Looking for things to add to your Hawaii bucket list? You have come to the right spot. This comprehensive guide covers the best of the best in things to do on the islands. Hawaii is a top USA bucket list destination and one of the best travel destinations in the world!
Whether you are planning a trip to Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Kauai, Molokai, or the Island of Hawaii – you are going to have an incredible time. While each island is absolutely stunning, they all offer something unique to its visitors.
Hawaii Bucket List: 60+ Best Things to do in Hawaii
1. Relax at Waikiki Beach
The best beach in Hawaii is Waikiki Beach! It’s located right in Waikiki, a popular place to go for surfing.
2. Explore the Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center is a cultural theme park in Laie. It’s filled with fun attractions, like traditional shows, Luaus, and more.
3. Hike in Waipi’o Valley
This valley is known for having some of the best hikes in Hawaii. It’s often referred to as the Valley of the Kings and has a popular five-mile trail called the Wiapi’o Valley Trail.
4. Eat a Hawaiian Plate
A Hawaiian Plate is a traditional dish in this state and is served at many restaurants throughout Hawaii. It usually comes with rice, a few types of meat, and macaroni salad.
5. See the beauty of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
This park is incredibly unique and is home to two different active volcanoes. The views here are breathtaking, magical, and will take your breath away.
6. Visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial
The memorial is dedicated to shedding light on the Attack on Pearl Harbor, which occurred in the 1940s. More than two thousand people, unfortunately, lost their lives that day.
7. Marvel at the view from Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea is a volcano in Hawaii that is known for its incredible viewpoints. To see those views, you’ll have to go on the hiking trail along the volcano.
8. Experience paradise at Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls is a beautiful waterfall on Kauai in Wailua River State Park. They’ve been featured in a few movies and television shows over the years!
9. Catch the sunset at Sunset Beach Park
Head to Sunset Beach Park for a great sunset spot in Papukea, Hawaii! It’s located on Oahu, and while it’s most well known for being a surfing destination, it’s also an ideal spot to watch the sunset.
10. Learn at Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum is the perfect place to learn more about the area when visiting Honolulu. It’s dedicated to educated visitors on the history of the area and also includes some science exhibits.
11. Visit Lanikai Beach
Lanikai Beach is a beautiful beach in Kailua. It’s a less-visited beach, so if you want a more quiet beach to visit with your family when traveling in Hawaii, this is the one you’ll want to go to.
12. Attend a traditional luau
This Hawaii bucket list would not be complete without mentioning a luau at least once. There are so many places that host traditional luaus throughout Hawaii, so make sure to go to one during your trip to the state.
13. Hike Diamond Head on Oahu
Diamond Head is an extinct volcano in Honolulu and is home to one of the most epic hikes in Hawaii! The hike is pretty steep but is considered moderate and is roughly two miles.
14. Explore Kualoa Ranch
You may recognize Kualoa Ranch from the movies, and that’s because it was used in the Jurassic Park franchise. There are fun filming tours, movie site tours, and even ATV tours throughout this park.
15. Stroll through the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden
The Hawaii Tropical Garden is filled with tropical flowers, plants, and water areas that will make you feel like you’re in paradise. It’s also considered to be one of the best botanical gardens in Hawaii!
16. Discover the Thurston Lava Tube
The Thurston Lava Tube is part of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is essentially a cave formed by lava hundreds of years ago. There’s a pathway that will lead you right through it!
17. Take in the views in Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon State Park looks unlike anything else in the state, with substantial reddish rocks. The easiest way to enjoy the views is by driving through the park, which can take a few hours.
18. Eat a traditional poke bowl
Despite making their way across the rest of the world, poke bowls are a traditional dish in Hawaii. They’re usually made with rice, fish, and vegetables and can be found at many restaurants.
19. Drive the Road to Hana
The most scenic drive in all of Hawaii is the Road to Hana. It’s is just over sixty miles long and goes along the coast of Hawaii! Rent a car, drive, and have some fun.
20. Go on a helicopter tour
One of the best ways to see the incredible landscapes in Hawaii is by going on a helicopter tour! This is an easy way to get a vantage point that not many people visiting the state have.
21. Walk the trails in Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls State Park in Honomu is most well known for its epic waterfalls. The waterfall that it’s named after is more than four hundred feet tall!
22. Experience a red sand beach at Kaihalulu Beach
This is one of the most unique beaches on this Hawaii bucket list! The sand was dyed red because of lava that was once in the area.
23. Visit the Byodo-In Temple
The Byodo-In Temple is beautiful and scenic, set against the mountains. It truly feels serene! Commemorating the anniversary of Japanese immigrants who moved to Hawaii, this is a one-of-a-kind attraction you won’t want to miss.
24. Explore Haleakala National Park
This Hawaii bucket list park is most well known for its incredible landscape, which locals say is sacred. There is epic wildlife, great viewpoints, and more throughout the park.
25. See the view from Kilauea Lighthouse
Make your way to Kilauea Lighthouse, a less-visited attraction in Hawaii. It was built in 1913 and is located right on Kilauea Point, providing great views out into the water.
26. Take photos at Queen’s Bath
Located in Princeville, Queen’s Bath is a tide pool surrounded by rocks that feels just like paradise. While you may feel the need to go into the water, try not to because it’s said to be dangerous.
27. Learn at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is in Honolulu and is filled with exhibits about the airplanes having to do with the Pearl Harbor attacks during World War II.
28. Wake up with a cup of Kona coffee
Kona coffee is traditionally grown in Hawaii, so there’s no better place to get it. There are multiple cafes throughout the state where you can buy it and support locals!
29. Relax at Tunnels Beach
Tunnels Beach is not often visited by others and is seen as somewhat of a hidden gem. This is a great place to go if you want to go scuba diving or snorkeling, especially if you’re newer at those water sports.
