One of the most popular travel destinations in the United States is undoubtedly Hawaii. Also known as the Big Island, you can find beautiful, pristine beaches throughout Hawaii. As we look into the famous landmarks of Hawaii, let’s not forget the notorious breathtaking national parks like Volcano Kilauea.
There are a ton of cultural places and Hawaiian landmarks all around the islands where you can discover more about the old religious practices that are still significant to locals today. This Polynesian island offers glistening oceans, lush surroundings, and numerous amazing green areas and volcanoes to explore.
Here are some of the most famous landmarks of Hawaii to not miss when visiting.
Famous Landmarks Of Hawaii
Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park
On the northernmost tip of Kauai Island is Nāpali Coast State Conservation Monument. Nāpali is one of the most famous Hawaii landmarks on Kauai, and Nāpali Park boasts several nature reserves.
Between Polihale and Kee beaches, there is a 16-mile (26-kilometer) expanse of shoreline on Kauai. It is home to picture-perfect tourist spots, breathtaking cliff-top panoramas, and valleys with gushing waterfalls. This is one of the most stunning coastlines on the entire globe.
The finest activities in this area are hiking to the breathtaking Hanakapiai Falls (approx 2 miles) or enjoying the Kalalau Valley.
USS Arizona Memorial
This solemn location is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Memorial. It is one of Hawaii’s most well-known historic tourist attractions among other landmarks in Hawaii. Each year, hundreds of travelers visit this meaningful location to learn more about the key event in World War history.
The monument is there to honor the Americans who perished in the explosion of Pearl Harbor, one of the most significant events in American heritage. You can check out the museum and explore the tourist center to grasp more about the unfortunate incident.
Famous Hawaiian Landmarks, Maui
Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park, which is situated on the Hawaiian island of Maui, is a sizable region ideal for climbing up to Maui’s tallest mountain. Locals believe the area to be divine and hold Haleakala National Park in the utmost respect of the great Hawaii landmarks because of the breathtaking panoramas of Hawaii it offers. This is one destination that many believe is a must-visit on any trip to Maui.
Try to catch both the spectacular sunrise and sunset here; there is often a debate on which is better. I say why not do both! It’s one of the most interesting and enjoyable free things to do in Maui. To guarantee entrance into this famous Maui monument, you should make a reservation in advance.
Pu’u Keka’a, also known as Black Rock, is located halfway along Kaanapali’s coastline. This is one of the more sacred landmarks of Hawaii in Maui.
Native Hawaiians hold deep cultural importance for this monument because they consider it to be the location where the spirits of the deceased transitioned from this realm into the spirit realm.
Numerous wars were fought close to the Black Rock peak merely to ensure that the soldiers will be nearby should they fall in battle.
Chief Kahekili, the last ruler of the Valley Isle, also cliff-jumped there. The fact that he did it in the same location where all the other fighters were nervous just highlighted his bravery. A daily evening ceremony that includes torch lighting and cliff diving at Black Rock honors the region’s cultural importance.
There is a plethora of aquatic life in Black Rock. Few of the vibrant animals you might see here include cornetfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, and Hawaiian triggerfish. Another common inhabitant is the honu, sometimes known as the Hawaiian green sea turtle.
One of the top snorkeling locations Maui is known for, the snorkel island is reachable straight off the beach and has a sandy bottom and good visibility. Just keep in mind that the ocean has shown to be dangerous, particularly close to the point of Black Rock and that Kaanapali beach lacks rangers.
This is one of the Hawaiian landmarks with both natural beauty and cultural significance. Make sure you include it in your plans.
Iao Valley Historic Reserve in central Maui is another one of many notable Hawaiian landmarks that is a must-see. It is conveniently located in Wailuku and is just twenty minutes west of the air terminal by vehicle.
Although it is a well-liked tourist site, this 4,000-acre valley filled with beautiful rainforest is held in high esteem in Hawaiian tradition by everyone. Years of burials had taken place in the valley’s rocks, and the Hawaiians believe that dishonoring the remains could damage the living generations. Visit the location with care and respect.
The Iao Valley is significant historically in addition to being a place of spiritual rites. Read the interpretive signage along the paved 0.6-mile trail as you stroll around the park to discover more about this location’s past.
Kepaniwai Scenic Historic Park is also just a short distance from the monument parking lot. Technically speaking, this is not a component of the national landmark. However, the park venerates the rich background of Maui with structures and gardens depicting the various civilizations that affected the country. Certainly worth a visit as well.
Famous Hawaiian Landmarks, Oahu
Shark’s Cove, on the northern tip of Oahu, is among the perfect spots in the state for scuba diving. The numerous rocky springs and crystal-clear waters give this jagged coastal area its name. The landscape looks like sharks in water from the bird’s eye view. This natural landmark of Hawaii is the ideal location for rock angling and other water activities.
