your feet at Halawa valley and the ravishing Hipuapua Falls in proximity. 

You can not miss these spots at Lanai islands:

Lanai or the Pineapple island was once the humble abode of 75% of the world’s population of pineapple production. A trip to Pineapple Island will guarantee a balanced environment, from watersports to luxury, or from soul-searching expeditions to cultural excursions. Wait no more and jump right in!

  1. Snorkeling, Scuba diving, dolphin and whale watching 

The water at Lanai Island is astonishingly crystal clear, so one should make the most of it. 

As home to the First and Second Cathedrals, which came into existence after the underwater lava tubes, experienced divers can enjoy exploring these sites when in Hawaii. While novice divers can resort to Hulopoe Bay to unwind some underwater mysteries. 

Snorkeling, Scuba diving in Molokai Island in Hawaii

When luck is in your favor, you might end up watching sea turtles, dolphins, or humpback whales on the Polihua beach shore. 

  1. Keahiakawelo – The Garden of Gods

Situated on the northwest side of Lanai, the Garden of God is a massive rock garden with red and earthen hues. It appears to be an out worldly creation of nature that appears to be a lunar landscape.

Keahiakawelo - The Garden of Gods in hawaii

Tip: The best way to reach the destination is by off-roading on a rental jeep. If you want to get teleported to Mars, then The Garden of Gods is the place to be. 

Here is why you can not miss out on Maui Island: 

With an endless array of beaches that are ready for you to marvel at, to the competitions where you have to surf the big waves, Maui is the best place in the Hawaiian archipelago to visit. 

It has been nicknamed the Valley Isle because of the multiple valleys that spread across it. Thus, for those who wish to get a panoramic view of the island while appreciating the geographical features, terrains, and exquisite species, this island is a must-visit. Get started on your trip to Maui and bask in a perfect ambiance.

The fun at Maui never stops, and so shouldn’t you. Explore the wonders of Maui for a comforting yet power-packed vacation. 

  1.  Haleakala National Park

For a spectacular view of the 10,000 feet tall Haleakala Volcano, you can not miss this national park. With a breathtaking view of the inactive volcano stretching across the island in its entirety, this place appears as a lunar landscape. 

Haleakala National Park in hawaii

What gets the attention of the tourists are the winding streams and the cascading waterfalls in this Mars-like region. Contrary to its name, Haleakala is the home to multiple endangered species which lie hidden in the subtropical rainforests of the park.

The early morning or sunset view at the location is unforgettable. A hike is recommended for a comprehensive exploration of the various spots.

  1.  Theatrical Hana Road

A dramatic 52-mile stretch of road, commonly referred to as the Hana Highway, is ideal for sightseeing. It culminates in the remote town of Hana. With luxuriant forests, coasts, and waterfalls, the Hana Highway deserves a spot on the list of the finest roads in Hawaii. 

Theatrical Hana Road in Maui Island hawaii

Tip: For people who wish to experience the culture of Hawaii with knowledge of the traditions of the place, Hana is the town for you. The relatively cut-off location of the island has worked in favor of its preservation from worldly clout. 

  1.  The pinch of pilgrimage at Iao Needle Valley

Standing 2215 feet tall is the well-known pilgrimage site on Maui, referred to as the Iao Needle. Dating back to the old legend of the demi-God Maui, Iao needle is said to have killed the suitor of his daughter Iao. Additionally, the region is known to be under the influence of manas, the ghosts of Gods. 

The pinch of pilgrimage at Iao Needle Valley in hawaii

Tip: The Iao Valley is inaccessible during the rainy season. Thus a check is a must before visiting the place during that time. 

  1.  The family destination – Maui Ocean Center

Parents who aim to develop an understanding of the wildlife and ecosystem of the ocean must not miss out on the Maui Ocean Center. It could be the best way for kids to learn what is beneath the ocean’s surface and comprehend nature simultaneously. 

Maui Ocean Center in hawaii

As it is known as the best place to visit in Hawaii with families, children can learn about the varying coral species and fishes of the region. 

The attraction for the kids would be the underwater tunnel. This tunnel gives an impression of being underwater with stingrays, sharks, dolphins, and other marine beauties. Indeed,  a sight to behold!

The Hawaiian holiday at the Big Island:

For those who are wondering which is the best place to visit in Hawaii island, then get ready for the time of your lives. The largest and the youngest island of the archipelago, Hawaii, caters to the needs of people young and old.  

From craters, volcanoes, and trails, to museums of historic importance, you name it and you get it. Thus, get ready to make a checklist of the go-to places of the region. Make sure you visit from September to May to make the most of your holidays.

  1.  Observe the active volcanoes system at the Volcanoes National Park

The stunning phenomenon where lava seeps from the crevices in the earth can only be seen in Hawaii. At this location, the land is a canvas of unstoppable lava which has colored the road with old and new cooled flows.

Volcanoes National Park in hawaii

Volcano Kilauea can be accredited as the latest artist of the new lava lake post the 2021 eruption. The active period of the area is the best time to observe once in the lifetime phenomenon of gas emissions, seismic activities, and escape of ash pillars into the air. 

Tip: Certain portions of the park are out of bounds due to intense seismic activities. Thus, precautions should be taken in this regard. 

  1.  Mauna Kea – The highest mountain in Hawaii

It is time to explore the world away from the earth. Welcome to the highest mountain of the Big Island that is only accessible in a 4WD vehicle or by a heart-throbbing trail of 6 miles.

 

Mauna Kea in hawaii

For all those tourists who love stargazing, special programs are held at the altitude of 9200 feet at the visitor center. Also, daylight is the best time to pay a visit to the research observatory of  Mauna Kea. 

  1.  Learn about the aromatic coffee of Kona

Coming to what is the best place to visit in Hawaii for coffee lovers, the answer is Kona. If the day that starts with a good cup of coffee is the day to be rejoiced upon is your mantra, then keep reading. 

coffee of Kona in hawaii

The avid coffee lovers haven, Kona Coffee Living History Farm is heaven on earth. Being the only living history farm in the US, this place is dedicated solely to keeping the age-old traditions of coffee production alive. You can get first-hand experience of coffee plantations, production processes, and roasting facilities at this place. 

Tip: Keep your ears open for the pleasant sound of the Kona Nightingale. Good luck with the endeavor. 

  1.  End the trip with a hike to the Waipio Valley

There couldn’t be a better way than ending your trip at the location where the black-sand beach meets the white waves and the beaming blue waters. Waipio Valley, the go-to spot on the Big Island, is renowned for the best hike for beginners. 

Some solace-filled moments with lush cliffs and vast valleys could be the best way to wrap the day. 

All’s well that ends well

For the ardent explorers of beach culture and laid-back holidays, Hawaii is indeed the go-to destination. From volcanoes to craters, to valleys and waterfalls, with family or your kin, there is no better place than Hawaii to see the astonishing wonders of nature. 

So, wear your travel boots, pack your luggage and book your tickets to Hawaii today!

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Writing is an art and James Walker is exceptional in keeping its essence alive. From his school days, his interests remained in art, be it in the form of painting or writing. As he grew, he held both forms close to himself. His achievements in both fields are inspiring. While his art is a treat for the eyes, his writings are soothing to the soul.
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