17 Things to Do While in the Hawaiian Islands

Planning a trip to one or more of the islands in Hawaii? The Hawaiian Islands are known for some of the most dense jungles and awe-inspiring views you’ve ever seen. There is a never ending list of things to do outdoors and it’s only fitting that’s where you should spend most of your time. Keep reading for fun adventures to check off your bucket list. 

Hawaii (Big Island)

1) Tour the active volcano! Get a selfie with the volcano lava. The views of flowing lava are worth the burning in your legs after the miles and miles of hiking. If the volcano can endure the heat, so can you. Just don’t get too close. Check with the local park service to see the best route on how to reach the lava stream.

2) Check out the natural jacuzzis at Ahalanui Warm Springs or the Pohoiki Warm Spring. Soak your achy muscles after a long day of hiking while relaxing in nature.

3) Camp near the volcano. You and the volcano can be roommates for a night or two. Don’t be fooled, it will be cold so bring a couple of sweaters.

4) Look at the stars at Mauna Kea. It’s a high altitude hike and can get very cold so bring a jacket and take your time to adjust to the oxygen levels.

Maui

5) Drive the “Road to Hana” – Drive the 55 miles along the coast around Maui. Along the way, you’ll see some spectacular views of the island and ocean. Make a few stops for local snacks

6) Visit the Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park

Oahu

My current home for who knows how long! Oahu hosts some of the most touristy things you can do but there are so many hidden gems on this island, they are worth exploring.

7) Break the rules on The Stairway To Heaven Hike (Haiku Trail). This trail is illegal, has a high difficulty level, and has sections where the stairs have been destroyed. If you choose to go this route, proceed with extreme caution and be overly prepared for all weather and terrain conditions.

8) Kayak to Chinaman’s Hat. Rent a SUV and a kayak and get ready to paddle out to the little island off the coast of Kualoa Point. Known as Chinaman’s Hat, this is the island of Mokoli’i and can be reached via kayak pretty easily in the right conditions. Bring snacks and water and hike up to the top.

9) Stand Up Paddleboard out in the ocean to watch the sunset in Haleiwa. You can rent a SUP right on the beach and then paddle out to watch the sunset from the water.

10) Sunrise hike to the Lanikai Pill Boxes. This is a fairly short and easy hike. It can be steep in some areas and slippery with the dirt but the views are worth the trek. Arrive early enough to park far away and walk to the trail entrance.

11) Do an adventure tour at Kualoa Ranch. Connect with the scenery from Jurassic Park and 50 First Dates. They offer ATV rides, zip lining, horse back riding, and bus tours.

Kaua’i

12) Hike the Na Pali coast. The Kalalau Trail is about 22 miles round trip. Make sure to bring all the appropriate camping gear and read up on the safety issues associated with hiking the sometimes steep and dense areas of the jungle terrain.

13) Don’t like hiking? Take a boat tour inside the hidden sea caves of the Na Pali Coast and watch the sunset from a boat deck with dinner. 

14) Inner tube through the jungle caves of Kauai’s sugar cane plantation. It’s a bit chilly so prepare to be cold in the stream water, even during the warm summer months.

Lana’i

15) Go visit the Garden of the Gods. This site is best viewed in the early morning when the sun is rising. The sun creates shadows of the rock formations.

16) Lanai’s Petroglyphs in Kukui Point – Lanai City

Moloka’i

17) Explore the isolated village of Kalaupapa by riding a mule down a sea cliff for nearly 1,700 miles. Kalaupapa is the area once inhabited by lepers that’s at the bottom of the sea cliffs.

Kahoolawe & Nihue

Honestly, I’ve never heard of anyone that I know going to these islands. I would love to be able to visit them and let you know the best things to do there but unfortunately, the only info I have on them is that you MAYBE can get to them via a boat ferry.

Mahalo for reading and enjoy your vacation.