I’m sure you’ve heard friends and family members rave about their trips to Hawaii, and wonder whether you should also put it on your bucket list or not. Hawaii is one of my favorite travel destinations in the world, and there is truly something special that everyone can find on the Hawaiian islands. Thanks to the incredible nature and fun attractions the islands have to offer, it’s not just about the beaches and water sports in Hawaii. With its rich culture and delicious local food, you’ll love exploring the islands and immersing yourself in the relaxed Hawaiian way of life. Today I’m going to share some Hawaii inspiration for your next trip, and if you aren’t sure why you should visit Hawaii, this is a must-read travel guide before booking your next tropical vacation!
Hawaii is a home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While Waikiki is usually the first beach that comes to mind when you think of Hawaii, in my opinion, there are many more magical options to choose from.
Regardless of which of the Hawaiian islands you choose to visit, you’ll be able to easily find secluded beaches with turquoise waters and white sands. On top of that, you’ll also find some really unique beaches, such as the Punalu’u black sand beach on the Big Island and Kaihalulu Red Beach on Maui.
2. Endless choice for water activities
Regardless of whether or not you are into water sports and regularly take part in water-based activities, you’ll certainly want to give some a try on your vacation on the islands.
Hawaii is known for being a surfer’s paradise, and although some areas are renowned for their strong waves, there are plenty of good spots for beginners as well.
Also, the crystal clear waters make it the perfect destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, and you’ll even be able to see some incredible tropical fish and turtles if you are lucky.
Finally, for a new way to enjoy some time on the water combined with exploring Hawaii, try out stand up paddleboarding or kayaking, where you can take a guided tour to explore a new area of the island from the water.
3. Delicious Hawaiian Food
Throughout the islands, you’ll find a crazy amount of amazing local restaurants and food stalls to try the local Hawaiian cuisine. Don’t be tempted to just eat at the tourist hotspots on your trip, and instead try the fresh fish and delicious ripe fruit that the islands are renowned for.
You’ll taste the best and sweetest –in Hawaii, and if you have a sweet tooth, make sure you try the ube purple cheesecake for dessert.
Kalua pig is another popular dish in Hawaii, which I haven’t tried myself, but you should consider trying.
Also, while in Hawaii make sure to try some of the best coconut or garlic shrimp in your life. Out of all of them Shrimp Station on Kauai was my ultimate favorite.
My favorite snack/dessert in Hawaii were malasadas. They resemble a fried type of donut covered in sugar, however it’s more delicious and offered with different creams inside.
While you’ll find a lot of standard American and international chains on the islands, especially in Oahu, try not to be tempted by the overpriced tourist restaurants. The local food is absolutely delicious, so try and be a little more adventurous and enjoy some Hawaiian cuisine on your trip.
If you want to know the names of specific places where you can find some of the most delicious food, read the separate itineraries that I created for each island. Click here!
4. Amazing weather all-year-round
Regardless of which month of the year you schedule your trip for, you’re bound to experience incredible weather in Hawaii. With that being said still make sure to pack a jacket with you, as Hawaii experiences quite a lot of rainfalls.
Also, don’t forget that you’re on the islands, not on the mainland. Let me explain.
For example, Hawaii’s Big Island has 10 out of 15 types of the world’s climate. Of course, the weather can be unpredictable sometimes but even if it rains it doesn’t stay for long.
Between March and October, the islands experience less rain, and you’ll enjoy blue skies and sunshine, making it the perfect weather for endless beach days.
The temperature in Hawaii never drops particularly low, so you’re safe packing your summer wardrobe whenever you visit. This means that you won’t necessarily have to worry about planning beach days and active adventures, as most of the time the weather will be on your side.
5. The diverse nature and scenery
Hawaii is a world-known destination for its stunning beaches, but you’ll be surprised to see how many more amazing places there are to explore. If you are lucky enough to visit two or three different Hawaiian islands on your trip, you’ll notice a huge variety of contrasting landscapes and nature, of flora and fauna, and you’ll appreciate the unspoiled nature that the islands are home to.
