The Best Outdoor Activities in Hawaii
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Hike The Kilauea Iki Trail
Hawaii / Kilauea Iki Trailhead
The trail begins at the Kīlauea Iki parking lot on Crater Rim Drive. You may go either way from the trailhead.
Hike the Lanikai Pillboxes
Hawaii / Pillboxes Trail
The Lanikai Pillbox Trail, also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, is a family-friendly hike. The beginning of the trail is steep with loose gravel, but gets more manageable as you climb the trail.
Hike & Swim Twin Falls, Maui
Hawaii / Twin Falls Maui Farm Stand
The parking area for the trail is right off of Hana Hwy. The lot may be packed which isn't surprising as a lot of people visit, but there aren't as many people once you start exploring the falls.
Hike the Moanalua Middle Ridge Trail to the Haiku Stairs Peak
Hawaii / Moanalua Middle Ridge Trailhead
The ‘back way’ to the ever popular and still somewhat illegal Haiku Stairs, the Moanalua Middle Ridge hike brings plenty of beauty and even more challenges than the path down the Haiku Stairs.
Hike to Manoa Falls
Hawaii / Manoa Falls Trail
Located in close proximity to Honolulu, the 150-foot Mānoa Falls is accessible from the nearest road by a hike of approximately 1 mile (one way).
Relax at Lanikai Beach
Hawaii / Lanikai Beach
During the weekdays the beach is relatively empty, but on weekends during peak tourist season it can become extremely crowded.
Backpack the Na Pali Coast via the Kalalau Trail
Hawaii / Kalalau Trail
This hike begins at the parking lot of Ke'e Beach at the Northern most point you can drive to on the island. This is where the Kalalau Trail begins.
Hike the Olomana Trail
Hawaii / Olomana Trail
Named Three Peaks for obvious reasons, this spine-tingling trail allows you to hike as far as you want (picture above is the view from the 3rd peak).
Hike Koko Head Crater Trail
Hawaii / Koko Head
When you're looking up the hill, don't get too intimidated, there are old grandmas and young kids hiking up these tracks.
Hike to Maunawili Falls
Hawaii / Maunawilli Falls Trailhead
The trail, is roughly 3.2 miles and is a great option if you're in the Kailua area. You'll hike in a covered forest along the riverbank, which leads to an amazing waterfall and swimming hole.
Hike Through a Bamboo Forest in Maui
Hawaii / Pipiwai Trailhead
Park at Haleakala State Park and head up river across the road on the Pipiwai Trail. This is a great hike and so beautiful with many views of waterfalls and a journey through a bamboo forest.
Explore Haleakala's Summit
Hawaii / Haleakala National Park Visitor Center
Head to Haleakala's summit for amazing views of the island and your choice of a stunning sunrise or sunset.
Mellow Day at Waimea Bay
Hawaii / Waimea Bay
If you're looking to get away from the summer crowds of Waikiki, you should consider heading to the North Shore.
Hike the Pipiwai Trail to the Seven Sacred Pools
Hawaii / Pipiwai Trailhead
The Pipiwai Trail is one of the easiest ways to get to the pool.
Oahu: Turtles and Waves on the North Shore
Hawaii / Laniakea
Laniakea beach or Lani’s, is a world-class surf break located on the North Shore.
Explore the Road to Hana
Hawaii / Hana Highway
Start near Paia on Highway 36 and head east. The road is famous for its many twists and turns, so consider taking lots of breaks to get some fresh air and avoid getting car sick.
Hike the Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail
Hawaii / Kuliouou Ridge Trail
The view from the Kuliouou summit is one of the most rewarding on the island and well worth your time.
Hike the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail
Hawaii / Makapu'u Point Lighthouse
If you're looking to get moving and get your heart rate up or want a place to snap great photos, start with hiking to Makapu’u Lighthouse.
Explore Waipi'o Valley
Hawaii / Waipi'o Valley Lookout
From the parking area, walk down the narrow, crazy steep four-wheel drive road for 0.75 mile until the road levels.
