Hawaii State Park Map: A Guide to Unforgettable Adventures

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Nature lovers, pack your bags! You won’t want to miss out on visiting the state parks that this beautiful state has to offer.

From lush rainforests to stunning beaches, Hawaii’s state parks are a true treasure trove of natural beauty and wonder.

Breathtaking views are everywhere you look in this state, including the canyon views and picturesque hiking trails at Waimea Canyon State Park, and panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean from the top of a volcanic crater at Diamond Head State Park.

And let’s not forget about the stunning waterfall views and unique wildlife at Akaka Falls State Park.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a beach bum, or just looking for a beautiful place to relax, Hawaii’s state parks can’t be missed. Pack your camera, your map, and your sense of adventure and check out Hawaii’s incredible state parks.

Printable Hawaii State Parks Map

Printable Hawaii State Parks Map


ʻAkaka Falls State Park

‘Akaka Falls

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, don’t miss out on visiting ʻAkaka Falls State Park on Hawaiʻi Island! This state park is located about 11 miles north of Hilo and is home to the impressive ʻAkaka Falls, which stands at a staggering 442 feet tall.

You can view the falls from various points along a loop trail through the park, and you’ll also be able to see Kahūnā Falls and a few smaller cascades along the way.

Make sure to keep an eye out for Pōhaku a Pele, a special stone in the park that’s said to call forth rain when struck by a branch of the lehua ʻāpane tree.

This park is a great spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers, and it’s definitely worth adding to your itinerary!

Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Big Wave Action

If you’re looking for a picture-perfect beach on the Big Island of Hawaii, you won’t want to miss Hāpuna Beach State Recreation Area. This stunning sandy beach is located on the west coast of the island and is a popular spot for both locals and visitors.

It’s part of a small group of white sand beaches on this side of the island, including Kua Bay, Kaunaʻoa Bay, and Samuel M. Spencer Beach Park. In fact, Hāpuna Beach was even named the Best Beach in America by “Dr. Beach” in 1993 and again in 2021!

This 61.8-acre park has lifeguards on duty, but be cautious during high surf conditions since the beach is not protected from the open ocean.

And if you’re up for a scenic walk, part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail runs through the park, offering sweeping views of the coastline.

Huliheʻe Palace

Hulihe'e Palace, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

If you’re interested in Hawaiian history, don’t miss the chance to visit Huliheʻe Palace in Kailua-Kona.

This gorgeous palace, located on Ali’i Drive, was once a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty and has since been converted into a museum showcasing furniture and artifacts from that time period.

The museum is run by the Daughters of Hawaiʻi, who have done a fantastic job of preserving this important part of Hawaiian heritage. As you explore the palace, you’ll see beautiful examples of traditional Hawaiian furniture and art, as well as historic photos and documents.

The palace is located at 75-5718 Aliʻi Drive and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Hawaiian history and culture.

Kalopa State Recreation Area

Nestled 40 miles northwest of Hilo, the Kalopa State Recreation Area is a lush park that serves as a sanctuary for native plants and trees.

This park covers a total of 100 acres and is located near the village of Honokaʻa, just a few miles inland from the Mamalahoa Highway.

Visitors can enjoy the park’s arboretum, which features a 0.7-mile loop through a forest of ʻōhiʻa lehua trees, as well as a variety of rare plants, including endangered loulu palms and native hibiscus.

With an elevation of 2,000 ft, the park’s damp and chilly weather provides a welcome respite from the heat of the coast. Visitors can take advantage of the park’s amenities, which include restrooms, drinking water, cabins, and camping.

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park Big island Hawaii

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park is a must-visit for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts.

This beautiful bay is located on the Kona coast of Hawaii and is filled with fascinating archaeological and historical sites, including ancient heiaus and the location where Captain James Cook met his untimely end.

In addition to its historical significance, Kealakekua Bay is also a marine life conservation district, making it a prime destination for kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The crystal-clear waters are teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins.

The park is easily accessible from Kailua-Kona and is a great way to spend a day exploring Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) State Park

Kekaha Kai State Park, located on the attractive north Kona coast of the island of Hawaiʻi, is an awesome beach park that offers visitors amazing views of the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific Ocean.

