A string of islands with endless adventure and a wealth of cultural activities, Hawaii is a domestic destination that feels exotic. This destination tops most people's bucket list! It doesn't require a passport, but it does require a keen understanding of what each island is all about.
Kauai: Lush. Endless shades of green. Rejuvenating.
Kauai is for adventure seekers looking to connect with nature. This destination is ideal for hikers! Between Waimea Canyon, the Napali Coast, and Ha'ena State Park, natural beauty abounds for those who love the great outdoors. Destinations like Ha'ena State Park do require advanced reservations. As does the Kilauea Point National Wildlife refuge. Foodie tours and farmer's markets can help you refuel when on this adventure-seeking island.
Oahu: Energy. Vibrant. Surf. Iconic. Town and Country.
The island of Oahu is iconic Hawaii with the most swimmable coastline of all the islands. And beyond swimming the history buffs will enjoy the #1 site on the island: Pearl Harbor. The site boasts a brand new attraction - the Top of the Tower tour - but keep in mind this site should definitely be reserved in advance as no walk up tickets are available. History buffs will also love the Bishop Museum, known as the Smithsonian of the Pacific, and the Iolani Palace. When you're ready to hit the water, surf lessons with Outrigger Canoe and hiking along Diamond Head State Monument will be a great way to enjoy the Oahu outdoors. As with other sites in the destination, online reservations are required as no walk up entry tickets are available! Want to spot some waterfalls while on Oahu? Check out the Waimea Valley Botanical Gardens which contain a lifeguarded, swimmable waterfall - the perfect marriage for museum lovers and outdoorsmen.
Maui: Spontaneous. Adventure. Leisurely. Laid Back.
Did you know that Maui also includes two other islands? Lanai and Molokai are both part of Maui county! On the main island of Maui, be aware - illegally permitted accommodations run rampant here! Always book with a travel advisor to ensure your accommodations are legal and legitimate. Maui is a great destination for whale watchers! The ideal time is between December and May and the ferry ride out to Lanai is one of the best ways to spot the whales - a great day trip from Maui. Sunrises and sunsets are infamous on this island as is the golf. Want to hit another top spot? Check out the Road to Hana - but beware of the curves - there are 620! Check out www.hanamaui.com for all the Road to Hana driving tips and etiquette if you plan to drive yourselves. Another popular park is the Waianapanapa State Park and you guessed it - you must have reservations! Need to spice up your Maui itinerary? Head on day trips to other parts of the county - Lanai is serene, secluded and refined, while Molokai is rustic, rugged and unspoiled - there's not a stoplight on the entire island, but there is delicious hot bread. The motto of Maui is "the land is chief and man is its servant," so keep that in mind and particpate in some ecotourism while there by planting a few trees as part of their reforestation efforts.
Island of Hawaii: Living Culture. Accessible. Active. Volcanoes. Day Trips.
If you didn't know already there is a specific island of Hawaii within the state of Hawaii. There are two airports on this island because it is so large - Kona and Hilo. Many plan itineraries to fly into one airport and out of the other to make the most of your time exploring. This island is for the National Parks Guru - as it hosts 5 of them! For more information about the active volcano parks, check out https://www.nps.gov/havo/ These parks are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but the perfect times to visit are 5 am and 5 pm for the fantastic views of the volcanoes in the sunrises and sunsets. A $30 weekly pass will give you 7 days of access to this living wonder! There are beautiful Orchid farms on the island and need a free activity? Check out the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo. If your last day's itinerary includes a late-night flight back home, check out Kona Sea Salt's sunset tour as it's less than a 10-minute ride away from the airport and you'll make the most of your last day. Check out Kokua Farmers to visit a farm on the island or better yet - check out a farmer's market for fresh produce. Once you've refueled, hit the trails mountain biking at Anna Ranch Heritage Center.
Hawaii hosts a plethora of sites and activities and you can return again and again to seek out what makes this domestic destination so exotic!