#40 best destination in the world

 

Kīlauea, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

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Best time to travel: Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • Encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s most massive shield volcano

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

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Best time to travel: Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii
  • Most of the volcano is underwater, and when measured from its underwater base, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, measuring over 32,808 ft in height

Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail, Haleakalā National Park, Maui

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Best time to travel: April-May, Sept-Nov
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Named after a dormant volcano within the boundaries of the park
  • According to a local legend, the demigod Maui imprisoned the sun here in order to lengthen the day
  • The volcano last erupted sometime between 1480 and 1600 AD

Hana Highway, Maui

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Best time to travel: April-May, Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • 64 mile long stretch of Hawaii which connects Kahului to the town of Hana
  • A car-trip takes about 2.5 hours to drive, since the highway is very windy, narrow, and passes over 59 bridges, of which 46 are only one lane wide
  • Hana Highway goes through lush, tropical rainforest
  • Many of the concrete and steel bridges date back to 1910, which all but one is still in use

Kaanapali Beach, Maui

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Best time to travel: April-May, Sept-Nov
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Beach featuring resorts, eateries and shopping, plus a scenic beachwalk, swimming and snorkeling

USS Arizona Memorial, Oahu

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Best time to travel: mid April-early June, Sept-mid Dec
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Memorial at Pearl Harbor marking the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and commemorates the events of that day
  • The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the United States’ involvement in World War II.
  • Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it

Kailua Beach Park, Oahu

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Best time to travel: mid April-early June, Sept-mid Dec
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Clear water, fine sand and accessible facilities make this a popular spot for aquatic activities

Diamond Head, Oahu

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Best time to travel: mid April-early June, Sept-mid Dec
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Volcanic tuft cone that resembles the shape of a tuna’s dorsal fin
  • Named diamond head because British sailors in the 19th century mistook calcite crystals on the beach for diamonds

Poipu Beach Park, Kauai

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Best time to travel: April-June, Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Beach known for its snorkeling areas, and surf break over a reef (for experienced surfers only)

Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kauai

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Best time to travel: April-June, Sept-Nov
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Park known for its towering sea cliffs, punctuated by narrow valleys, streams and waterfalls
  • The trail is a steep footpath running through the park, it cuts through 5 valleys, including the Hanakoa Valley, with its native plants and old agricultural terraces

Moanalua/Kamananui Valley Trail, Oahu

Best time to travel: mid April-early June, Sept-mid Dec
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Alternative route to Haiku Stairs, a 5.3-mile ridge trail surrounded by rainforest and valleys
  • The nearby Haiku Stairs, while a popular attraction, is closed and considered trespassing on private property

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Hawaii

Best time to travel: Sept-Nov
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • One of a few white sand beaches on the west coast of the Big Island
  • Hāpuna beach has lifeguards, but can be hazardous during high surf conditions since the beach is not protected from the open ocean

Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Best time to travel: April-June, Sept-Nov
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • Hanalei Bay consists of nearly two miles of beach, surrounded by mountains
  • In the summer, the bay offers excellent mooring for sailboats, stand up paddle boarding and swimming
  • During the winter the surf becomes large and the bay is a favorite surfing location
  • In 1824, King Kamehameha II’s royal yacht, Pride of Hawaii, sank near the mouth of the Waiʻoli River, after its crew struck a 5-foot-deep reef a hundred yards offshore
  • In 1995–2000, archaeologists excavated the wreck and recovered more than 1,200 artifacts
  • During this excavation, a 40-foot section of the stern was discovered, documented, and then re-buried where it was discovered

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Best time to travel: mid April-early June, Sept-mid Dec
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • This small half-mile strip of beach is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world
  • There is no public parking lot and the area lacks facilities like restrooms, showers or lifeguards, however, there are legal parking areas in downtown Kailua
  • What makes Lanikai Beach popular for photographers is having the two Islands in the background called the Nā Mokulua
  • Kayakers will often row out to land on the larger northern island, but no one is allowed to land on the southern island as it is a bird sanctuary
  • Due to its position on the Windward or east side of the island, Lanikai is recognized as being a great place to watch the moonrise over the Mokuluas, especially during the full moon

Ho’okipa, Maui

Best time to travel: April-May, Sept-Nov
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Perhaps the most renowned windsurfing site in the world
  • A combination of large, well-shaped waves breaking across a system of reefs that extend across the bay and consistently strong winds make it ideal for the sport
  • Waves there are largest during the winter, smaller in summer
  • Hoʻokipa Beach Park is located on Maui’s North Shore alongside the Hana Highway
  • There are picnic facilities and observation decks for visitors