Popular Attractions in the Aloha State
Hawaii is known for more than beautiful beaches, Waikiki and Diamond Head. It’s home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea) and the world’s tallest sea mountain (Mauna Kea). It’s also the location of a former royal kingdom and home to the only royal palace (Iolani Palace) in the United States. Historic Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial are also must-see places to visit while on Oahu. Start making your list of attractions, including natural wonders, marine exhibits, art galleries and museums.
Pearl Harbor – Visit the location of the surprise attack on December 7, 1941, that launched the U.S. involvement in World War II.
USS Arizona Memorial – This 184-foot memorial honors the sailors and Marines killed on the USS Arizona (BB-39) battleship during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – Located in Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu, it’s the resting-place for nearly 53,000 veterans and their family members.
Museums and Palaces
Bishop Museum – Visit Hawaii’s largest museum with the world’s largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens, planetarium, and Science Adventure Center.
Iolani Palace – Visit the home of Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs, King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, and the only official royal residence in the United States.
Washington Place – A Greek Revival palace and home of Hawaii’s last ruling monarch, Queen Liliuokalani.
Marine and Animal Exhibits
Waikiki Aquarium – Home to more than 3,500 organisms of 490 species of marine plants and animals. It’s the second oldest public aquarium in the United States.
Sea Life Park – A word-class marine attraction featuring habitats and exhibits, interactive programs like dolphin and sea lion encounters, and a bird.
Hanauma Bay – One of Oahu’s most popular snorkeling destinations and home to spot schools of bright fish and other marine life.
Honolulu Zoo – Home to more than 1,230 animals in specially designed habitats over 42 acres.
Nuuanu Pali Lookout – Stunning views of the Koolau Mountain Range.
Diamond Head State Monument – Hawaii’s most recognized landmark occupies more than 475 acres and features a historic hiking trail with stunning coastal views.
Haleakala National Park – Known as the “house of the sun,” this scenic natural park on Maui is one of the best places to watch beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Home to two active volcanoes – Maunaloa and Kilauea – with more than 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and a rainforest.
Iao Valley State Monument – This 4,000-acre, 10-mile long park is home to one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle.
Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park – Snorkel, scuba dive or kayak in this clear-water bay filled with coral and schools of fish located 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island.