Hike the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku
Hawaii / Pipiwai Trail
The Pipiwai Trail is one of the finest hikes I’ve been on in Hawaii. It’s part of the National Parks System and is probably the most ridiculously well maintained hiking trail I’ve seen.
Hike to Hanakāpī‘ai Falls
Hawaii / Kalalau Trail
This hike is on the beginning section of the Kalalau trail, at Ke'e Beach. Your trip begins with a winding 2 mile trail to Hanakapi`ai Beach.
Cliff Jumping at Alan Davis
Hawaii / Alan Davis
Alan Davis is what the locals call it, but the official name is the “Ka’Iwi Scenic Shoreline” and it's known to be a good place to do some cliff jumping because of the easy access, clear water, and p.
Snorkel at Shark's Cove
Hawaii / Shark's Cove
Are you looking to get away from the crowds at Hanauma Bay? If you've got your family or it's just you and a few friends looking to do some snorkeling, free diving or exploring underwater caves, then.
Relax at Tunnels Beach, Kauai
Hawaii / Tunnels Beach
Makua, aka Tunnels, is known for its incredible mountain scenery. This beach also offers great snorkeling, where people will usually see turtles.
Hike to the Base of Wailua Falls
Hawaii / Wailua Falls
The short, makeshift hike to the falls is well worth the effort – this is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island of Kauai. Look for a small path at the south end of the parking lot.
Cliff Jump at China Walls
Hawaii / China Walls (Oahu)
I was told about this spot by a friend who lived there for a little, and it turned out to be amazing. The waves break and crash right against the wall where you can catch a wave or just jump right in.
Hike to Waipo'o Falls
Hawaii / Spur Trail
People have accessed the falls directly from the Canyon Trail which begins between mile marker 14 & 15. You'll follow a dirt road for a bit, this way is 3.2 miles (not my recommendation).
Maui: Snorkel with the Turtles
Hawaii / Turtle Town
Turtle Town technically spans the area between Nahuna Beach and Black Sand Beach, but because Maluaka Beach has some of the best snorkeling on the island, many consider it the epicenter of Turtle Tow.
Hiking the Crouching Lion Trail
Hawaii / Crouching Lion Trail
This trail is not for the faint of heart or those easily scared of heights. The crouching lion trail is a 4 mile loop with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet.
Capture Panoramic Views of Kauai's Waimea Canyon
Hawaii / Waimea Canyon Lookout
Referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is a large canyon around 10 miles long and 3,000 ft. deep at some points located on the western side of the island of Kauai.
Camp and Hike in Nualolo Valley
Hawaii / Awa'awapuhi Trail
This 6.2 mile hike leads you through a forest reserve filled with native dryland plants and ends abruptly above the sheer cliffs of Awa‘awapuhi and Nualolo Valley.
Paddle to Moku Nui
Hawaii / Lanikai Beach
There are two islands off the coast of Kailua known as the Mokulua or 'Mokes'. The island on the right, Moku Iki, is off-limits.
Paddle to Mokoli'i
Hawaii / Mokoliʻi Island
Mokoli'i, also known as Chinaman's Hat, is located off the coast of Kualoa Regional Park. You can swim, kayak, or SUP to the island.
Hang Out at the Kane'ohe Bay Sandbar
Hawaii / Kane'ohe Bay Sandbar
There's no better way to spend a relaxing day in Hawaii than sitting out on the Kaneohe Bay Sandbar, surrounded by great views of the Koolau Range and Oahu coastline.
Hike Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Digging Hill
Hawaii / Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Digging Hill
Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Digging Hill is a fun hike for all ages. The 1.5 mile round-trip hike is mostly flat with a few steep inclines and takes about 1.5 hours at a leisurely pace.
Relax at Kauai's Secret Beach
Hawaii / Kilauea Point Parking
Is a so-called ‘secret beach’ that sits on Secret Beach Road considered secret anymore? Perhaps not, but don’t let that deter you from exploring the depths of Kauai’s renown Kauapea Beach, more widel.
