From chasing the sunrise up a mountain top to diving with sharks in open waters, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Hawaii. Whether you fancy a quiet and relaxing vacation or one filled with adrenaline-pumping activities, the Aloha State has it all.
If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii soon, it’s never too early to start deciding what you’ll do on your vacation. Keep reading to find our favorite Hawaiian adventures to add to your bucket list.
1. Catch Some Waves
What trip to Hawaii would be complete without surfing? Hopping onto a board is one of the most adventurous things to do in Hawaii. Plus, there’s no better place to catch the waves than where the sport was shaped.
Oahu’s North Shore is the best place in the state to hang ten. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been on a surfboard before or if you’re a seasoned vet. That said, we don’t recommend taking on the winter waves if you’re brand new to the sport.
If you’re a beginner, try Flat Island or Chun’s Reef. If you’re a pro looking for a challenge, Sunset Beach or Waimea Bay are great places to try.
Maui’s crystal clear waters are a dream for surfers and paddleboarders alike. See how many beautiful tropical fish and sea turtles you can spot swimming in the water below you. We recommend the Lauinipoko State Wayside Park for newbies.
The Lahaina Reefs are great if you’re traveling with a crowd of mixed skill levels.
Big Island has fewer surfing spots than the other islands of Hawaii. The waves here are often left for more advanced riders. Don’t miss out on Honolii Beach Park, even if you go to watch the advanced surfers catch some big waves.
Kauai’s Hanalei Bay is a great pick for surfers of all skill levels. It’s not only beautiful, but a great place to sun yourself and go swimming.
2. Satisfy Your Inner History Buff
If you prefer less death-defying adventures, why not take in some of the state’s unique history?
The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a great place to learn about pivotal moments in American history. The visitor center, museum, and USS Arizona Memorial program are all free.
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a cemetery memorializing those who served in the United States Armed Forces. You can visit the memorial in Honolulu.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor is another great spot for history buffs. The Missouri played an important role in several wars. Take a guided tour to learn about its illustrious history or explore it on your own.
3. Acquaint Yourselves With the Local Wildlife
Hawaii is the perfect vacation destination for animal lovers. Whether you’ve been dying to go on a whale-watching tour or swim with the sea turtles, Hawaii has it all.
If you’re hoping to see the local wildlife, try booking a hotel near the ocean.
This guide can help you find a resort that suits your needs. Imagine enjoying a quiet morning on your private oceanfront lanai while spotting creatures in the waters. Life doesn’t get much more blissful than that.
Whale watching in the Aloha State is best during November through April. Humpback whales are making their long yearly journey during these winter months. Don’t fret if you’re traveling during the warmer months, sometimes you can spot them in June or September.
False killer whales are another common sea creature you can see while in Hawaii. You likely won’t spot killer or blue whales, but it’s not unheard of.
If you’re more of a dolphin person, the state has plenty to offer you. Many Hawaiian adventure tours offer dolphin excursions. Some even allow you to swim with them.
If you prefer slower sea creatures, maybe a snorkeling sea turtle tour is more up your alley. There are three species of turtles that are native to the islands. See how many you can spot on your tour!
4. Take a Casual Dip in the Sea
Hawaii is rife with fantastic swimming beaches. You can’t visit the state without going swimming at least once.
If you do plan on spending some time in the ocean, be sure to brush up on your water safety first.
Shore breaks are a very dangerous ocean condition that can get ugly very fast. Shore breaks occur when waves break onto the shore. The energy behind these waves can cause devastating head, neck, and spinal cord injuries.
Makena Beach in Maui is not-so-affectionately known as Breakneck Beach. The macabre title was earned honestly as many spinal cord injuries happen here.
Hanakapiai Beach on Kauai isn’t easy to get to and that’s probably for the best. There’s no reef barrier here to counteract the power behind waves. The beach has strong rip currents and waves that can sweep you straight out to sea.
You can’t all the warning signs telling you not to swim at Hanakapiai Beach, but we thought we should warn you, too.
The beaches aren’t all doom and gloom, though.
Waikiki Beach is one of the most picturesque and popular areas in all of Oahu. Hanalei Bay in Kauai is nestled amongst 4,000-foot high mountains and is truly a sight to see.
Kapalua Beach Park in Maui is surrounded by lava rock points to protect the beach from strong waves. This makes it ideal for swimming and even snorkeling.
If you want to take the excitement quotient up a notch or two, try Hawaiian adventure diving. Go scuba diving in the open water and swim with sharks.
Enjoy Your Hawaiian Adventures
Your trip to the Aloha State is sure to be a memorable one regardless of how you spend your time. The above Hawaiian adventures will take your vacation to the next level.
Check out more of our Lifestyle blogs for more travel tips and inspiration.