The park, formerly known as Kona Coast State Park, has three main beach areas: Maniniʻowali Bay (Kua Bay), Makalawena beach at Puʻu Aliʻi Bay, and Mahaiʻula Bay.

The name Kekaha Kai translates to “the shoreline” in English, and it’s easy to see why this park has become such a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun on the beach, go for a swim, or simply relax and enjoy the view, Kekaha Kai State Park has something for everyone.

Kohala Historical Sites State Monument

Kohala Historical Sites State Monument is an exciting location for anyone interested in Hawaiian history. The monument contains two significant sites: Moʻokini Heiau, a National Historic Landmark, and the birthplace of Kamehameha I.

The heiau, an ancient Hawaiian temple, is believed to have been built over a thousand years ago and was an important site for the ruling chiefs of Hawaiʻi.

The birthplace of Kamehameha I, the founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom, is also located within the monument and is marked by a large stone.

The monument is located in remote North Kohala on the Island of Hawaiʻi and offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage.

Lapakahi State Historical Park


Lapakahi State Historical Park is an immersive and unique attraction in the North Kohala District on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The ancient Hawaiian fishing village ruins provide a glimpse into the daily life of Hawaiians centuries ago, with structures such as house sites, fishponds, and salt pans still visible today.

Visitors can explore the area on a self-guided tour, with informative signs throughout the park. Offshore, the Lapakahi Marine Life Conservation District offers excellent snorkeling opportunities with an abundance of colorful marine life.

The park is easily accessible off of ʻAkoni Pule Highway and is located near Māhukona Beach Park, where raw sugar from a local sugar mill was shipped to San Francisco.

Lava Tree State Monument

Lava Tree State Monument

Lava Tree State Monument is a distinctive and intriguing park located on the island of Hawaii.

The park is situated 2.7 miles southeast of Pāhoa in the Puna District and showcases the remains of a forest that was swept away by a lava flow in 1790.

What makes this park special is that it features preserved lava molds of tree trunks, known as “lava trees.” Visitors can explore the park’s walking paths and observe the unusual formations created by the lava flows.

The park is a great destination for nature lovers, photographers, and anyone interested in the geological history of Hawaii.

MacKenzie State Recreation Area


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MacKenzie State Recreation Area is a small but beautiful park located on the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. While only open during the daytime, it offers picnicking facilities and restrooms, making it the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch or snack.

The park is also a popular spot for fishing, but swimming is discouraged due to the rocky shore, cliffs, and strong currents. Visitors can take a hike along the old Hawaiian coastal path, known as “the King’s Highway,” which passes the mouths of lava tubes.

One of the park’s unique features is the largest grove of ironwood trees in Hawaii, which were planted in the 1930s by ranger Albert J. MacKenzie. Despite his untimely death at age 21, his legacy lives on as the park is named after him.

The park is also considered part of the Malama Ki Forest Reserve, adding to its ecological significance.

Manuka State Wayside Park


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Manuka State Wayside Park is a small but charming park located on the island of Hawaii, with an arboretum that will leave nature lovers in awe.

The park’s arboretum, which was originally planted in the mid-19th century, has since flourished with the addition of native and exotic plants and flowers.

Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the park’s trail, where they can catch sight of a pit crater, a testament to the island’s volcanic past. Camping is also available in an open shelter, making it a perfect place for a nature retreat.

Though there is no drinking water available, the park offers restrooms and trash cans for convenience.

Mauna Kea Ice Age Reserve


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The Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve is a marvelous state reserve that boasts a unique blend of history and natural beauty.

Located on the southern slope of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s highest peak, the reserve includes the Mauna Kea Adz Quarry, which was used by ancient Hawaiians to quarry volcanic rock to make tools and weapons.

In addition to its rich history, the reserve is home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, including several rare and endangered species.

Visitors to the reserve can enjoy hiking and exploring the stunning natural landscapes, as well as learning about the ancient Hawaiian culture that once thrived in the area.

