Hawaii is one of the most desirable vacation destinations in the world. To many people, it’s as close to a paradise island as you’ll find anywhere on the planet. If you have a love for travel, we’re willing to bet that you’ve either been to Hawaii already, or you intend to go there before your traveling days are over. We support that ambition. It’s a beautiful island, combining all the benefits of being part of the United States of America with a culture that’s all its own and scenery that will drop your jaw the moment you lay eyes on it.
Because Hawaii is so small, it’s easy to deceive yourself into believing that you don’t need to make a plan when you go to visit it. So long as you’re staying for a few days, you probably figure that you’ll have enough time to see everything it has to offer you and go home having ticked all of your Hawaii boxes. That isn’t the case. There are things worth seeing almost everywhere you look in Hawaii, and unless you know what to go and where to do, you’re almost bound to miss out on something.
A lot of what we know – or at least, what we think we know – about Hawaii comes from a stereotypical view of the island. We see it represented everywhere, from movies to games at online slots websites like “Happy Hawaiians.” The travel theme is especially popular with online slots players, but they tend to provide a somewhat cliched view of the places they represent. Play an African-themed playtech slots, and you’ll see lots of safari parks and wild animals. Look for an Irish-themed online slots game, and you’ll see leprechauns and rainbows everywhere. As you might expect, the Hawaiian-themed online slots are full of grass skirts and dancing on beaches. That does go on in Hawaii, but it’s far from all the island group has to offer.
If you’re planning on visiting the Hawaiian islands at any point in the future, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the ‘must-see’ sights. That’s why we’ve put this guide to the top five together for you!
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
Walking through this location on Kauai island might be as close as you ever get to the feeling of walking on the surface of an alien planet. The rugged landscape here looks like nothing else on Earth and has been taken advantage of by scores of television and movie producers. Dinosaur movies “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” were both partially filmed on location on the Na Pali coast. The most spectacular sight of the many to behold here is the “Wall of Tears” on the side of Mount Waialeale – an astonishing geological formation of hundreds of separate waterfalls, all of which start at the top of the mountain and plunge all the way down to the bottom. If you’re not keen on walking you could view it from the air by taking a helicopter trip – although obviously that’s the most expensive way you could go about it! If, on the other hand, you enjoy a good walk, the Kalalau Trail winds on through the park for eleven miles and takes an entire day to complete.
Volcanoes National Park
We appreciate that not everybody gets excited about the prospect of standing on an active volcano, but we think there are enough of you who will for us to mention the possibility! While periods of seismic activity rise and fall, almost all of the volcanoes on the “Big Island” are basically active to some degree all the time. There’s always lava seeping out of the fissures on the mountainsides, and all the rock you can see in every direction is made of lava. Enormous columns of ash frequently escape from the ground and rise into the air, and occasionally gas explosions rattle the ground. If you don’t know they’re coming, they can be terrifying! The largest (and scariest) of the volcanoes is Kilauea, but you should check that it’s open to visitors before you set off. Kilauea is never too far from a volcanic eruption and is frequently closed to visitors if experts believe one is imminent.
Not all of Hawaii’s history is as pleasant and joyous as the rest of the island. The most obvious example of that is Pearl Harbor, where a Japanese attack in 1941 forced America to intervene in the Second World War. Today, much of Pearl Harbor is dedicated to a memorial to both that attack and the servicemen of the USS Arizona. The ship itself is mostly beneath the perfectly clear blue water, but there’s a floating memorial on top of it, which you’re welcome to board and take a look around. Access to the museum is free, but it’s generally advised to book in advance of your visit as it’s extremely popular. There are other old US ships here for you to explore, so if you’re into military history, it’s a real treat.
Maui Ocean Center
You might have been to sea life centers or similar attractions before, but we don’t think you’re ever likely to have seen anything like Maui Ocean Center. Within the 750,000 gallons of water that make up the Open Ocean attraction, visitors can catch a glimpse of the incredible marine life that lives on and around the Hawaiian island. That means stingrays, sharks, dolphins, and much more. You can even walk straight through their habitat by way of the underwater tunnel! If you’ve ever wanted to feed a giant turtle, you can do so at turtle lagoon. Visiting the ocean center would be an especially good choice for anyone with a young family, as children are sure to be enthralled by it.
Waikiki Beach might be the most obvious thing to list as the best attraction in Hawaii, but it’s obvious because it’s incredible. If you want to experience every facet of Hawaiian culture at the same time, head straight to Waikiki and walk along the beach. You’ll find fantastic restaurants, bars, cafes, local entertainment, and thriving market stalls for souvenir shopping. If you still haven’t had your fill of military history after visiting the Pearl Harbor memorial, you can climb to the top of the Diamond Head State Monument and explore the old lookout points and bunkers that still stand at the top of it. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing, pulling out a deckchair, and allowing people to bring you drinks. After all, that’s what the Hawaiian experience is all about!