Four Must-See Locations on Four Islands

kualoa valley

Four Must-See Locations on Four Islands

Usually, the only downside to a vacation is that, at some point, it has to end. As much as we’d love for them to go on for just a few more days, life and time constraints get in the way. That being said, any amount of time spent in the Hawaiian Islands is going to be time well spent and will become the source of memories you won’t soon forget.

If you find yourself in a time crunch and have to be extra selective about what attractions, adventures, and locations to focus on, here’s a list of one location on each of the four main islands that you should pay close attention to.

Whether you’re adventuring on Kauai, relaxing on the Big Island, enjoying the weather on Maui, or exploring Oahu, be sure to make time to experience these four incredible locations.

Kualoa Ranch, Oahu

Make a new Jurassic friend, Kualoa Ranch Oahu

On Oahu, it’s a toss-up between Pearl Harbor and Kualoa Ranch, but if it’s adventure and thrills you’re looking for, the Kualoa is a great choice.

The first things you notice about this Windward Oahu swatch of beauty are the exquisite vistas that await you. Large fields of rolling hills, dense stretches of forestry, golden sandy beaches – it’s no wonder many Hollywood studios have turned to the ranch as a backdrop for their films.

Some of the most recognizable blockbusters have scenes filmed at Kualoa, and if following in the footsteps of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars piques your interest, you can set off on an ATV journey across the ranch. Not only can you see instantly-recognizable locations of movies and TV shows shot here, you also get a first-rate view of the awe-inspiring beauty of Oahu.

Hana, Maui

Waterfall and a bridge on the road to Hana, Maui

The town of Hana takes up a small chunk of the eastern coast of Maui but what it has to offer makes it seem so much bigger. Beyond exploring the quaint town and enjoying plenty of local culture and flair, the drive to Hana may be one of the most exciting parts about visiting.

The road to Hana is a 68-mile excursion that takes you down a winding road of over 600 curves and plenty of places to pull off to enjoy the natural beauty of the island. The fun starts well before you hit town, as you’re likely to happen upon multiple hidden waterfalls.

When you come to Hana, you come for the view along the road there and stay for the fun of being in an authentic old Hawaiian town.

 

 

Hilo, Hawaii

Epic Lava Hickers
Hiking across an ancient lava field, Hilo Hawaii

Located on the eastern side of the Big Island, Hilo packs an incredible punch that’s brimming with Hawaiian culture, history, and plenty of attractions to see. The town of Hilo overlooks Hilo Bay and owing to it’s location on the rainy side of the island, it’s incredibly lush and green all year long.

When you’re ready for a break from the quaint town of Hilo and its beautiful surroundings, you can set off on a hike through the nearby lava fields or better yet, take a helicopter ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the ongoing eruption of Kilauea.

Hilo is also home to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company, Hilo Tropical Gardens, Mokupapapa Discovery Center, and the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo.

 

 

Koloa, Kauai

Historic sugar mill, Koloa Kauai

If it’s an all-natural glimpse into the Hawaiian Islands you’re looking for, Koloa is the place for you. The attractions in and around this small town on Kauai showcase the beauty of the island along with its agricultural importance.

The Old Sugar Mill of Koloa may be the most important building on Kauai. Today, it’s a National Historic Landmark that tells the story of the first successful large-scale sugar operation in the Hawaiian Islands. You can also explore Makauwahi Cave, enjoy the view from Spouting Horn lookout, and be intrigued by the local culture at Kaneiolouma Heiau.

 

 

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.

The Action Heroes Hawaiian Adventure

Big Island Zipline

The Action Heroes Hawaiian Adventure

Ever watched an adrenaline-fueled action movie where every five minutes, something is exploding or someone is doing something awesome? Have you ever wanted to just jump through the screen and join in on the Hollywood thrills? What if we told you that you could join the ranks of the greatest action heroes by traveling to the tropical paradise of Hawaii? Suspend your disbelief, because it’s absolutely true!

By embarking on these incredible activities on the Big Island, Oahu, Maui, or Kauai, you can finally find out what it feels like to have adrenaline fueling your every movement!

Flying High

What better way to feel like an action star than to fly high over the island’s dense forestry and rich scenery? Strap into a safety harness and soar over thousands of feet of terrain in the adrenaline ride of a lifetime. Spread your arms and let the warm tropical air rush against you over each exhilarating foot of cable and enjoy the unbelievable sights that unfold around you.

Zip from platform to platform, launching yourself off of each one like a superhero on a mission! One of the best parts of this thrill ride across the islands is that it is completely safe. You can feel like an action hero without putting your life on the line thanks to state-of-the-art harnessing, braking, and construction.

It’s one of the Hawaiian Islands’ most popular activities and it won’t take you long to realize why. So suit up and experience the excitement of flying high over the island.