With its winning combination of geological history and beauty, the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the island of Hawaii.

Mauna Kea State Recreation Area


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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area, also known as Mauna Kea State Park, is a peaceful and serene state-protected area located at the southern base of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

With an area of 20.5 acres (8.3 ha), the park is managed by the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources and offers facilities such as restrooms, cabins, camping, picnic areas, and trash cans.

Visitors can hunt for wild pigs and sheep in the dry shrublands, although the cold temperatures at night may be a challenge. However, nearby military activities can disturb the tranquility of the area.

In 2014, Hawai’i County took over the management of the park from the state to improve the facilities.

Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area

Early Evening Rain Clouds

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind park to explore in Hawaii, the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area is definitely worth checking out.

This park is built on the site of an old landing strip just north of Kailua-Kona and features plenty of open space to run, play, and fly kites. The park is also popular for fishing, with a designated area where you can cast your line and catch your dinner.

Plus, with plenty of picnic tables and barbecue grills, this is the perfect spot for a family outing or a relaxing day at the beach. The park is easily accessible, with plenty of parking and restrooms available for visitors.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the island, be sure to add Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area to your list of must-see attractions in Hawaii.

Wailoa River State Recreation Area

Waiakea Villas from the Wailoa River State Recreation Area in Hilo Hawaii

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Hilo, look no further than the Wailoa River State Recreation Area.

This beautiful park, also known as Wailoa River State Park, was created as a buffer zone in the aftermath of the 1960 tsunami that devastated Hilo’s central bayfront district.

The park is home to a number of attractions, including the Wailoa River State Recreation Area Building, which houses the East Hawaii Cultural Center and a number of local artists’ studios.

Visitors can also enjoy fishing, picnicking, and taking a stroll through the beautiful gardens, which feature a variety of native plants and trees. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the park’s resident turtles, ducks, and other wildlife.

Wailuku River State Park / Rainbow Falls


Wailuku River State Park is a glorious spot for nature lovers visiting Hilo, Hawaii. The park’s main attraction is the imposing Rainbow (Waiānuenue) Falls.

Standing at 80 ft (24 m) tall and almost 100 ft (30 m) in diameter, the falls are a magnificent sight to behold. The lush tropical rainforest surrounding the falls is filled with non-native vegetation like wild ginger and monstera.

The falls are easily accessible via Wailuku River State Park, and visitors can enjoy the viewing platform to get the best views. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as Rainbow Falls lives up to its name with rainbows often visible in the mist created by the falls.

And the best part? There’s no fee to visit this natural wonder!


Haʻena State Park

Ke'e Panorama 3

Hāʻena State Park is a gem of the north shore of Kauaʻi, Hawaii. As the “end of the road,” it offers a perfect mix of natural beauty and cultural significance.

This state park provides access to several ancient Hawaiian sites and two beaches, Ke’e Beach and Tunnels Beach.

Visitors can explore trails along the coast, including the famous Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile footpath that leads to the sweeping Nā Pali Coast State Park.

The park is also home to sea caves estimated to be more than 4,000 years old and a heiau (shrine) dedicated to Laka, the goddess of hula. Hāʻena State Park is an excellent spot for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture.

Kōkeʻe State Park

Kalalau Lookout

Located in northwestern Kauaʻi, Kōkeʻe State Park is a delightful spot for any nature lover. With over 4,000 acres of mountainous terrain, this park offers some of the best views of the island.

Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, which wind through native forests and showcase the area’s distinctive flora and fauna, including koa and ʻōhiʻa lehua trees.

The park’s Kōkeʻe Museum is a great place to learn about the area’s weather, vegetation, and bird life, and the nearby lodge serves up delicious food and sells unique gifts.

Don’t miss the lookout point at the end of the road, which offers stunning views of the Kalalau Valley. And if you’re visiting in October, be sure to check out the festival honoring Queen Emma of Hawaii.

Whether you’re a hiker, a bird watcher, or just looking for a scenic drive, Kōkeʻe State Park is the perfect destination.

Nā Pali Coast State Park

Nā Pali Coast State Park is an inspirational state park that is home to some of Hawaii’s most impressive natural features.