30. Hike Kalalau Trail in Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
This eleven-mile trail in Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is said to have some of the most rewarding views out of all the hikes in the country. It’s best suited for hikers who have lots of experience.
31. Discover Punalu’u Beach
Punalu’u Beach is Hawaii bucket list-worthy because it’s a black sand beach! It was also created by lava, and the black sand creates a striking juxtaposition against the green palm trees.
32. Learn how to surf
There’s no better place to learn how to surf than in Hawaii! If you visit any coastal town or city here, you’re bound to be able to book some beginner surf lessons.
33. Witness wildlife at Poipu Beach
Poipu Beach is home to both sea turtles and seals! It was also ranked as one of the top beaches in the United States by The Travel Channel.
34. Eat a piping hot malasada at Leonard’s
Leonard’s in Oahu is an institution and a top foodie destination in Hawaii! The line can get long but worth the wait.
35. Experience a unique landscape at Lava Trees State Park
This park is one of the more unique ones on this Hawaii bucket list; it was rampaged by lava years ago. If you explore it today, you can see what remains!
36. See the Steam Vents
The nearby volcanoes cause the Steam Vents, and there’s a viewing platform where you can witness them pretty close. Steam is everywhere due to how hot the rocks are!
37. Road trip along the Pepeekeo Scenic Drive
Located on the Big Island is Pepeekeo Scenic Drive, which is only four miles long, but the views are incredible.
38. Learn at the Bailey House Museum
Take the time to educate yourself on Hawaii’s history at the Bailey House Museum. There are also excellent art exhibits here!
39. See animals and exotic plants at Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo
This zoo and tropical rainforest is one of the most unique places to view wildlife on the Big Island. It’s perfect for families visiting Hawaii.
40. Hike Koloiki Ridge Trail
While Koloiki Ridge Trail is only four miles long, this is a great way to experience Lanai’s nature and be rewarded with incredible lookouts.
41. Picnic at Lahaina Harbor
This tiny harbor is one of the best viewpoints in Lahaina and is a short walk from Lahaina Beach. Grab yourself some food and have a picnic while you watch the sunset!
42. Walk along the coast at Hulopoe Bay
Hulopoe Bay is one of the most peaceful places to relax, walk along the coast, and even dip your toes in. This is also an excellent spot for snorkeling!
43. Listen to music at Hotel Molokai
Put your dancing shoes on and head to this tropical hotel! Live music is put on every night of the week, and all are welcome.
44. Go snorkeling with manta rays
On almost any island, you can go snorkeling with manta rays, an authentic one-of-a-kind experience. Try going at night to make it even more memorable and add this to your Hawaii bucket list.
45. Go ziplining in Maui
Be adventurous and zipline amongst the rainforest in Maui. This is usually an all-day excursion, but the adrenaline rush is well worth it.
46. Take a photo at Spouting Horn Park
Spouting Horn Park a highly rated viewpoint that got its name because when water comes out of the natural blowhole, it sounds a bit like a horn.
47. Eat shave ice
This local Hawaiian dessert is made up of shaved ice and comes with variety of toppings, whatever you choose. You can even add a scoop of ice cream!
48. Explore Makena Cove
This hidden gem is surrounded by bright blue water is often referred to as Secret Beach. It’s considered to be like paradise and is often a spot for locals to hold weddings!
49. Snorkel at Molokini Island Preserve
Arguably one of the top places to snorkel is at the crescent-shaped Molokini Crater due to the beautiful coral reef and sanctuary there.
50. Travel to another planet at Garden of the Gods
Hawaii’s Garden of the Gods is one of the most one-of-a-kind landscapes in Hawaii! This garden made of rocks is enormous and features tons of colorful boulders.
51. See the old ship at Shipwreck Beach
Lanai is home to Shipwreck Beach, which got its name due to an old ship that has deteriorated not too far from shore.
52. Explore Molokai Plumerias
At Molokai Plumerias, you can take a tour of the farm and even create your own lei to bring home as a souvenir. What better way to learn about lei-making?
53. Tour Ali’i Kula Lavender
This lavender farm is the perfect place to see how lavender is grown while also supporting locals. The fields are beautiful and seep purple from every angle!
54. Swim at D.T. Fleming Park (for families)
While this Hawaii bucket list is filled with beaches, D.T. Fleming Park is the most family-friendly of them all. Plus, lifeguards are usually on duty!
55. Visit the Lanai Cat Sanctuary
The Lanai Cat Sanctuary rescues and helps cats and is said to be home to hundreds of them. Cats here can roam and be themselves, and you can visit them!
56. Learn about the legend at Sweetheart Rock
Sweetheart Rock is a picturesque rock formation that goes hand in hand with a tragic legend. Read up on it, and then visit this scenic landmark!
57. Explore the Macadamia Nut Farm
This farm went from a small local store to a popular roadside attraction. You can shop for nuts, go on a tour, and even pick up some snacks if you’re hungry.
58. Send a coconut home at Post-A-Nut
At Post-A-Nut, you can choose a coconut, decorate it, and send it home to your friends and family! They’ll be surprised when they open their mailbox and find a coconut in it.
59. Stay at the Pink Palace
The Royal Hawaiian is the Grand pink hotel that sits perfectly on Waikiki Beach, offering both a sunset and sunrise view.
60. See Maui’s black sand beach
Honokalani AKA the black sand beach in Maui, is one beach you should not miss. The black send is absolutely stunning.
61. Snorkel with the marine life
With endless beaches and areas to snorkel, you never know what beautiful marine life you will spot. Big turtles are popular!
62. Hit the links at one of the many stunning coastal golf courses
Maui has no shortage of world class courses to play on and are often home to some of the biggest golf tournaments in the world.
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