The Most Breathtaking Places To Visit In Hawaii 


Aloha! If you’re craving a tropical vacation complete with a unique spirit, US national parks, and world-class beaches then Hawaii is the place to be. To help you plan your getaway to this vacation bucket list destination, here are the most breathtaking places to visit in Hawaii.

The Most Breathtaking Places To Visit In Hawaii

1. Oahu’s Beautiful Contrasts

We begin our (more than) “three-hour tour” on the island of Oahu. Home to most of the Aloha state’s residents, it is highlighted by Honolulu and Waikiki Beach. Also known as “The Heart of Hawaii.” An island of contrasts, it contains a blend of eastern, western, and Native Hawaiian cultures and a mix of surf towns and cities.


2. Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is arguably most famous as a film location for Jurassic Park movies. It is a private nature reserve that spans an area of 4,000 acres. It has two individual designations on the well-known National Register of Historic Places. For eight generations it has been managed by the same family. The family hopes to preserve this place for future generations as well.


3. Koko Head Park

Even though Oahu is home to a great many people, it still offers sizable scenic areas that remain undeveloped. Koko Head Regional Park is one such place. Situated on the island’s eastern side, it is well-known for its beautiful beach and the nigh-infamous Koko Head stairs hike.


4. Halona Cove

Halona Cove is one of the hot spots in Koko Head Regional Park. Beloved by tourists and locals alike, it’s also a favorite film location for films, TV shows, and even music videos. Adam Sandler fans might recognize this place from the motion picture 50 First Dates. Also known as Eternity Beach, this cozy cove can be seen in rapper Nicki Minaj’s music video “Starships.”


5. Diamond Head

Diamond Head is a famous 100,000-year-old crater also known to some as the Brow of the Tuna. It was thus nicknamed because the ridge so closely resembles the dorsal fin of a tuna fish. Approximately one million hikers come to conquer this iconic island landmark and are rewarded with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, Waikiki, and Honolulu too.


6. North Shore

Oahu’s North Shore is a superb seven-mile stretch of beautiful beach that attracts the best surfers in the world. Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay all host world-class surfing competitions during the winter months when the waves there can actually swell up as high as 30 feet in height. If you have no interest in surfing competitions, then visit from May to September when those towering waves subside.


7. Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon


This lovely lagoon was named for the famous Olympic swimming champion and Hawaiian surfer of the same name. It is a man-made, saltwater lagoon that spans an area of five acres located at the very base of the popular Hilton Hawaiian Village. Locals, hotel guests, and tourists all love it. This lagoon is adjacent to one of the country’s top beaches, is family-friendly, and is a great place for water sports as well.


8. The Stunning Scenery Of ‘The Big Island’


Unsurprisingly, the island known as Hawaii is nicknamed “The Big Island” because of its great size. It’s almost twice the size of all the other isles put together. The scenery here can vary per area but you’ll certainly see verdant valleys and beautiful black sand beaches as well.

9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located on the island of Hawaii. Here you can truly experience nature’s ability to both create and destroy. This is one of the United States’ 63 national parks and is as large as the whole island of Oahu. Highlights include deserts, rainforests, 150 miles of unusual hiking trails, and, of course, real volcanoes.

10. Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea is one of a pair of volcanoes in the aforementioned Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Many have referred to it as “the world’s only drive-in volcano” because you can actually see it from the comfort of your vehicle. Its huge crater is said to be the home of the volcano goddess, Pele. For an entire decade, it was filled with lava but in 2018 it all disappeared when the crater walls fell.


11. The Island That Grows

File this one under “F” for “fun and fascinating.” As the boiling hot lava from mighty Kilauea flows downhill into the ocean, it actually extends the shoreline of the island. In fact, Kilauea’s eruptions in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have created more than 100 acres of new oceanfront land.


12. The Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Overshadowed by Kilauea, Punalu’u is one of Hawaii’s most well-known black sand beaches. This is a striking example of what happens when hot, volcanic lava meets the cold sea. The tiny particles left behind are certainly an unforgettable sight. Both tourists and numerous Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles absolutely love basking in the sun on the jet-black beach.


13. The Waiānuenue Falls

Nestled within Wailuku River State Park, this 80-foot waterfall is also known as “Rainbow Falls.” It is so named because every sunny morning at roughly 10:00 in the morning, you can see several rainbows in the mist of this towering waterfall.

14. Laupahoehoe Point

Hawaiian legend has it that this rugged peninsula is the result of an awesome epic battle between Pele, the goddess of fire, and Poliahu, the goddess of snow. Today it is more widely known as a popular place for picnicking or tide pool exploring.


15. Majestic Mauna Kea

Famous Mauna Kea towers 13,000 feet above sea level. It is Hawaii’s highest mountain and is sometimes snow-capped. The mountain’s summit is home to the planet’s largest telescopes. Add that to the clear skies here above the clouds and you can enjoy some of the best stargazing in the world.


16. Massive Mauna Loa

In English, Mauna Loa means “Long Mountain.” It is 74 miles high from its southern tip to the rugged northeast coast. Mauna Loa is also reported to be the earth’s largest volcano. Furthermore, it’s among the world’s most active volcanoes having racked up a total of 33 eruptions at press time.

17. Wowee! Maui!

Some call Maui “The Valley Isle.” Vacationers have voted this island “The Best Island in the U.S.” for over two decades. Its popularity is due in part to its beautiful beaches, verdant valleys, farm-fresh cuisine, wonderful wildlife, and superb sunrises.


