Hawaii destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Hawaii, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Hawaii and tips about visiting them
National parks and monuments in Hawaii
- Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail,
the Island of Hawaii, HI.
Established in 2000 to preserve, protect and interpret traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a 175 mile corridor encompassing a network of culturally and historically significant trails. This "trail by the sea" traverses wahi pana (storied landscapes), ancient Hawaiian sites and over 200 ahupua?a (traditional land divisions). Connect now!
- Haleakalā National Park: Kula, Maui, HI
This special place vibrates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The park also cares for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else. Come visit this special place - renew your spirit amid stark volcanic landscapes and sub-tropical rain forest with an unforgettable hike through the backcountry.
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:,
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cherished cultural landscapes in the world. Extending from sea level to 13,677 feet, the park encompasses the summits of two of the world's most active volcanoes - Kilauea and Mauna Loa - and is a designated International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Honouliuli National Historical Site:,
Although not yet open to the public, Honouliuli National Historic Site will tell the history of internment, martial law, and the experience of prisoners of war in Hawai‘i during World War II. Honouliuli National Historic Site will be a place to reflect on wartime experiences and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of freedom and justice.
- Kalaupapa National Historical Park:,
When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai. Since 1866, more than 8000 people, mostly Hawaiians, have died at Kalaupapa. Once a prison, Kalaupapa is now refuge for the few remaining residents who are now cured, but were forced to live their lives in isolation.
- Kaloko-Honokōhau National Park:, Kailua-Kona, HI.
To survive in a hot and arid environment the native Hawaiians (kanaka maoli) used ancient fishing skills, including the building of fishponds, and the knowledge of the location of precious fresh water (wai) that flows into the many brackish pools throughout the park. The spirit of the people (poe) and the knowledge of the elders (kupuna) created a tradition of respect and reverence for this area.
- Pearl Harbor National Memorial:,
At the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, learn about one of the most pivotal moments in US history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II.
- Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park: Honaunau, HI.
Imagine you had just broken the sacred laws, the kapu, and the only punishment was death. Your only chance of survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the Pu?uhonua, a place of refuge. The Pu?uhonua protected the kapu breaker, defeated warriors, as well as civilians during the time of battle. No physical harm could come to those who reached the boundaries of the Pu?uhonua.
- Pu'ukoholā Heiau National Historical Site: Kawaihae, HI.
How many places in America can you walk in the footsteps of a king? Where else has a stranded sailor risen up to become a great chief over an entire island? Where else can you experience the culminating event of a people, foretold from centuries past? Where else can you stand on a beach and watch as sharks pass over a submerged temple? Experience all this and much more - only at Pu'ukohola Heiau!
Hawaii State parks and historic sitesThe Hawai'i State Park System is composed of 50 parks encompassing approximately 30,000 acres on five major islands. These parks offer a variety of outdoor recreation and heritage opportunities. The park environments range from landscaped grounds with developed facilities to wildland areas with trails and primitive facilities. These parks offer varied outdoor recreation and heritage opportunities. The park environments range from landscaped grounds with developed facilities to wildland areas with trails and primitive facilities.
|Park||Area||Hiking||Camping/ Lodging||Beach||Historic Site|
|'Akaka Falls State Park||North/Hamakua Coast|
|Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area||Kohala||camping/lodging||beach|
|Hulihe'e Palace||Kona||Huliehe'e Palace|
|Kalōpā State Recreation Area||North/Hamakua Coast||camping/lodging|
|Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park||Kona||Historic Site|
|Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) State Park||Kona||beach||Historic Site|
|Kīholo State Park Reserve||Kona||camping/lodging||beach||Historic Site|
|Kohala Historical Sites State Monument||Kohala||Historic Site|
|Lapakahi State Historical Park||Kohala||Historic Site|
|Lava Tree State Monument||Puna|
|MacKenzie State Recreation Area||Puna|
|Manukā State Wayside||South||camping/lodging|
|Wailoa River State Recreation Area||Hilo|
|Wailuku River State Park||Hilo|
|Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau State Monument||Central||Historic Site|
|'Īao Valley State Monument||Central|
|Kaumahina State Wayside||Northeast|
|Mākena State Park||South||beach|
|Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area||Upcountry/Haleakala||camping/lodging|
|Pua'a Ka'a State Wayside||Northeast/Hana Highway|
|Wai'ānapanapa State Park||Northeast/Hana Highway||camping/lodging||beach||Historic Site|
|Wailua Valley State Wayside||Northeast/Hana Highway|
Hawaii Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
The Hawaii climate is tropical, with a hot season from June to October (called kau in the Hawaiian language) and a relatively cool season (hooilo) from December to March. Of course, on the top of the mountains it can be cold in the summer. And one side of a mountain or island may be deluged by rain, while the other side is arid.
Hawaii Camping tips
Camping in Hawaii's Forest Reserves is usually in remote, mountainous locations, providing a wilderness experience and often privacy. Campsites are for those who enjoy "roughing it"; they are accessed by hiking or 4WD and have few or no amenities. Check site details closely to ensure you are informed and have everything you need before heading out. Weather conditions can be variable and stream hazards may be present.
Get Hawaii State Parks Camping reservations here.
You must PURCHASE and PRINT a copy of your permit in advance and have it in your possession while camping, lodging within any park or Forest Reserve or occupying the pavilion you have rented. Permits may ONLY be purchased online or in person at District Offices. They are NOT available at the camping locations or pavilion site. ALL PERMITS REQUIRE A FEE - THERE IS NO FREE CAMPING IN HAWAII STATE PARKS OR FOREST RESERVES.