Consult any travel guide to find the best thing to do in Hawaii and the answer will undoubtedly be the same: go to the beach! More than 7,000,000 people flock to the six islands that make up this tropical paradise each year, where the beaches number in the hundreds. On Oahu––which boasts 112 miles of coastline alone––visitors can ride the surf at Waikiki Beach, or take a dip in the shallow lagoon on nearby magic Island. A bike along K’aua’i’s Coconut Coast provides a prime view of coasts that are harder to reach by foot, while daily cliff diving ceremonies are a prime attraction at Maui’s Kaanapali Beach.
Though the beauty of the red, white, and black-sand shores are unparalleled, there is much more to do on Hawaii’s beaches than just lounge. Venture out into crystal clear waters while snorkeling amongst a sunk World War Two tanker in the coral reefs of Shipwreck Beach or visit the waterfalls and swimming holes of Maui’s seven sacred pools.
To spice up days spent on the beach, there are a range of things to do further inland, from watching lava flow from the top of the active Kilauea Volcano down to the sea, to exploring the rainforests and open valleys surrounding Kualoa Ranch, an active cattle farm. Kauai’s Waimea Canyon, called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, offers hikers stunning views of the crested buttes and gorges, which surround the 14-mile long geological spectacle.
Though its natural beauty may be one of the most lauded things about Hawaii, the inhabitants are also happy to share their cultural heritage. Guests can see where a one-time monarchy lived at 'Iolani Palace, reflect on one of our nation’s darkest days with a trip to Pearl Harbor, or even partake in a traditional luau.