Must-See Hawaii Attractions

Must-See Hawaii Attractions

Aloha and welcome to our island paradise! Well, the online version of it, at least. We look forward to hosting you here in the Pacific and showing you the good time you deserve, so let’s make sure you’re 100% ready for your tropical journey.

You may know some of the activities you want to take part in, like ziplining and scuba diving, but have you considered which attractions and sites you want to be sure to visit during your stay? You may be staying on Oahu or Maui or the Big Island, but seeing what the other islands have to offer is a breeze, thanks to convenient inter-island travel!

So, let’s pinpoint which of Hawaii’s stunning locations and intriguing attractions you’ll want to see, so you can best plan your days here in our sunny Paradise!

Pearl Harbor, Oahu

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor

A most important historical location, the US naval base at Pearl Harbor was the site of the infamous 1941 Japanese attack. Within the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the associated Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center with its exhibits dedicated to telling the complete story behind the attack, the Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

All of these come together to provide a comprehensive look back to December 7th, 1941, for a better understanding of a crucial piece of American history.

 

 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

Having formed the Hawaiian Islands, volcanoes are certainly an important part of your tropical vacation. A large swatch of the Big Island has been dedicated to education about the details of the islands’ volcanic history.

As you walk through ashen fields of hardened lava you can see, up close, volcanic remnants. The Jaggar Museum has a wealth of information about these powerful natural wonders, complete with an overlook that often offers views of bubbling lava pools.

Na Pali Coast, Kauai

Na Pali Coastline
Na Pali Coastline, Kauai

A stunning sight to behold, the Na Pali coast is a stretch of sea cliffs that overlooks the calm, blue waters of the Pacific. This ancient site is much more than an amazingly beautiful attraction, though; Na Pali has also become a hot spot for visitor fun. From snorkeling to a tour of the coastline, the Na Pali coast offers something for just about everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road to Hana, Maui

You’d never guess that a road could be an “attraction,” but the Road to Hana in Maui is a tourist favorite. The twisty, 64-mile drive is best experienced on a narrated tour that provides you with insight into the area. Along the way, you’re privy to beautiful views, a stop at the natural pools of Oheo, and, finally, a stop at “Heavenly Hana,” one of Maui’s quaintest little towns.

Molokini Crater, Maui

Maui Snorkel at Molokini Crater
Molokini Crater, Maui

This tiny, stunning slice of paradise sits off of Maui’s coast and is the perfect spot for snorkeling. The ecosystem within the crater’s crystal blue waters is rich with marine life, giving guests an opportunity to swim alongside tropical fish, green sea turtles, and other forms of exotic sea life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu

Formed during the Honolulu Volcanic Series over 200,000 years ago, Diamond Head crater, now a Hawaii State Monument, stands over 700’ tall and overlooks Waikiki, Honolulu, and the Pacific. On the slopes of Diamond Head are bunkers and a lighthouse that tell the story of the rocky structure’s military past.

A hike up the crater is rewarded with some of the most stunning views Oahu has to offer.

Sea Life Park: Oahu’s Pacific Experience

Sea Life Park: Oahu’s Pacific Experience

Unless you’re deathly afraid of even the idea of open water, chances are you have some interest in the deep blue ocean and the dizzying array of wildlife that calls it home. Maybe you don’t like getting wet or have a hard time being on a boat without feeling queasy; these are just a couple of things that can make it difficult for you to enjoy the beauty and awe of the Pacific Ocean. When you’re on the island of Oahu, there is an option for you that doesn’t involve getting sand between your toes or salt water splashed in your face.

Sea Life Park is the ideal alternative to a day out at sea. You may not get the experience of riding the high seas, but there’s more than enough to do that will ensure you feel like you’ve spent your day exploring the depths of the ocean, visiting with some of the varied wildlife that Mother Nature has to offer.

Sea Life Park: A Pacific Adventure on Land

Playful dolphins

At Sea Life Park, you have the opportunity to come face-to-face with some of the wonders of the deep. Friendly dolphins that love to perform for crowds; curious sharks that swim right up to the tank wall, as if you’re on display to them; playful sea lions that enjoy being the center of attention; and manta rays that generally keep to themselves but are still a wonder to see gliding around effortlessly.

