Verbal Gold Blog logo

10 Places to See in Hawaii That Will Take Your Breath Away

Planning a Hawaii itinerary is really hard, because there are so many amazing things to do that choosing what to fit into your holiday gets really tricky! On this post, we rounded up a list of the 10 must-see places you have to see in Hawaii to get you started!

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, then you already know you’ll be surrounded by roaring surf, magical green scenery as far as the eye can see, and of course, some pretty sweet resorts that will make you want to quit your job and move permanently.

Believe it or not, there’s so more to Hawaii than sandy beaches, surfing, and tropical cocktails. So here are 10 places to see in Hawaii that are overwhelmingly beautiful.

10 Places to See in Hawaii That Will Take Your Breath Away

1. Bamboo Forest, Maui

Bamboo Forest, Maui

Head on over to the scenic Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park in Maui and prepare to enter the enchanting land of the Bamboo Forest. There’s a mile-long hike to get there, but don’t let anyone tell you it’s not worth the walk because the waterfall at the end will make it all worth it.

At the end of the trail, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful waterfall and a forest packed with trees. If you’re looking for the perfect getaway where you can disconnect from the world, then you found it!

You’ll get to walk among thousands of bamboo trees that will leave you speechless. Trust me, this is one of the coolest places to see in Hawaii and totally worth the blisters. As a bonus tip, I suggest taking wearing appropriate sneakers and bringing plenty of water and some light snacks.

2. Glass Beach, Kauai

Glass Beach, Kauai

Nestled between an old Japanese cemetery and an industrial area in the island of Kauai, you’ll find one of Hawaii’s hidden gems, the Glass Beach, (which has more than earned its name!) This isn’t your run-of-the-mill beach, like the ones where you throw a towel on the sand and lay down or go walking around in your bare feet. One of the things that makes this part of the island so striking is the multi-colored tiny pieces of glass that litters the shoreline.

The glass found at the shore comes from flasks, auto glass, old bottles, windows, and windshields dumped by the Swiss Cheese Shoreline over the years. As a result, Mother Nature used the waves to remove most of the sharp edges of the glass shards. So now they’re smooth, round and harmless, and most importantly, they’re seriously eye-catching, so make sure to bring a camera!

3. Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Hawaii

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, Hawaii

If gold sandy beaches don’t really do it for you anymore, (hey! Everyone can get used to paradise, right?) then head on over to the incredibly striking Punalu’u Beach on the Big Island in Hawaii. There you’ll find that the sand isn’t gold, but pitch black.

This unique shade of black sand came to be thanks to basalt, a black rock formed from the rapid cooling lava flowing into the ocean. When the lava exploded, it reached the ocean and cooled. Eventually, it made its way to shore, hence the black shoreline. In this area you’ll also find endangered species such as green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles.

4. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

If you’ve always had a profound curiosity for volcanoes and you find yourself on the Big Island, then visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park should be at the top of your Hawaii bucket list.

In this jaw-droppingly beautiful park, you’ll get to explore a series of lava tubes and lava fields. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see steam rise from the volcanic vents. You can also take a closer look at the Halema’uma’u Crater and watch magma boil. You can even take a helicopter or boat tour that will give you a safe but closer look at a volcano from above, which might be a tad expensive, but when will you ever get another chance to be so close to lava again? Make sure to stick around after dark because that’s when the lava starts glowing flaming hot red.

5. Snorkel with Sea Turtles at Tunnels

Snorkel with Sea Turtles at Tunnels

If you’re visiting the island of Kauai, then make sure to check out Tunnels Beach because when I said Hawaii is more than just forests full of hiking trails and cocktails, I meant it! This unique beach is a great diving spot and one of the best places to snorkel. Now imagine dipping your masked face under the water and gliding just below the surface of the beach’s water! That experience alone will blow your mind if you’ve never been snorkeling. But that’s not even the cherry on top. Not only will you see lots of beautiful fish and corals, but you’ll also find that sea turtles come up to you to swim by your side. It doesn’t get any more epic than that!

6. Kawela Bay, Oahu

Kawela Bay, Oahu

Kawela Bay is located near the northern tip of Oahu Island. It also happens to be one of the most secluded beaches on the island where you can chill and relax. And unlike some other beaches in Hawaii, Kawela Bay is mostly undeveloped and protected by the North Shore Community Land Trust. It’s also not overly crowded so it’s a little quieter, too. So, go paddleboarding or sunbathe, but don’t forget to wear lots of sunscreen while you’re swimming or catching some rays. You should also take the time to admire the banyan trees, which is one of more than 750 species of fig trees. Kawela Bay is also the area where “The Hunger Games” and “Pirates of Caribbean” were filmed, so that makes it extra special if you’re traveling with movie buffs.

7. Hana Lava Tube

Go on a road trip along Maui’s iconic Road to Hana. The 65-mile stretch of Highways 36 and 360 leads to the small town of Hana. Along the way, you’ll get to see majestic waterfalls, beaches, and rainforests, which isn’t exactly unique since Hawaii has plenty of these things.

But there’s more to this place than meets the eye. At the end of this scenic drive, you’ll find the Hana Lava Tube, also known as the Ka’eleku Caverns. It was created by underground lava rivers and now, this tunnel of hardened lava offers a cave trail that you can cross.

It’s considered one of the most accessible and also the largest lava tubes in Maui. Among the many natural wonders you’ll stumble upon inside these caves, are lava balls, lava falls, (which is in essence, a flow of lava that got frozen mid-fall), and tube slime. It’s one of the most unique places to see in Hawaii!

8. Keahiakawelo, Lanai

Love rock gardens? Then take a 45-minute drive from Lanai City to one of the biggest rock gardens ever. It’s called Keahiakawelo and is on the northwest side of the island. It offers windswept landscapes, rock towers, spires and boulders that will make you think you’re on the lunar surface. The reason why this landscape is this way is because of hundreds of years of erosion. But keep in mind that to get here, you’re going to need a four-wheel-drive vehicle or a mountain bike.

9. Kayak to a Secret Waterfall

Hana Waterfall

Paddle your way through the Wailua River and enjoy the scenic view of the towering mountains. Then dock your kayaks on the river bank and hike through the valley of Wailua Canyon. You’ll get to see beautiful old trees, valleys, and even more green sceneries and craggy mountains as you move through the muddy banks of the rainforest. Before long, you’ll hear the secret waterfall that lurks within this secluded area. And once you’re there, you can take a break at the base of the waterfall and have a picnic or take a swim. I suggest booking a tour to make sure you get the most out of the experience.

10. World’s Largest Plant Maze, Wahiawa

Feeling adventurous? Why not challenge yourself to a race through the world’s largest maze in Wahiawa, Hawaii? The Pineapple Maze at the Dole pineapple plantation has almost two and a half miles full of confusing paths that interconnect through two acres that are home to 14,000 plants. There are about eight stations within the maze and a pineapple-shaped garden in the middle. It takes most people about an hour to get through the maze. But the reported record time to complete it is seven minutes. Do you think you can beat that time? Well, if you do, your name will be posted on a sign at the entrance.

What are some other amazing places to see in Hawaii?

Read more:

A Life Changing Adventure You Must Try In Maui

Our Stay At Honua Kai Resort & Spa At Kaanapali Beach In Maui