Hike to Ka'ena Point
Hawaii / Ka‘ena Point South Trailhead
The Ke'ana Point Trail winds along the shore of O'ahu from Waianae on the West to Mokuleia on the North. You'll have the chance to see monk seals and multiple species of protected birds.
Hike to Lulumahu Falls
Hawaii / Lulumahu Trail
Park off the Old Pali Highway before the lookout in the dirt parking lot. There is an entry along the fence that will go through. The first part of the hike takes you through a bamboo forest.
Catch a Sunset and Stargaze at Mauna Kea's Summit
Hawaii / Mauna Kea Observatory
While you can drive right to the summit of Mauna Kea on the 14 mile access road, the last 7 miles are on a very bumpy dirt road, so make sure your vehicle has plenty of clearance and good tires.
Soaking in Queen's Bath
Hawaii / Queen's Bath
Between the frequent rains and the often overcast forecast, Kauai is not always the typical Hawaiian tropical getaway people dream of.
Big Island: A Short Hike to This Green Sand Beach
Hawaii / Papakolea Beach
Papakolea Beach aka Green Sand Beach is situated in a bay cut into a side of a cinder cone that erupted thousands of years ago.
Beach Day at Kaanapali Beach
Hawaii / Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach is about a 45-minute drive from Kahului Airport, and only two miles from Lahaina.
Hike to Mount Olympus
Hawaii / Wa'ahila Ridge Trail
There are several ways in which you can reach the top of Mt. Olympus, I decided to take the Wa'ahila Ridge trail.
Hike to the Waterfalls at Kauai's Secret Beach
Hawaii / Kauapea (Secret) Beach
Disclaimer - as I was shown this spot by a local, I would suggest asking for the exact location of the trail from a local. It can be reached by one of the nearby neighborhood roads in Kilauea.
Hike to 'Akaka Falls
Hawaii / Akaka Falls State Park
Akaka Falls is a big tourist place so make sure to arrive early for parking! Definitely take the time to snap pictures, none of them will turn out bad.
Big Island: Diving with Dolphins
Hawaii / City of Refuge
The city of refuge takes its name from the safe haven where defeated warriors and sacred lawbreakers would find sanctuary.
Backpack Waimanu Valley
Hawaii / Waipi'o Valley Lookout
Prep: Before you go, you must book purchase a permit/campsite for the number of nights that you wish spend.
Relax at Red Sand Beach
Hawaii / Red Sand Beach Parking
Begin by entering 5052 Uakea Rd, Hana, HI into your maps app on your phone. The road will be a small dead end by the ocean, with the end of it being a gate leading into the Travasa Hotel.
Explore Waianapanapa State Park
Hawaii / Wainapapa State Park
Just off the road to Hana before entering the town, Waianapanapa State Park is a great place to stop and explore along the drive.
Hike to the Kaniakapupu Ruins
Hawaii / Lulumahu Trail
From Waikiki, get on the Pali Highway (Hwy 61). Take Nuuanu Pali Dr on the right. Park in the dirt lot by the highway for the Lulumahu Trail.
Free Climb Chutes and Ladders
Hawaii / Honokohau Bay, Maui
The trailhead is located next to mile post 37 of the Honoapiilani Highway on the Western coast of Maui, Hawaii.
Bodysurfing at Sandy Beach
Hawaii / Sandy Beach
If you’re looking to get away from the over-crowded beaches in Waikiki or you’re looking for a consistent bodysurfing spot with waves year-round, look no further.
Take A Helicopter Ride Over Kauai
Hawaii / Lihue Airport
There are lots of options for heli rides in Kauai, ranging from plush interiors with AC and noise canceling headphones, to deeply discounted, crowded rides, but my personal recommendation is to find .
Oahu: Surf Diamond Head
Hawaii / Diamond Head Beach Park
Diamond head has a couple of good breaks close to town if you're looking to get away from the crowds at Waikiki Beach.
