If you scroll through Instagram for very long, you’re likely to see at least one collection of vacation photos from Hawaii.
Hawaii is famous as a tourist destination, especially among travelers from the other 49 states, but what exactly does the Aloha State have to offer?
We’ll explore ten reasons you may want to book your next tropical getaway right now.
Why Is Hawaii A Good Place To Visit? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Great Weather All Year
One of the reasons Hawaii remains popular all year long is its mild weather.
While different areas on the islands certainly experience different weather patterns, daytime temperatures rarely dip below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also uncommon to see thermometers climb above 90 degrees.
In Honolulu, the capital, the hottest month of the year is August, when the average daily high is 87 degrees.
In the cool season, which begins in December, the average high is 81 degrees.
The lowest temperature of the year in this area is 68 degrees, typically in January.
On average, the state has 240 sunny days per year, which is higher than the average for the United States.
There are two types of wind on the islands.
Trade winds bring cooler air, which can ease the effects of the humidity.
Kona winds bring hotter, humid air to the state, with occasional rainfall.
Trade winds are more common than Kona winds, meaning the temperature is usually quite comfortable.
Hawaii is full of micro-climates.
This means that, while one area may receive lots of rain, just a few miles away, you can find a desert that receives less than 10 inches a year.
In areas of higher elevation, such as the top of Mauna Kea, snowfall isn’t an uncommon occurrence.
The beauty of these micro-climates is that if the weather turns nasty, you’re likely not too far from clear skies.
Because the weather stays warm, so does the water.
Swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving are year-round activities in Hawaii.
You can enjoy long runs, bike rides, or sitting in the sunshine even in December.
Watch out for rain showers—they do appear frequently from November through February but are usually short and light.
2. Miles Of Beaches
If your idea of a vacation involves sun, sand, and sea, there’s hardly a better place to visit than Hawaii.
Hawaii has 750 miles of combined coastline, behind only Alaska, California, and Florida.
Perhaps one of the most famous beaches in the state is Waikiki Beach on Oahu.
Tourists have flocked to the beach since the early 1900s.
It has become known for great surfing and world-class resorts.
If you’re looking for ocean access just steps away from your hotel, Waikiki may be the place for you.
The beach is within walking distance from restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and more.
You can rent kayaks and paddleboats right on the shore.
However, the beauty and convenience of Waikiki are certainly no secret, so if you’re looking for a secluded spot, it may not be the beach you’re looking for.
Whether you’re into surfing or just would like to watch the sport in one of its most exciting locations, look no further than Waimea Bay.
This beach is located on the north shore of Oahu and is famous for its 30-foot waves in the wintertime.
When the waves are this high, the water isn’t suitable for swimming, but in the summer, the waves calm down.
At this time, Waimea becomes a popular spot for snorkeling and fishing.
For those who prefer to stay closer to shore, there are picnic tables and spots to lay out on the sand.
Makena Beach State Park in Maui is an undeveloped white sands beach.
This means that, unlike Waikiki, there are no buildings to be seen from the beach.
The Big Beach section of the park offers some seclusion from crowds for those looking for a quieter, more peaceful beach day.
3. Beautiful Hikes
Hawaii is home to beautiful scenery, and there’s hardly a better way to experience it than on a hike.
From relaxing nature walks to rugged volcanic treks, there’s a hike for everyone in the Aloha State.
When relaxing on Waikiki Beach, it’s impossible to miss the Diamond Head Crater in the distance.
The Diamond Head Summit Trail begins inside the crater and leads up to the summit of the Lē’ahi volcano.
The volcano erupted around 300,000 years ago, creating the massive crater in an instant.
The hike is short, but strenuous, gaining over 500 feet of elevation in just 0.8 miles.
Throughout the hike, visitors traverse switchbacks, stairs, and a 225-foot tunnel.
The view from the top looks out over the crater in one direction and Waikiki Beach in the other.
There is a $5 parking fee for non-Hawaiians, but the beauty of the scenery more than pays for itself.
If you’re visiting Kauai and looking to get some steps in, the Kalalau Trail is a must.
This trail is 11 miles long and famous for its views of the Na Pall Coast.
If you’re just looking for a day hike, after two miles you’ll find yourself at Hanakapi’ai Beach, where you can spend some time exploring sea caves.
If you’re a particularly experienced hiker, you can trek the whole 11 miles to find yourself at Kalalau Beach.
The trail is the only way to access this beach by land.
However, to get back, you’ll have to hike back out, making the trip a grand total of 22 miles.
In order to complete the entire journey, you’ll need a camping permit to stay overnight along the trail.
