How To Really Enjoy Your Hawaiian Vacation
The clear, blue waters and pristine beaches of Hawaii attract tourists from around the world for a Hawaiian Vacation. Located in the northern Pacific Ocean, 2,400 miles off San Francisco, the Hawaiian Islands are a tourist paradise. The region is famous for its exquisite shores, but there is more to a Hawaii vacation than sun, sand and sea.
Whether you are planning a family vacation to Hawaii or a romantic getaway for two, Hawaii has some amazing tourist spots. Plan ahead for the best Hawaii vacation package deals and discounts.
For The Family, A Hawaiian Vaction Is The Way To Go
Hawaii is perfect for a family vacation. Choose a beach with calm waters and lifeguards, so the kids can safely splash about in the water while the adults sunbathe. Schedule water sports for later.
When travelling with kids, visit local aquariums to admire the Hawaiian marine life. When the children are bored of spotting dolphins, divert them with a submarine tour or a luxury cruise. Go hiking, ziplining or kayaking.
Plan a Hawaii family vacation in advance, especially during peak season. Look for an all inclusive, cheap Hawaii vacation package that includes flight tickets, accommodation and meals. When travelling in large groups, all inclusives cut down on additional expenses.
Romantic Vacations To Hawaii
The pristine waters and untouched beaches of the Hawaiian Islands are the perfect location for a romantic wedding and a laidback honeymoon.
Spend an entire day sunbathing on Kauai's beautiful beaches. Hike up to Lanai's famous Puu Pehe or Sweetheart Rock. Trek to the peak of Maui's Haleakala Crater for the breathtaking sunrise. Maybe book a helicopter ride over the islands' exquisite valleys, beaches and waterfalls.
A cozy beachfront condo would be ideal. Honeymooners can have their pick of everything from local houses to luxury resorts. Shop in advance for the most romantic Hawaii vacation villas at affordable rates.
Fun Things To Do On A Vacation To Hawaii
Attend A Luau: A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast celebrating the Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures. The feast is peppered with Hawaiian music and hula dancing. On the menu are traditional Hawaiian delicacies like kalua pig (pork cooked in a pit oven), lau lau (meat or fish wrapped in taro leaves) and poi (a staple starch of taro).
Helicopter Tour: Admire the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands – the ocean, the beaches, the jagged cliffs, the waterfalls, the abyss-like volcanic craters – from a helicopter. Our pick is a helicopter tour over Kilauea, the most active volcano in the world, which has been spewing lava since 1983. Shop around for the cheapest helicopter tour deals.
Get Sporty: Water babies can get their fill of water sports on the beachfront. Go kayaking along Oahu's Lanikai Beach and Kauai's Na Pali Coast. Learn the basics of surfing at Waikiki and discover the vibrant marine life at popular scuba diving spots like Kauai's Sheraton Caverns and Oahu's Hanauma Bay.
Later, explore the islands on horseback or hike to the top of Hawaii's highest volcanic craters. Feel the adrenalin rush while ziplining over the lush forests of Maui and Big Island.
Aloha Festivals: A September to mid-October Hawaiian vacation is ideal for tourists interested in Hawaiian culture. The two-month-long Aloha Festivals takes place across six islands during this period. Watch out for hula performances, live music, concerts, food stalls, art and craft booths and more.
Volcano Tourism: Spice up your laidback Hawaii vacation with a trip to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Big Island. Big Island is home to two active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. A third, Loihi, sits underwater off Big Island's southern coast. Non-active volcanoes in Hawaii include Maui's Haleakala and Oahu's Diamond Head. The rugged slopes are great for hiking.
What Are The Best Beaches To Visit During A Hawaiian Vacation?
The best snorkeling spots on Kauai are the reefs of the private Anini Beach Park and the Kee Beach, both on the north shore, and the eastern Lydgate Beach Park. Kee Beach, along with the western Salt Pond Beach Park and Kekaha Beach are popular sunbathing destinations. Surfers should head to Kealia Beach on the east coast, photographers to the breathtaking Hanalei Bay.
If you are on a Hawaii family vacation with kids, the calm waters of Kalapaki Beach and the Poipou Beach would be a great starting point.
The ever-popular Waikiki Beach, which terminates in the Diamond Head crater, draws 4 million visitors annually. Waikiki is popular among surfers, but other great (and less crowded) surfing spots include Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay on the northern shore and Makaha in the west. For massive waves, try the Banzai Pipeline in the north (not recommended for beginners).