Camping on the Beach at Polihale
Hawaii / Polihale State Park
Polihale Beach is at the western most point of Kauai and it's perfect white sand shore stretches for over 15 miles.
Oahu: Hiking the Poamoho Trail
Hawaii / Poamoho Trail
The Poamoho Trail is part of the “Na Ala Hele” Hawaii Trail & Access System.
Take a Dip Under Upper Waikani (Three Bears) Falls
Hawaii / Upper Waikani Falls
This waterfall is easily visible from the road, and many people will stop at the small viewpoint above the falls. However, getting down to it is quite easy and offers a refreshing swimming hole.
Hike the Aiea Loop Trail
Hawaii / Aiea Loop Trail
The Aiea Loop trail is actually located in the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area. The trail runs along the ridge on the west side of Halawa Valley.
Explore the Nakalele Blowhole
Hawaii / Nakalele Blowhole Parking Area
Getting to the Nakalele Blowhole is not too difficult. Use the Google Maps location on here to drive to the spot listed. There will be a dirt parking lot.
Hike through Iao Valley to Kūkaemoku (The Needle)
Hawaii / Iao Valley SP Parking Area
This is a very simple hike for people of all ages, and a great way to see the beautiful Maui rainforest.
Oahu: A Day at Shorebreaks
Hawaii / Kailua Bay
To get here, park at Kalama Beach Park parking lot and just walk down to the beach. The break is just off to the left, look for the surfers or bodysurfers.
Big Island: A Hike to the Kona Coast
Hawaii / Makalawena Beach
From the parking area at Kekaha Kai State Park, it's about a 20-30 minute walk to the beach. The walk is through black lava fields and is very exposed.
View a Sunset at Kauai's Glass Beach
Hawaii / Glass Beach
This beach is located in the industrial part of Kauai near Hanapepe Bay. Once you get to the dirt road, you can either walk the short distance or drive it if you have a high clearance vehicle.
Catch a Sunrise from Pa Ka'oao (White Hill) on Haleakala
Hawaii / Haleakala National Park Visitor Center
Haleakala means "House of the rising sun" and is a wonderful description of the mountain. Haleakala is a large dormant volcano that makes up ~75% of the island of Maui.
Hike the Maha'ulepu Trail
Hawaii / Maha'ulepu Trail
This easy-to-handle trail is a good one for the whole family. The trail starts from "Shipwrecks Beach", in front of the Grand Hyatt and follows the coastline for 2 miles to Maha'ulepu Beach.
Big Island: A Morning Swim and an Evening Sunset
Hawaii / Mauna Kea Beach
Mauna Kea is known as one of the most picturesque beaches on the Big Island, if not the world.
Stand Up Paddle in Kaneohe Bay
Hawaii / Kaneohe Beach Park
Stand Up Paddleboards can be rented in the nearby town of Kailua at various watersports shops. Kayaks can also be rented as another option.
Hike the Sliding Sands Trail
Hawaii / Sliding Sands Trailhead
If you're headed up to Haleakala to catch the sunrise or sunset at the summit, leave a few hours before or after to do a quick hike into the crater on the Sliding Sands Trail.
Oahu: A Day at Ewa Beach
Hawaii / Oneula Beach Park
Oneula is a nice, slow break, excellent for beginners. The waves are like White Plains, but not nearly as crowded. There is plenty of parking right on the beach, so this is a family friendly location.
Camp at Wai'anapanapa State Park
Hawaii / Wainapapa State Park
Wai'anapanapa State Park is located at mile marker 32 on the Hana Highway.
Kauai: A Real Adventure Off the Beaten Path
Hawaii / Poipu Rd Parking Lot
To get to this beach, first make sure your vehicle can handle dirt roads. Follow the road out of Poipu east (this is where it turns to dirt) follow until road until it "T"'s into another dirt road.
Hike the Lahaina Pali Trail from the Ukumehame (West) Trailhead
Hawaii / Lahaina Pali Trail
It can be difficult to spot the trailhead and parking lot, but look for an opening in a pack of trees off of Highway 30.
