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.
Two native Oahu women lead hiking and driving adventures that focus on the local cultural heritage, sacred sites, and the fragile environment.
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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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.
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.
Island and European styles merge in the Allerton Garden, located in Poipu’s Lāwa`i Valley. Allerton and the nearby McBryde Garden are run by the National Tropical Botanical Garden and share a visitor center near the Spouting Horn.
Founded with the purpose of promoting Hawaii as a bastion of the arts and fostering artistic relations between the east and west, thirtyninehotel is part art gallery, part performance venue.
Resembling a small beach hut with a wood-shake roof, this Kona surf shop is packed full of board shorts, beach bags, sunglasses, and tropical-print bikinis. In addition, the shop also rents boogie boards and a variety of surfboards, all of which are available at affordable prices.
Segway of Hawaii provides tours of the island of Oahu on wheeled, human gliders. A number of excursions are available, including the Diamond Head and Waikiki Tour, as well as the Honolulu History Tour.
Island visitors who desire a break from heavy, “touristy” foods frequently seek out this tin building to help stock the cupboards and fridges of their rental homes.
Soaring eight stories over the surf on a cliffside, several holes on the back nine of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s Poipu Bay Golf Course find the golfer very close to the blue Pacific.
In the mall next to the iconic Aloha Tower, this shop has hundreds of unique pieces of island jewelry in sterling silver and 14-karat gold, Chinese jade, puka shell, and Tahitian black pearl, many with tasteful designs of tropical flowers and hula girls.