When you think of Hawaii, you probably head straight to idyllic islands, palm trees and picturesque beaches. Am I right?
Sure it has the sandy beaches of dreams and an ocean colour that makes you weep with joy, but Hawaii is also about so much more. Here are our top recommendations for the best things to do in Hawaii on your next trip:
Ride the waves on Oahu’s North Shore
Infamous for its waves, this 7 miles stretch of golden sand is the ultimate surfing spot. Head to Sunset Beach, Ehukai Beach (also known as Banzai Pipeline) or Waimea Bay, for the top surf hot spots. For all you skilled surfers, November-April is prime time to catch some epic winter waves, whilst December is all about the Triple Crown, attracting the creme de la creme of global surfing talent. May-September is probably the best time for those looking to get started on beginners waves as the summer season has much calmer seas.
Learn the history of Pearl Harbour
No trip to Hawaii would be compete without re-living one of the most pivotal moments in US history – the attack on Pearl Harbour and the US’s subsequent entry into World War II. Be sure to fit in the Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbour Punchbowl sightseeing tours to gain a deeper understanding of the iconic 1941 bombings, whilst paying your respects to the 1,777 crew members who lost their lives. The harbour is situated just half an hour from Waikiki, a neighborhood full of shopping, entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
Hike to the top of Diamond Head Crater
One of Hawaii’s most recognisable landmarks and perhaps one of the world’s most acknowledged volcanic craters, Diamond Heat crater is more than 3,500 feet in diameter with a whopping 760 ft. summit. The crater, originally called “Le’ahi,” translated “brow of the tuna”, got its name Diamond Head over 200 years ago by a British sailor who not so coincidently believed there to be diamonds within the head of the crater. Whilst this (sadly) ain’t the truth, the dormant volcano does provide one hell of a hike. Starting in the middle of the crater and climbing 500 ft. up the side, this is a fairly steep but easy hike which is definitely recommended if you fancy combining exercise with some breathtaking views. And don’t fear, this volcano has been dormant for over half a million years.
Snorkel the shores of Kona
Big on snorkelling? With clear warm waters, low tides and miles of magical coral, Kona is an all-time favourite snorkelling spot. Situated on the west side of the Big Island, the shores are home to the highest concentration of sea life in Hawaii – think hundreds of species of tropical fish, including large parrot fish, jacks and rock sitters, manta rays and even Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. Two Step at Honaunau, Kealakekua Bay and Kahalu’u Beach Park are just a few of the many snorkelling spots we’d recommend.
Mountain bike Mt Haleakala Volcano
Some call this the eighth wonder of the world. With a circumference big enough to fit Manhattan, this 3,000’ deep crater is an impressive 7 miles long, 2 miles wide and 21 miles in circumference. And what better way to conquer this crater then by bike? Situated in East Maui, the volcano dominates the mountain skyline with panoramic views, sublime sunrises and rare fauna and fauna. And to top that off, it’s also know as one of the best downhill bike rides in the world. This is for sure a pretty prefect way to see the never-ending views that the mountain range has to offer.
Take a tour of Volcanoes National Park
Established in 1916, this national park is home to two active volcanoes, Kīlauea, the most active volcano in the world, and Mauna Loa, the world’s biggest shield volcano. The biologically diverse park offers a dramatic volcanic landscape and a bunch of outdoor activities. Hike, bike, camp and even visit the Volcano Art Center Gallery.
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