With 6,175 acres of rugged terrain, it is located in the center of the northwest side of Kauaʻi and boasts some of the highest coastal cliffs in the world, reaching up to 4,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

The state park was established to protect the Kalalau Valley, which can be reached by hiking trails or hunters’ roads from Koke’e Road (Route 550) in Waimea Canyon.

Visitors to the park can also explore the Hono O Nā Pali State Natural Reserve, which spans over 3,578 acres and was established in 1983.

With its stunning views, diverse wildlife, and challenging hiking trails, Nā Pali Coast State Park is an ideal destination for anyone exploring the beautiful island of Kauaʻi.

Polihale State Park

Polihale State Park - 15

Polihale State Park is a tucked-away treasure on the western coast of Kauai, offering a serene and secluded escape from the crowds.

It’s located at the end of a long and bumpy dirt road that requires a four-wheel drive vehicle, but the effort is well worth it. The beach at Polihale is several miles long, but the only safe swimming area is “Queen’s Pond” towards the southern end of the park.

Other water-related activities like surfing and snorkeling are not recommended, due to the strong rip currents along the shore, especially during the winter months. Despite these hazards, the park is open to campers who are willing to brave the wild beach.

Visitors can enjoy splendid sunsets, a view of the island of Niihau, and stargazing at night.

Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park

Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea (502797)

Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park, also known as Pā’ula’ula State Historical Park, is a fascinating glimpse into Hawaii’s past.

The park is home to the last remaining Russian fort on the Hawaiian Islands, Fort Elizavety, which was built in the early 19th century by the Russian-American Company.

This star-shaped fort was constructed as part of an alliance with High Chief Kaumualiʻi and was later used by the Kingdom of Hawaii under the name Fort Hipo.

Today, visitors can explore the historic site and learn about the unique cultural and historical significance of this beautiful landmark. It should definitely be on the itinerary for history buffs and anyone interested in Hawaiian history.

Wailua River State Park

Wailua River Valley, Kauai

Wailua River State Park on Kauai’s eastern side is a popular park if you love water-based activities. The park is centered around the Wailua River, which is the only navigable river in Hawaii.

Visitors can enjoy kayaking, taking riverboat cruises, or even exploring the lush rainforest. If you are feeling adventurous, rent a motorboat and try your hand at water skiing on the river.

The park also includes the Wailua Complex of Heiaus, a collection of ancient temples and religious sites that offer a glimpse into Hawaiian history and culture. Make sure to plan your visit to Wailua River State Park as there is plenty to see and do!

Waimea Canyon State Park


Waimea Canyon State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a must-visit for anyone exploring Kauaʻi.

This 10-mile-long canyon, up to 3,000 feet deep, is located on the island’s western side and offers extraordinary views of the surrounding landscape.

The canyon’s red soil has eroded over time, giving the Waimea River a distinctive reddish hue. The canyon’s formation is a result of deep incisions caused by the river’s flow, originating from Mount Waiʻaleʻale, one of the wettest places on earth.

Visitors can explore the park on foot, with several hiking trails offering impressive vistas of the canyon, or opt for a scenic drive along the canyon’s rim.


Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau State Monument


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Halekiʻi-Pihana Heiau State Monument is a fascinating park on Maui that showcases two important luakini heiau, or temples, associated with influential Hawaiian chiefs.

These structures have been carefully studied by archaeologists and offer insight into the religious practices of ancient Hawaiian culture. The park covers 10 acres and is located on a high ridge near the mouth of ʻIao Stream in Wailuku, Maui.

From this vantage point, visitors can admire the incredible Nā Wai ʻEhā (‘Four Waters’) region irrigated by the Wailuku, Waikapu, Waiheʻe, and Waiehu streams. The heiau complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 25 November 1985.

Be sure to check out both Halekiʻi and Pihana, which were expanded over the centuries to serve as both residences and luakini temples.

ʻĪao Valley State Monument

ʻĪao Needle State Monument (Maui, Hawaii) (aka Iao Needle)

ʻĪao Valley State Monument is a great destination for anyone visiting Maui. The park covers 6.2 acres and is situated at the end of ʻĪao Valley Road, Highway 32.