18. More Maui

Ah, but there’s more! Maui’s northwest coast was once the officially preferred retreat of Hawaii’s original royal family. Today, Lahaina, in west Maui, is best known for its numerous incredible resorts, stunning sunsets, and memorable views of Molokai and Lanai in the distance.


19. The Sunrise At Haleakala

10,000 feet above sea level, Maui’s Haleakala National Park a.k.a. the House of the Sun plays host to nearly 1.5 million people every year. Hawaiian legend has it that the demigod Maui (of Moana fame), lassoed the sun itself from atop the mighty volcano and yanked it ‘cross the blue sky. Climb to the top of Haleakala and witness the spectacular sunrise or sunset for yourself.


20. Go Watch Whales

Maui’s coastline is one of the best places on the planet to watch whales. The best time to go whale watching is December through May. For it is then that the whales make their way to the shallow waters of the Aura Channel between Lanai, Maui, and Molokai, to birth and tend to new babies.


21. The Honu Turtles

Also known as Honu, Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles can often be spotted swimming alongside snorkelers off the coast of most of the Hawaiian Islands. These turtles are not only beloved by the locals but are also protected animals. Remember, visitors are expected not to feed, touch, or otherwise disturb these favored creatures.


22. The Road To Hana


Hana, in Maui County, is considered one of the state’s last unspoiled areas. Indeed, the majority of Maui’s eastern shore is undeveloped. Stretching for 52 miles, you could easily spend an entire day on the iconic Road to Hana road trip just exploring plunge pools, rainforests, and waterfalls.


23. The Beauty Of Kauai

Kauai, also known to some as “the Garden Island,” comes complete with rushing rivers, tropical rainforests, verdant valleys, and refreshing waterfalls. Several parts of this island can only be accessed via boat or aircraft. Take a tour by air or water and take in some exceptional scenery.


24. The Napali Coast

The Napali Coast is a 17-mile expanse along Kauai’s western coast. It includes beautiful beaches, wondrous waterfalls, and nigh-razor-sharp cliffs perched high over the ocean. This rugged shoreline and its neighboring valley are considered by some to be a sacred place as it is home to some of the very first Hawaiian communities.


25. Wonderful Waimea Canyon

You will find Waimea Canyon on the west side of Kauai. Often referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. It is one mile wide, 14 miles long, and over 3,600 feet deep. Veteran visitors suggest taking Waimea Canyon Drive in order to take in some wonderful, panoramic views of the island’s dramatic interior.

26. Tunnels Beach

The northern shore of Kauai includes a solid 50 miles of striking white-sand beaches. Tunnels Beach is perhaps the most noteworthy. This popular casual beach spot offers visitors outstanding views of majestic Mount Makana. There are also shallow reefs here that are perfect for snorkeling.


27. The Queen’s Bath

Just outside the resort town known as Princeville, you will find a nigh-legendary beachfront tide pool that, over the centuries, was carved out by the ocean. It was once a favorite bathing spot of genuine Hawaiian royalty. Today it is a super spot to swim and check out the sea life.


28. Awesome Unmodern Molokai

Travel back through the mists of time here in Molokai. Get a glimpse at what rural life was like here centuries ago. A mainly Native Hawaiian population of 8,000 people preserves a simpler, slower lifestyle.

You will find but a small handful of rental properties and hotels here, Thus, no more than 1,000 visitors can stay here at once. This is definitely the place for a Hawaiian vacation that’s A bit “off the beaten path.”


29. See Sea Cliffs

Speaking of Molokai, did you know it is the home of the world’s tallest sea cliffs? Visit Kalaupapa National Historical Park and check out some of the 88 miles of totally undeveloped beachfront property complete with rough cliffs that tower 4,000 feet above the ocean.


30. The Kahiwa Falls

The stunning Kahiwa Falls are nestled on the northern shore of Molokai between the Papalaua and Wailau valleys. This waterfall has half a dozen tiers and on a windy day, you can see the water rising upwards.


31. Lovely, Laid Back Lanai

This 141-square island, only nine miles from Maui, was once a Dole Pineapple farm. There are no traffic lights and only a couple of paved roads. It is the state’s smallest inhabited island. Be sure to see Shipwreck Beach too!


32. Lanaihale In Maui County

For incredible views, head to Lanaihale in Maui County. It is the island’s highest peak and rises more than 3,000 feet above sea level. Rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle and explore the isle’s unpaved roads as well.


33. The Cathedrals

When the light shines through these popular underwater lava caves, it appears as if the sunlight is streaming through and looks like sunlight is streaming through the stained glass windows of an actual cathedral. If you’re an experienced scuba diver, the Cathedrals is actually one of Lanai’s most popular diving spots.


34. Hulopoe Bay

Travel to Hulopoe Bay on the southern coast of Lanai. It is here you will discover the home of one of the island’s numerous world-class resorts. Enjoy the beautiful beach and neighboring marine preserve that’s the home of dolphins, exotic fish, and honu sea turtles.


35. Shark’s Bay

Image courtesy of

While in Lanai, visit Shark’s Bay. It’s joined to Hulopoe Bay by a small walking trail. Some travelers consider it to be the most scenic spot on the entire island. Hike along the scarlet lava rocks, hang out on the little cove beach, and check out Sweetheart Rock just 150 feet offshore.


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