Hawaii Travel Guide
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.
In the 1990’s the project committed $585 million in public and private funds to transform eight acres of dive bars and budget hotels within an elbow of land framed by Lewers Street, Fort DeRussy Park, and Kalakaua Avenue.
The seldom-visited and fascinating island of Niihau off the coast of Kauai is inhabited only by a handful of native Hawaiians, and is generally closed off to tourists.
A variety of half- and full-day excursions are led by one of 15 experienced Maui guides.
The six-acre Kahuna Valley retreat draws healing masters from around the globe to teach Qigong, Taoism, Reiki, and Hawaiian Kahuna healing. At the spa, choose from hot-stone therapy, deep-tissue massage, or a starlit watsu session with mineral-rich waters from the nearby Makaleha Mountains.
Maui’s Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is home to this old-school bar that's traditionally Hawaiian with plumeria trees, torches, and thatched roofs.
With its protected beach, this is one of the North Shore's safest places to learn the sport. The school also runs classes in Waikiki.
Excited About: The hip new microbreweries popping up across Alaska. Phillips can organize a tour of his favorite spots, including Denali Brewing Company, in Talkeetna. Years as agent: 22. Specialties: Hawaii, Europe.
With three courses designed by two of the world's most renowned golf course designers (Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Arthur Jack Snyder), Wailea Golf Course is highly regarded.
Part Irish pub and part local Hawaiian eatery, Murphy’s Bar and Grill is a casual neighborhood gathering spot for local businesspeople and residents. The bar serves 16 beers on tap, as well as a selection of wines.
This classic Hawaiian outing into the former leper colony of Kalaupapa is a soul-stirring trip.
Baldwin Beach Park, on the north shore of Maui and just west of the plantation town Paia, is a noted destination for bodyboarding and bodysurfing. The white-sand beach is surrounded by dunes, ironwood trees, and coconut palms, and offers views of the West Maui Mountains.
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.
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.