 

High-Speed ChasesATV Rentals on Kauai

High-speed chases have nothing on Oahu’s off-road adventure! On a technical course cut through the awe-inspiring beauty of the island, you steer your own all-terrain vehicle across a variety of terrains. Thick rainforests pass you as you rip across dirt terrain, flinging dust and mud in every direction. If you’re traveling with someone, your two-person ATV can accommodate your “partner in crime”!

 

 

Nature’s Montage

What’s an action movie without a break from the high-intensity thrills to enjoy a montage of beautiful Mother Nature and the wonders she hides. Gear up and swim in the depths of the Pacific Ocean to explore a hidden world of amazement.Dolphin Snorkeling Swim

Swim alongside the tropical wildlife, including vibrant green sea turtles. You may even glimpse curious dolphins and manta rays as they swim by to inspect the newcomer to their vast world. There is plenty to see below the surface of the Pacific, from lava tubes to colorful coral reef. Just remember to be respectful of Mother Nature and leave everything as you found it. Even action heroes follow simple guidelines like these.

 

A World of Adventures: Traveling on Hawaii’s Big Island

Traveling on Hawaii's Big Island

A World of Adventures: Traveling on Hawaii’s Big Island

First-time visitors to Hawaii Island always leave feeling impressed. Beneath the majestic, snow-topped pinnacle of Maunakea, green rainforests and sandy beaches flow in an unusual mix of sand, sun and cool waters. Nicknamed the Big Island, the Island of Hawaii is nearly twice as large as all of the other islands combined. Altogether, it plays home to nearly all of the world’s climate zones. From historic Kailua Village to Wailuku River State Park, the Big Island offers a blend of everything that a traveler could want from their vacation.

Traveling to the Big Island

Most visitors arrive through the Hilo International Airport in Hilo or the Kona International Airport in Kona. It is also possible to take a 35 to 40-minute flight from Honolulu International Airport to the Big Island. Direct flights are readily available from Canada and the United States to Kona International Airport, especially from western cities like Seattle, Phoenix, Anchorage, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since the island is so enormous, visitors may want to arrive at Kona’s airport on one side of the island and depart from Hilo so that they have more time to experience everything in between.

Once on the island, mass transit is easily available via the Hele On bus. Guided tours, limos and taxis are also available. For the best experience, you should consider renting a car. Sometimes car reservations fill up completely, so reserve your car rental before you arrive on the Big Island.

Sleeping on the Big Island

With so much land area, the Big Island easily offers every type of hotel or condo rental that you could possibly want. The most popular resorts are found at Keauhou, Kohala Coast and the Historic Kailua Village. Meanwhile, visitors to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can easily stay nearby in Puna or Hilo. In between all of these options, you can readily find hostels, condominiums, rental cottages and bed and breakfasts.

Big Island of Hawaii Beach

Top Attractions

Kona Coffee Living History Farm: The Big Island is known for Kona coffee, and visitors can still experience a coffee farm first hand. From Portuguese stone oven baking to off-road jeep tours, the history farm offers a unique way to experience Hawaii’s past and present. Make sure to stop by the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum before you leave. If you have time, schedule a walking tour of Kailua Village or arrange a historical boat cruise.

Pacific Tsunami Museum: Located in Hilo, this museum is dedicated to the tsunamis of 1960 and 1946. It helps to educate the public about tsunamis and is a unique stop for science aficionados.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: If you want to experience Hawaii, you have to go to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. At the park, you can check out one of the most active volcanoes on earth. Surrounding the volcano, you will find 333,000 acres of scalded deserts, verdant rainforests and volcanic craters. With a unique natural diversity, this park has been named a World Biosphere site by UNESCO.

Akaka Falls State Park: If you love waterfalls, you will love this park. Start out along a 0.4 mile hike through bamboo groves and rainforests. As you near the top, you will see the 100-foot span of the Kahuna Falls. From here, walk around a loop in the path to the Akaka Falls. This phenomenal waterfall plummets 442 feet to the gorge and is well worth a trip. Altogether, the hike takes about an hour.

Akaka Falls on the Big Island of Hawaii

Waimea: Check out the gorgeous Kahua Ranch in Waimea, zoom along ziplines and ride through the countryside on horseback. Afterward, check out the Kahiku Theatre for the best musicians, artists and dancers on the island.

Historic Kailua Village: This ancient seaside town is the site of a thriving culture and lively nightlife. Check out local Hawaiian temples or spend your days pampered at the Kona Beach Resort.

Pololu Valley Lookout: If you take highway 270 along the Kohala Coast, you can reach the Pololu Valley Overlook. From the small parking lot, check out the steep, green cliffs and dramatic coastlines. You can either enjoy the view from above or take a steep hike down to the floor of the valley.