The park’s centerpiece is the spectacular ʻĪao Needle, a tall, pointed peak rising 1,200 feet above the valley floor. This vegetation-covered lava remnant is an iconic landmark and provides an astounding view for visitors.

A short trail, the ʻĪao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop, leads to an overlook where visitors can take in the magnificent scenery of the West Maui Mountains, an extinct volcano.

Whether you are an avid hiker or simply enjoy scenic beauty, ʻĪao Valley State Monument has to be on your list when you visit Hawaii.

Kaumahina State Wayside Park

View from Kaumahina State Wayside Park (Mile Marker 12)

If you’re traveling along the Hana Highway, Kaumahina State Wayside Park is definitely worth a stop! This small park covers just under 8 acres, but it packs in some stunning views of the northeast Maui coastline and the nearby Ke’anae Peninsula.

Take a break from driving and stretch your legs on the short walking trail that winds through the park’s forested area. You’ll also have the opportunity to see a variety of exotic plants that thrive in Hawaii’s tropical climate.

And if you need to use the restroom or grab a snack, the park has convenient restrooms and picnic tables. So take a breather, enjoy the views, and make some memories at Kaumahina State Wayside Park!

Makena State Park

Makena State park

Makena State Park is an exciting spot for those seeking some fun in the sun in Maui. This 165-acre park boasts three beaches, each with its own unique character.

Big Beach, also known as Oneloa Beach, is the largest and most popular beach in the park, stretching for almost a mile with its white sand and crystal-clear water. Little Beach, on the other hand, is a clothing-optional beach that is known for its great snorkeling opportunities. The third beach, called Black Sand Beach, is a small cove that is named for its dark volcanic sand.

Lastly, Makena State Park also features a dormant cinder cone, known as Puʻu Olai, which provides scenic hiking trails and panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area


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If you’re looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure, Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area is a great place to visit on Maui. This state park is located about ten miles from Kula, up the slope of Haleakalā, and covers about 10 acres of the Kula Forest Reserve.

As you hike through the park, you’ll notice the exceptional humidity and the tall, non-native trees that dominate the landscape, especially at higher elevations.

There are four main trails to explore, each with its own unique features, including the Haleakalā Ridge Trail, Plum Trail, Polipoli Trail, and Redwood Trail.

Whether you’re hiking or off-roading, the park’s high-elevation climate can be cold, so bring layers and plan accordingly. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wild boar and feral goats if you’re hunting.

Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park


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If you’re looking for a peaceful escape into the lush rainforest of Maui, Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park is the perfect spot. This hidden gem is situated along the Hana Highway, and the journey there is an adventure in itself with awe-inspiring views.

The park covers a small area of 5 acres, but it is packed with natural beauty. You can take a refreshing dip in the waterfall-fed pools or hike through the rainforest and explore the various trails.

The park’s restful ambiance makes it a great spot for a picnic or simply to unwind and connect with nature. So, if you’re planning a trip to Maui, don’t miss out on visiting Puaʻa Kaʻa State Wayside Park!

Waiʻanapanapa State Park

Wai'anapanapa State Park. Maui.

Welcome to Waiʻanapanapa State Park, where the beauty of Hawaii’s natural landscape is on full display! Spread across 122 acres, the park is situated in the picturesque town of Hana on the island of Maui.

As the name suggests, Waiʻanapanapa Park boasts sparkling freshwater streams and tide pools that offer a wonderful view. There is something for everyone here, from hiking through the lush green rainforest to swimming in the crystal clear waters of the black sand beach.

If you’re a camping enthusiast, there are facilities available for you to pitch your tent and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Don’t forget to check out the unique red-colored tide pools, and hear the captivating local legend behind them.

Come and explore Waiʻanapanapa State Park, a natural wonderland that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Wailua Valley State Wayside Park


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Wailua Valley State Wayside Park is a treasure tucked away on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Located 31 miles east of Kahului, it offers an incredible lookout into Ke’anae Valley, showcasing panoramic views of the Ko’olau Gap, Wailua Peninsula, and the rim of Haleakala Crater.

