We live in a visual world, consuming media 24/7. And one of the fastest growing mediums – Instagram. From their idyllic filters to the easy editing tools, Instagramming is as much of an addiction as it is an obsession. One of the fastest growing categories of photos? Travel, which should come as no surprise, but the sheer volume might.

Right now there are 23 million photos tagged #travel on Instagram. In search of inspiration for our Hawaii vacation, we planned an entire trip based purely on the hottest, most popular tags related to the Islands on Instagram. With over 1 million photos tagged in Oahu alone, here are the top 10 sites we came up with – you just may want to try this the next time you’re planning a trip of your own:

Top 10 Instagrammed Places on Oahu

1. #Waikiki – With over 677,775 photos tagged, this was the number one Oahu attraction according to Instagram. One of the most popular beaches in the world, Waikiki is included in almost every top 10 list, but what was fun was seeing all the different things you could do there. From culinary explorations to outrigger canoe surfing, everyone was offering a different look at the famous beach. Even though we had an idea of what we’d do in Waikiki, it was a great source of inspiration for restaurant recommendations and activities.

2. #Northshore – The North Shore is a big area which includes several other items our this list, but with 521,000 photos tagged, we knew a road trip was a must-do. The biggest lesson we learned was just how many things to do and places to see there really is. If you ever needed convincing that the North Shore is more than a day trip, this is it. Plan at least two nights to really do it justice.

3. #DiamondHead – With easy access from Waikiki it’s no wonder why this 2-mile hike is one of the top Instagrammed spots on the island. With over 120,000 photos tagged, Diamond Head is the perfect way to start your day and catch the sunrise. The park opens at 6am and offers some of the most breathtaking views of Oahu.

4. #PearlHarbor – As one of the most important events in US history, Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial are also one of the top spots in Hawaii. Located just west of Honolulu, give yourself two or three hours to see the entire site, including the short movie presentation and the boat ride.

5. #HanaumaBay – Adventurers and photographers alike will love this crater and the amazing snorkeling opportunities so close to the beach. Only a short drive from Waikiki, Hanauma Bay is a great half day trip from most area hotels and great fun for the entire family. Bring an underwater case for your smart phone or a GoPro to capture all the fish and sea turtles swimming in the bay.

6. #WaimeaBay – This North Shore hashtag has photos of the beach and the falls, so you’re privy to a variety of shots. Spend a full day at the falls and the beach (which are within walking distance or a short cab ride from each other). In summer, the waves are very calm, making this a perfect swimming spot, while in winter, Waimea Bay Beach becomes some of the best surfing on the island. The waves can peak as high as 30 feet when a big swell comes in, so park yourself on the sand and watch the professionals.

 

And now 4 spots you SHOULD see and Instagram!

1.  #SharksCove – The lava tubes and rocky shoreline leading out to the ocean gives this spot an almost otherworldly vibe, especially at sunrise and sunset. Bring your underwater camera gear to capture the sea turtles or eels swimming, too.

2. #Makapuu – This spot is similar #WaimeaBay in that everything from the tide pools to the lighthouse is tagged. Bring your bathing suit and hiking shoes to fully explore this cool area on the eastern most point of Oahu. The lighthouse actually has the largest lens of any lighthouse in the United States, a trivia question that may come in handy some day.

3. #PaliLookout – The Pali Lookout is an easy spot to snap a photo right from the parking lot, but make the experience extra memorable by completing one of the short nearby hikes. Locals love the “window to the world,” but be careful because it gets slippery on the edge of the cliff.

4. #ManoaFalls – With over twenty thousand photos tagged, this waterfall hike certainly isn’t a secret (especially considering how close it is to Waikiki), but the bamboo trees and waterfalls put it at the top of our list. Bring the whole family and a picnic to enjoy near the falls.

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