How To Spend 10 Days In Hawaii
An archipelago of tropical paradises characterised by glistening golden beaches, thunderous volcanoes, colourful flowers and azure waters, Hawaii is a stunning destination for a sun-soaked holiday. Ten days in Hawaii is an ideal amount of time to spend getting to know this magical place.
Made up of eight islands, this is a fascinating US state. It serves as the perfect destination for sunbathing, snorkelling and trekking but there’s much more to it than that, as you’ll discover when exploring the intriguing culture of this beautiful part of the world. Taking in the three main islands and offering enough adventure for ten unforgettable days, the below is a guide to what to see, where to go and what to do in Hawaii, broken down into our recommended allotted days to help you make the most of your Hawaii holiday.
Four Days On Oahu
Perhaps the best known of Hawaii’s islands, Oahu is home to iconic hotspots like Honolulu and Waikiki. here, there are spectacular beaches, historical sites and the opportunity to kick back and relax with a cocktail by the shore. Don’t miss these top locations whilst you are on Oahu.
Waikiki’s buzzing, vibrant beach resorts are flanked by modern skyscrapers and luxurious hotels but there’s an inimitable laid-back vibe that permeates the warm air here. Embrace the famous hospitality, get involved in the traditional welcome ceremonies and wear the flower lei with pride.
After spending a day soaking up the sun and splashing around in the waves at Waikiki, make for Kalakaua Avenue, which is packed with shops, bars and restaurants. Enjoy dinner with a view and an exotic cocktail as the sun sets.
For those who are willing to tear themselves away from the powdery sand, Waikiki also has an excellent aquarium and Honolulu Zoo is just a short drive away. The Waikiki Historical Trail provides a fascinating insight into the history of the area, as well as an opportunity to stretch your legs and take in the views. Along the route, surfboards plastered with information take visitors on a journey back in time – the perfect way to spend a few hours.
One of the most significant historical sites in the US, Pearl Harbour is located just 30 minutes from Waikiki. On December 7th 1941, this was the site of an unexpected air assault by Japanese pilots and saw the US enter World War Two. Today, visitors can embark upon an immersive experience documenting the events of that fateful day. Listen to tales from survivors, see photographs showing the destruction and remember those who were lost at the memorial statues.
Visit Pearl Harbour on our Hawaii Four Island Adventure.
The enigmatic capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is a city awash with bright colours. Surrounded by vivid blue waters and sandy beaches that sparkle in the sun, this is a city that offers a unique urban adventure. Visitors can shop, surf, sunbathe or snorkel then take in historical sights and treat the taste buds to seafood and world class cocktails – all without leaving the heart of Honolulu.
Attractions that should be included in every Hawaii itinerary include The Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art and Iolani Palace. Now open to the public, the palace is the USA’s only state residence that’s ever been home to royalty.
Discover our hotel recommendation for Honolulu – Shoreline Hotel Waikiki.
Those with a love of the water should not leave the island idyll of Oahu without visiting the famous North Shore. A high-profile surf spot, North Shore hosts some of the world’s most prestigious surfing competitions, including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
The waves are best suited to surfing during the winter months whilst in spring and summer, the waters are more tranquil and ideally suited to swimming. Nearby Waimea Bay, which rose to fame as a surfing haven in the 1950s, is a popular spot for sun-seekers and surfers alike.
Three Days on Big Island
The largest island in the archipelago, Big Island is officially known as Hawaii. This island boasts incredibly diverse geography and, while Oahu offers relaxation and beach activities, Big Island lends itself to an itinerary packed with action and adventure.
Scattered with volcanic peaks, lush green forests and sweeping bays, this is a holiday backdrop that is reminiscent of a coffee table book or a movie scene. While on Big Island, spend three days sampling and savouring the delights of these activities and places.
Kilauea Volcano & Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
An active volcano, Kilauea Volcano is one of the most popular tourist sights on the island. Standing more than 1,200 metres tall, this iconic mass emerged over 100,000 years ago and is a focal point of the Southern Shore and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Spanning over 1,300 square kilometres, the park is a magnificent geographical wonderland, with lava fields speared by conical cauldrons and giant craters.
Guided hikes, helicopter tours and even ocean excursions offering sensational views from the ocean are popular ways to take in the sights and wonders of the island’s volcanoes. Tours, meanwhile, provide incredible views of molten lava and an appreciation of the scale and dominance of the park’s main attractions.
Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as part of our Hawaiian Discovery Tour.
Mauna Kea Stargazing
Hawaii is famed for its dark, clear skies, making it a perfect place to marvel at the stars. One of the best locations to stargaze is the summit of Mauna Kea, where visitors will even find telescopes available for a better view. You can reach the top by hiking independently. Alternatively, take a guided tour to learn about the region and the constellations to really make the most of your trip.
