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A gorgeous sunset along the coast of Oahu's North Shore in Hawaii

Your Guide to the Ultimate Hawaii Bucket List

beautiful black sand beach on the big island of hawaii aerial view. text reads exploring hawaii access our vacation guideVisiting the Hawaiian Islands is something many people wish to do in their lifetime. On one side of an island, you might encounter active volcanoes or roaring waterfalls tucked beneath dense jungle canopies. On the other side, you can see snow-capped mountains in contrast with roaring cerulean waves crashing against the sandy white shores. Continue reading for some of the best things to include in your Hawaii bucket list. Then, check out our comprehensive Vacation Guide for even more ideas!

The Ultimate Hawaii Bucket List

“After all, Hawaii is the best land. (O Hawaii no ka aina maikai)”

—Hawaiian Proverb

Oahu

Visit Pearl Harbor

History buffs won’t want to miss out on touring Pearl Harbor museums and WWII battleships such as the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin Submarine. While it can be heavy, hearing the history, it is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Hike the Stairway to Heaven

Did you know that it is illegal to be on the actual Haiku stairs? Don’t fret. You can still cross hiking the Stairway to Heaven off your bucket list. The Moanalua Valley Trail takes you branches off to take you up to the top without having to risk fines, court dates, and disrupting neighbors! The trail can be quite difficult to hike. Experienced hikers recommend you go with a local who knows the area.

Take in Views of Honolulu on the Diamond Head Crater Hike

A visit to Oahu isn’t complete without hiking Diamond Head! Once you reach the summit, you can soak in views of the vibrant streets of Honolulu, the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific, and fluffy white clouds painting the horizon. If you’re lucky, you might even spot humpbacks breaching!

Snorkel at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is undoubtedly one of the best spots on Oahu for snorkeling! Because of the dense population of colorful fish, it’s the perfect place to explore what lies beneath the waves.

The Big Island

Check out Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

If you’ve never seen a volcano before, then a visit to the Big Island is a must! The park is home to one of the most active volcanoes on earth. In fact, you might encounter volcanic rock across the entire island!

Cliff-Dive into the Pacific at South Point Cliff

This dive might not be for everyone, but jumping into the Pacific from the South Point Cliff is quite a thrill! This 40-ft cliff can be found at the Southernmost tip of the island!

Swim with Manta Rays at Night

The Manta Ray Night Dive with Big Island Divers is one of the top-rated dives in the world. It allows you to get up close and personal with these majestic sea creatures. There’s truly nothing like it!

See the Stars Like Never Before at Mauna Kea Summit

Seeing the night sky aglow with stars in the Hawaiian night sky is a humbling experience. You suddenly become aware of how bright and brilliant the universe can be while stargazing from the Mauna Kea Summit.

Stay in a Private Homes Hawaii Vacation Rental

Palione Papalani exterior view of the pool at night property on OahuRegardless of whether you choose to stay on the Big Island or Oahu, making a Private Homes Hawaii vacation rental your home away from home should be on your Hawaii bucket list! Our properties uphold a standard of quality that is unparalleled in the industry. Just imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing along the shore just steps away from your covered lanai in a home like our Oahu Palione Papalani, or “Heavenly Sand Dune,” rental!

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