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6 Animal Adventures in Hawaii

Animal lovers rejoice! Even if you have to leave your four-legged, feathered, or scaly friends at home, there are plenty of ways to get your animal fix on your next Hawaiian vacation.



Take a dip in the warm tropical waters and see all the incredible creatures that call it home. According to travel blog prideofmaui.com, snorkeling is the No. 1 thing to do in Hawaii. There’s lots of opportunities to swim with colorful fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and manta rays. And there’s no shortage of snorkeling tour companies.


Whale watching

Each fall, North Pacific Humpback whales, or kohola, depart the Gulf of Alaska and head for warmer waters. The Au’au Channel between Lana’i, Maui, and Molokai is widely recognized as one of the best whale-watching locations around. Gohawaii.com is a great resource for planning a whale-watching outing.


Sea Life Park Hawaii

Open ocean not your thing? Try Sea Life Park Hawaii in O’ahu. Swim with dolphins or Hawaiian reef sharks, pet sea lions and rays, and see penguins.  


Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo

The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo in Hilo is the only naturally occurring tropical rainforest zoo in the country. See giant anteaters, Bengal tigers, monkeys, endangered Hawaiian hawks, and the Hawaiian state bird, the nene. Be sure not to miss the alligators’ afternoon feeding.


The Honolulu Zoo

Lions, tigers, and bears. And more animals from all over the world. Check out the zoo’s new Ectotherm Complex, which has replaced the reptile house. 


Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Lots of endangered green sea turtles, or honu, frequent this striking black sand beach on the Big Island. But keep your distance. Touching or feeding the turtles is not allowed.

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