Places You Can’t Miss While Visiting Hawaii

When you dream about Hawaii, you might picture yourself trekking through the Island in a Jeep, exploring the wild terrain Indiana Jones style. Or, you might imagine pristine beaches lined with lush tropical rain forests and jagged mountains.

The Island of Hawaii is a true natural wonder. There are endless adventures to embark on while exploring the island. While visiting this charming Island, don’t miss these spots that will leave you with a life-long impression.

Hawaii explore

Haleiwa, North Shore

Haleiwa is a small, charming hippie beach town nestled on the shore of Hawaii. Banzai Pipeline Beach is one of the most famous beaches, notoriously known as a top surf spot. There are plenty of small secluded beaches along the shoreline to explore or simply enjoy the view unfold. Don’t forget to visit the infamous wings, located in the main town.

One of Haleiwa’s most pictured spots, the wings in North Shore

Not only is Haleiwa known for its prime surf conditions and beautiful beaches, it also has some of the freshest food around.  Unique food trucks of all kinds of food are scattered through North Shore, our favorites being lined along 59-712 Kamehameha Highway. While in the main town, head over to Haleiwa Bowls for the best acai bowls you will ever have in your life!

The view from the top of Diamond Head, Oahu

Diamond Head Hike, Oahu

Tourists find this to be a very popular spot if not all for that lovely scenic view. Since it’s primarily an uphill climb,  the Diamond Head Hike does take some strength to climb. A novice hiker shouldn’t have too much trouble finishing the hike. Don’t make the same mistake we did by heading out in the afternoon. Due to harsh sun and heat in the afternoons, head out as early as you can to beat the sun!

Waimea Bay, Haleiwa

Waimea Bay is a beautiful, picturesque beach tucked away in Haleiwa. It’s a little piece of heaven on earth. Although strikingly beautiful, the large waves and strong current can be extremely dangerous. While we swam in the water, we couldn’t believe how strong the current was. It took us a few failed attempts just to beat the current’s pull and get out of the water, but the incredible waves were worth it! Many locals head to this beach to body surf and spend their days off, making it a great spot to people watch and enjoy the surf.

 

The hike up to the Lanikai Pillboxes with Lanikai Beach below, Oahu

Lanikai Pillboxes Hike, Oahu

If you’re looking for a hike that’s on the lighter side, this is the hike for you! The Lanikai Pillboxes offer a marvelous view after a steep uphill climb. The electric blue waves and pristine white sand beaches from above are a sight not to be missed. This is one of the most mesmerizing views I witnessed in Hawaii and recommend adding it to your bucket list! While in the area, check out the Lanikai Beach to cool off and enjoy paradise after your hike.

A hidden swing on the Island of Kauai, by the Beach House Hostel 

Kauai Island

Kauai Island is a remote, lush tropical Island that is a dream spot for adventurers, adrenaline junkies and those who love natural landscapes. While incredibly remote, the Island offers acres of landscape to get lost in exploring. Waterfalls, secret beaches, challenging hikes with incredible views- Kauai has it all. The Island’s attractions are spread across the Island making it best to rent a car. Renting a car can be expensive, so you can take the bus, or hitch a ride with fellow hostel mates instead. You’ll still be able to get around the Island, it just might take some extra time and creativity to get there.

The Waimea Canyon State Park and waterfall view

Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai

Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, is a beautiful display of nature’s artistry at work. Spanning the horizon with ridged hills and mountains, the canyon is a magnificent sight.  Waimea canyon is paved with tons of hiking trails that will take you through the rocky hills and stunning views.

Because we explored the canyon with people who knew of secret trails, we opted for the Kalepa Ridge Trail. Since this trail is unsanctioned and is not maintained, it is very dangerous! While we did hike to the trail’s end, I would not recommend it to any novice hikers. There are some parts of this trail where a simple slip up can be fatal.

Hanakapi’ai Falls (left), Kalalau Trail (right)

Kalalau Trail, Kauai

This trail is one of the most magnificent hikes I have yet to trek on. The trail weaves along the shore of the Na Pali Coast through a tropical rain forest along a narrow pathway. In it’s entirety, the trail is a 22 mile round trip hike. For those without permits, or for those looking for a day trip- the hike to Hanakapi’ai Beach is the perfect middle ground choice.

View from the Kalalau Trail of the endless ocean

The Hanakapi’ai beach hike is 2 miles long, and from there you can venture off an extra two miles to the Hanakapi’ai waterfall. The hike grows in intensity, with more streams to pass, slippery rocks to scale and narrow paths to hike. If you have the energy to hike to the falls, it is absolutely worth the extra trek. Since this is not a hike for novice hikers,  I have to warn that it can be a very dangerous hike. Do trek at your own risk and with caution!

