Things to do in
Hawaii

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Our most recommended things to do in Hawaii

Kauai: Luau Kalamaku

1. Kauai: Luau Kalamaku

Luau Kalamaku is an unforgettable experience and a “must see” for any visitor. The twice-weekly extravaganza has welcomed guests since 2007, offering great views from every seat. Following dinner, the cast takes the stage for the 45-minute main show to tell the amazing story of the ancient Hawaiian legend of Kalamakū (“child of the new land); the epic voyage taken by islanders between Tahiti and Kauaʻi along one of the longest sea roads of Polynesia. Through laughter, fear, seduction and fire, a new legacy is created, born from the cherished seeds of their ancestors. The evening begins with craft and cultural demonstrations, and Hawaiian games, followed by the traditional imu ceremony. Guests are treated to delicious traditional local cuisine, while hula dancers and musicians entertain. The show culminates with a fantastic fire dream featuring fire poi balls and traditional fire knife dancing. Your Luau Itinerary: • Fresh Flower Lei Greeting • Craft and Cultural Demonstrations • Hawaiian Games • Train Ride via the Kauaʻi Plantation Railway (additional charge applies) • Open Bar Service • Imu Ceremony • Dinner, Live Music and Traditional Hula • Main Show – Kalamakū • Photo Session with Cast The Luau Buffet Menu: • Poi • Lomi lomi salmon • Kalua pork baked in the imu • Yellow curry Ratatouille • Teriyaki chicken • Pan seared fish • Fresh fruits & salad • Array of desserts including: Warm rice pudding & banana creme pie Menu includes gluten free, vegetarian & vegan options. Menu subject to seasonal changes.

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Lahaina: 2-Hour Whale Watch Cruise

2. Lahaina: 2-Hour Whale Watch Cruise

Travel via high-speed catamaran from Lahaina Harbor to the Maui Channel to see the humpback whales, who return to Hawaii for a few months each year to mate and give birth. Depending on the whales’ behavior during your 2-hour whale watching trip, you may see any number of whale things happen. Keep your eyes peeled for whales slapping the surface with their pectoral fins (their very long side fins), flukes (the tail), or peduncle (the strong muscles attaching the tail to the rest of the body). Keep your fingers crossed for a breach. This is when a whale rises completely out of the water and crashes down again. Don’t forget to bring your camera.

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Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel Tour with Lunch

3. Maui: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel Tour with Lunch

Your snorkeling tour to the Molokini Crater and Turtle Town begins at Maalaea harbor, where you'll board the boat. Start the day off right with a breakfast of eggs, ham, cinnamon rolls, donuts, coffee, fruit, and juice. Located off the south shore of Kihei and rising 300 feet (91 meters) out of the water, the extinct volcanic cone of Molokini provides the opportunity to see native Hawaiian marine life in their natural habitat. Spot manta rays, fish, and sharks, who swim around the coral year-round. Molokini is protected as a marine preserve and bird sanctuary, so you can expect pristine conditions. Use the provided snorkeling equipment to explore the underwater world and take advantage of the two water slides into the water. You can also take a peek at the reef without getting in the water via the glass-bottom viewing room. To ensure safety, a lifeguard will be in the water at all times watching over the snorkelers and lending any assistance, if needed. After leaving Molokini, your second snorkeling spot of the day will be Turtle Town, where you have the chance to swim with Hawaiian green sea turtles amid the calm waters. Then return to the boat for lunch. Amenities of the boat include two slides, two freshwater showers, quality snorkeling gear, flotation devices, and restrooms. The boat features an easy-to-use stairway in and out of the water, and lots of shade if you want to stay out of the sun.

