The comfortably warm and gentle waves of perfectly aqua water that make up the oceans around Hawaii are a major reason the state is such an international tourist destination ― but they aren’t the only reason. While spending time splashing, swimming, and snorkeling in the beautiful blue water off Hawaii’s coast is fun, it definitely shouldn’t be how you spend all your time on the islands.
Whether you have grown tired of seeing the crystal-clear waves or you have a young one not quite big enough to take a dip, you can still enjoy spending time in Hawaii with these activities on terra firma. Even long-time residents could donate their old boats and still have plenty to do on land!
1. ‘Iolani Palace
Just over a century ago, Hawaii was ruled by a monarchy, whose lavish residence still stands in Honolulu. ‘Iolani Palace was home to Hawaiian royalty for about 100 years, and was therefore one of the grandest buildings on all of the islands for many generations. Though the monarchy ended when Queen Liliʻuokalani was removed from office by American forces, the palace remains a testament to the grandeur of old Hawaii.
2. Koko Head Stairs
You don’t have to worry about wasting precious vacation time in the hotel gym when you plan a day on the Koko Head Stairs. This hike in southern Oahu was originally a railroad for shipping supplies around the island, but now, more than 1,000 wooden steps lead visitors to 360-degree, panoramic views of the mountains and sea. The rewards are breathtaking, especially when you go during a tropical sunrise or sunset.