It is recommended that only experienced hikers attempt the entire distance.
4. Historical Landmarks
For those interested in the history of the area, Hawaii has several famous landmarks and monuments.
One of the best-known historical landmarks on the island state is the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
The visitor center and museums, located on Oahu, are full of information regarding the 1941 attack.
The Pearl Harbor Historic Site features four different attractions: the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Park, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
Tickets for the Arizona Memorial are free, while admission to the other three attractions ranges from $21 to $34 for adults.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial offers visitors a chance to view sunken battleships, learn about the attack, and pay respects to the lives lost on December 7th, 1941.
Another point of interest on the islands is Iolani Palace.
The palace is the only official royal residence in the United States.
It was completed in 1882 and served as the official residence of Hawaiian monarchs.
Visitors have the option of self-guided or docent-led tours.
The self-guided tour includes a 60-minute audio tour available in nine different languages.
Those hoping for a more in-depth experience may choose to participate in the White Glove tour.
This tour allows guests to view and even handle artifacts that are not on display for the general public.
Across the street from Iolani Palace stands the statue of King Kamehameha the Great.
Kamehameha is credited with uniting the Hawaiian Islands in 1810.
Every year on June 11th, Hawaii celebrates King Kamehameha Day.
On this holiday, leis are draped over the four statues of the leader throughout the islands, and on one in Washington D.C.
If you happen to be visiting during the holiday, you can attend the lei-draping ceremony to see the handmade garlands placed on the king’s outstretched arms.
5. Great Food
Compared to other states, Hawaii has perhaps the most unique menu of traditional food.
Thanks to its mild climate and proximity to the ocean, Hawaiian food often includes fish and plants that are uncommon elsewhere.
One major benefit to visiting the islands is experiencing Hawaiian food as it’s supposed to be eaten.
Poke is a very well-known Hawaiian dish made from raw fish.
Generally, poke is made from ahi (tuna), but salmon, octopus, or shellfish are used as well.
Each type of poke is marinated differently, meaning there are plenty of flavors to try.
Traditional condiments used on poke include sea salt, seaweed, and limu (algae).
Today, the dish can be found throughout the United States, but it’s not always served in the traditional way.
Poi is a luau staple that has been given a bad name among non-locals.
It is a gooey purple starch made from the taro plant.
While local Hawaiians do sometimes eat poi by itself, it is also commonly eaten with salted fish or on top of kalua pork.
When poi is fresh, it has a sweet flavor.
Another well-known Hawaiian dish is kalua pork.
This is pork that has been cooked in an underground oven, or pit.
The traditional way to prepare kalua pork involves lighting a fire in a pit, warming lava rocks in the fire, then placing an entire pig in the pit and covering it with banana leaves and dirt.
The pig cooks underground for hours, creating a tender, smoky meat.
Kalua pork is another dish that has spread to the mainland but is only experienced authentically on the Hawaiian Islands.
Any trip to the islands isn’t complete without fresh tropical fruit.
Various farmer’s markets on Oahu’s North Shore sell pineapple, coconut, bananas, and more.
6. World-Class Surfing
Surfing is tightly entwined in Hawaiian history and identity.
Before colonization, surfing was not just for fun—it had spiritual, societal, and artistic significance.
It was a practice that even royalty participated in.
In fact, the best waves were reserved for those of high social standing.
After Captain Cook arrived in the 1770s, the sport was discouraged and became looked down upon.
It wasn’t until Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaii native, won Olympic gold in surfing in 1912 that passion for the sport came roaring back to the islands.
Today, Hawaii is home to some of the best waves for surfing in the world.
Puaena Point, on the North Shore of Oahu, is an excellent spot for beginner surfers.
The area is in a protected cove, so the waves are long and gentle.
Lessons and surfboard rentals are available onsite.
Green sea turtles have even been known to appear in the calmer areas of water from time to time.
Chun’s Reef, also on the North Shore, is popular among all levels of surfers.
For this reason, it can be crowded.
The area also offers shade, sand, and rocks for climbing.
On days when the water is calmer, it’s a great spot for swimming and snorkeling.
Though Oahu is known for its surfing, Maui has great locations as well.
On the northwest end of the island is Honolua Bay.
This location is better suited for advanced surfers, thanks to the strong current, but plenty of tourists go to watch.
The area has a shallow reef, so in the winter, only experienced surfers should surf here.
Throughout the rest of the year, the waters calm down significantly and the bay becomes an excellent spot for snorkeling.
7. Underwater Scenery
If you’re not much for extreme sports but still love the ocean, Hawaii has plenty to offer.
Snorkeling and SCUBA diving are much more relaxed ways to experience the waters of the islands.
