Magic Sands Beach, or White Sands Beach. Source: Big Island Guide

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, learn about a unique culture, or spot endangered wildlife species, Hawaii has something for everyone. Here are the eight best tourist attractions to visit in Hawaii.

1. Haleakala National Park

Courtesy of National Park Service

Breathtaking view, endangered animals and rich culture, Hawaii’s Haleakala National Park has it all.

The popular hiking trails are the Summit District and Kīpahulu District, which are opened 24 hours and between 9am-5pm respectively. While this attraction is outdoors, its popularity among tourists and locals alike demands a reservation for a spot to view the sunrise at Summit District and a camping spot in the park.

The park also cares for endangered species, some of which are exclusive to Hawaii. Visitors who wish to learn more about them, as well as the vibrant stories of Hawaiian culture, can sign up for a half-day or full-day tour.


2. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Courtesy of National Park Service

Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Visitors can see firsthand the power of these volcanoes through lava flows, volcanic eruptions, and unique geological phenomena.

Eruption viewing schedules can be planned ahead of time by monitoring the eruption conditions found on the park’s website. However, do note that the viewing conditions are subjected to sudden change.

The rainforests also shelter a diverse array of plant and animal lives, some of which are endemic, making it a popular destination for nature lovers. In addition to its natural beauty, the park offers visitors a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, and birdwatching.


3. Iolani Palace

A beautiful embodiment of Hawaiian history and culture, Iolani Palace provides a glimpse into the life of the Hawaiian monarchy.

It is open to the public for tours in the following timings:

  • Mon-Sat: 9am-4pm
  • Sundays: 12-4pm

Admission is $20 for adults, $12 for seniors, $6 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

Audio tours are available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian.

The King’s Bedroom. Courtesy of Iolani Palace

When visiting the palace, be sure to check out the following:

The Throne Room: This is where the Hawaiian monarchy would hold court and entertain guests. It is decorated with beautiful koa wood furniture and features a large portrait of Queen Liliuokalani.

The Blue Room: Also known as the ‘Iolani Barracks, this was the living quarters for the Royal Guard. It gets its name from the blue color that was used to paint the walls to deter insects.

The King’s Guard Armory: This room was used to store the king’s firearms and ammunition. It also contains a collection of Hawaiian weaponry, including spears, knives, and clubs.

The Queen’s Room: This was the bedroom of Queen Liliuokalani. It is decorated with Victorian-style furniture and features a four-poster bed.

The Music Room: This room was used for musical performances and private concerts. It contains a grand piano that was a gift from Queen Victoria of England.

When planning your visit, keep in mind that the palace is located in a busy downtown area. There is limited street parking, so it is recommended to take public transportation or use one of the nearby parking garages.


4. Kaanapali Beach

Courtesy of Kaanapali Beach Resort

Kaanapali Beach is located on the island of Maui in Hawaii. The beach is well known for its clear turquoise waters and beautiful white-sand beaches, where visitors can enjoy snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing. Kaanapali Beach is also home to many resorts, hotels, and restaurants.


5. Magic Sands Beach

Courtesy of Big Island Guide

Located on the island of Maui, Magic Sands Beach is derived from the beach’s tendency to vanish overnight. During high winter surf, the ocean drags the sand with it, revealing the dark lava rock below.

Besides its magical phenomena, the beach is also renown for its beach side bars and delicious dining options.

6. Waikiki Beach

Courtesy of Hawaii Guide

Out of all the beaches in Hawaii, Waikiki Beach is the most developed, with high-rise hotels and condos lining the shore. While this may not be the best beach for those who are looking for a remote and natural experience, it’s perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action.

Whether you’re looking to surf, sunbathe, or simply people-watch. The beach is also within walking distance of many restaurants, shops, and attractions.

7. Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is one of the world’s most iconic mountains. Rising more than 10,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, it is the tallest mountain in Hawaii and one of the most sacred places in Polynesian culture.

Mauna Kea is also home to some of the world’s most powerful telescopes, which have helped scientists unlock the secrets of the universe.

8. Wet N Wild Water Park

Courtesy of Wet N Wild Water Park

One of the best water parks in Hawaii, Wet N Wild Water Park in Hawaii is home to various water slides, pools, and other attractions that are perfect for a day of fun in the sun.

Visitors can cool off in the lazy river, dip in the pool, or brave the slides.

You can purchase the tickets to Water Park online and at the park entrance. Prices start at $35 for adults and $25 for children. Senior citizen discounts are also available.


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