Top Tours in the Hawaiian Islands

Top Tours in the Hawaiian Islands

An island paradise brimming with complex beauty and a vast array of entertainment and adventure. The Hawaiian Islands are the ultimate vacation spot, providing guests with so much to do that it would require multiple trips to see and do everything each island has to offer.

Since you’re planning a Hawaiian experience of your own, we’d like to make your life a little easier and highlight a few of the top tours you should consider taking while you’re here. We’ve chosen experiences that will showcase the beauty of the islands, the rich history, the opportunity for fun and thrills, and even a peek at the underwater world surrounding the island chain.

Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri Tour

USS Arizona Memorial with Battleship Missouri

Arguably the most important place you’ll come across during your Hawaiian visit, Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, is the site of the December 7th, 1941 Japanese surprise attack. When the two-hour assault ended, over 2,400 Americans had been killed.

These two Pearl Harbor locations embody two very different aspects of the attack and the war that followed. At one end of the arc of the history of World War II in the Pacific is the USS Arizona Memorial, dedicated to the 1,177 men who died when the mighty battleship exploded and sank to the bottom of the harbor, where she still rests today. The Battleship Missouri is a commemoration of the war’s end. Guests are able to stand on the very same deck where the Japanese signed the official documents of surrender.

This tour offers a broad look at the changes the United States went through, beginning with the moment the first bombs fell on Battleship Row.

Kualoa Ranch Zipline and ATV Tour

  ATV adventure at Kualoa Ranch

For something a lot more upbeat and thrilling, the Kualoa Ranch Zipline and ATV tour on Oahu sets you soaring high above the jungle floor on their state-of-the-art ziplines before embarking on a journey across the rolling plains and through the dense forests of Kualoa Ranch. Along your trek, keep an eye out for markers that indicate where Hollywood blockbusters were filmed. Expect to recognize locations from Godzilla, Jurassic Park, and the TV series Lost.

 

 

Maui Snorkeling Tour

Hawaiian green sea turtle

For an awe-inspiring introduction to the world of beauty and wonder that awaits beneath the glassy blue surface, embark on a short boat ride to Molokini, a small crescent island just off the coast of Maui. The crystal blue waters allow you to see everything, from the green sea turtles that have made the island’s reef their home to the colorful tropical fish that swim up to you out of sheer curiosity.

Watch and experience how the ecosystem nourishes and protects itself, and be amazed by the variety of wildlife coexisting peacefully.

 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour

Big Island of Hawaii Volcano
  Kilauea Caldera

Ever wonder how the Hawaiian Islands came to be? As you walk across the rugged terrain of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, you’ll start to understand the impact of molten lava on the chain’s formation.

The Jaggar Museum, overlooking the active Kilauea Caldera, gives you the chance to learn how violent forces of nature can completely alter the landscape, creating new land where previously there was nothing but ocean.

 

 

 

The Frugal Guide to Hawaii

Hawaii Expedition and Adventure

The Frugal Guide to Hawaii

Believe it or not, just because you’re traveling to a tropical paradise doesn’t mean you have to drop bushels of bucks to have a good time here. Once you’ve identified the tours and activities you want to embark on—like a ziplining experience at Kualoa Ranch or a night swim with manta rays—you can actually enjoy your time in Hawaii on a budget without sacrificing the thrill of being in such a beautiful place.

Whether you’re traveling to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island, there are more than enough activities to keep the enjoyment of your vacation flowing without breaking the bank – and you may be surprised how many of them can be all-day excursions.

Pearl Harbor

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Oahu

The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which encompasses the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the USS Arizona Memorial, is an in-depth experience that takes you back to December 7th, 1941, when a Japanese fleet flew into Pearl Harbor and mounted a surprise assault on the naval base.

Within the Visitor Center, guests explore the “Road to War” and “Attack!” exhibits, which detail the events leading up to Japan’s decision to attack and the attack itself through artifacts, relics, and newspaper clippings from the time.

A visit to the Valor in the Pacific National Monument is a trip through time accented by one of America’s most poignant memorials, to the USS Arizona and the 1,177 men who died when she sank.

 

The Diamond Head Hike

View from the top of Diamond Head

Every trip to Oahu should include an excursion through the natural beauty of the island. One of its most striking features is the Diamond Head Crater, a 700’-tall towering natural wonder formed by explosive volcanic activity over 200,000 years ago.

Diamond Head is one of the island’s most sought-after hikes, a trail that scales the side of the mountainous formation and finishes at its summit. Panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment await at the very top, and thanks to a nominal fee for entry, can be conquered at a very reasonable cost.

 

 

Botanical Beauty

Guided Botanical Garden Walking Tour
Botanical Garden trail

Home to some of the world’s most stunning plant life, it’s no wonder there’s a multitude of botanical gardens spread across the four main islands. Oahu alone has five incredible natural displays that are either free or have a very low cost of admission. Beyond Oahu, Maui has the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, the Big Island is home to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, and Kauai presents guests with Smith’s Tropical Paradise.

All of these are affordable options that open up the wondrous natural beauty of our islands. If you’re looking to explore the deepest reaches of the islands, there’s no better place to start than at one of these gardens.