Things to do in Hawaii
The raw beauty of the Hawaiian islands has long attracted travelers, and rugged nature-lovers will find plenty of things to do in Hawaii—hiking active volcanoes, surfing massive waves, driving dramatic coastal roads, exploring lava rock deserts, and trekking in rainforests with cool waterfalls. From Maui to Kaui to the Big Island and Oahu, there are plenty of activities and attractions for more sedentary types too—museums dedicated to the islands’ Polynesian heritage, public gardens, pristine beaches, art galleries, markets selling local crafts, and great bars serving mai tais.
No matter how or where you choose to embrace the aloha spirit—on one of the world’s most scenic golf courses, under the stars on Waikiki Beach while listening to ukulele music, or on a bus to historic Diamond Head Lighthouse—there are countless places and things to do in Hawaii to keep you coming back. For ideas on how to make the most of your trip, peruse our Hawaii travel guide. All listings are created and vetted by Travel + Leisure editors and writers. Our experts know what to do in Hawaii and will have you planning your photo safari, helicopter tour, and beach excursion even before you step off the plane.
Mokuleia is a popular destination for water activities including kite- and wind-surfing in south winds, snorkeling, camping, and hiking. Located on the North Shore just off Farrington Highway, this narrow beach has views of the mountains across the highway.
This remote retreat on the North Kohala Coast fuses Polynesian healing traditions with a green ethos. Book a lomilomi massage with a practitioner trained at the best school for the technique. Bring home the essential oils custom-blended from tropical plants by Warrent Botanicals.
Owned by the Kona Brewing Company, the Koko Marina Pub is located on the docks of the Koko Marina Center and provides diners with expansive views of the marina and the surrounding mountains.
Lish Jens and her husband opened this funky store, named after the famous island song “My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii,” nearly 40 years ago.
The natural wonders of the towering Na Pali coastal cliffs, the reefs, and marine life are easily accessed from the Spirit of Kauai or the Akialoa, two Coast Guard-certified, customized 55-foot sailing catamarans. The catamarans are operated by Capt.
A profoundly fecund wonderland—with peacocks, giant lilies from the Amazon, and endangered Kokia cookei flowers—run by the National Audubon Society.
The Veranda at the Kahala Hotel & Resort transports guests to a bygone era in Hawaii’s history. This plantation-inspired lounge overlooks the resort’s Dolphin Lagoon with both indoor and and al fresco seating.
Cliffs rise 4,000 feet out of the ocean. Falling rocks, copious mud, rain, and flash floods are commonplace.
Explore the North Pacific waters and observe marine animals in their native habitat with guidance from the staff at Bubbles Below Scuba Charters.
- This ecosensitive resort in the West Maui Mountains offers fifty-four holes spliced between pineapple fields and the deep-blue Pacific.
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Two native Oahu women lead hiking and driving adventures that focus on the local cultural heritage, sacred sites, and the fragile environment.
Pro windsurfer Alan Cadiz founded HST in 1985, and as the name suggests, it specializes in teaching windsurfing and kitesurfing, along with paddleboarding. The the school's five-level windsurfing program is taught one-on-one or in small classes, with two to three students per instructor.
Shooting classes are held on a 14-station course that stretches across the island's inland gulches and pampas.
This brewpub, located on the Big Island’s western coast, opened in 1998. Constructed largely from locally gleaned materials, it has a bar made from native Ohia wood and a repurposed corrugated metal roof from a former Holualoa distillery.
A 1930s Tudor-style mansion and adjacent restored plantation cottages have been transformed into a collection of 10 upscale shopping boutiques. The bedrooms, closets, and even bathrooms of the former home display artwork, antiques, clothing, and handicrafts.