Have you ever wiggled your toes in a black sand beach? Have you ever watched the sunrise from the top of a volcano? Have you ever tasted fresh vegetables harvested in volcanic soil and prepared by some of the world’s hottest chefs? Maybe it’s time you did. All you have to do to start your journey is “Let Hawaii Happen.”
Hawaii has six islands to choose from, each with their own unique personalities and unforgettable attractions. Choosing which island to explore may be the hardest part of your journey:
“Rejuvenating” is a word often used on Kauai, known for scenic spots like the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast and the panoramic views of Waimea Canyon. But even more breathtaking discoveries await along Kauai’s one-lane highways, from hidden waterfalls to secluded beaches. World-class resorts provide a welcome home base to relax, unplug and unwind.
Insider Tip: Experience the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast on the North Shore by taking a boat tour or cruise. In the summer you can even explore Napali’s sea caves by kayak.
Photo: Secret Falls, Kauai
This is the vibrant center of the Hawaiian Islands. Oahu is famous for iconic Hawaii landmarks like Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor, but there’s so much more to explore. For foodies, this is the epicenter for Pacific Rim cuisine. Make your reservations and get a taste from some of the world’s most esteemed chefs, using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.
Insider Tip: Foodies should experience the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific, Nov 1-5. The festival showcases wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s local farmers, fishermen and ranchers.
Photo: Fresh Seafood Salad, Oahu
Romance is always in the air on Maui. It’s an island that offers a unique blend of sophistication with a small-town feel. Start your day atop the summit of Haleakala for an epic sunrise or spend the day discovering unforgettable, scenic views along the winding road to Hana. Or simply lounge pool-side at one of Maui’s many world-class resorts, from Kapalua to Wailea.
Insider Tip: Take a leisurely drive along the slopes of Haleakala through Upcountry Maui and meander through charming small towns and local farms. You can experience local flavors at the Alii Kula Lavender Farm and the Surfing Goat Dairy.
Photo: Haleakala, Maui
The smallest inhabited Hawaiian island, Lanai may be the most private and luxurious. It’s a destination where you won’t find a single traffic light. This is a place to escape from it all.
Insider Tip: Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) is just a short, easy hike from Hulopoe Bay.
Photo: Hikers, Lanai
Natural, unspoiled and rustic, Molokai remains true to its island roots. This is a place where visitors don’t have to travel far off-the-beaten-path – they’re already there. Experience an authentic piece of old Hawaii in small-town Kaunakakai.
Insider Tip: Immerse yourself in Molokai’s natural beauty and rich culture accessible on a guided hike through private property to Halawa Valley.
Photo: Kalaupapa, Molokai
Island of Hawaii
This is the place to witness the power of nature at the active Kilauea Volcano. Lace up your hiking shoes to tackle the rugged, black lava terrain of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Or on the other side of the island, enjoy the feel of white sand and crystal blue Kona waters on your bare feet. Pack some snacks for a road trip and get ready to explore an island that will inspire with staggering natural diversity.
Insider Tip: While many visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park during the day, the fiery glow of Halemaumau Crater can be even more dramatic at twilight. You can view the active lava on a hike, helicopter or boat tour.
Photo: Halemaumau Crater, island of Hawaii