If you want to unwind on the sand, go to Lanai because the beach here is quite rough. However, those seeking an energetic experience would like to visit this well-known Hawaiian landmark by the water.
Hanauma Bay is one of the most significant sites in Hawaii for environmental preservation. This is an incredibly unique beach location, which is situated in the Hawaii Kai district to the east of Honolulu.
Hanauma Bay is a popular tourist destination but it is more than a typical beach park. This is one of the many landmarks of Hawaii devoted to the safeguarding of aquatic creatures.
You can still engage in many of the watersports you would do on a standard beach, such as scuba diving, surfing, and swimming. However, they are well designed so they do not pose a danger to you or the marine life. Additionally, all fees are used to support the efforts in protecting the wildlife.
One of Hawaii’s most significant ancient landmarks is Iolani Palace. King Kamehameha and his family, as well as Queen Lili’uokalani quite lately, were among the most well-known monarchs that have called it home.
For unrestricted access and insider knowledge, you can reserve a private excursion to the palace. Alternately, explore Iolani Palace at your own pace to learn the numerous regal mysteries that this home hides.
While you are in the area, you should also go see the King Kamehameha statue, which is located in front of the palace. Consider stopping by this well-known Honolulu attraction to complete your trip to the famous landmarks of Hawaii.
Laniakea Beach is one of the primary turtle nesting sites on Oahu. From October to April, you can see these creatures coming up on the shore to lay their eggs in the sand. If you want to learn more about turtles, this is an excellent place to visit.
The waves are much larger than at other popular beaches, such as Waikiki. As a result, it is not the ideal place for swimming. However, the conditions are perfect for surfing, especially if you are an experienced rider.
Here is a guide to visiting Laniakea Beach for some turtle action.
Famous Natural Landmarks Of Hawaii
Your journey to the Big Island wouldn’t be fair without getting a glimpse of Kilauea. This active volcano at the center of Volcanoes Nature Reserve is one of the most famous natural landmarks in Hawaii.
The goddess Pele and the ancestor of the caldera in the center of the island both reside in Kilauea, which is believed to be a very sacred location. Tourists come to Kilauea to observe the spectacular and enormous caldera and the still-active crater within Halema’uma’u.
This is one of the best places to begin your trip. Beginning at the arrival gate, park rangers will share the histories, rituals, and traditions of the indigenous Hawaiians. You can also learn more about the significance of the Goddess Pele who resides inside Halema’uma’u.
If you continue on the Chain of Craters route to the end, you can witness a stunning natural phenomenon. Winding strips of black lava rock and cliffs swiftly stop into the ocean in startling blue and black contrasts.
Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach is one of the must-see Hawaiian landmarks with breathtaking scenic beauty. It is situated on the Big Island’s southwest coast and can be reached by car in about 1-2 hours from Kona. While some groups make a stop here on their trip to Volcano Nature Reserve, it can be more convenient to travel by yourself and take in the scenery.
High levels of volcanic eruptions are present on the Big Island, especially in the Nature Reserve. As a result, the Island is largely made up of lava rocks. The Lava rocks are regularly destroyed by the ocean waves, which causes the Black Sand to organically flow onto the beach. You may need to wear shoes if the black sand is too gritty on your feet.
The beach is surrounded by palm trees, has a ranger on duty throughout the busiest hours, and a small kiosk selling drinks and snacks. While you can swim and snorkel there, it’s better to wear reef shoes and you should take care to avoid the smashing waves.
LANDMARKS IN USA
Green Sand Beach
You might not be familiar with this location because it is a little off the beaten route. In the south of Hawaii, is a beach with green sand. Green Olivine Crystals found in the neighboring volcanic cone are being eroded by the power of the waves. These crystals are reduced to the size of beach sand and are not regarded as jewels.
The closest southern part of the United States, South Point, lies just five kilometers (three miles) from this lovely beach. There is no straightforward driving route, therefore you will need to park and embark on a 45-minute round trip hike. There is not much shade for rest, be sure to bring a cap, and sunglasses, and stay hydrated.
A narrow, steep route leads to the crater wall, where there is access to the beach. Swimming is possible, although it is advisable to keep near to the sea due to the powerful waves and undertow. Please use extreme self-control when touring as there are no rangers, amenities, or mobile service in the place.
Even though it may be more difficult to reach, travelers continue to visit. In light of this, going early in the day can help you avoid the crowds and be able to hike in less humid conditions. Rare as it is, this Beach is practically like strolling on real jewels. Don’t forget to visit this Hawaiian landmark on your next trip!
