Every year, thousands of people head to the islands of Hawaii on honeymoon.
Just thinking about the vast beaches and luxury resorts is enough to melt away wedding stress. But those who travel all the way to Hawaii just to sprawl on the sands of Waikiki are missing out on some of the most dramatic scenery in the United States. If you’re honeymooning in Hawaii, add these six awe-inspiring sites across the Hawaiian Islands to your itinerary.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Found on the southeastern tip of the island of O'ahu, about 20 kilometers from the state's capital city, Honolulu, Hanauma Bay is all that remains of a once-powerful volcanic crater. Today, this stunning cove is a popular snorkeling spot. Strap on a mask, grab a waterproof camera and take some selfies with angel fish, yellow tangs and Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, the state fish of Hawaii.
Hanauma Bay, once a volcanic crater, now a marine life conservation area
Na Pali Coast, Kauai
Stretching across more than 27 kilometers of Kauai’s northern shore, the Na Pali Coast is the island’s most famous juncture with the ocean. The occasional waterfall adds to the already dazzling beauty of these jagged green cliffs. You can experience the Na Pali Coast from the Kalalau Trail, but this hike isn’t for the faint of heart. You can also see the coast by boat or enjoy views on the cliffs from the eastern end of Route 560, about 17 kilometers west of the resort town of Princeville.
Verdant Na Pali Coast, one of the most scenic parts of Hawaii
Waimoku Falls, Maui
The short hike to Waimoku Falls — located in the southeastern part of Maui’s Haleakala National Park — is a worthwhile detour along the island’s famous Road to Hana Drive. Follow the Pipiwai Trail through several bamboo groves and you’ll find yourself staring up at the 122-meter-high falls. Here, water tumbles down over volcanic cliffs into a small pool of water, where you and your new spouse can cool off.
Towering Waimoku Fall, one of many natural wonders found in southeast Maui
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island
This honeymoon hot spot was formed over thousands of years by volcanic activity — which you can see first-hand Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the southern coast of the Big Island. This island chain was formed thousands of years ago from volcanic activity, and the Kilauea volcano continues to add layers. Nothing will heat up your honeymoon like the sight of lava flowing into the Pacific.
Molten lava pouring from the earth in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
A less fiery view of Hawaii’s volcanic history can be found at Molokinki, a half-moon-shaped islet found about 4 kilometers off the southwest coast of Maui — making it an easy day trip from Maui's resorts. Molokini is all that remains of a violent volcanic eruption that rocked the Pacific around 230,000 years ago. Today, the atoll (and the 31 hectares of ocean floor surrounding it) draws snorkelers and scuba divers, as well as boaters looking for a scenic place to drop anchor.
Crescent-shaped Molokini, all that remains of a volcano
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Although it’s not nearly as large as its Arizona counterpart, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” boasts some memorable scenery. Numerous lookout points offer panoramic views of the 22.5-kilometer-long, 1,100-meter-deep canyon on the northwest side of Kauai. If you’re not up for hiking, hop in the car and follow Waimea Canyon Drive, which cuts through the state park and leads down into the canyon, weaving between the rusty buttes. For a truly memorable experience, book a helicopter tour for two.
The landscape of Kauai's Waimea Canyon