Destination: Hawaii | Travel Guide for Paradise of the Pacific
Destination: Hawaii | Travel Guide for Paradise of the Pacific
Wanna Get Away to Hawaii? Each island offers a unique experience for visitors, from beautiful locations to explore, to local cuisine to sample and enjoy. We are highlighting some of the best things to eat, see, and do in Hawaii.
Wherever your adventure in Hawaii takes you, remember to respect the culture, environment, and people of Hawaii. The small steps you take during your visit to the Aloha State can keep you and the environment safe. Before your trip to the state of Hawaii, Southwest Airlines encourages you to take the Pono Pledge or the Malama Maui County Pledge to learn how to safely, responsibly, and respectfully enjoy the environment. Our efforts to respect the culture, environment, and people of Hawaii can mean the conservation of the natural beauty of the islands for generations to come.
* Mei Kwok is a Southwest Storyteller whose trip was paid for by Southwest Airlines.
- Waimea Bay: Located on North Shore beach, Waimea Bay is a great place to have fun in the water with activities like bodyboarding, surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. Waimea Bay also has beautiful cliffs. Be sure to check out the beach conditions before you head out to know what the waves are going to be like for the day.
- Diamond Head State Park: Hawaii’s best-known landmark holds historical, cultural, natural, and recreational importance to Hawaii. It was formed more than 150,000 years ago after a huge volcanic eruption and eventually became the Diamond Head that exists on the eastern edge of Waikiki. It’s a must-see for every trip and will wow anyone who sets eyes on it.
- Banzai Pipeline: This beach is a surfer’s paradise and boasts perfect rolling waves and beautiful sunsets. Watch as surfers take on waves during the winter, or go snorkeling to see the reef in the summer.
- Waikiki Beach: This beach is lined with luxury resorts and high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment. Historically, it was where the royals of the island would play. With views at every angle, enjoy the beach and the liveliness around it. Visit Waikiki to experience what generations of Hawaiians have enjoyed.
- The Royal Hawaiian Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort: This luxury resort on Waikiki Beach was originally built in 1927. The menus at the restaurant use locally-sourced ingredients, like fresh fish and tropical fruits, and each dish is beautifully-presented.
- Paradise Copters Circle Island Experience: This experience gives you the chance to see the Island of Hawaii from above. During the tour, you can see five volcanoes on the island—three of which are active—waterfalls, valleys, lava flow, rainforests, and more.
- Kokoleka Lani Farm: Here’s your chance to see how coffee and chocolate are made, from the cacao tree, to the beans we know, and finished products. Sample some culinary delights including chocolate fondue with fresh island fruit and the different forms of cacao.
- Hawaii Forest & Trails Kohala Waterfalls Adventure: This tour takes you on a beautiful and relaxing adventure. Swim under the falls, have a private picnic, walk through a nature preserve, and experience an ancient Hawaiian agriculture site. Be sure to bring a camera because the views are truly awe-inspiring.
- Snorkeling with Jack’s Diving Locker: There is plenty of the sea to explore; you just have to dive right in. With the clear waters that surround Hawaii, the number of species you’ll see are limitless. This includes coral reefs, tropical fish, turtles, dolphins, and mantas.
- Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden: Hawaii is home to plenty of beautiful flora and fauna and this natural greenhouse makes for the perfect environment for them to thrive. There are 2,000 different species that grow in this garden. Explore the 40 acres and take in the tropical backdrop to a perfect day.
- Royal Kona Hotel: This hotel offers the chance to see live Hawaiian music through their Hawaiian music series. The hotel also presents Voyagers of the Pacific Luau that displays Polynesian song, dance, and a firewalk.
- Waikapalae Wet Cave: Did you know that a handful of scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed in this exact cave? If the sun is shining at the right angle, the water will give off a beautiful blue glow. This is created from the reflection off of the sun and draws in visitors to stop by the cave.
- Waimea Canyon: You can’t beat the views of Kauai from Waimea Canyon! Take a drive up Waimea Canyon Drive to stop at the lower point and main Waimea Canyon Overlook, which offers panoramic views of Kauai. From here, there are many hiking trails open for exploring the canyon. Admission is free and it is open daily during daylight hours.
- Opeakaa Falls: Located in Wailua, this 151-foot fall spans 40 feet and flows throughout the year. Opaeka’a Falls can be viewed from an overlook off of Kuamoo Road.
- Kilauea Lighthouse: The Kilauea Lighthouse offers views of the northern coastline and the deep-blue Pacific Ocean making it a great spot for photos! The lighthouse is also part of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge which is a sanctuary for seabirds. From December through March you may also get to see the humpback whales that migrate over to the beautiful coasts of Hawaii.
- Uncle’s Shave Ice: Uncle’s Shave Ice offers more than 25 shave ice flavors as well as smoothies to their customers! Its proximity to the beach makes it a must-visit spot for visitors to cool off and grab a sweet treat.
- Old Lahaina Luau: Experience the most authentic Hawaiian luau hosted nightly at the Old Lahaina Luau. E komo mai, come, and be immersed in all its beauty and charm through great food, skillful dancing, and sincere hospitality.
- Sail Trilogy Snorkel Cruise: Dive and see honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) and schools of exotic fish. The crystal clear water of Honolua Bay and Maui’s marine life is sure to take you to a whole new world.
- Maui Pineapple Tour: Learn more about the process to cultivate the fruit. Each tour comes with an airport-ready pineapple, with the option to purchase additional pineapples.
- Road to Hana: This famous and beautiful road has beauty and possibility around every corner. Stops include towns, surfing lookouts, trails through tall trees, opportunities to see waterfalls, and dozens of other adventures waiting at each mile marker.
- Waianapanapa State Park: Located off Hana highway, this is home to one of Hawaii’s volcanic-sand beaches. The black sand, white waves, caves, and arches are all part of this unique park. Plenty of folklore and history makes for a special place to camp, fish, hike, and sightsee.
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