Hike the Awini Trial along the Kohala Coast
Hawaii / Pololu Valley Lookout
Take Hwy. 270 along the northern Kohala Coast and all the way to the end at the Pololū Valley overlook.
Hike to the nose of Sleeping Giant
Hawaii / Sleeping Giant Trail
There are a few different approaches for this hike - you can take either the East route, West route, or the Kuamoo-Nounou route.
Kayak to Flat (Popoia) Island
Hawaii / Kailua Beach Park
Kayaks can be rented in Kailua. Popoia Island, also known as Flat Island, can be seen from Kailua Beach Park and is a short paddle out. Rental Options:Kailua Beach AdventuresTwo Good Kayaks
Hike the Pihea & Alaka'i Swamp Trail
Hawaii / Pihea & Alaka'i Swamp Trailhead
A strenuous 7 mile hike, depending on which way you start, that takes you from the world renowned Kalalau Valley from Pu'u O Kila lookout, through dense mossy forests, across a stream, up to the high.
Diving in Paradise at Hideaway's Beach
Hawaii / Hideaway's Beach
This beach is easily found by driving into Princeville and heading toward the St. Regis hotel. The trail to the beach is just before you arrive at the hotel.
Bodysurf at Pounders
Hawaii / Pounders
Pounders is one of Oahu's best bodysurf spots and it's located just south of Laie Beach Park.
Explore Kauai's Waimea Beach
Hawaii / Waimea Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Among all of the places in the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is my favorite. It's what you imagine when you think of Hawaii. It's still relatively undeveloped and there are no freeways on the island.
Hike Honopu Ridge
Hawaii / Honopu Ridge
Drive Waimea Canyon Drive until you reach mile marker 17. Continue about half a mile further, park at the turnout on a corner near a telephone pole. The trailhead is directly back from the turnout.
Kayak the Wailua and Hike to Secret (Uluwehi) Falls
Hawaii / Wailua Marina
First, you need kayaks to get on the river.
Camp at Anini Beach Park
Hawaii / Anini Beach Park
The shallow nearshore ocean bottom makes Anini a great beach to visit if you have kids.
Surf Honolua Bay
Hawaii / Honolua Bay
Honolua Bay is one of the best waves on the northwestern coast of Maui and offers up great waves during the winter months.
Hike to Ho'opi'i Falls
Hawaii / Ho'opi'i Falls Trailhead
Easiest/Direct route: When in the Kapa'a area from the main highway turn left onto Kawaihau road. Follow Kawaihau all the way up until you see a sign for Kapahi road, turn left onto that road.
Hike the Lau'ulu Trail to the Kalapawili Ridge
Hawaii / Lau'ulu Trail
If you're looking for something akin to true backcountry travel and scrambling in Maui, the Lau'ulu trail and the Pohaku Palaha summit on the north/north east rim of the Haleakala volcano is a great .
Visit the Byodo-In Temple
Hawaii / Valley of the Temples
Resting at the foot of the Ko'olau Mountains, the Byodo-In Temple was built to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants that came to Hawaii.
Backpack the Haleakala Wilderness: Halemau'u to Sliding Sands Trail
Hawaii / Halemau'u Trailhead
Day 1, the trailhead begins just off the highway at 7,990 feet elevation and takes you to the north and east to an opening in the ridgeline. After 1.1 miles, you will begin your 2.
Surf at Ala Moana Bowls
Hawaii / Ala Moana Bowls
To get there, go to Ala Moana Harbor/Boat parking lot near Hilton Hawaiian Village. Walk along the rock jetty that parallels the boat harbor on the right.
Paddleboarding Kahanamoku Beach
Hawaii / Koa Beach Services
Whether you're a paddle boarding enthusiast or it's your first time, this spot is perfect! The waves are nice and calm allowing for a relaxing time.
Backpack to Hanakoa Valley
Hawaii / Kalalau Trail
Hanakoa Falls is one of two large waterfalls along Na Pali Coast.
