Hawaii is well known for its beauty. Pristine beaches dot the coastline, dense greenery fills the middles, and staggering peaks rise up every so often in between.
Even so, there are some places in the Hawaiian islands that are more beautiful than others, and here are ten of them…
1. South Point, Hawaii
There are many things notable about this point – first of all, it’s the southernmost point of the entire United States. Second, this place contains one of the four green sand beaches in the entire world; third, it’s beautiful.
It takes a 45 minute to an hour “hike” to get here (it’s not so much a hike as it is just walking across the Hawaiian countryside) and let me tell you, it is well worth the time.
But if a hike isn’t for you, you can now ride in the back of a 4 wheel drive pick up, as locals have begun a business of shuttling people down to the beach for $15/person.
2. Wakiki Beach, Oahu
Although this is one of the more touristy spots (the beach can be jam packed during the day) a visit at sunset is a must. A nighttime stroll down the beach also isn’t such a bad idea. And if you ever get bored of the beach (ha, as if!) there is a wide variety of shops directly across the street from the beach.
3. Chain of Craters Road, Hawaii
This is a gorgeous scenic drive near Volcano National Park, that actually ends at a dead end where lava flow overtakes the road. Yeah, that’s right. Where else are you ever going to see that? Stop to admire the lava flow, take pictures near a nearby sea arch, have a picnic, or just take photos. It’s a great way to spend the day.
4. Diamond Head, Oahu
Diamond Head is a volcano perched on the corner of Oahu and shaped like a diamond, very close to the center of Honolulu. There is a hike to the top that is maybe 40 minutes (an hour tops) round trip.
The views at the top of nearby Wakiki and the military bunker make the hike well worth it. The gorgeous cliffs framed by skyscrapers in the background make for a picture perfect shot.
5. Akaka Falls, Hawaii
Akaka Falls is a rushing waterfall surrounded by lush greenery on all sides. It takes a very short 15-20 minute hike to get here, and well, you can decide if the short hike is worth it or not from the picture. (hint: it is!)
6. Makapu’u Tidepools, Oahu
They say no risk no reward, and this saying is very true for the Makapu’u Tidepools. It takes a rather strenuous hike to get to these tidepools, and the hike back up is even harder. Be sure to follow the white spray painted arrows down, and be very careful.
If you do make it to the bottom, however, it is totally worth it. The water in the tidepools are crystal clear – it’s like nature made its own personal bath for you. It’s one of those picture perfect spots, at which every angle turns out another amazing photo.
7. Mauna Kea, Hawaii
The combined lack of light pollution and the fact that the peak of this mountain is above the clouds makes for some of the best stargazing views in the entire world. In fact, stargazing conditions are so good at Mauna Kea that eleven different countries have telescopes planted here.
So while you can see the stars from anywhere on the Big Island, coming to Mauna Kea for the night is definitely a must. But despite being on Hawaii, it is so high up here that it is freezing. Be sure to learn from my mistakes and bring a winter jacket and long pants.
8. Byodo-In Temple, Oahu
Byodo-In Temple was built on the North Shore in 1968 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of Japanese immigrants of Hawaii. It welcomes guests of all religions and ethnicities to either worship inside or to appreciate the quiet beauty of the temple!
9. Waipio Valley, Hawaii
The road down to Waipio is one of the steepest in the world, gaining 800ft in 0.6 miles! You can either hike or drive down (but only drive if you have a four wheel drive and are very confident in your driving abilities) OR you can opt for a horseback tour of the valley in which case the tour company will drive you down.
Down at the bottom, there’s a gorgeous black sand beach, a winding river, and cascading waterfalls to entertain you all day.
10. Manoa Falls, Oahu
It only takes a fairly easy hike to get to the gorgeous Manoa Falls, but make sure to wear hiking shoes, as it can get very muddy. While there, be sure to take a swim!
To help keep track of all of these places, I’ve created a map for you!
Have you ever been to this island paradise? What would you say are the best places to visit in Hawaii?