Hawaii — the state synonymous with breathtaking beaches, lush mountains, fiery volcanic calderas, and stunning waterfalls. When every inch of this state is a paradise, it’s almost impossible to enumerate the most beautiful places to see in Hawaii.
Despite its popularity as a world-renowned tourist destination, few tourists are truly prepared for the Aloha State’s incredible diversity. Hawaii features ten of 14 known microclimates around the world, from a tropical continuous wet climate and hot-semi desert to summer-dry warm temperate and periglacial climate. It’s one of the many reasons why tourists can’t get enough of this glorious state.
Make the most of your vacation in Paradise by adding the most beautiful places to see in Hawaii to your itinerary!
1. Akaka Falls State Park
Tucked close to Hilo, Akaka Falls State Park is home to Big Island’s most famous waterfall, Akaka Falls. The breathtaking destination is 433 ft. tall. You can reach it after an easy .4-mile hike from the park’s parking lot, which takes 30 minutes tops if you take your time. The trail winds through a beautiful rain forest teeming with draping ferns, lush bamboo groves, and wild tropical flowers.
Up for more adventuring through the scenic tropical landscape? Visit the other waterfall in Akaka Falls State Park. A hidden gem, the Kahuna Falls is almost as high as Akaka Falls with a 400 ft. drop. Consider stopping by Akaka Falls State Park in the morning to get a gorgeous view of the majestic falls as the sun shines on them.
2. Papohaku Beach
The largest sandy beach in Molokai is also one of the most beautiful places to see in Hawaii. Papohaku Beach offers quite an enchanting sight. Peaceful, deserted, and perfect —pristine sand stretches out for miles. Witness the beach punctuated only by low dunes, before meeting the surging surf of the sapphire sea. It’s one of the longest white-sand beaches in all of Paradise.
Papohaku Beach is nestled in the western’s cradle side of Paradise. People looking for a retreat from the fast-paced city life will find solace in its peaceful landscape. Done enjoying the breathtaking view, cool waters, and a refreshing breeze? Stop by the Papohaku Beach Park, which is around 50 yards upland. There you’ll find picnic tables, barbecues, campsites, freshwater facilities, and a bathroom facility. What more do you need for a relaxing beachside getaway?
3. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Witness the landscape shift and change before your eyes at Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The 3330,00-acre park is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world: Kilauea volcano. Tourists travel from far and wide to watch the primordial spectacle of creation and destruction as the volcano’s lava meets water.
For stunning views of the Kilauea Caldera, drive through the 10.6 mile Crate Rim Drive. It will take you to Devastation Trail, Puu Puai Overlook, and Kilauea Iki Crater Overlook, which offer excellent vantage points to the breathtaking sceneries. Other volcanic park attractions include the Halemaumau Crater, Puu Oo Vent, Chain of Craters Road, and Volcano House.
Aside from the world-famous volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also encompasses lush rainforests, rolling deserts, and other gorgeous natural landscapes. The park is located 45 minutes south of Hilo.
4. Makena Beach State Park
Nestled south of Wailea in Makena is one of the most beautiful places to see in Hawaii. Makena Beach State Park is a 165-acre park that encompasses a dormant volcanic cinder cone and two scenic beaches.
Puʻu Olai, the volcano, is nestled at the center of the park. The short hike to its top offers a stunning view of the general area.
There are two beaches in the park: Puʻu Olai and Makena. Puʻu Olai Beach, also known as Little Beach, spans 660 ft and is one of the few beaches in Paradise that tolerates nude sunbathing. Makena Beach, on the other hand, is also known as Big Beach or Oneloa Beach. It is located just south of Puʻu Olai Beach and spans 1.5 miles.
Aside from admiring the gorgeous landscapes, you can go swimming, snorkeling, diving, skimboarding, bodyboarding, body surfing, kayaking, and fishing at this popular destination. You can also take your taste buds on an adventure as the park hosts diverse food trucks. Don’t forget to bring water bottles with you during your trip since there are no water fountains in the park.
5. The Pools of ‘Ohe’o
Also known as Maui’s Seven Sacred Pools, the Pools of ‘Ohe’o is the most famous attraction in EAsat Maui and one of the most beautiful places to see in Hawaii. “Ohe’o,” which means “Something Special” is an excellent description of the scenic setting. This destination boasts unspoiled natural beauty. If you want to see all seven pools, visit when the water levels are high.
There is no shortage of fun activities to do in the Pools of ‘Ohe’o, from wading through the cool shallow areas to satisfying the thrill-seeker in you by going cliff-jumping. Just make sure to avoid swimming or staying directly under a waterfall. Natural debris often finds its way upstream, which has been known to drop off falls into unsuspecting swimmers.
Up for exploring the nature trails around this popular destination? Heed all the signs you encounter. Dangerous rockslides are common in the area.
Despite its nickname of “Seven Sacred Pools,” the Pools of ‘Ohe’o are not actually sacred. Interested in visiting real sacred locations in Paradise? Stop by the “heiaus” or Hawaiian temples that are scattered throughout the Aloha State.
6. Haiku Stairs
Hawaii’s infamous Stairway to Heaven Trail is nestled in Oahu. The Haiku Stairs features a 3,922-step trail going up to the summit of Puu Keahiakahoe. Despite being officially closed for decades, thousands of hikers brave its steep, metal staircase every year. Many of the steps are in poor condition. Due to the number of daring rule-breakers, local officials have stationed 24-hour security by the entrance of the stairs implemented expensive fines.
The sights around the Haiku Stairs are undeniably awe-inspiring, though the hike is not for those who are afraid of heights. The trail can unforgiving due to its length and conditions. If you add this forbidden destination to your Paradise bucket list, know that there is a legal way to reach its scenic peak. Talk to the locals to learn more.
Finally, nothing can compare to seeing the breathtaking beauty of Hawaii than seeing it for yourself. Take a sneak peek at its gorgeous skylines. Book your flight and spend the best vacation ever in paradise!
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