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Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

4. Big Island: Voyagers of the Pacific Luau with Buffet

Visit the Royal Kona Resort to experience an interactive luau show celebrating the rich cultural history of Hawaii with seating on the glimmering shores of Kailua Bay. Start the evening with an aloha shell lei greeting, and craft demonstrations. Soon after, feast on a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet with traditional Hawaiian dishes made with local ingredients. Savor authentic island entrees such as honey soy braised beef, and fresh-catch fish. Be treated to Big Island flavors with sides like Hawaiian sweet potatoes, coconut rolls, macaroni, and Lomi Lomi salmon salad. Enjoy stir friend vegetables and kalua style pork and cabbage. Finish off your culinary experiences with tasty favorites like Hawaiian haupia pudding and coconut cake. Sip Mai Tais, wine, beer, and soft drinks as you embrace the local culture and radiant sunset. Then, as drumbeats build, the sensational Voyagers of the Pacific Luau show unfolds on stage. Be captivated by a dramatic show inspired by Polynesian stories told through live music, song, and dance, culminating in the exciting Samoan fire knife dance finale.

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Maui: Deluxe Sunset Sail from Lahaina

5. Maui: Deluxe Sunset Sail from Lahaina

Enjoy an elevated sunset viewing experience. Lay back on the forward trampolines, find a comfortable seat with panoramic island views, or sit under the covered cabin space for a break from the elements. From December to May, enjoy the thrill of watching the humpback whales making their way to Hawaii each year.

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Kauai 65-Minute Grande Deluxe Air Tour

6. Kauai 65-Minute Grande Deluxe Air Tour

Climb aboard the new Australian-made G8 AirVan for a personalized 65-minute Grande Deluxe Air Tour of Kauai. Fly through the Waimea Canyon and then catch your breath as the majestic cathedral spires of the Na Pali are suddenly beneath you. Continue alongside the ridgeline behind the lovely Hanalei Bay and travel south to see the numerous waterfalls of Hanalei Valley as well as the crater below Kauai's Mt. Wai`ale`ale (weather permitting). In winter months whale watching may also be possible! The experienced pilot will tell you about the rich history and mythical lore of Kauai, and using the 2-way intercom you can ask questions. Only Wings Over Kauai features an expert agricultural narration by the owner and chief pilot, the research scientist Dr. Bruce Coulombe. For approximately 65-70 minutes, you’ll experience a safe and thrilling experience that’s the ultimate air tour of the Garden Island. What makes Wings Over Kauai unique is a dedication to customer satisfaction and attention to detail. The ultimate goal for every flight is to make sure every passenger has the best experience possible.

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Waikiki: Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion

7. Waikiki: Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion

Experience the magical underwater world of sea turtles. Dive under the waves with a snorkel and see the rainbow of tropical fish. Connect with the wide array of stunning marine life on this two-hour tour. Start off with a cruise along the coast, where you can potentially spot spinner dolphins and humpback whales during the wither months. Once at the Turtle Canyons, you’ll get a brief lesson on snorkeling and your snorkeling equipment.  Snorkel alongside the sea turtles and tropical sea life under the supervision of a certified lifeguard, returning to the boat whenever you please to relax with complimentary refreshments.

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Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

8. Honolulu: Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour

Spend the day visiting the most important historical sites and landmarks of Honolulu, Hawaii. Visit Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona Memorial, Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, the Hawaii State Capitol, Honolulu City Hall, and more. The tour begins with a visit to Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, the largest visitor attraction on Oahu. Enjoy the many exhibits, galleries, and displays the center has to offer. Then, board a Navy boat shuttle for a tour of the harbor along “Battleship Row.” Upon arrival at the USS Arizona Memorial, step off the boat to explore the memorial. The journey continues to the historic National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, a historical landmark offering a backdrop of scenic rolling green hills and lush foliage where the many men and women who served in the Armed Forces are honored. Wrap up your experience with a narrated tour of downtown Honolulu. Spot the impressive state buildings and learn about the Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s last reigning monarch and the only royal palace in the United States. Make your way to the Hawaii State Capitol grounds which includes the Eternal Flame, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, Liberty Bell, and more. Then, visit the majestic statue of King Kamehameha, the Hawaiian warrior-king who united the islands, and see Kawaiahao Church, known as “the Westminster Abbey of the Pacific.”