Hawaii truly feels like a paradise on earth. I’d highly recommend taking a day trip to do an island tour, as when you travel around the whole island in one day, you’ll truly appreciate the contrasting landscapes within just a few minutes’ drive of each other.
6. Endless hiking routes
If you enjoy an active vacation, you are going to love Hawaii for sure. There’s an unlimited amount of hikes available, many of which incorporate stunning waterfalls and breathtaking views.
You definitely want to factor in as many hikes as possible into your plans, and there’s a route for every fitness level. Even some of the shorter and more crowded hikes are well worth it for the stunning views you’ll enjoy when you reach the top of the trail.
Hawaii is the perfect place for anyone who loves to exercise and enjoys various activities on their trips. If you want to be out all day every day exploring, this is the perfect trip for you.
Having said that, when you’re ready to relax and put your feet up after a busy few days, you’ll enjoy the picturesque beaches and luxury resorts that the islands are so well-known for.
7. Incredible Volcanoes
From all the diversity that Hawaii has to offer, there is something even more special that you can find on the islands. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing a volcano up close, then Hawaii presents a few opportunities for you.
Two of the most active volcanoes in the world are located in Hawaii. They are Kilauea, which erupted recently in December 2020, and Mauna Loa located on the Big Island. You’ll also enjoy exploring the lava tubes, which you can hike through with a guide.
If you are not ready yet to see something so adventurous, I have another breathtaking but more chilled option for you. Haleakala National Park located on Maui was one of the top highlights of my time in Hawaii. It’s a dormant volcano and it’s probably the most popular place to watch the sunrise at. It became so popular that you even have to make a reservation on the official website to reserve your spot. Believe me, it’s definitely worth it. If you’re not able to make the reservation in advance, I would highly suggest you visit it at any other time nonetheless. There are not many places where you can stand above the clouds and feel like you’re on top of the world.
If you would like a more detailed itinerary for your trip to Maui, including a list of more stunning places, click here.
8. The Hawaiian Culture
Even though Hawaii is part of the United States, its culture is really different from that of the mainland. You honestly don’t feel like you are in the US at all, and if you’ve twinned your trip to Hawaii with somewhere like Los Angeles, you’ll notice a huge contrast as soon you land on the islands.
With such a rich culture that its residents are extremely proud of, there’s so much to explore and learn about during your trip. Throughout the islands, you’ll find chances to learn more about the history of Hawaii and its culture, thanks to fantastic museums, immersive experiences and attractions.
I’d highly recommend taking one evening of your trip to enjoy a traditional Luau, where you’ll enjoy cultural performances and learn more about this tradition.
Visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu was probably one of the most fun and interactive way to learn more about Hawaii and 5 other island nations, click here to read more.
Hawaii is known for its hospitality, and from the minute you land at the airport, you’ll feel very welcomed to the islands. While you should always be careful and aware of your surroundings, especially if you are traveling solo, I felt very safe throughout the islands I visited, and the warmth of the people was truly incredible. Hawaii is known for its aloha spirit, and for its laid-back and friendly culture.
The hotels and accommodation I stayed at on the various islands always felt very welcoming, and the staff was more than happy to chat and make recommendations to help me have the best time. Wherever you visit the island, you’ll find locals and tour guides willing to talk and share their history and top tips for your time in Hawaii. After a few days on the islands, you’ll feel yourself relaxing and becoming more in tune with the chilled Hawaiian lifestyle.
10. The world’s best sunsets and sunrises
Even if you’re not very into the thought of waking up early on your vacation, it will be great if you can change it while in Hawaii. You won’t want to miss the incredible sunrises and sunsets in Hawaii, which are like nowhere else in the world. I’m sure you’ve seen beautiful photos on Instagram of Hawaiian sunsets, which you probably thought were filtered to look that way. However, this is how they actually look most of the time! You’ll be blown away by how stunning they are, and it’s well worth getting up early for.
Getting up early in Hawaii is a must as it is also the best time for sightseeing as you’ll get ahead of the crowds for the day. After a busy day of exploring, it’s the best time to grab a beer or a cocktail and head to the beach to enjoy the sunset.