Hawai’i National Park
Hawai’i National Park is one of the most famous landmarks in Hawaii. The site is renowned for preserving some of the world’s most distinctive geological features. The peaks of Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of Hawaii’s and the globe’s largest powerful volcanoes, are in the region.
A driving crater cruise can be taken around the national park’s hills, or you can stroll across one of the numerous pathways available here. You can also visit the Jaggar Museum, which has a lot of volcanic displays, or the Crater Rim Drive, which crosses vapor vents.
Other Famous Landmarks Of Hawaii
Kahuku Thurston Lava Tube
The Kahuku Thurston Lava Tube in Volcanoes Nature Reserve is among the most significant and ancient of the many landmarks in Hawaii. A subterranean fissure created by streaming lava is known as a lava tube. It is a striking sight to see.
The tube had excrement on it from lava that had been leaking when it was first found in 1913. Overzealous collectors, though, stole these from the cavern. You shouldn’t skip the beautiful hike to the lava tube, which is an iconic monument and a component of Volcanoes Reserve.
Hawaii Tropical Bio Reserve & Garden, Papaikou
Over a mile of biodiverse habitat and fauna can be found in this beautiful natural garden. Be prepared to take a lot of pictures while there because it is also renowned for being a great photo spot. The majority of the admission fees for the bio reserve actually go towards eco-sustainability projects. The goal of this charity is to safeguard Hawaii’s natural ecosystem.
Rainbow Falls, Hilo
Rainbow Falls, a large fall outside the city of Hilo on the peninsula, is well-known for the rainbow hues that appear when it’s sunny. It requires roughly five hours to climb to and from the fall, which is in the Wailuku River Nature Reserve.
These falls continue to attract visitors even though swimming in the water is not safe. When the weather is bright and sunny, visitors can get the stunning spots of Rainbow Falls by going to the viewing platform. Needless to say, this Hawaiian landmark also offers plenty of fantastic photo opportunities.
Captain Cook Monument
The Captain Cook Monument is a 27-foot obelisk honoring adventurer Captain James Cook. It is among the most well-known landmarks of Hawaii.
After mending the mast on their boat, Cook and his staff made their historic landing in Kealakekua Bay in January 1779. Despite his rough record, Captain Cook is claimed to have gotten along well with the people.
The memorial stands in the somewhat desolate location where Captain Cook was martyred in 1779. It is accessible via boat or a beautiful stroll through the nature reserve. One of the many enjoyable activities to do in Kona is to kayak to the Hawaiian landmark.
Diamond Head State Monument
Among the prominent landmarks in Hawaii is Diamond Head Park. Due to the park’s resemblance to a tuna fish’s dorsal fin, Hawaiians affectionately refer to it as “Lahi.”
The most well-liked activity in this location is the 300,000-year-old crater walk, from which you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Honolulu and the other beautiful islands that make up Hawaii. The earliest military camp in Hawaii was located here, and some of the facilities are still clearly evident.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Visit one of Hawaii’s most well-known landmarks by entering the sizable Waimea Canyon State Park on Kauai Island. The entire Hawaiian archipelago is one of the most breathtaking sites to go hiking.
It’s hardly surprising that this location is sometimes called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” given its wide peak abyss and breathtaking canyon panoramas. Make sure to factor in time for photos along the way because the road leading to the canyon is stunning and twisty.
Kapiʻolani Regional Park
Queen Kapiolani Regional Park in Waikiki, is among the landmarks of Hawaii with the biggest and oldest recreational areas. It was once a horse racing track before opening as one of Waikiki’s well-known sights in 1877.
The area is also home to the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Shell – a live performance space that holds numerous shows year-round. Additionally, there are numerous sports arenas where you may play basketball and tennis, as well as other places to unwind.
Kilauea Lighthouse is a well-liked travel destination that you must see while in Hawaii. The lighthouse is a century old and is situated on the northernmost juncture of Kauai.
It was first constructed in 1913, a year in which many lighthouses were put into service throughout the US. Subsequently, it was named after Senator Inouye, who played a significant role in securing funding for the entire restoration of the lighthouse.
This serene part of Hawaii offers fantastic photo opportunities. It’s also a terrific idea to unwind at the neighboring beach.
Discovering Famous Landmarks Of Hawaii
Hawaii receives about 10 million visitors annually, which is not surprising given the state’s excellent national parks, noteworthy landmarks, and exciting tourism destinations. These are just some of the most famous landmarks in Hawaii. From natural wonders to man-made marvels, Hawaii is known for many things.
When traveling to the enchanted Islands of Aloha, fuel up with some tasty food in Hawaii and check out some of these magnificent Hawaiian landmarks.