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Mauna Kea Summit: Sunset Stargazing Adventure w Free Photo

9. Mauna Kea Summit: Sunset Stargazing Adventure w Free Photo

Get your photos taken by the stars during this sunset and stargazing adventure on the summit of Mauna Kea. Learn about the area from your guide as you sip on hot chocolate and eat snacks. Choose from pickup and drop-off options at several locations.  Delight in the awe-inspiring sunset at the top of Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Pacific. Get cozy with a parka, gloves, and hot drink as you learn historic accounts of Hawaii, the Big Island, from your guide. Stand amidst the world’s largest collection of research telescopes and see two of the eight telescopes which took the first photo of a black hole. Enjoy your very own private star show with a Celestron telescope. Capture your experience forever with photos taken by your guide on a DSLR camera. Get emailed these photos after your experience. After your unforgettable evening with the stars, depart back to your pickup location for drop-off.

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Maui: Afternoon Snorkel to Coral Gardens or Molokini Crater

10. Maui: Afternoon Snorkel to Coral Gardens or Molokini Crater

Go snorkeling at one of Maui’s most impressive sites on this relaxing afternoon snorkel trip. Board a catamaran and cruise to either Molokini Crater or Coral Gardens to explore the Pacific underwater world. All equipment is included, and lunch is available as an add-on. Head to the meeting point at Maalaea Harbor for your check-in before boarding the Malalo catamaran. Set sail and admire the beautiful Pacific coastal views as you cruise towards your snorkel site. Your captain will pick the ideal snorkeling location for that day depending on sea and weather conditions. Enjoy $5 hot dogs on board and soda available on board. Jump into the pleasant water and experience the rich marine wildlife at your disposal. Float above the relaxing coral reef and spot colorful parrot fish, yellow tang, cornet fish, and much more. You might even catch a glimpse of a spotted eagle ray. Feel free to rent wetsuits, digital underwater cameras, and prescription masks on the day of your activity to enhance your aquatic experience.  After your unforgettable swim, relax with a drink (available to purchase) on deck as you return to shore, where your experience will end.

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Frequently asked questions about Hawaii

Planning Your Visit

  • When should I go?

    Depending on what you want to see, Hawaii is a top destination year round. If you’re looking for sunshine, visit from April to September. Rainy season from November to March coincides with whale watching season. This is a popular time of year to visit, as you are almost guaranteed to see whales.

  • What's the weather like?

    Unsurprisingly, very warm - no wonder Hawaii is such a popular vacation destination! However, depending on the side of the island you are on, you will experience very different temperatures and weather. This unique terrain offers sunny beaches to the west, tropical showers to the north, and some freezing cold weather on the top of the craters such as Haleakala. Pack alternative clothing if you're going on an excursions.

  • How long should I stay?

    Although in terms of land area it's one of the smallest US states, it's not necessarily easy to get around Hawaii in a small amount of time - there are quite a few islands with so much to see. If you'd like to get a lot out of your trip, plan two weeks and stay at least three days per island.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-10:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Spring may be the best time to visit due to the warm temperatures and lack of rainfall, making hiking and beach visits pleasant. Summer is dry, but the temperature gets very hot, the humidity is high, and the surf is down.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hawaii

Want to discover all there is to do in Hawaii? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Hawaii

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 9,221 reviews

What an incredible experience! Captain Paul was so amazing and informative and his crew was fun and helpful yet made sure safety was a priority. To top everything off we got to watch a baby whale play in the ocean while momma was nearby and see unclose a pod of dolphins.

Ms. Eve was great! Extremely knowledgeable of marine life, and cultural Hawaiian historical meaning of ocean life to the people connection with marine ecosystem.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the Islands. The restaurant chosen for our dinner was a great place.

Def worth the money Crews were really kind and boat ride was so fun stress relieving

Excellent tour...A must-do to truly experience the beauty of Kauai