Truly the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian archipelago includes eight stunning islands with several bays, inlets, and atolls. Tourism in this area makes up 21% of this US state’s economy as visitors are drawn to this spectacular destination because of the warm weather and long sunny days. But besides its laid-back atmosphere and sunny days by the beach, Hawaii has a lot to offer — from beautiful waterfalls to lush green forests filled with exotic flora and fauna. Here’s a list of the best places to visit in Hawaii.
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Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is located on the Big Island of the archipelago. This imposing natural landmark offers visitors a unique and jaw-dropping up-close experience of active volcanoes, where lava bursts out from deep within the earth. It’s worth noting that the park’s main volcano, the Kilauea, which is the world’s most active volcanic mass, began erupting in September 2021 and has continued to do so to date! Because of this natural phenomenon, certain sections of the national park are often closed during the period of suspected eruptions that might be dangerous to visitors.
Apart from the volcanoes, there are several other activities that you can engage in during your visit, including Devastation Trail and the Halema’uma’u crater. During the most active periods, tourists have the opportunity of witnessing volcanoes in their natural element. If you are lucky, you might even see a pillar of ash up in the air!
First up on this list of the best places to visit in Hawai is Honolulu, the largest city. The city is filled with several historical landmarks, diverse shopping centers, fun nightlife, and a rich arts scene. It is also home to the famous Waikiki beach, where surfing was first invented. There’s something for everyone in Honolulu.
History and architecture lovers will get a kick out of a trip to this historical town. You can visit the Iolani Palace, a national landmark and the only official residence of royalty in the United States. You can also visit the Pearl Harbor National Historic Landmark to learn more about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during the second world war. If you love to shop, you can spend the day at the Ala Moana Center and other world-class shopping malls. End your day sampling a taste of Honolulu’s active nightlight with some delicious food and drinks.
Hana is a small town situated along the jagged coastline of eastern Maui. It is a very beautiful place to visit, but the highlight of your trip might not be the town itself. Instead, you might find the drive to Hana a breathtaking experience. The Road to Hana is not an easy drive. With a 52-mile journey to Kahului, it looks easy to get there in record time. But, this challenging drive can take you between two to four hours as you navigate through one of the world’s most twisty yet scenic routes.
The Lana Highway is no joke. You will drive through stunning waterfalls and rainforests and have uncompromised 360-degree views of the Maui coast. That should be enough to distract you from the 620 dramatic curves and 59 bridges you will encounter! There’s more to do when you get to Hana. You can spend your day relaxing on the beach, try out some water sports, or go hiking.
Waimea Canyon State Park
You cannot visit Hawaii and not go to the Waimea Canyon. It is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Hawaiian archipelago and is sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
For a more fun experience, most people prefer to drive up Waimea Canyon Drive to check out the lower and upper lookout points. If you’re feeling energetic and adventurous, you can explore one of the canyon’s many scenic hiking trails. You can even go mountain biking or enjoy an aerial view of the canyon.
Kailua Beach Park
Last up on this list of the best places to visit in Hawaii is Kailua Beach, which is one of the best beaches in America. About thirty minutes away from Honolulu, this beach has one of the world’s best white sands that stretch for about half a mile, surrounded by warm tropical waters and a fantastic breeze. There are tons of activities you can try out, including some of the best water sports like surfing, kayaking, diving, and paddleboarding.
If you’re all about relaxation and want to take a quick break from being a travel nurse in Hawaii, there’s plenty for you to do.
There’s so much more to see in this stunning destination. If you plan to visit Hawaii, ensure that you check out what other activities you can do and any special travel requirements.