The beautiful beaches, fiery volcanoes, lush rainforests, and the endless tropical vibe—these are just a few of what Hawaii can offer. An offer that no one can probably say NO to. With so much going on and places to see in Hawaii, it is indeed quite difficult to make any decisions. One would want to explore the soft sand beaches with plenty of ocean activities or go towards the mountainous interiors with jungles and waterfalls. It’s going to be challenging to make the most out of your adventure if you won’t plan carefully.
Hawaii is made up of over 100 islands, however, there are eight main islands that make up the Hawaiian Islands: Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, Kahoolawe, and the Big Island, which is considered to be the most popular tourist destination. Each island has its own unique flavor and boasts of fantastic beaches and exciting activities.
When to go and where to stay?
As the weather in Hawaii is always warm, people flock to the islands during the months of December to February. Hawaii offers a broad range of accommodations, and one can choose from holiday homes in Hawaii budget hotels and condominiums or the luxury resorts. You are sure to enjoy good weather and beautiful beaches no matter what location you pick.
Aside from lazing on the beach, surfing, attending luau, beach hopping, and sailing are just some of the activities one should not miss when in the island. There are hundreds of things to do and enjoy that would make you go gaga. For first timers, here’s a guide on where to go and eat in Hawaii that would help you get the most out of your vacation.
Exploring the islands
- Big Island (Hawaii)
The Big Island boasts of the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, strings of white sand beaches and magnificent waterfall pools. Don’t miss snorkeling at any of the beautiful beaches and enjoy exploring the marine life. You also get to enjoy wildlife viewing and a view of giant sea turtles. Visit the observatory at the crest of Kilauea.
Oahu is the final destination for many Hawaii tourists and is a significant adventure spot. There is a lot to do and see here for families with kids looking for simplicity and convenience. At Oahu, you can embark on a culinary adventure with the local and western fare. Pearl Harbor and Aviation Museum tours are a must.
Kauai has a little bit of everything. One can hike deeply cut canyons and jungles or enjoy swimming at its fabulous beaches. The island guarantees a unique sight seeing experience with its wild and rich ecosystem. Food gets interesting, and tacos are highly recommended.
Maui has beaches of every kind and is perfect for surfing, sailboard, and kiteboarding. There are plenty of developed beaches tucked away beside a rain forest trail. One can dive in the Molokini Crater or take a guided hiking tour along the Haleakala crest. Maui is even more adventurous when it comes to food and drink.
If you want peace and serenity, go towards the isolated Lanai. Try to spend some quiet time exploring the water or simply laze on the beaches. Don’t miss the opportunity of off-roading adventure that you will find plenty on the island. In fact, you can see more of the island on foot. Also make sure you see Shipwreck Beach that carries a WWII liberty ship, lying rusted in the waters.
For authentic Hawaiian culture, go to Molokai. Here you will come across local and indigenous communities living across its ancient sites. It is all worth a trip and an unforgettable experience. Do not forget to take the trail to Kalaupapa which is among the world’s tallest sea cliffs and offers a 1,700-foot vertical climb.
Dining out in Hawaii
Hawaiian is a melting pot of ethnicities, and those different cultures are what makes Hawaii unique. Tourists will come across a wide range of restaurants around the island where they can try out different delicacies. When people think about dining out in Hawaii, they think about luau and kalua pig with poi. However, there is a lot more to the Hawaii food. Kona coffee has its own distinctive flavor profile which is rich and complex. Locals and tourists cannot resist the shaved ice and the ice stands selling fluffy mountains of ice. Hula Pie has become a huge favorite. Da Poke is another popular dish, and its freshness is what sets it apart from others. Mainstream restaurants and hotels use fresh and local ingredients for preparing their food.
Some more tips
- Dress in casual wear for daytime sightseeing and quick-drying clothes are recommended as you are likely to get caught out in an unexpected rain shower. It is a good idea to bring a swimsuit cover-up as one is expected to dress modestly.
- Pick a hotel that serves a à la carte breakfast menu and visit a farmer’s market where you’ll find fresh local food that is a lot cheaper. Look for happy hour deals offered by most restaurants and bars across Hawaii.
- Don’t venture out if you are unsure of the conditions and look out for posted safety signs. Swim at beaches with lifeguards.
- Carry food and water on your hiking trips and wear proper clothes and footwear like hiking shoes. It is a good idea to wear mosquito repellant for your safety.