Another fantastic reason to take a tour here is that Mauna Kea is a sacred place for Hawaiians. It is where Poliahu, the snow goddess, resides and hiking with a knowledgeable guide is the perfect way to discover the culture and mythology of the archipelago. Aim to arrive around half an hour before sunset to enjoy mesmerising views of the islands before the stars start twinkling.
Kailua-Kona Beach Life
Hawaii is synonymous with the beach and there are few better places to catch rays and recharge the batteries than the sandy stretches of North Kona and the Gold Coast of South Kohala. The beaches here are picture-perfect and a day of sunbathing is just the tonic for those who have been hiking, climbing or surfing for a few days!
Located on the West Coast, Kona is a region bursting with beautiful sights and cultural experiences. Take a walking tour and learn about the history of attractions like Hulihee Palace and Mokuaikaua Church, whilst keeping your eyes peeled for green sea turtles and dolphins in the calm waters that lap against the southern shores of the area.
Don’t forget to start your day – or perhaps recharge your batteries – by sipping on freshly-brewed coffee grown and roasted locally. Kona’s coffee is world-famous so don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample the distinctive blend.
Kona is also one of the best places in the world to spot manta rays, the graceful giants of the sea. A population of this species thrives here and swimming with manta rays is top of many a visitor’s wish list. You can join a dive to swim with these amazing creatures or head to the Manta Learning Center, which was founded in 2001. Here there is an ideally located viewing deck perfect for watching these unique sea creatures gliding around the clear waters without getting wet yourself!
The Manta Learning Centre also plays host to a range of exhibits and displays which are packed with information about the local manta ray population. It is estimated that there are around 240 rays in the Kona area, with some weighing up to 3,000 lbs and boasting wingspans of up to 20 feet.
Discover our hotel recommendation for Big Island – Royal Kona Resort.
Three Days on Maui
Spend your final three days in paradise on the island of Maui – arguably the best-known of the islands and nestled in the heart of the Hawaiian Archipelago. If Maui has a reputation as the most famous Hawaiian island, it’s certainly earnt. Boasting everything from secluded golden beaches and swaying palms to towering volcanoes and turquoise waters, this is a place where troubles just melt away. You can fill three days in paradise without any problems, but don’t miss the following highlights.
Haleakala National Park
Scaling the dizzy heights of Haleakala is undeniably the best way to see the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the island of Maui. Dotted around the giant rim of the gaping mouth of the volcano, viewpoints provide spectacular vistas of volcanoes, lava fields and the ocean-flanked beaches in the distance.
Hiking here is a special experience and it’s also possible to cover the rugged terrain on two wheels. For those keen to enjoy everything the park has to offer and profit from an authentic under-the-stars experience, camping is also available with a permit. Be sure to take a look in the visitor centre, which has all the information needed to plan a hike or find the best viewpoints.
When it comes to exploring on foot, the Pipiwai Trail is a popular choice. The meandering trail takes around two hours in total to complete and brings visitors through bamboo groves and river banks along the Palikea Stream. The cascading torrents of Makahiku and Waimoku Falls make for spectacular sights along the way, which ends in the serenity of the Seven Sacred Pools which lie at the mouth of the waterway.
Discover our hotel recommendation on Maui – Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.
Maui Ocean Center
The Maui Ocean Center is one of the USA’s most impressive aquariums. Bursting with interactive exhibits, a trip to this attraction affords a wondrous voyage into the tropical waters that surround these picturesque volcanic islands. Learn all about Hawaii’s native species, watch live web cam footage and get up close and personal with Hawaii’s most loved marine mammals. For those who are feeling brave, there’s also an opportunity to dive in the shark tank too!
Maui plays host to an array of experiences and activities that are guaranteed to set the pulses racing and release a heady dose of adrenaline. There are myriad of things to do in Hawaii for thrill-seekers, from zip-lining at Maui Tropical Plantation, paragon sailing, waterfall rappelling and canyoning.
The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana is a road trip that will never be forgotten. A breathtaking route that comprises of hairpin bends, undulating tracks and single-lane bridges, this path provides jaw-dropping views of tropical rainforests, gushing waterfalls and vivid flower-filled meadows.
Hawaii is a land that conjures up images of pristine beaches, glistening waters and scenery that looks too beautiful to be real. Although this state of course comprises a string of small idyllic islands with impressive sandy beaches, this is also an archipelago that is big on action and adventure. Here, there are excursions and experiences aplenty and activities that go beyond reclining on the beach with a cocktail.
Whether you picture yourself soaking up the energetic vibes in Waikiki, touring Hawaii’s iconic volcanoes or sipping the freshest coffee you’ve ever tasted, or a combination of all of these together, 10 days in Hawaii is a fantastic amount of time to get to know this island paradise. Start planning your Hawaii holiday today.