Aloha! Are you visiting Hawaii for the first time? You must be excited and can’t wait to be surrounded by breathtaking scenery. While sipping cocktails on one of the gorgeous beaches. However, since you’ve never visited the islands of the 50th state before, you need to prepare well and plan your itinerary. But that’s why we’re here – to help you plan the most incredible vacation of your life and make the most of your time in Hawaii.

Plan your itinerary

Now that Hawaii is open for travelers, you can start planning your trip and making your itinerary. Depending on how long you plan on staying there, we first recommend deciding whether you will visit one island or perhaps do some island hopping while you’re there.

Hawaii consists of the following islands:

  • The Big Island of Hawaii
  • Maui
  • Kauaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Molokaʻi
  • Oahu
  • Kahoʻolawe
  • Niʻihau

If you don’t have too much time on your hands, the best thing to do is select a single island and enjoy its perks. Whichever you choose, you won’t make a mistake. The Big Island of Hawaii and Maui are the most popular destinations for tourists, so if you are looking for a smaller crowd, perhaps you should pick one of the remaining six islands.

On the other hand, if you are lucky and about to relocate to this paradise from mainland America, deciding what island to settle on is an easy choice. You’ll always be able to catch inter-island flights and get a chance to visit all of them. However, what you really need to focus on is hiring the right movers to help you handle all aspects of your cross country move.

What not to miss when visiting Hawaii for the first time?

Now, we’ve come to the fun part – our recommendations for sites and activities in Hawaii you simply shouldn’t miss. Depending on what island or islands you decide to visit, make sure to put at least some of the things we’ve listed on your itinerary.

Traditional Luau feast

Whichever island you’re on, you simply have to experience a traditional Hawaiian celebration – Luau. Throw on a lei and let Hawaiian culture completely mesmerize you. From looking at hypnotizing hula dancers to trying out some of Hawaii’s iconic meals, such as kalua pig, you are guaranteed to walk away smiling and planning your next visit.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The Big Island of Hawaii is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it owes much of its beauty to overflowing volcanos. You can’t miss an opportunity to see something as magnificent as, for example, Kīlauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. You’ll also see impressive waterfalls, parks, mountains, and forests. Plus, if you stay on the island during nightfall, you will be able to experience an incredible stargazing experience.

Seeing an active volcano is one of the things you shouldn't miss when visiting Hawaii for the first time.
Seeing an active volcano is an extraordinary experience, and you definitely shouldn’t miss it.

Exploring Pearl Harbor

One of the most historically significant sites in Hawaii is Pearl Harbor. It’s also one of Hawaii’s most visited destinations. Everyone’s favorite is the sunken battleship USS Arizona memorial, where you can learn everything about the US and its role in World War II. It’s truly a place where history comes to life.

Tour of Oahu

One of the best ways to make the most of your time in Hawaii is to take a circle island tour of Oahu. You’ll be able to see the island’s most famous sites all at once. Waimea Waterfall, Sunset Beach, and North Shore will surely leave you speechless. It’s also a perfect way to see many hidden spots and explore pristine beaches.

Adventures in Maui

If you get a chance to visit Maui, you can’t miss out on the world’s best whale watching. If you are there between mid-December and mid-May, you are guaranteed to see these gorgeous creatures hoist themselves out of the ocean and say hello. If you’re a water sports enthusiast or just want to catch pro surfers in action, make sure to check out Peahi, also known as “Jaws”.

A waterfall in Hawaii you can see on the road to Hana.
When traveling the road to Hana you’ll be able to see stunning and diverse nature.

Also, you simply have to see Maui’s magnificent coastline and travel the road to Hana. The best part is its diversity. You will see rainforests, jungles, and even desert-like landscapes. Make sure to check out famous spots such as Huelo Lookout, Ho’okipa Lookout, and Honomanu Black Sand Beach. Also, there are so many excellent hiking trails in Maui to enjoy.

Visit Haleakala National Park

If you dreamed about sitting above the clouds and watching gorgeous sunrises, Haleakala National Park is a place you have to see. You’ll be able to enjoy stunning views from the 10,023-foot high summit. It’s definitely worth getting up early! Getting back down is probably the most fun part because you get to try the park’s zip-line course.

Diving at Molokini

The Molokini crater is one of the world’s most famous snorkeling and diving destinations. It’s home to diverse underwater wildlife and habitats, and its crystal water makes it very easy to see even the tiniest details hidden under the sea. Enjoy swimming around the coral reef, and don’t miss out on checking out Turtle Town. You’ll be able to meet gorgeous sea turtles and say hi.

An aerial view of the Molokini crater and the ocean that's surrounding it.
The Molokini crater is home to extraordinary wildlife, and if you enjoy diving, this is a place you simply can’t miss visiting.

Take a helicopter tour

Lastly, as you probably won’t be able to see all of Hawaii in one trip, a great way to see all eight islands is to take a helicopter tour. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of one of the world’s most beautiful destinations. An added bonus – your feet won’t hurt at the end of the trip.

Have fun visiting Hawaii for the first time!

Now that we’ve revealed what you absolutely shouldn’t miss when visiting Hawaii for the first time, sit back, play some ukulele music and start planning an unforgettable journey. All that’s left for us to do is to wish you a lovely time in Hawaii.

Photos used: by Unsplash

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