Visitors can capture spectacular photos of the lush greenery and cascading waterfalls, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or an adventure to remember, Wailua Valley State Wayside Park is a must-see destination that will leave you feeling awestruck by the beauty of Maui’s natural landscape.


Palaʻau State Park


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Palaʻau State Park is a hidden gem located on the pretty island of Molokai. It is the only state park on the island, providing a tranquil atmosphere for visitors.

The park offers campsites and a picnic shelter for those who want to spend a night or two in nature. One of the main attractions is the hiking trail that leads to the phallic fertility stone.

The trail is not too strenuous and provides amazing views of the surrounding area. The park overlooks the former leper colony of Kalaupapa, adding historical significance to the natural beauty of the park.

If you’re looking for a place to connect with nature and history, Palaʻau State Park is a must-visit destination on Molokai.


Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park


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Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park is a beautiful state park located on the windward side of Oʻahu in Hawaii. It is the only public ahupuaʻa in Hawaii, stretching from the sea to the top of Puʻu Pauao at 2670 feet.

With a tropical climate and nearly 300 inches of rainfall per year in some areas, it is one of the wettest spots on Oʻahu. The park’s main goal is to teach and promote Hawaiian culture, offering visitors a chance to learn about the area’s history, flora, and fauna.

Kahana Bay and the surrounding mountains provide outstanding views and numerous hiking trails. The park is a treat for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and nature.

Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head East Aerial View, Waikiki and Honolulu Hawaii, Summer

Diamond Head State Monument is a must-see attraction on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. This volcanic tuff cone, also known as Lēʻahi to the Hawaiians, offers awesome views of the island and the Pacific Ocean.

Visitors can hike up to the summit and explore the historic military bunkers along the way. The hike is moderately challenging, but the reward at the top is well worth it.

The park also offers guided tours for those who want to learn more about the history and geology of the area. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the views from the top are truly spectacular!

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is a protected marine life conservation area located on the southeast coast of the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

The bay is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving among the diverse marine life that inhabits the bay. The bay was formed within a volcanic cone and has a rich geological and cultural history.

To protect the fragile ecosystem, visitors must watch a video before entering the park to learn about the importance of marine conservation and the dos and don’ts of interacting with marine life.

The bay also offers education programs and volunteer opportunities for those interested in learning more about marine conservation.

Heʻeia State Park

Heʻeia State Park is a lovely park located near Kaneohe on the windward shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It’s an 18.5-acre state park that provides an excellent spot for fishing, picnicking, and outdoor activities.

The park is situated on Kaneohe Bay, between Heʻeia Fishpond and Heʻeia Kea small boat harbor, which makes it an ideal location for water-based activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating.

The park’s facilities include picnic areas with tables, restrooms, and a boat ramp. Visitors can enjoy the serene beauty of the park and also get a glimpse of the traditional Hawaiian fishponds that have been preserved in the area.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful picnic spot or an exciting water adventure, Heʻeia State Park has something to offer for everyone.

ʻIolani Palace State Monument

‘Iolani Palace, King Street, Honolulu, HI

ʻIolani Palace State Monument is a mesmerizing attraction in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. As the only royal palace on US soil, it is a significant landmark in Hawaii’s history.

It served as the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, beginning with Kamehameha III and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani.

After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for the Provisional Government, Republic, Territory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969.

Today, visitors can take a guided tour to explore the palace’s history, architecture, and the beautiful Hawaiian artifacts and furniture inside. As a National Historic Landmark, the palace is a thought-provoking place to learn about Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage.

Ka’ena Point State Park

Ka'ena Point State Park

If you’re looking for a place to escape the stresses and strains of city life, Kaʻena Point State Park must be on your itinerary. This natural paradise, located on the westernmost tip of Oʻahu, offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the island’s rugged coastline.

The park is named after the Hawaiian word kaʻena, meaning “the heat,” which refers to the hot and dry climate in this part of the island.

The area is also steeped in Hawaiian mythology and legend, with the point being named after a brother or cousin of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes.