The best time for diving is May through September.
This is when the waves around Hawaii are the calmest.
On the North Shore of Oahu, Sharks Cove is a shallow bay full of sea life.
This is one of the more crowded areas for snorkeling, but it’s large enough that you likely won’t notice when you’re in the water.
Rent some snorkeling equipment and explore the rocks and reef—the water is teeming with tropical fish.
There are also tide pools that are great for younger children.
Lydgate Beach Park is on the east side of Kauai.
The park is home to two enclosed ponds that stay calm year-round because they are shielded from the open ocean.
Tropical fish can still enter through the crevices in the rocks surrounding the ponds, so it’s an ideal spot for snorkeling.
There are also lifeguards posted.
If you have children who would like to try their hand at snorkeling, Lydgate Beach may be the perfect spot for you.
For snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and a bit of a history lesson, Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on the island of Hawaii is an ideal location.
The waters are gentle and popular with divers and kayakers.
Colorful coral and tropical fish fill the bay.
Spinner dolphins are even seen in this location on occasion.
The bay is a designated historical park because it is the spot where Captain James Cook landed in 1778 and where he was killed a year later.
A monument at the park stands as a memorial to him.
8. National Parks
The Big Island is home to not one, not two, but five National Park Service sites.
Each is a place of cultural and historical significance.
If you are visiting the island of Hawaii, consider putting at least one of the parks on your to-do list.
Perhaps the most famous of the five parks is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The 505-square-mile park was established in 1916 and is home to two active volcanoes.
Mauna Loa is the world’s biggest volcano, and Kilauea is the world’s most active.
The park encompasses many contrasting environments: lava fields, rocky shores, rainforests, and more.
Puuohonua o Honaunau National Historical Park is a 420-acre historical sanctuary.
For more than three hundred years, fugitives fleeing the law (or anything else) could find safety at places of refuge called puuohonua throughout the islands.
When the Hawaiian system of sacred law was abolished in the 19th century, so were many puuohonua.
However, Puuohonua o Honaunau, the largest of the sites, remains as a memorial and celebration of Hawaiian life pre-colonization.
Winding through parts of every park on the island is the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
The 175-mile trail follows the coastline from the northernmost tip of the island, down the western edge, then around the southern tip to the eastern side of the island.
The Ala Kahakai was a footpath used by early Hawaiians.
It passes temples, petroglyph fields, and housing settlements.
Currently, the National Park Service is working with public and private entities to open the entire trail to the public.
When this project is complete, all four of the other national parks will be connected.
9. Famous Drives
Perhaps spending the whole day in the sun isn’t your style.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to spend your Hawaiian vacation shut up inside a hotel room.
The islands are home to plenty of scenic drives for those who prefer an air-conditioned activity.
The Road to Hana is a 56-mile drive on the island of Maui.
It is the most famous scenic drive on the islands.
The road passes white, black, and red sand beaches on its way from Hana to Kahului.
Other highlights include green cliffs, waterfalls, and one-lane bridges over valleys.
One drawback to the gorgeous drive is that it is so well-known.
Recently, traffic on the road has become a problem, so it’s always a good idea to check traffic conditions before setting out on your journey.
On Oahu, the Windward Coast provides a great scenic route, looping its way around the island.
The drive, also known as Kamehameha Highway, passes through Waikiki, the North Shore, and the Valley of the Temples.
Visitors can stop along the way to experience Kualoa Ranch, Makapuu Point Lighthouse, and the tiny town of Ka’a’wa.
Mark Twain called Waimea Canyon the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” and it’s not hard to see why.
The Waimea River of Kauai flows through the 3,500-foot-deep canyon, carving through the red rocks on its way to the Pacific.
Highway 550 travels through the canyon, climbing 4,000 feet in elevation before ending at Puu o Kila lookout.
There are places along the road to take pictures, hike around a little, and enjoy the views.
10. Friendly People
Hawaii is known as the “Aloha State” for a reason.
The general attitude of people in the state is a friendly and welcoming one, otherwise known as the Aloha Spirit.
According to Hawaiian Spirit Law, Aloha is more than a word of greeting.
It represents mutual regard and affection.
The law states that every person is important to everyone else for the good of humanity.
You will see this belief reflected in the actions of the people native to the islands.
Nearly everywhere you go in Hawaii, you will find smiles and warm greetings welcoming you in.
The people of Hawaii have deep appreciation for their history and culture.
Often, Hawaiians are more than happy to share their knowledge of the land and the people who came before them.
Visit Hawaii with an open heart and mind, and you’ll find them filled to the brim with new knowledge, respect, and love before you go home.