With near-perfect weather year-round and full of stunning natural beauty, Hawaii is truly paradise for anyone who likes to spend their time outdoors. But not everyone is experienced enough to hike the rugged Na Pali Coast, or catch massive waves on Oahu’s north shore in February. Luckily for us, there are countless easy outdoor activities perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy all that the Hawaiian Islands have to offer.
1. Hang out under a waterfall at Waimea Valley.
Can you even imagine a more perfect family day than strolling through a lovely botanical garden before reaching a charming waterfall pool perfect for swimming? The garden does charge an entry fee, but trust us, it’s an idyllic day trip for those of all ages.
2. Learn about volcanoes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
A trip to Hawaii Volcanoes isn’t complete without a visit to the Kilauea Caldera, a trip down the Thurston Lava Tube, a walk through the lava fields, a drive down the Chain of Craters Road, and, of course, as much hiking as you can handle.
3. Go for a horseback ride.
Experience the islands from an entirely new perspective. You will find excellent horseback riding tours nearly everywhere in Hawaii – from Oahu’s Kualoa Ranch and upcountry Maui to the cliffs of Molokai.
4. Watch the waves and admire the surfers.
Everyone knows that Oahu’s north shore is the best spot to watch the surfers during the winter months – don’t forget your sunscreen, a camera and a good book! Plus, if you’re lucky, you might see singer Jack Johnson catching some waves.
5. Go mountain tubing with Kauai Backcountry Adventures.
Have a relaxed adventure in century-old canals and ditches that were hand-dug by Chinese laborers in order to irrigate the sugar cane fields below Mount Wailaleale.
6. Take a nice stroll to Makapu’u Lighthouse.
This fully paved hike is perfect for mommas with strollers and those who aren’t necessarily experienced hikers. The views of Oahu’s southern and western shores are phenomenal, so don’t forget your camera!
7. Soar above the water and try parasailing.
Parasailing is the ultimate Hawaiian activity for those who don’t have the courage to jump out of a plane or go hang gliding. I would personally recommend Diamond Head Parasail if you’re near Honolulu. (Hint: check Groupon for a killer deal!)
8. Explore exotic plants at Allerton Garden.
Created and curated by Robert Allerton, this 80-acre garden sits on the southern shores of Kauai, and is transected by Lawai Stream. It is one of the five gardens that comprise the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden, and has been home to quite a few film productions.
9. Take a boat tour.
From snorkeling tours to sunset dinner cruises, Hawaii is home to countless boat tours, and you’re sure to find one that suits your desires perfectly – whether you want to drink and watch the sunset, or swim with manta rays.
10. Go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.
This marine life conservation district on Oahu’s southern shore was formed from a tuff ring, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. Be sure to get there early if you want to snag a spot in the parking lot!
11. Take in the views at the Waimea Canyon Lookout.
Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is the one place everyone must visit on Kauai, if only just for 20 minutes from the main lookout point. If you’re looking for unobstructed views, we suggest heading to neighboring Koke’e State Park for some amazing hiking trails.
12. Spend a night camping on the beach.
Beach camping is a little different that the forest camping so many are used to, but there is truly little better than listening to the waves crash against the shore as you sleep and waking up to a magnificent sunrise in the morning.
13. Swim with sea turtles at the Ko’olina Lagoons.
Located on Oahu’s western shore, the Ko’olina lagoons offer beautiful protected waters where children can play – and potentially hang out with sea turtles.
14. Hang out in Queen Liliuokalani Park and Gardens.
Featuring the largest Edo-style garden outside Japan, this 30-acre park was named after Hawaii’s last reigning queen, and is a wonderful spot to get away into nature without all the effort required form hiking.
15. Have a sunset picnic.
Whether you’ve made it to the summit of your favorite west-facing hike, or are hanging out on the beach, there is little more beautiful than a Hawaiian sunset – especially when you pack a picnic dinner to enjoy while the sun slips behind the horizon.
16. Take to the skies with a zipline tour.
Perhaps one of the coolest ways to experience the Hawaiian rainforest is to book a zipline tour. While ziplining is often considered an adrenaline-pumping activity suited only for true adventures, that is simply not the case; ziplining tours in Hawaii are safe for those of all ages.
17. Spend the day at the beach.
Because sometimes all you need in life is a little vitamin sea, grab your beach bag, a picnic lunch, and head to your favorite beach. Get there early, set up camp, and hang out all day.
Which of these Hawaiian activities is your favorite? What other easy outdoor activities would you add to this list?