Designated as a Natural Area Reserve, Kaʻena Point is home to a variety of native wildlife, including Hawaiian monk seals and seabirds, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

With its natural beauty and rich cultural history, Kaʻena Point State Park is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Oʻahu.

Kaka’ako Waterfront Park

Kakaʻako Waterfront Park, or “Point Panic Park,” is a fantastic public park located in Kakaʻako, south of downtown Honolulu.

It is a 35-acre grassy haven that was built on a former landfill, offering incredible ocean views and rolling hills. There’s no sandy beach, but visitors can access the ocean via concrete stairs.

The park is well-equipped with bathrooms, water fountains, ample parking, picnic tables, paved jogging paths, and an amphitheater. Additionally, it features two popular surfing spots, Point Panic and Flies.

The park was closed in 2017 due to homeless people setting up encampments there but reopened in 2018. The Kakaʻako Waterfront Park is now under the management of the city of Honolulu, and it is situated adjacent to the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Keaʻiwa Heiau State Recreation Area


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Keaʻiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is a beautiful and historical site located on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. This recreation area offers visitors the chance to explore the ruins of a temple (Heiau in Hawaiian) at the top of a hill, with views of Pearl Harbor.

The area also includes camping facilities and a 4.8-mile (7.7 km) trail. Along the trail, visitors can enjoy native ohia lehua and koa trees and view the remains of a military plane that crashed in 1944.

The hike is moderately easy but can be muddy after rain. The name Keaʻiwa means mysterious and incomprehensible and is believed to reference the healing powers of the plants that were grown there.

According to Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui, Keaʻiwa Heiau was known as a “Heiau Hoʻola” or a healing or life-giving temple.

Kewalo Basin


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Kewalo Basin is a bustling commercial boat harbor located on the Honolulu waterfront, just adjacent to the popular Ala Moana Beach Park. The harbor serves as a home to a number of commercial fishing fleets and charter boats, which cater to Hawaii’s thriving tourist industry.

Interestingly, the area was once a site for human sacrifices before the arrival of Europeans. Today, on the ocean side of the harbor, visitors can enjoy a small beach park that’s perfect for swimming, picnicking, and sightseeing.

Access to the park is available from the corners of Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue. Whether you want to watch the boats come and go, or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, Kewalo Basin and its beach park are definitely worth a visit.

Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument


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Kukaniloko Birthstones State Monument is a sacred site on Oʻahu that holds great cultural significance for native Hawaiians.

This historical site was once a place where Hawaiian royalty gave birth, and it was believed to be a very auspicious location for the event. Kukaniloko has a unique arrangement of stones that may have had astronomical functions.

The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and in 1992, it was turned into a state park. Visitors can take a self-guided tour around the monument and learn about its cultural importance.

It’s a peaceful and serene spot where visitors can take a moment to appreciate the history and culture of Hawaii.

Makapuʻu Point State Wayside


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Makapuʻu Point State Wayside is a gorgeous spot located on the eastern end of Oʻahu. This state wayside features Makapuʻu Head and the Makapuʻu Point lighthouse, which is closed to the public but still offers an impressive sight.

The 1.75-mile hike to the lighthouse is open to foot traffic only, and along the way, hikers can enjoy stunning views of the coastline and the Kaiwi Channel. If you’re lucky, you might even spot Humpback whales during their migration season between November and April.

At the summit, visitors can take advantage of a telescope to catch a closer glimpse of the beautiful surrounding islands. Don’t forget to check out the blowholes along the rocky shore below Makapuʻu Head, which can be quite active at times.

Overall, Makapuʻu Point State Wayside is a must-see for any nature lover visiting Oʻahu.

Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside

The Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside is a lookout point that offers panoramic views of Oʻahu’s windward side. From the lookout, visitors can enjoy staggering views of Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe Bay, and Kailua.

The site is also famous for its strong trade winds that blow through the pass, making it a perfect spot for wind enthusiasts. The Nuʻuanu Pali Tunnels, built in 1958, have now bypassed the pass, but visitors can still hike the popular Old Pali Road to explore the area.

