Some people always look for the next place to travel to. Hawaii is one of those bucket list spots to go to. The Hawaiian archipelago is comprised of many islands. There are eight main islands, only 6 of those are available to tourists. Each one is unique in its own way whether that is food, activities, or historical significance. It really depends on someone's interests when picking an island to travel too. With that being said, here are some of my favorite experiences, activities, and things to do around the islands.
1. Visit a Lighthouse
Because Hawaii is comprised of islands, there are many different lighthouses to see. Each island has multiple light houses to warn the ships that there is land present. This specific lighthouse in this photo above is the Kilauea Point Lighthouse in Kauai, Hawaii. The lighthouse is very beautiful against the greenery and the blue waters. I always love to see the lighthouses because each one is unique. The picturesque views of this lookout are beyond amazing when viewed with the human eye. I have had the privilege to travel to this spot three times, as I have been to the island of Kauai three times. Each time I have never gotten tired of standing at this lookout for a while. It is always so beautiful. The picture does not even go to show a sliver of its beauty.
2. Find a Waterfall
Hawaii is for sure known for its gorgeous waterfalls. In my opinion, there is nothing more comforting than listening to the ocean waves or a waterfall dumping water off. In Hawaii alone, there are more than a hundred waterfalls. Just like the lighthouses, each one is different in its own way. My personal favorite island is Kauai, which is why a lot of these featured photos are in Kauai. This double waterfall is called Wailua Falls. It flows into the Wailua River, which takes mountain water out to the ocean.
Another aspect that I love about waterfalls is being able to breathe in the mist. When you get close to the lookout you can actually breathe the fresh mist and feel it. When the mist breezes by, it cools the air temperature. It is quite a nice feeling.
Waterfalls are not just limited to on Kauai. Several more waterfalls can be found on O'ahu, Maui, Moloka'i, Hawai'i, and Lanai. When my family and I traveled to the island of O'ahu we were able to swim in Waimea Falls. The water was quite cold, but it was a unique experience that I had never been able to do before. Whenever going to Hawaii make sure to take a good thirty minutes at a waterfall.
3. Visit Waimea Canyon
This is another one of my personal favorites: the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Waimea Canyon is also on Kauai. It is absolutely amazing. There are helicopter tours that take people throughout the canyon. As an aviation enthusiast, this is one of the top priority activities on by bucket list. Even just walking up to the lookouts provides a stunning view of the canyon. This part of the island is more of the desert side. It is less tropical than the other parts of the island. However, it is still very beautiful and well worth visiting. The walk up to the top of the lookout follows a cement path and quite a few stairs. It is not too bad of a walk. The short walk is well worth it with the stunning view.
4. Black Sand.Beach
Both on Maui and the main island of Hawai'i there are black sand beaches. These were created by the breakdown of lava rock over time. There is just something different about the black sand that makes a beach even more gorgeous. The fact that the black sand makes the turquoise blue water stand out creates an even more surreal experience. Black lava rock allows for the lush, green, tropical plants to stand out and make a statement. This photo was taken at the black sand beach on the Road to Hana in Maui. The drive on the winding road is sure worth the breathtaking views, beaches, waterfalls, and tropical plants. Black sand beaches are a must visit spot on the islands of Maui and Hawai'i.
5. Tropical Plants
Hawaii is a tropical state, which means that they have so many varieties of plants to see. Whether it is plumerias, hibiscus, or even a pineapple flower there are sure plethoras of flowers to see. My most favorite plant found in Hawaii is the plumeria tree. They put off bouts of fragrance that come from their beautiful flowers. Hawaii has so much color in plants. It is so intriguing to just explore Hawaii via the lush plants that call the island home.
6. Visit Beaches
The most iconic part of Hawaii is its beaches. There has not been one beach that I have been to in Hawaii that displays the quality of 'ugly'. While Hawaii has so much to offer, it's obvious that one cannot just simply resist going into the warm ocean water. The smooth, soft sand that touches feet. The warm water that kisses the shore every-time a wave rolls in. Hawaii has a lot of beautiful beaches that captivate the eyes. Some of the best beaches that I have been too are on the island of Kauai. This is the last major island in the chain.
7. Watch a Sunrise
I have to admit: there is absolutely nothing like watching a Hawaiian sunrise. It's such a beautiful thing to witness. Serotonin levels rise as you experience the rise of another day. The beauty of a sunrise is that no two are ever alike. Everyday is a new day, which brings new opportunities, which also means a different and unique sunrise. I for sure can say that one of the highlights of this past Kauai trip was waking up early and seeing the sunrise. It's so amazing how this happens every day.
8. Watch a Sunset
After watching a sunrise, one must see a sunset. A sunset marks the close of another day, but brings forth new opportunities for another day ahead. One of the other hobbies I have while on vacation is taking time-lapses. In order to capture the moment it is such a wonderful idea to take a time-lapse video. Going back after a trip and watching these priceless memories is such an amazing experience. A Hawaiian sunset or a Hawaiian sunrise will never disappoint.
9. Seek a Rainbow
In Hawaii it does rain a lot, which brings forth the phenomenon of a rainbow. The beach, ocean, clouds, and the sun all for sure complete the scene. There has not been one trip to Hawaii where I have not seen a rainbow. Whether it is at a waterfall, at the beach, or spotted while driving. There simply will almost always be a rainbow. Mist from blow holes can also create this phenomenon. It is certainly a beautiful sight to see.
10. Eat Tropical Fruit
The Hawaiian islands have a lot of different varieties of fruit available to try. The photo above is a Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple. It is not like a regular yellow pineapple. These are less acidic, white flesh, and a creamy texture. They are not overly sweet, but just right. These are a favorite for both me and a lot of the island. These are only found on the island of Kauai. Another fruit that is offered in Hawaii is the Rambutan. These are like a giant grape with a seed in the center. While it seems quite weird, it's actually very good. Be sure to try as many new foods, fruits, and local foods as possible. Remember eat things you cannot get at home. Do not be afraid to venture out and enjoy it.
These are some of my favorite things to do in Hawaii. I love visiting the islands because they are my second home. I love the culture, food, and the beauty of the islands. It is certainly a bucket list priority place. I truly believe that everyone needs to add the islands to their very own bucket list. While these are only 10 ideas, there are certainly way more activities to do.
My name is Jetta, and I am a student pilot currently attending Southern Utah University to become an airline pilot. Join me on my journey from zero to the left seat.