Hike Kawaikoi Stream
Hawaii / Kawaikoi Stream Trailhead
Kawaikoi stream trail starts 3/4 mile beyond the Forest Reserve entrance sign on the Mohihi-Camp 10 road & across the stream at "Sugi Grove".
Bodysurfing Point Panic
Hawaii / Point Panic
Have you seen Come Hell or Highwater? No? You should and then you should head to Point Panic on the South Shore to see some of bodysurfing's best showing off.
Stroll along the Iliau Nature Loop
Hawaii / Iliau Nature Loop
Iliau, an endemic plant to Kaua'i's westside, grows along the path -- hence the name: Iliau Nature Loop -- is located in Waimea Canyon State Park. Not far after mile marker 8.
Hike the Waihe'e Ridge Trail
Hawaii / Waihe'e Ridge Trailhead
Waihe'e Ridge is a great hike for those looking for a hike to see waterfalls or to get a little exercise in. The trail is dog-friendly, but dogs must be kept on leash.
Scramble the Okolehao Ridge Trail
Hawaii / Okolehao Trail
They don't call it the butt slide trail for nothing— the Okolehao Trail (translated to iron butt, for more than just the glutes involved) —is a short drive from Princeville, just before Hanalei Bay.
Relax at Three Tables
Hawaii / Three Tables Parking Lot
Even though the North Shore of Oahu is known for big waves in the Winter, in the Summer months (northern hemisphere) there can be a ton of great beaches to relax at and spend the day.
Watch the Spouting Horn Blowhole
Hawaii / Spouting Horn, Koloa, HI 96756
On the South Shore you can find the Spouting Horn. There's a small beach park with a great lookout where you can watch a blowhole spout a plume of thundering water into the air.
Hike the Wai Koa Loop Trail
Hawaii / Wai Koa Loop Trail
The trailhead is located at Anaina Hou Community Park, off Kuhio Highway near the Kauai Mini Golf Course. A Waiver for the trail must be signed within the office located at Kauai Mini Golf.
Hike to Turtle Cave
Hawaii / Turtle Cave Trailhead
Turtle Cave is located within a small bay on the Princeville side of Kauai. This hike requires swimming, repelling down a steep cliff and potentially high tides.
Swim in the Waikoko Stream & Waterfall
Hawaii / Waikoko Stream Parking Area
You will need a 4WD high clearance vehicle to reach this trail. To reach the trailhead, take Highway 580 which will eventually turn to dirt.
Hike the Kuilau Ridge Trail
Hawaii / Kuilau Ridge Trailhead
Parking at the trailhead is limited to approximately four vehicles, so arrive early. If you are unable to park, continue down Highway 580 and you will find parking next to Kawi Stream.
Hike the Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail
Hawaii / Wiliwilinui Trailhead
Getting there: Traveling eastbound on the H1, from Waikiki, the H1 becomes the Kalanianaole Highway as you pass the Kahala mall...
Kayak or Sail the Na Pali Coast
Hawaii / Ke'e Beach
Enjoy the view of the Garden Island from the crystal clear waters of the pacific ocean.
Snorkel Two Step Beach
Hawaii / Two Step Beach Snorkeling Access
Finding the location is fairly simple. If you are just going to snorkel and relax you don't need to go into Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park.
Relax at Honokohau Beach
Hawaii / Ki'i Pohaku Trail
Stop first at Hal Ho'okipa, the park visitor information center. It[s about 4.1 miles south of Kona Airport. Its a neat little building where you can pick up a map and learn more about the area.
Camp at Hosmer Grove
Hawaii / Hosmer Grove Campground
Hosmer Grove is the closest drive-up campground to the Haleakalā summit. Camping at 7,000 feet you should be prepared chill, fog, and rain during the evening and morning.
Beach Day at Yokohama
Hawaii / Yokohama
Getting There: Traveling from Honolulu, follow signs toward Waianae: the H1 turns into Farrington highway (93) as you reach the west side of the island.