Aloha: Things to Do in Hawaii for Every Type of Traveler

No matter your passion—nature, sports, culture, romance—Hawaii will make you feel right at home.

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Aquamarine waters hug pristine beaches, fiery volcanoes bubble and towering waves crash—all while sumptuous resorts pamper with massages and poolside cabanas. From lush Maui to tiny Lanai, Hawaii beckons with both adventure and relaxation. Whatever your pleasure, the islands are calling.

For the Nature Lover


Hawaii Island boasts five national parks, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where hiking through giant lava tubes (caves formed by rivers of lava) feels like journeying to the center of the earth. On Kauai, see the ruggedly beautiful Napali Coast on a boat tour, or take a kayak trip up the Wailua River, where a jungle hike leads to Secret Falls, cascading 100 feet into a natural swimming hole. Maui is known for the acrobatic humpbacks that gather there from December through May; whale-watching cruises bring animal lovers thrillingly close as they frolic and feed. On Lanai, rented jeeps off-road through the fields of former pineapple plantations now covered with shoulder-high grass swaying in the breeze.

For the Sports Lover


Surfing is practically synonymous with Hawaii, and there’s no better place to learn than in gentle Hanalei Bay on Kauai, whose mountainous shoreline became the mystical land of Bali Hai in the 1958 movie South Pacific. Oahu also offers world-renowned surfing, in addition to excellent snorkeling at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a protected marine life conservation area. On Maui, standup paddleboarding lessons and rentals deliver a leisurely ocean paddle or a full-body workout. And Hawaii Island is a golfer’s dream: It claims seven of the state’s top 15 courses, according to Golf Digest. Tee off amid ocean vistas and varied terrain—one par-3 hole is tucked into a lava amphitheater.

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For the Culturist


Hawaii’s Polynesian roots take center stage at Oahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center, where six Pacific islands share their customs (try your hand at Tahitian spear throwing or take a Samoan cooking lesson). On Kauai, the Kilohana Plantation—dating to 1935—draws on its history of sugar cane production with tastings of rum now produced on-site. Coffee, another classic taste, has been grown throughout Hawaii Island for more than 185 years and remains its agricultural lifeblood (time a visit with the November Kona Coffee Cultural Festival for farm tours and tastings). And on Molokai, a guided hike through the untouched Halawa Valley reveals insights about the island’s culture and inhabitants.

For the Romantic


On Maui, massages for two at the AAA Four Diamond Grand Wailea are enjoyed under a thatched-roof hut by a burbling koi pond. For hand-in-hand strolls, half-moon Kee Beach on Kauai dazzles in the sun; come evening, the opulent gardens of AAA Four Diamond Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa await. From Oahu, a sunset cruise aboard the Star of Honolulu comes with a seven-course dinner accompanied by live jazz. Stargazing on Hawaii Island ranks as some of the finest on the planet, and guided tours on Mauna Kea culminate with a heavenly show at 9,200 feet.

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