 

 

Interactivity in the Pacific

If it’s playful interaction you want, you’ll love Sea Life Park’s opportunities to swim with dolphins. Several different experiences give you a taste of the life of dolphin trainers as you get right in the water with these marvelous marine mammals. With the Dolphin Royal Swim, Mother Nature’s majestic swimmers are more than happy to show you just how much fun the deep blue really can be.

Swimming with sharks

The Dolphin Encounter keeps your head above water but provides you with the same incredible look at how dolphins interact with people, from playfully dancing with guests to giving a small kiss on the cheek.

If you can muster the courage to dive deep with a feared predator, you’re in for a treat with the Shark Trek. Come as close as possible to the sea’s most misunderstood creatures in a 300,000-gallon tank, and see that sharks are really not much different from other, more docile tropical fish.

Exhibits and Habitats

Of course, you can view it all from a bit more distance through a myriad of exhibits and habitats. Five different displays showcase these incredible creatures, giving you the chance to see them in action behind the comfort and safety of a glass barrier.

Like any really good aquarium, along with the show-stopping dolphins, sharks, and rays, you’ll also see smaller tropical fish, the true beauties of the Pacific that seem to glow in vibrant colors.

While we recommend everyone take time to explore the wonders of the Pacific, places like Sea Life Park are fine alternatives for anyone not entirely comfortable with the vastness of the ocean.

 

The Beauty of Oahu – From Kailua to Hawaii Kai

The Beauty of Oahu – From Kailua to Hawaii Kai

The island of Oahu is full of natural beauty. From the Ko’olau Mountain Range to the crystal blue waters of Lanikai Beach, there’s a reason why thousands of people make the trip every year to bask in the beauty of the most populated of the Hawaiian islands. There really is something for everyone on the island known as the “gathering place,” whether you’re into action sports such as parasailing or surfing, or prefer more tranquil pastimes like poolside drinks and sunset finger food. There is a stretch of the island that truly encompasses the beauty of Oahu, which everyone agrees is worth checking out regardless of how you like to spend your vacation time.

There are many scenic stretches of coastline, of course, but one particularly intriguing part starts at Hanauma Bay in Hawaii Kai and stretches into Kailua town, located on the east side of Oahu.

Hanauma Bay is a famous and exceedingly popular beach for snorkeling and taking in the natural beauty. If it’s on your list, get there early, as the parking lot fills up quickly and there is a daily limit on the number of visitors.

Beauty of Oahu
Halona Blowhole

Continuing east, you come to the Halona Blowhole. This natural wonder was created by a lava flow millions of years ago. At high tide the blowhole erupts like a geyser, sending spray hundreds of feet into the air. When viewing the blowhole, stand behind the railing as one should never underestimate the power of the waves. If you’re visiting during winter, the lookout also serves as an excellent spot for whale watching. Our giant sea friends make the islands home every winter, and it is quite common to see them frolicking in our warm Hawaiian waters before starting the long journey back north to Alaska in March.

Looking down from the lookout, you can see a small beach inlet. This is the spot where the famous beach scene in the movie From Here to Eternity was filmed.

 

Another ten minutes or so down the road is Sandy Beach, a very popular body surfing beach. Known simply as Sandy’s by locals, the beach is always full of ocean lovers marveling at the power of the beach break. There is also a popular food truck, perfect for a local-style lunch. Be warned: Sandy Beach can be very dangerous, so enter the water at your own risk and only if you are a strong swimmer.

beauty of Oahu
Makapuu Beach

Further east is Makapu’u Lighthouse, which we discuss here. Makapu’u Beach is another gorgeous body surfing beach tucked under the Ko’olau cliffs. Baby Makapu’u is just another five minutes east, and is a great spot for learning to surf.

Oahu is a truly beautiful place, but don’t just take our advice. Come see for yourself and don’t forget to check out all the amazing tours—from historical to scenic—on our web site.