Things to do in Hawaii

While the islands have plenty to offer, a Hawaiian holiday is essentially a beach holiday and the most famous beach is, of course, Waikiki. Made legendary in Beach Boy lyrics (in the song 'Hawaii' no less, Waikiki is the popular beachfront that lines the capital of Honolulu on the most populous island of Oahu, and where much of Hawaii's beach accommodation can be found.

Further afield, Hanalei Bay Beach on the island of Kauai is an idyllic stretch of white sand surrounded by a backdrop of emerald mountains and shimmering waterfalls. Below the water, Hawaii's best snorkelling can be found at Molokini, a volcanic caldera marine sanctuary located off the coast of Maui. For more water action, Hawaii is home to a great range of waterfalls, the most spectacular of which is the massive Waimoku Falls in Maui.

While water fun is a huge part of the Hawaiian experience, there's more to the islands than sea and sand. The active volcano, Kilauea, on the Big Island, for example, has long attracted travellers seeking a thrilling hike and a spectacular outlook. The volcanic tuft of Diamond Head on Oahu is another famous hiking spot beloved for its views of Waikiki. And while many travellers to Hawaii will seek out the island's culture via a very tourist-friendly luau accompanied by hula dancers, there's sobering monuments such as Pearl Harbor that offer an insight into the role this region played in World War II.

Here’s a breakdown of what the islands have to offer: 

Waikiki Beach

As sung about in Beach Boy songs, Waikiki Beach is Hawaii's most famous stretch of white sand, which is  located on the south coastline of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Head here for sun, surf and plenty of accommodation and entertainment options.

Pearl Harbor

The location of a US naval base on the island of Oahu, Pearl Harbor is best known as the area attacked by Japan on the 7th of December in 1941, which killed over ,000 people and brought the United States into World War II. It's now a must-see memorial.

Molokini

Snorkelling in Hawaii is best experienced at Molokini, a partially submerged volcanic crater located between the islands of Maui and Kaho'olawe. 

Kilauea

As Hawaii's most active volcano, lava-viewing conditions at Kilaueu on the Big Island can change constantly with its last eruption taking place in 1983.

Maui

With beaches described as the best in the world, it's little wonder that the Hawaiian island of Maui is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world.

Oahu

As the most popular and populous of the Hawaiian islands, all the big attractions, world-famous beaches, shopping and entertainment strips plus natural wonders are located on Oahu.

Kauai

Hawaii's oldest island, Kauai, is the place to go for dramatic scenery, lush landscape and natural wilderness including the famous Waimea Canyon.

Molokai

Unspoilt, rugged and serene, Molokai is considered to be the last 'true' Hawaiian island and is full for culture, tradition, and history as well as being and free of traffic and traffic lights.

Lanai

Little Lanai may be the smallest accessible Hawaiian island, but it's worth the effort to get here to exploring the unique and intriguing landscape and enjoy the serene and laidback environment.