Hawaii Vacations for the Adventurer with a Disability
Say "Aloha" to pristine beaches, sunny weather, laid-back lifestyle, and endless wheelchair accessible attractions! All six of Hawaii's islands offer a slice of paradise for the wheelchair traveler!
Sunshine Helicopter Tours, Kahului
Get ready to soar! Take a helicopter tour of Maui, Molokai, Big Island Hawaii, or Kauai! See magnificent aerial views of volcanoes, extraordinary rain forests, vibrant valleys, towering cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, and so many more hidden wonders of Hawaii! This tour provides astonishing views you can't get from ground tours, and you'll cover a lot more area!
Each tour is accessible with a special lift. Please inform Sunshine Helicopter Tours of any special needs prior to your visit!
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island
Photo © Wolfgang Beyer
The chain of islands that make up Hawaii was created by volcanic activity. Come marvel at Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world's most active volcanoes which are still adding onto the islands of Hawaii!
Start off at the Kilauea Visitor Center and watch a film that introduces the park and volcanology. Stop by the Volcano Art Center and the volcano house, which hosted 19th-century visitors and is now an art gallery. Learn about volcanology at the Jaggar Museum and see equipment, clothing, and gear used by scientists in past research of volcanoes. Look-outs along Crater Rim drive make it possible for wheelchair travelers to see the panoramic views of forests, desert, and a crater that erupted in the past century.
Accessible pathways include Waldron Ledge (Earthquake Trail), Devastation Trail, Pauahi Crater, Muliwai a Pele, and Kealakomo Overlook. The Kilauea Visitor Center, Jaggar Musuem, Volcano Art Center, and Volcano House are accessible.
Waimea Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Oahu
Waimea Valley is a rich source of Hawaiian culture, ecological, biological, and historic Hawaiian traditions. View beautiful and unusual plants grouped by islands, families, genera, and special uses! At the Waimea Valley, keeping the land and living systems whole is the first priority.
You can take a Moon Walk and see rare Hawaiian flowers bloom under the full moon on a guided tour or at your own pace. Collections include Ancanthacea, Erythrina, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Ferns, Bamboo, and so many more entrancing plant life!
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, Big Island
The 12-acre zoo happens to be the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the US! See more than 80 species of animal, including endangered nene (Hawaii's state bird), a white bengal tiger, two-toed sloths, and other exotic animals!
The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo showcases more than just animals the zoo has been described as a botanical garden with over 100 varieties of palm, an extensive collection of orchids, bamboo, and tropical rhododendrons. Get up close and personal with furry friends at the petting zoo, or watch a tiger feeding! Support the zoo and take a souvenir home from the gift shop!
The zoo is wheelchair-friendly!
Pearl Harbor Historic Site (USS Arizona), Honolulu
Visit Pearl Harbor the very place 1,177 members of the US military lost their lives on December 7, 1941. More than 1.5 million people visit the USS Arizona Memorial every year. The historic location provides a unique and humbling experience.
During your visit you can expect to see a documentary about the Pearl Harbor attack, hear from a Pearl Harbor survivor or park ranger, explore the museum, and take a look around the bookstore. After touring the grounds, you can board a Navy shuttle boat that will bring you to the actual memorial.
The memorial was built on top of the sunken USS Arizona battleship and it consists of an entry room, assembly room, and a shrine room, which contains a marble wall inscribed with the names of the souls who lost their lives aboard the ship.
The historic site is so popular, it's advised to arrive early. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center's restrooms, movie theater, exhibit galleries, bookstore, information desk, drinking fountains, Navy shuttle boats, and USS Arizona Memorial are all wheelchair accessible.
Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Waimea
It's no surprise that Mark Twain referred to Waimea Canyon as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The canyon was created by volcanic flows and is one mile wide, ten miles long, and 3,600 ft. in depth. There are many observation points that provide magnificent views of the canyon and all of the points are wheelchair accessible. Head down Waimea Canyon Drive in your mobility van and you'll reach the main canyon overlook, eventually finding your way to Kokee State Park.
Luau Kalamaku, Kauai
Looking for an awesome luau? Luau Kalamaku will take you on a journey through Hawaii's history with storytelling, hula dancing, games, torch lighting, musicians and many other Hawaiian treasures. Feast on delicious Hawaiian cuisine while enjoying live entertainment! What could be better than watching the sun set while surrounded by colorful performances? Arrive early and explore shops of the Kilohana plantation or take a peek at local arts-and-crafts demonstrations!
The best part is the luau is wheelchair accessible!
There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Hawaii and many have great wheelchair accessibility! Don't miss the natural beauty of Hawaii's beaches! All-terrain wheelchairs are available at Ala Moana Beach, Hanauma Beach, Kailua Beach, Kualoa Beach, Pokai Beach, and Sans Souci Beach! Some of the beaches require you to call ahead in order to reserve a beach wheelchair! All the information regarding accessibility for each beach can be found here.
Polynesian Adventure Tours, Honolulu
The Polynesian Adventure Tours were developed back in 1977 and have had lots of time to perfect their Hawaiian tours. ADA-compliant vehicles will take you to some of the hottest spots! Tour types include Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Luau (Luau Kalamaku mentioned above), Fly Away Tours, Road to Hana (a two to four hour drive passing rainforest, flowing waterfalls, and dramatic seascapes), Honolulu City Tours, Waikiki tours, and more! Pick tours by island or by activities!
Be sure to inform the reservations department that you are using a wheelchair so they can make appropriate accommodations!
Body Glove Excursions, Kailua-Kona
Go on a whale-watching excursion offered between December and April! This is when more than 8,000 Humpback whales travel to Hawaii to breed and nurse their young! Marine life naturalists will fill you with facts about these giants as you watch them play and take care of their young! (Sightings are guaranteed or you can go again free!) The Historical Dinner Cruise takes you back in time with a three-hour tour of Kealakekua Bay and Captain Cook's monument! A local historian will point out historical sites, and on the way back you'll enjoy a beautiful sunset, live entertainment, and a complimentary cocktail! Other tours include: snorkel and dive adventure, historical lunch cruise, luau combo package, 4th of July fireworks cruise, and other fun adventures!
Body Glove Cruises are wheelchair accessible with customized boarding ramps, portable extensions that accommodate scooters, manual, and electric wheelchairs. The lower deck of the 65' ship is fully accessible. When booking your tour, it is important you inform Body Glove of special needs.
No matter what time of year it is Hawaii is always sunny! Leave your worries and coats at home and get ready to make new memories at the wheelchair-friendly destinations in Hawaii! Aloha!