Have you ever visited Hawaii? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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  • Kim

    Your photos look absolutely breathtaking! Aaaaah I have seen those angel wings ALL over Instagram! Finally I know where it’s located now—in Haleiwa! That swing looks super fun. Ah I’m totally dreaming of warm weather now… Thanks for all the wanderlust!

    Kim
    simplylovebirds.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Kim! I used to wonder where in the world those wings were too, I’m so glad to have seen them in person. I’m glad you enjoyed the post xx

  • Oh my gosh, seriously dreaming of a holiday in Hawaii now!

    • Diana Maria

      I wish I could be back too! Thank you for reading dear xx

  • I am so incredibly jealous especially as the weather over here had been awful recently and I am craving sun and sea more than ever! Loved the photographs in this post and all the recommendations for my hopefully upcoming travels:)

    • Diana Maria

      With the winter weather here I’m feeling the same way! Thank you so much Maria, I’m glad you enjoyed 🙂

  • You made me want to go to Hawaii so bad, Diana! Love the sound of all these places. If I ever go to Hawaii, I am definitely checking out everything from this list 🙂 x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Leta, it’s an amazing place to see, you definitely should make the trip out there!

  • Allie Mackin

    Oh Hawaii looks soooo peaceful. There is so much turmoil in the world I would love to drop out and live here. Your photos are wonderful, thanks for sharing and maybe I will get here one of these days.

    Allie of ALLIENYC

    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Diana Maria

      I definitely know the feeling, always searching for the next place to visit. I hope you get the opportunity to Hawaii one day 🙂

  • You make me increase my want to go to Hawaii to 200%! The pictures really show the beauty of the place, I’ll definitely go there soon <3

    yuki, solivagantic

    • Diana Maria

      Aw thank you Yuki! It really is a beautiful Island xx

  • I really want to visit Hawaii!! Those wings are so pretty x

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty

    • Diana Maria

      It’s definitely worth the trip! The wings were one of my favorite parts of the trip they’re so lovely xx

  • Oh my, Hawaii looks amazing! One day I will go there too 😉

    Marije | thegfguide.com

    • Diana Maria

      It really is Marije, I hope you get to see it one day! 🙂

  • Your posts just make me wanna travel all the time!! 🙂

    https://www.alifyalifestyle.com/

    • Diana Maria

      That’s such a compliment Alifya, I’m so glad! 🙂

  • Susan Tran

    We have so much love for Hawaii. It’s truly a magical place! It’s been almost a year since our last trip, and we’re dying to go back. Kono’s burritos at the North Shore are the BEST, but we definitely need to check out the acai bowls next time! And Kalalau trail will be another must. There’s just so much to explore!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    • Diana Maria

      Ah we never tried the burritos- but all of the food there was to die for! I hope you do the Kalalau trail it’s one of the most amazing hikes I’ve trekked 🙂

  • All of these photos are absolutely gorgeous! I would love to visit Hawaii!

    Abigail Alice x

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Abigail! 🙂

  • Your picture looks lovely with that colorful wings, no doubt tourists loved it. I never thought sight seeing canyons in Hawaii is a thing. Absolutely surreal paradise.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

    • Diana Maria

      I was shocked to see the vast canyon myself, it felt like I was in Arizona! Thank you Katya 🙂

  • Georgina Grace

    Hawaii looks amazing, and your photos are lovely!! I’d love to visit the island one day, I just need to get over my fear of long haul flights first! x

    http://www.love-georgie.co.uk

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Georgina! I’m the same, long flights terrify me but it’s always well worth it 🙂

  • I wish to be able to visit Hawaii one day! A girl can dream haha 🙂

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes

    • Diana Maria

      Definitely! I used to think the same thing, I’m sure you will see it one day Sarah 🙂

  • WOW! Hawaii looks ah-maay-zingg! Love this post x

    Adventures in May | Miss Nev

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you love 🙂

  • Goooooorgeous photos! We almost went to Hawaii this year but ended up going to Bali, the sea is so blue in these photos!
    Helpless Whilst Drying

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Rachael! That’s amazing, I’ll be headed to volunteer in Bali in a few months and can’t wait 🙂 xx

  • The pill boxes are the best spot to catch the sun rise =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

    • Diana Maria

      I could imagine, I wish we saw it during sunrise!