Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ Hawai’i

Today we reach the end of our Hawaiian Island bucket list series by dreaming up plans for the Big Island: Hawai’i.


  • World Botanical Gardens: Self guided tour of gardens and waterfalls.


  • Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: While this park isn’t exactly in Hilo, it was the closest big city. From time to time, eruptions are still happening in this park!
  • Wailuku River State Park: Visit to explore Boiling Pots and Rainbow Falls.


  • Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: Wander this sacred, historic place of safety for early Hawaiian lawbreakers.


  • ‘Akaka Falls State Park: One hike will take you to viewpoints for two different waterfalls.


  • Ahu’ena Heiau: Reconstructed temple and final home of Kamehameha I.
  • Kaloko-Honokohau National Hisotrical Park: Hike to see four different ahupua’a (traditional mountain to sea land divisions.)
  • NELHA: Tour the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai’i Authority to learn about renewable energy and sustainability on the island.

Ocean View

  • Manuka State Wayside Park: Explore lava flows from different eruptions.


  • Punalu’u Black Sand Beach: Black Sand beach formed from lava flow.


  • Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Gardens: Pass streams and waterfalls while touring this garden.


  • Lapakahi State Historical Park: Take a self-guided tour through the remains of this ancient coastal settlement.
  • Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site: Visit this temple built by King Kamehameha I.
  • Waipi’o Valley Overlook: Take in the majesty of the valley.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Island of Hawai’i Travel Guides.


Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ Maui

Today we take on the popular island of Maui.


  • Road to Hana: One of the most popular tours of the island is traveling the Road to Hana from Kahului
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park: located at the end of the Road to Hana, this park features black sand beaches.


  • Ali’i Kula Lavender: Take a tour of this lavender plantation.
  • Surfing Goat Dairy: Tour a working goat dairy farm.


  • Baldwin Home: See how families lived in the 1800s.
  • Lahaina Historic Trail: Explore the area’s whaling and plantation history.
  • Lahaina Jodo Mission: Visit a replica of an authentic Japanese Buddhist Temple.
  • Molokini: Snorkel in this old volcanic crater by leaving from a boat tour in the harbor.


  • Haleakala National Park: Explore this dormant volcano and hike to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o and Waimoku Falls.


  • ‘Iao Valley State Park: This park offers rich foilage and mountain views.
  • Maui Ocean Center: Fun aquarium filled with reef creatures.
  • Maui Tropical Plantation: Tour this sugarcane and pineapple plantation.

All attractions found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Maui Travel Guides.

Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ Moloka’i and Lana’i

Today we explore two lesser known Hawaiian islands: the islands of Moloka’i and Lana’i. These islands are both rather small and can be accessed via day trips from Lahaina Harbor on Maui.

Island of Moloka’i

  • Kalaupapa National Historical Park: This park preserves the area where a Belgian priest courageously served the colony. Visit by appointment only.
  • Mo’oula Falls: Located in Halawa Valley, this waterfall and area can be explored via a guided hike.

Island of Lana’i

  • Kaiolohia: Called Shipwreck Beach for the remains of World War II Liberty Ship locate off shore.
  • Kaunolu: Explore the remains of a former royal compound and fishing village.
  • Kehiakawelo: Visit the Garden of the Gods, absent of vegetation and wildlife.
  • Pu’upehe: Sweetheart Rock is located just offshore between two bays.

All attractions found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Maui Travel Guides.

Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ O’ahu

Today we explore O’ahu with probably the largest bucket list I have in this series! It helps that Honolulu is located on this island!


  • Pupukea Beach Park: Check out Sharks Cove, a hit among snorklers.
  • Waimea Valley: Take a hike to the waterfall.


  • Halona Point: Hike along the lava cliffs and take in the Halona Blowhole.
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve: Snorkel in this isolated bay.
  • Honolulu Zoo: Home to lots of tropical animals.
  • Iolani Palace: Explore the site where Hawaiian culture met British Heritage.
  • Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline and Makapu’u Trail: Watch the sunrise on this beautiful cliff.
  • Le’ahi: Check out the famous “Diamond Head” formation.
  • Lyon Arboretum: Explore over 8,000 types of plants found in the rainforest terrain.
  • Pa’u ‘Ualaka’a State Park: Explore the Tantalus Rainforest.
  • Pearl Harbor National Monument: Lots to see here including the USS Arizona Memorial Museum, USS Arizona Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum, and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park.
  • Waikiki Aquarium: Explore several types of marine life, including several native to Hawai’i.


  • Byodo-in Temple, Valley of the Temples: Built in memory of the first Japanese immigrants who came to work the sugar plantations.


  • Malaekahana Beach Park: Check out a tent cabin at the most beautiful camping spot on the island.


  • Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden: This garden features fruits, flowers and trees native to Hawai’i.
  • Kualoa Ranch and Private Nature Reserve: Take a tour to explore the locations of many movies.
  • Nu’uanu Pali State Wayside: Come to check out the Pali Lookout.


  • Polynesian Cultural Center: The place to check out all things cultural including a luau.


  • Dole Plantation: Enjoy all things pineapple at this historic plantation.
  • Wahiawa Botanical Garden: Displays tropical flora that needs cooler temperatures.


  • Sea Life Park: View penguins, swim with sea lions and dolphins, and feed sea turtles at this fun attraction.

All attractions can be found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Oah’u Travel Guides.

Hawaiian Islands Bucket List ~ Kaua’i

Today we head into research on the Hawaiian Islands. There are 4 bigger islands that will each get their own post, and then 2 smaller islands you can day trip to that will be joined in another post together, so altogether we will have 5 posts about the Hawaiian islands. Today we start with the beautiful island of Kaua’i.


  • Manawaiopuna Falls: Also known as Jurassic Falls as it was featured in the movie, this waterfall can only be seen from a helicopter as it is located on private land.


  • Hanalei Bay: Enjoy coconuts and refreshing shaved ice at this tropical paradise.
  • Limahuli Garden and Preserve: Self guided tours will introduce you to many endangered native plants.
  • Wai’oli Mission House: Explore how life was over 160 years ago on the island.


  • Koke’e State Park: Visit to explore Waipo’o Falls.


  • Ha’ena State Park: Beautiful park with many trails.
  • Napali Coast State Wilderness Park: Beautiful secluded coast, be sure to hike parts of the Kalalau Trail.
  • Wailua River State Park: Home to Wailua Falls.


  • Allerton Garden:Visit the giant fig trees that are featured in Jurassic Park.
  • McBryde Garden: The world’s largest collection of Native Hawaiian plants.
  • Po’ipu Beach Park: Beautiful beach that is popular for whale and monk seal sightings.
  • Spouting Horn: Blowhole formed from lava remains that waves crash against.


  • Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse: Lighthouse located high on top the cliffs.
  • Grove Farm Homestead:Discover the history of sugar cane at this homestead.
  • Kalapaki Beach: Great beach for trying out kayaks and stand up paddle boards.
  • Kilohana Plantation: Ride a train through orchards, forests, and farmland.
  • Lydgate Beach Park: Popular beach area for swimmers and snorkelers.

Wailua Homesteads

  • ‘Opaeka’a Falls: Convenient Roadside lookout for this falls.


  • Waimea Canyon: Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. Lots of fun lookouts and trails to explore.

All attractions found in the 2019 Hawaiian Islands and Kaua’i Travel Guides.