The Hawaiian islands have been a well-renowned travel destination for decades. The Aloha State is a popular vacation destination for everyone, from happy honeymooners to fun-seeking families. With only a landmass stretching 28,311 km2, Hawaii's 8 major islands (though there are about 137 as recognized by the state) offer a range of activities for tourists, including its own distinct cuisine, friendly locals, and breathtaking coastal views.
Tourism in Hawaii is not limited to authentic luau experiences and pristine beaches--this tropical US state offers other unique activities suitable for any travel personality. Before heading to Hawaii, take a look at some of the cool excursions Hawaii offers to plan an adventure-packed itinerary!
8 Go Rappelling in Hawaii!
Thrill-seeking backpackers can go rappelling in Hawaii, with excursions offered in Oahu, The Big Islands, Maui, and Kauai. This exhilarating activity allows visitors to canyoneer through Hawaii's lush tropical forests and under marvelous waterfalls, which offers an immersive experience for those wishing to both zipline and rock climb. Test your might, collect your strength, and take in some magnificent tropical views by booking a waterfall rappelling adventure in Hawaii!
7 Relax With Some Goat Yoga
Tourists heading to Maui for a relaxing vacation getaway can soothe their troubles away with the magic of animal-assisted therapy, specifically in the form of goat yoga. Maui Goat Yoga is a studio located on Haleakala, situated amongst scenic fields of lush green pastures (and cute farm animals). Visitors can relax and center their thoughts through mindful yoga alongside miniature goats. The center does not take walk-ins, so tourists must book their yoga sessions in advance!
6 Forage for Hawaii's Natural Delights
Don't let the small size of the Islands fool you; Hawaii is home to over 1,400 plant varieties and species across their lands, some of which are edible and ready to be foraged! While tourists should not be foraging on their own (especially if they're inexperienced at it), those heading to Kauai or Honolulu can take a guided tour to learn more about the local vegetation, while having their hand at picking edible wild plants, whether it's fragrant flowers or wild fruits! Kauai's Nature School and Slow Food O'ahu Spring Foraging Tour offer tourists an immersive excursion to understand local wildlife in the Aloha State.
5 Visit a Pineapple Plantation
Hawaii's tropical climate and its volcanic soils make the Islands an ideal environment to grow a variety of crops, such as taro roots, bananas, coconuts, and pineapples. Some of the sweetest around, tourists can visit the Wahiawa's Dole Plantation to learn more about the iconic pineapple company, while sampling some delectable Dole Whip (the same ones you can buy in Disneyland)!
4 Tour Hawaii's Forbidden Island
Although considered one of Hawaii's 8 major islands, Ni'ihau is also known as "The Forbidden Island" amongst locals. This island is home to 170 inhabitants who speak Hawaiian (the traditional dialect of Hawaii) and thrive through foraging, hunting, and fishing. Ni'ihau does not have any paved roads, running water, or electricity. Instead, locals rely on horses or bicycles as a means of transportation, obtain potable water via rain catchment, and use solar power for electricity. Tourists are not to interact with the residents of Nihau, but can still book tours from Kauai to explore the island's landscape by helicopter, snorkel around nearby coral reefs, or explore Nanina Beach.
3 Ride An ATV!
Tourists with a driver's license don't need to limit themselves to renting a car. Instead, they can explore the rugged terrain of Hawaii's tropical foliage through the magic of an all-terrain vehicle (or better known as an ATV)! ATV and "off-roading" are abundant across Hawaii's islands of Oahu and The Big Island (among other places), offering visitors access to trails, waterfalls, and dirt paths that are inaccessible to cars. ATV excursions are open for business regardless of rain or shine (though some visitors agree that driving through the mud is a fun experience), and offer visitors a chance to drive through some of Hawaii's breathtaking landscapes, whether it's driving solo or riding with the family on a dune buggy. Tourists heading to Oahu can check out Kualoa's Kaʻaʻawa “Jurassic” Valley, which has been featured in over 200 films!
2 Swim With Sharks And Sea Turtles
Oahu's One Ocean Diving offers snorkeling excursions that are a unique-yet educational experience for curious travelers. One Ocean Diving is passionate about preserving Hawaii's marine wildlife, specifically sharks, humpback whales, honu (or Hawaiian green sea turtle), and various fish species. Led by a marine researcher, excursions include a chance to swim with these majestic creatures (sharks included) while learning about their marine habitat. Spots fill up quickly (and tours usually consist of small groups), so be sure to book yours asap!
1 Take A Flight Lesson
Flying over Hawaii offers visitors (and locals) an unforgettable experience paired with views that cannot be seen while exploring the Aloha State on foot. Whether you want to fly overflowing lava or spot hidden waterfalls that can't be seen while driving, flight academies are present across the major islands, especially in Oahu, Maui, and The Big Island. Some academies offer an introductory flight lesson to thrill-seekers wanting a little taste of flying in Hawaii, which usually lasts an hour. Visitors will get to control the plane and learn about its various controls with a certified flight instructor on board. Depending on the school, some tours include snorkeling on land with the introductory flight experience. While a flight lesson may be a little pricey for some tourists, this immersive experience is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that rewards visitors with breathtaking views of the majestic Hawaiian islands!