One of the reasons why Hawaii continues to bring back repeat tourists year after year is that it’s constantly evolving. Thanks to their increasing popularity as a must-see vacation destination, the Hawaiian Islands, which experience sunshine some 350 days out of the year, are continuing to expand their offerings.
It’s unsurprising that, if you’re due to make a trip to Hawaii in 2020, you’re wondering how on earth you’re supposed to fit everything in during your stay. That’s why we’ve done our own work and put together this 2020 bucket list to help visitors to the Hawaiian Islands make the most out of their stay. Print this list off and put it somewhere safe – it’ll come in handy when you touch down at your destination of choice!
Hawaii is known for its water sports, thanks to its choppy coastline that’s perfect for water-based adrenaline-inducing activities. Even if you’ve never given water sports a go yourself, you need to add it to your Hawaiian bucket list to give something a go during your stay on the island. There’s something for every skill level, so don’t be afraid if your only experience with water is your local swimming baths.
If you’re visiting Hawaii, you just have to make the most out at least one of its beautiful natural elements on offer. The Hawaii Volcanos National Park is a bucket list must, thanks to its stunning scenery, interesting ecology – and the fact that you get to go up-close-and-personal with a real-life active volcano. The higher you hike, the better the view you’ll get of The Big Island and the coast beyond.
Got a thrill-seeker in your vacation group? They’ll love taking one of the many helicopter tours that offer birds-eye views over the islands. It might seem a little scary, but a helicopter tour needs to make it onto your Hawaiian bucket list, simply because it’s something that you’re guaranteed to never forget for the rest of your life. Prices aren’t as costly as you’d expect, and the views more than make the experience worthwhile.
Hawaii offers a wealth of snorkelling potential, but if you want to get up close to some fascinating sea life, there’s no better place to head that Tunnels Beach. From land, Tunnels Beach might look like any other beach in Hawaii: postcard-ready, with white beaches and clear blue seas. Head under water and you’ll find a whole world of hidden tunnels and caves, which give Tunnel Beach its name. Expect to see a whole range of beautiful sea life, and maybe even the odd wild turtle or two.
There’s so much natural beauty to be found in Hawaii that you almost might think a trip to its Tropical Botanic Garden is unnecessary. But trust us – this is a must-see experience that you need to add to your Hawaiian bucket list ASAP. It’s home to some of the most beautiful lush gardens in the area, and the small entry fee you pay to get inside is used to fund the not-for-profit organisation, so you’re doing your bit for the island just by being a tourist.
Because it’s a tropical island, you’ll find waterfalls pretty much all over Kauai, a smaller island off Hawaii – but the one that’s really worth visiting is so little-known, it’s almost still a local secret (hence its name!). The Secret Waterfall is best visited by kayak or canoe, and there are plenty of rental companies that can help you out and point you in the right direction. Follow the Wailua River, which is a sight enough in itself, and then leave your canoes on the riverbank and head off in search of the waterfall. Unless your map reading skills are incredible, this one might be best leaving in the hands of a local tour guide!
You can’t visit Hawaii in whale watching season without heading out on a boat yourself and seeing what you can spot. The anticipation of whale watching is addictive enough, but it makes it all the more worthwhile when you catch sight of one – or several – whales just off Hawaii’s coastline. Be mindful that if you really want to be in with a chance of seeing a whale, you need to visit between November and April. January tends to be the best time for a guaranteed whale spotting.
Hawaii is famous for its incredible sunsets, so of course, it’s a bucket-list must that you have to catch at least one of these for yourself during your stay. The more you can see, the better, and try to vary things a bit – a sunset over a beach, for example, is an essential, but try catching one from up on the mountains, or on a boat out in the sea. Hawaii’s sunsets look far more beautiful in real life than in photos, so prepare to be blown away.