Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands

Day dreaming about the Hawaiian Islands? Don’t blame you, with so many top places to see and enjoy!

Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands
Tourists taking photo of flowing lava from Kilauea volcano around Hawaii volcanoes national park, USA.

Aloha! The magnificent islands of Hawaii have dazzled visitors for hundreds of years. The first Polynesian sailors who settled there found the perfect location to start their community. Are you planning your perfect Hawaiian paradise vacation? With several islands to choose from, the question of where to go and what to do can be daunting. Keep reading for a list of highlights and top places to see from each of the Hawaiian islands.

Oahu, Urban adventures & historical sites

Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands
Honolulu, Hawaii

Home to the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, the island of Oahu is the state’s busiest location, offering the most urban adventures. Historically, the area served as the center of King Kamehameha’s kingdom. Because of this, Hawaii’s most important historical buildings are here, such as Iolani Palace, which was built to house the royal family in 1879, making it the only royal palace in the United States.  Kawaiahao Church, a neoclassical building, was the island’s first center of Christianity. There are also a few important sites for U.S. history buffs to visit, chiefly Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial.

Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands
Map of the Hawaiian Islands

In 1941, Pearl Harbor was the center of an attack by the Japanese, which pulled the U.S. into World War II. The military servicemen and civilians who lost their lives in this attack are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a beautiful, solemn dedication that provides excellent views of the surrounding landscape. Those who venture outside of Honolulu will be charmed with the natural lands that surround, especially the Halona Blowhole, Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, and Diamond Head, a dormant cone volcano that looms over Honolulu. The best way to get the most out of this island is to take Oahu tour packages that travel around the coast to all the top attractions.

Big Island, Largest of the islands

Hawaii Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands
Snorkeling in Hawaii, a popular activity

Traditionally known as Hawaii, Big Island, as its name suggests, is the largest of the Hawaiian island chain, home to the city of Hilo. It is home to some of the state’s best natural areas and is one of the best locations in the world to survey live volcanic activity, especially at the appropriately named Volcanoes National Park. Another cool site that displays the effects of volcanic activity is the Lava Tree State Monument, which displays tree trunks that were covered by lava that flowed through the forest hundreds of years ago. With other locations like the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, Rainbow Falls, a local macadamia nut farm, and Nani Mau Gardens, Big Island is guaranteed to offer big, beautiful tropical adventures. Take a tour to Hilo and experience this exotic Island like a true local.

Maui, Tons of fun activities

Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands
Beautiful Landscapes all around

The island of Maui offers Hawaii’s most diverse landscapes, formed from volcanic activity. With some of the best beaches in Hawaii, including Kaanapali Beach, Maui offers the perfect opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling, and surfing. Then, you could go to beautiful parks like  Wai’anapanapa State Park and Haleakala National Park and take incredible, unforgettable adventures on aerial ziplines. For those that seek adventures in the wild, Maui is definitely the place for you! More information regarding these beautiful islands can be found at

Kauai, History of Hawaii’s sugar trade

Hawaii Top Places to See in the Hawaiian Islands
The Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

Finally, the other major Hawaiian island is Kauai. Though it is only the fourth largest island behind its siblings Oahu, Big Island, and Maui, that doesn’t mean that Kauai has any less to offer visitors. Just like the other islands, it offers stunning natural landscapes, most notably the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Hanapepe Valley, and Waimea Canyon. There’s also Wailua River, the only river in the Hawaiian islands that is navigable by boat, making it a perfect place to take a leisurely afternoon cruise. In the small town of Koloa, you can learn about the history of Hawaii’s sugar trade. Other popular sites on Kauai include the Spouting Horn Blowhole at Poipu, Nawiliwili Harbor, the Fern Grotto, beautiful Opaekaa Falls, and Coco Palms Grove.

There you have it! Head over to to see more tours in Hawaii Make your vacation time in Hawaii unforgettable!