What Are the Best Hawaiian Tourist Attractions?

Hawaii offers endless activities – from relaxing on black-sand beaches to touring royal palaces – so take an unforgettable journey through Hawaii on one of our bookable, small-group trips: immersive Epic Trips or compact Mini Trips – that take in Hawaiian culture!

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve offers visitors an exotic reef experience. Home to thousands of fish species and sea turtles, Hanauma is also the place for hiking to Diamond Head’s summit, an iconic volcanic crater on Oahu’s west coast.

1. Waianapanana State Park

This stunning park on Hana Highway boasts a pristine black sand beach, volcanic caves and blowholes, and more. To experience cultural immersion fully, take the Kihaapi’ilani Trail which reveals ancient remains such as enclosures, house platforms, burial sites, and temple ruins.

Pa’iloa Beach is a breathtaking gem within this park, as its jet-black sand reflects the depths of Pacific Ocean. But visiting Pa’iloa Park offers more than a scenic stop; lush tropical forests and ancient Hawaiian history weave their way throughout its landscape like a tapestry.

Venturing into this natural gem reveals more than Hawaii’s raw beauty; it unveils the spirit and soul of its islands. Steeped in legends, this sacred land once served as a vital pathway for Hawaiian royalty. Enjoy a picnic at one of the park’s many tables while taking in stunning Jurassic-esque scenery before venturing deeper into this stunning park where lava tube caves, natural stone arches and sea stacks await discovery!

2. Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls provides visitors with an extraordinary rainforest experience, easily accessible via a short paved loop trail. Boasting 442ft waterfall, Akaka cascades over its steep cliff into Kolekole Stream before falling over again into Kolekole Pond below.

Hikers can travel the paved path counterclockwise and visit Kahuna Falls and a verdant garden that blooms colorfully between June and July (heliconia season). When reaching the grand finale waterfall – plunging 442ft into an emerald pool covered by lush vegetation – an incredible moment awaits them.

The park’s tranquil beauty and cultural significance serve as a powerful reminder of Hawaii’s volcanic past. Its dormant crater reveals lunar-like terrain, while other areas feature subtropical rainforests that host endangered species and rare plants. Explore Hawaii’s captivating flora and fauna through self-guided hikes or immersive guided tours; or relax by visiting picnic grounds with waterfalls nearby.

3. Lava Tree State Monument

Lava Tree State Monument offers striking lava molds of tree trunks. Situated off Pahoa-Pohoiki Road in Puna district, this 17-acre park serves as a fascinating reminder of Hawaii’s volcanic history; during an 18th-century lave flow event moisture-laden ohia trees were subsumed under its flow leaving towering impressions of their former shapes in their former environments – today the site serves as an idyllic botanical garden with native plants and ferns to add beauty.

Visitors can explore the park’s lava tree-inspired landscape on an easy 0.6 mile loop trail. While restrooms and parking facilities are available, no store or food services are offered, so visitors should pack snacks and water for their visit to stay hydrated during their adventure.

Lava Tree State Monument is only minutes from other popular attractions in Hawaii’s Big Island region, such as Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve where snorkeling reveals unique reef structures and sea turtles, MacKenzie State Recreation Area features wild volcanic coastline with ironwood groves, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers otherworldly views of volcanoes and lava flows.

4. Hanalei Bay

Hanalei combines beautiful beaches, scenic beauty and Hawaiian culture into an unforgettable vacation destination. Boasting stunning ocean views and towering mountains laden with waterfalls, the beach at Hanalei is a popular spot among swimmers, surfers and families – popular spots include hiking tours as well as stargazing adventures.

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Hanalei Bay Beach boasts stunning scenery of lush mountains encased by low-lying clouds. No surprise then that this magnificent location was featured prominently in the classic film South Pacific.

Visitors to this stunning beach can indulge in various activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving. Additionally, there are many great dining options ranging from casual beachfront eateries to high-end establishments offering delicious Hawaiian cuisine.