History buffs will appreciate the significance of the Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside, as it was the site of the Battle of Nuʻuanu in 1795, where Kamehameha I united the Hawaiian Islands.

Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the stunning views and breathtaking landscapes of this iconic Hawaiian landmark.

Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Monument

Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Monument is an impressive cultural site on the North Shore of Oʻahu. As the largest heiau on the island, it covers 2 acres and offers a commanding view of Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley.

The heiau served as a lookout point where sentries once monitored much of the northern shoreline of Oʻahu, and even signal fires from the Wailua Complex of Heiaus on Kauaʻi could be seen.

The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, and it has been a state park since then, covering 4 acres.

Visitors to Puʻu o Mahuka Heiau State Monument can enjoy learning about Hawaiian culture and history and savor the sweeping views from this unique hilltop location.

Queen Emma Summer Palace

Queen Emma Summer Palace, located just outside of downtown Honolulu, served as a retreat for Queen Emma of Hawaii and her family from 1857 to 1885.

Today, it is a popular tourist site and historic landmark that is open daily for visitors to explore. Inside, you’ll find beautiful furnishings, artifacts, and artwork that give a glimpse into the lives of Hawaiian royalty in the 19th century.

The palace is maintained by the Daughters of Hawaii, with entrance fees and revenue from the gift shop helping to support its upkeep. If you’re interested in Hawaiian history and culture, a visit to Queen Emma Summer Palace will be hugely satisfying.

Royal Mausoleum State Monument


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The Royal Mausoleum State Monument, located in Nuʻuanu on Oʻahu, is the resting place of Hawaii’s two most prominent royal families: the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalākaua Dynasty.

Also known as Mauna ʻAla, meaning Fragrant Hills in Hawaiian, it was originally built to house the remains of Kamehameha II and his queen, but later became the final resting place for many Hawaiian royals.

The site is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a serene location for visitors to pay their respects.

Guided tours of the mausoleum and its grounds are available, and visitors can learn about the intriguing history of Hawaii’s monarchy. The monument is open daily, except for state and federal holidays.

Sacred Falls State Park


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Sacred Falls State Park, also known as Kaliuwaʻa, is a beautiful natural area on the North Shore of Oʻahu that has been closed to the public since a tragic rockfall occurred on Mother’s Day in 1999.

Despite the closure and hefty fines for trespassing, some hikers still venture into the park to see the stunning Kaluanui gulch and the waterfalls at its end.

The park is a wahi pana, which means it has deep cultural significance and is associated with Hawaiian lore. Visitors were encouraged to show respect to the demigod associated with the area by laying leaves and stones on their path as they entered the valley, gorge, and falls.

Although it is currently closed, Sacred Falls State Park remains a cherished part of Oʻahu’s natural and cultural heritage.

Sand Island State Recreation Area


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If you’re looking for an urban escape in Honolulu, Sand Island State Recreation Area might be just what you need. This park offers a range of activities for visitors, including camping, fishing, and bodyboarding.

While camping is only allowed on weekends and permits are required, it’s a great way to experience a night under the stars without having to leave the city.

However, the noise from airplanes flying overhead due to the park’s location in the flight path of the Honolulu International Airport might be a downside for some visitors.

Additionally, a walking path along the beach makes for a pleasant stroll and a chance to take in some ocean views.

Ulupō Heiau State Historic Site


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Ulupō Heiau State Historic Site is a fascinating ancient site located on the eastern edge of Kawai Nui Marsh in Kailua, Hawaii. This site is associated with legends of the Menehune but was later associated with the high chiefs of Oahu.

The massive stone platform of the heiau is an impressive sight, measuring 140 by 180 feet, with outer walls up to 30 feet high. The size and scale of the heiau indicate its cultural importance and the chiefly power of its patrons.

While it may have begun as an agricultural heiau, it may have been converted to a heiau luakini by the great warrior chief Kuali’i, with an altar, an oracle tower, thatched hale, and wooden images.

The site became a territorial park in 1954, was partially restored in the early 1960s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Visitors can explore this historic site and learn about its rich cultural significance.

Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.