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Hawaii is the most remote land mass in the world - but it's also one of the most exciting. There's an endless amount of stuff to do in the state, from activities on the water to delicious dining or cultural events that celebrate local traditions. Here are a few of the best.
Polynesian Cultural Center | Oahu
Located on Oahu, the most populated island of Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center is a destination dedicated to celebrating the Polynesian culture of native Hawaiians. The Polynesian Cultural Center has eight simulated villages that display historic arts and crafts as well as traditional activities that are popular with native cultures throughout Polynesia. The site also has a lagoon where visitors can take canoe rides, and it offers an IMAX theater that plays large-scale educational films. The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the state's best educational and cultural sites.
USS Arizona Memorial | Oahu
Another important site on Oahu is the USS Arizona Memorial - the location of the World War II-era Attack on Pearl Harbor that occurred in 1941. Visitors can tour through the memorial, which was built over the remains of the sunken battleship, and they can also learn about how World War II affected both America and the Pacific. The USS Arizona Memorial is the most popular attraction in Hawaii, with more than 1.8 million visitors touring each year.
Mauna Kea | Hawaii
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano located on the island of Hawaii. It is also the state's highest point. Visitors can hike or drive up to the top, where they can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding islands, as well as the Pacific Ocean. At the top of Mauna Kea are some of the world's most powerful telescopes, and many people choose to go to the top of the volcano to gaze at the stars. The hike to the top of Mauna Kea is not for the faint of heart, and those who aren't in peak physical shape are encouraged to visit with a tour group or in a car.
Haleakala National Park | Maui
Another site with a dormant volcano that draws visitors is Haleakala National Park in Maui. Haleakala has the distinction of being home to the largest dormant volcano in the world. The park is also considered a subtropical rainforest, and it provides habitat for a slew of endangered species that exist only within the park boundaries. You can visit Haleakala National Park to view the sunrise or tour through the area to see unforgettable natural sites.
Hanauma Bay | Oahu
Hanauma Bay is a state park that was formed within a volcanic cone, and it is one of the most popular places in the world to go snorkeling. Visitors can don their masks and flippers to discover the unique, unforgettable wildlife that lives in the bay, and they can also glimpse the fragile yet beautiful coral heads underneath the surface. Hanauma Bay has its own lifeguards to keep visitors safe, and the park also educates people who come to snorkel about marine life preservation and conservation.
Waikiki Beach | Oahu
It's hard to talk about Hawaii without mentioning Waikiki Beach. The most iconic of all beaches in the state, Waikiki is lined with hotels, restaurants, shops, and tons of other tourist destinations that draw people from all over the world. Waikiki Beach is popular because it offers calm, clear water for swimming, and it's also a great place to learn how to surf. If you want stunning views of Diamond Head Crater and exciting bustling city life, you will find no better place than Waikiki, centrally located on the coastline of Hawaii's most popular island.