Hawaii, it has to be said, is both somewhat iconic and something of a mystery. We’ve all eaten a poke bowl, worn a necklace of flowers and perhaps even done a little hula. Most of us will have heard of (or even enjoyed) a traditional Luau feast, but could you actually pinpoint the 50th state on a map? Could you greet someone in Hawaiin? Yep, what we’re saying is; there’s still so much to be explored! 

What better excuse, then, than curiosity when arranging your next holiday? All you’ve got to do is fire up the skyscanner, arrange your Hawaiian visa or ESTA for UK Citizens and start writing your itinerary. Preferably, with the help of these; our 5 IDEAL places every tourist should visit in Hawaii.

WAIMEA CANYON

Known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’, Waimea is one of the most spectacular wonders of nature in Kauai. Scrap that, in the whole of Hawaii. The canyon stretches for over ten miles, plunges 3,500 feet deep, and has a mile-long width at some points. Two popular lookout points offer the best views, Puu Ka Pele and Pu’u Hinahina, the former providing a glimpse of the Waipo’o falls and the latter offering the finest views of the canyon itself.

Waimea roughly translates to ‘red waters’, and a beautiful river with a ruby hue runs through the deep gorge. People take rafting tours in the scarlet natural stream, and hiking is also hugely popular here. 

PEARL HARBOUR

On the island of Oahu, this historic landmark needs little in the way of introduction. Even so, it has to be said that the famous movie perhaps didn’t quite stay true to history. To learn, in-depth, about what happened to the US and Japanese armies during this notorious Second World War incident, and pay tribute to all the patriotic lives that were first-hand look is a must. 

The USS Arizona Memorial, which floats over the remains of the sunken ship, is a tourist favourite in particular. There are also memorials to other battleships here, too, like the USS Utah and USS Missouri. Travellers can also visit to the Pearl Harbour Visitor Centre, from where they can take a tour to the Pacific Aviation Museum to see WWII aircraft and artefacts.

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Hawaii is home to three volcanoes, and also to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Kilauea. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park gives its visitors a unique experience of seeing an active volcano system where lava seeps through the ground. And active really is the operative word here; the Kilauea last erupted in 2018, and tourists lucky enough (no fatalities or injuries occurred) to be in the area got to witness seismic activity, hear the sounds of gas emissions, and even see ash escaping into the air. The park also features the Volcano Art Centre, Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, Thurston Lava Tube, and the Puna-Ka’u Historic Archaeological District.

NA PALI COAST

Na Pali coast is world-famous for its spectacular scenery, with beautiful green cliffs, numerous waterfalls, and unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean. No road goes to the coast, but there are many hiking routes, and much of it is accessible by boat. If you did pack your hiking boots and you’re confident wearing them, then the Kalalau trail makes for one hell of a hike; roughly 11 miles long and crossing five valleys, it takes a whole day both ways but the effort is worth it. 

KAANAPALI BEACH

Kaanapali beach consistently ranks highly in discussion of the world’s best beaches, and it’s easy to see why; a three-mile-long stretch of soft white sand, clear water and a beautiful view of the Pacific…what’s not to love? If that’s not enough to satisfy you, then the waters of the Black Rock Beach nearby are home to a wide variety of colourful fishes and sea turtles, which makes it a perfect place for snorkelling. If there’s a more quintessential beach break, we haven’t found it.