Oahu-born US President Barack Obama's personal favorite is Sandy Beach, which stands 10 minutes past Hanauma Bay. A great many tropical fish live in the waters of Hanauma Bay, making it a popular snorkeling destination. For more marine life, go dolphin spotting at Yokohama Bay and look out for Hawaiian green sea turtles on the shores of Turtle Bay.
The serene sands of the romantic Lanikai Beach make it a picture-prefect honeymoon destination. You could also catch up on romance at the rugged Makapuu Beach, known for its cliffs, lava rocks and tide pools.
Maui is home to several top-ranked Hawaiian beaches: the Kaanapali, D.T. Fleming and Old Fleming beaches in the west, the magnificent Wailea Beach in the south and author James Michener's favorite Hamoa Beach in the east. Also, visit Maui's signature white sand beach, Makena, in the south.
Launiupoko in the west and Hana in the east are the best spots for Hawaii family vacations with kids. There is plenty to do on Maui's east coast, from camping out on the shores of the Waianapanapa State Park to bodysurfing at the H.A. Baldwin Beach Park.
4. Big Island
Travelers with kids should head to the calmer waters of Hilo's Onekahakaha and north Kohala's Samuel Spencer Beach Park. The best snorkeling spots are the Richardson Ocean Center and the Holoholokai Beach.
Big Island is home to some unique beaches, including the olivine crystal Papakolea and the black sand Punaluu. A must-visit on the Big Island is the famous Laaloa Beach in Kona – also known as Disappearing Sands and Magic Sands. This small white sand beach sometimes disappears at night because of tidal shifts and strong surf, only to return the next day.
Kayaks and hydro bikes are available for rent at the Anaehoomalu Beach at Kohala.
Vacation To Hawaii: Accommodation
Hawaii offers accommodation to suit every budget. Live in luxury at the five-star hotels and resorts on the islands. Advance planning should get you a discount package deal.
Family vacationers could consider Hawaiian vacation villa and condo rentals. Tourists who plan ahead are more likely to find cheap Hawaii vacation home rental deals. While planning a Hawaii holiday, look for the occasional travel package with a big discount.
Vacations To Hawaii: Shopping
Hawaii is a terrific shopping destination. Big brands share space with local stores, art galleries and crowded bazaars. From artworks to surfboards and from ukuleles to hula skirts, there is something to suit every taste.
Spice up your wardrobe with a colorful "aloha shirt" or "Hawaiian shirt'. Accessorize with fine jewelry made by local artisans and purchase pearls sourced from Tahiti and the South Seas.
Pick up Hawaiian ceramics, glassware and bright, stylish quilts for your home. Dashboard hula dolls, Hawaiian hats and colorful vintage pineapple lamps make quirky gifts.
The Hawaiian Islands are also famous for bowls, furniture, guitars and other items crafted out of koa wood.
The Food During Hawaiian Vacation
Hawaii is a dream for someone who loves food. If you are looking to eat as the locals do, Hawaii offers a fantastic dining experience.
The local "plate lunch" comprises two helpings of rice, macaroni salad, a meat or seafood entrée and some fried fish. Kalua pig and beef teriyaki are popular eats. Big eaters can try the "loco moco" - hamburger steak and egg served over rice and drenched in gravy. The local potato chips, cooked in kettles, make for a crunchy, sinful treat.
After sunbathing all day, cool off with a shave ice – finely shaved snow cones of ice cream or azuki beans topped with colorful syrups. The sweet-toothed should scope out a local bakery for a hot malasada (Portuguese donut).
The region, and particularly Big Island, is famous for its coffee and macadamia nuts. Also, try the local jams and jellies made from local fruit like guava, mango and pineapple.
What Are The Ways To Get To Your Hawaiian Vacation
The biggest and best-connected airport here is Oahu's Honolulu International Airport. All major domestic airlines and many international ones operate here, connecting Oahu with the US mainland as well as with the bigger islands of Maui, Kauai and Big Island and smaller ones like Molokai and Lanai. It takes less than an hour to fly from Oahu to any of the other islands. When you plan your Hawaiian Vacation, be shore to look for flight deals, travel deals and Hotel deals. The airfare will be a lot lower and it is certainly possible to find cheap plane tickets.
Ferry rides are available from Maui's Lahaina Harbor to Lanai's Manele Bay and Molokai's Kaunakakai Harbor.
A rented car is the best way to travel within the islands during your Hawaiian Vacation. You will find car rentals at the airport. Book a Hawaiian Vacation in advance, especially during peak season. Shuttle cars, taxis and other modes of public transport are available on most of the islands.