Tips + Trends

Don’t Leave Hawaii Without Trying These Island Must-Do’s

Feel the power of the thundering Akaka Falls while hiking through the park. (Photo: Alamy)

If you’re planning a visit to Hawaii for the first time, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do. Let us help take the stress out of planning a trip to Hawaii with our guide to the islands. Whether you are traveling on your honeymoon or with the whole family in Hawaii, we’ve listed the islands’ most iconic activities and the top places to experience them.

Akaka Falls State Park Hike: Honomu, Hawaii

Discover the tropical vegetation of Hawaii as you walk along the half-mile loop in Akaka Falls State Park. Along the way, scenic vistas and two gorgeous waterfalls offer some of Hawaii’s best sightseeing. The trail is located just off a parking lot, and its paved paths make it an easy walk for any activity level.

Helicopter Tour: Multiple Locations

Hawaii helicopter
The Hawaiian islands are even more magical from above. (Photo: Alamy)

Tour the Hawaiian Islands’ unique scenery thousands of feet above the ground with a helicopter tour of the area. Companies like Blue Hawaiian offer various types of helicopter tours, varying in tour duration and areas seen. From active volcanic areas to beautiful coastlines, there are plenty of routes available. Depending on what tour you choose, expect to pay around $200 or more per person. Be sure to book online to receive special prices through Blue Hawaiian.

Stargazing: Maunakea, Big Island

Hawaii star gazing
Wish upon a star in the dark, Hawaii night. (Photo: Alamy)

For a romantic night under the Hawaiian sky, go to the Maunakea Visitor Information Station. At nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, you’ll have a chance to stargaze using one of the 13 telescopes available. Every night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., visitors can attend a stargazing program free of charge.

Goofy Foot Surf School: Maui

hawaii surfing
Learn how to hang ten with the pros. (Photo: Alamy)

Since 1994, Goofy Foot Surf School has taught nearly 100,000 people the art of surfing. Join the instructors on your trip to Hawaii for a two-hour introductory course that helps teach you how to surf. Offered Monday through Saturday at five different times throughout the day, group lessons are a perfect opportunity to test your luck at riding Hawaii’s waves.

Manta Ray Night Dive: Garden Eel Cove, Big Island

With wingspans of up to 20 feet, manta rays may look intimidating, but they are actually quite friendly and don’t have any stingers. If you’re looking for an adventure, consider taking a night dive with manta rays along Hawaii’s Kona Coast. Spotlights are used to attract the manta rays as divers are mesmerized by their unique swimming movements.