Hawaii is one of the world’s top vacation spots and for good reason. Beautiful white-sand beaches, delicious food and fantastic culture make this hot destination one of the best. Among all of the fabulous things to do on the islands, here are a few of our favorites.
1. Dinner and a show, Luau Style
What would a trip to Hawaii be without a traditional luau? There are bunches of fun luaus waiting to be had but one of the top luaus in the area is held at Paradise Cove on the island of Oahu. Paradise Cove offers three different luau packages: Standard Luau, Orchid Luau and Deluxe Luau. Each package comes with a Hawaiian dinner buffet, a “welcome Mai Tai” and assigned seating while the Orchid and Deluxe packages offer some additional perks that don’t come with the Standard Luau. In addition to attending the party of a lifetime, extra adventurous guests can arrange an on-site snorkel or surf tour by day.
2. Snorkel in Turtle Canyon
Nature fanatics won’t want to miss Hawaii Nautical’s catamaran turtle snorkel cruise to Turtle Canyon, one of Oahu’s best reefs and scuba spots. On this epic journey travelers will enjoy music, drinks and views of Diamond Head Crater as they coast on a 53-foot catamaran on the way to the snorkeling drop-off point. Along the way, wildlife sightings of dolphins, whales and turtles are sure to be expected. Upon arriving at Turtle Canyon, guests will attend a short safety briefing before strapping on their gear and exploring the ocean with their knowledgeable snorkel guide.
3. Tour Kualoa Ranch, aka Jurassic Park
Movie buffs will be happy to find that Ka’a’awa Valley, the filming site of numerous Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV shows such as Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates and LOST, is open to the public. Visitors can get up close and personal with some dino friends, explore a WWII bunker built into the side of the mountain range and scour through movie posters, props and memorabilia left on the island throughout the years. Travelers looking to experience this movie magic should be sure to book reservations well before visiting, as many tours sell out two to three weeks in advance.
4. Remember Pearl Harbor
Among the many essential sightseeing opportunities in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor should be near the top of every traveler’s bucket list. Travelers can visit Pearl Harbor for a guided tour seven days a week and can expect detailed historic narration of the site and the events that took place there on that tragic day in 1941. In addition to touring the famed USS Arizona Memorial, travelers can also experience the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Bowfin Submarine Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
5. Visit the only Royal Palace on American soil: Iolani Palace
Before Hawaii became part of the U.S. in 1959 it was a self-governing country complete with its own monarchy. Residence to the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Iolani Palace acted as home to historical figures such as King Kamehameha III and Queen Liliuokalani. Today the palace is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most iconic buildings in Hawaii. Travelers can experience the royalty for themselves on a guided or solo tour of Iolani Palace Monday through Saturday.
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