Hawaii has a lot to offer visitors, from spectacular beaches and volcanoes to a rich history and culture. However, with so much to do and see, it can be difficult for travelers to know what experiences are worth their time. To help, USA TODAY spoke with Native Hawaiians who work in the tourism industry to learn what attractions are overrated or simply seeking out tourist dollars. They also shared tips on how to get the most out of a trip to the islands, including when to go and how to avoid overcrowded attractions.

The most common mistake is not taking the time to learn about Hawaiian culture. The islands are home to Polynesian traditions, which include dance, music, and art. Visiting these cultural sites is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii’s unique identity and heritage.

A few other things to keep in mind when visiting the islands:

Don’t confuse the word “Hawaiian” with “Hawaiian-American.” Many tourists misunderstand this term, which only applies to those with pure Hawaiian blood. When speaking with locals, remember to respect their language and culture by using proper etiquette and avoiding offensive words or phrases.

Lastly, travelers should be aware that while Hawaii is a beautiful state, it is still a place of conflict and strife. The United States military occupied the island chain after World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor left a lasting impact on the people of Hawaii. Visit the memorials and museums on Oahu to learn more about this painful part of Hawaii’s history.

Oahu is the most popular island in Hawaii and offers a variety of landmarks and activities, from renowned beaches to historic monuments. The Garden Isle is also known for its lush landscape and awe-inspiring mountains. During your stay, be sure to take the time to explore the Seven Sacred Pools or hike through Ohe’o Gulch for views of waterfalls and endemic plant species.

One of the best ways to enjoy Hawaii’s culture is to book a cruise with a trusted travel company. Cruises offer a comprehensive slate of shore excursions, so you can rest assured that your day-to-day itinerary is full of iconic experiences. Plus, you don’t have to worry about researching the most reputable guides or safe tour companies; cruise lines vet these activities and partner with only the best.

To start planning your own voyage, browse our selection of cruises to Hawaii. We’re committed to helping you find the perfect vacation for your budget and preferences, whether you prefer a relaxing beach escape or a more adventurous experience exploring the islands’ volcanic and geological wonders. Start your search today! And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

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