Mark Twain called Hawaii, “That peaceful land, that beautiful land… the climate, one long delicious summer day, and the good that die experience no change, for they but fall asleep in one heaven and wake up in another.”
More than eight million visitors flock to the islands of Hawaii each year, and it’s no wonder – there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Those who enjoy soaking in the sun at the beach will find sands of just about every color – black, green and red included. You could snooze on the beach all day if you wanted to, but why, when there’s so much to do, explore and take in?
Way more than hula dancers, luaus and Mai Tais, each Hawaiian island boasts a variety of natural and cultural attractions, so let’s get started!
Oahu is the most populous of the Hawaiian Islands and is home to Honolulu and the famed Waikiki Beach. If shopping, nightlife and experiencing world-class restaurants is on your vacation agenda, then this part of Oahu should be at the top of your list. There are also exhilarating adventure opportunities here – from hiking to the top of Diamond Head to surfing momentous waves, to snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.
There’s plenty to do outside the urban center, as well. A visit to the Pearl Harbor memorial is a must, where oil from the USS Arizona still bubbles to the surface as a solemn reminder that more than 1,100 souls lost their lives that fateful day in 1941. History buffs could spend an entire day at Pearl Harbor exploring the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Bowfin submarine, USS Battleship Missouri and more.
The slower pace of Oahu’s North Shore, with its delicious shrimp served straight from food trucks and refreshing shave ice (a real Hawaiian treat!), as well as gorgeous botanical gardens and waterfalls, is a great way to wind down.
Kualoa Ranch on the windward side of Oahu is also a must-do experience. Sprawling across 4,000 acres, this private nature reserve and working cattle ranch is a popular tourist attraction. Take in the incredible views of mountains, water and tropical foliage by horseback, tour bus or ATV. No wonder numerous movies and television shows have been filmed here!
Maui is an adventurer’s delight. Some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving can be found here, as well as the state’s longest zipline. You can horseback on the beach or up in the mountains with views of both sides of the island. Start your day with the sunrise at Haleakala, a dormant volcano with a striking, lunar-like terrain, and watch the sun rise above the clouds – a truly unique and breathtaking experience! Or go windsurfing near the small town of Paia, and then check out its funky boutiques and restaurants.
Be sure to save some time for a visit to Maui Wine and/or Haliimaile Distilling Company, both of which have tours and tastings. Or if tea and scones is more your “cup of tea,” head to Up Country for a pleasant afternoon at the Alii Kula Lavender farms or take in the shops and boutiques in historic Lahaina Town.
From sunny Ka’anapali Beach to the dramatic cliffs and waterfalls on the road to Hana, Maui is, for many people, synonymous with paradise. Absolutely stunning with crystal blue waters, you could easily spend a week or more here and not see and do everything this island has to offer.
Kauai, on the northernmost side of the main Hawaiian Islands, is known as the Garden Isle for its truly unspoiled natural landscapes. In fact, part of this lush green island can only be reached by air or sea. Explore its colorful cliffs and valley, along with countless waterfalls, by helicopter or catamaran – both offer a different perspective and stunning views.
Those seeking adventure have a plethora of hiking opportunities across the island, kayaking on the Wailua River, or surfing and snorkeling on the southside at sunny Poipu Beach. Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, provides stunning views and unmatched hiking.
Home to incredible resorts, beaches, golfing and more, you play OR relax – it’s all here on Kauai.
THE BIG ISLAND
Think big! Hawaii Island, also known as “The Big Island,” is the largest in the Hawaiian chain and is nearly twice as big as all the other Hawaiian Islands combined. In fact, its vast size spreads across 10 micro climates, so you can experience everything from sunbaked lava fields to cool, misty forests and snow-capped volcanoes.
Imagine yourself visiting Kilauea, one the most active volcanoes in the world, sailing off the Kona coast or walking on a black sand beach. The Big Island is one of the few places in the world you can snorkel and dive with the manta Rays. There’s nothing like the site of glowing lava flowing into the ocean! With so much to see and experience, it’s best to experience the island a little at a time.
With so much packed into this small Pacific paradise, there’s no place on earth like Hawaii. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or repeat traveler to the Aloha State, you’ll always find something new to discover. Each of the Hawaiian Islands has everything from extravagant resorts with incredible golf courses to modest condos to plant your feet. We can help you choose the right islands – and home away from home – to plan an unforgettable Hawaiian adventure!