Hawaiian vacations include just what you need to enjoy a tropical atmosphere, from relaxing on the beaches to hiking through the rain forests. The islands all have their own draws, and whether you’d rather spend time on the lively beaches of the Big Island or enjoy the secluded four-star resorts on Lanai, the best trips to Hawaii all have the same things in common: plenty of sun, surf, and sand in a tropical paradise.
It’s possible to start your trip in different ways, by flying directly to Hawaii or booking a cruise vacation, and either way, you’ll have numerous choices for places to go and things to see once you arrive. For instance, Hawaiian vacations not only offer miles of beach ideal for swimming, sailing, and snorkeling, but also opportunities for observing the humpback whales that migrate to the waters near Maui, Molokai, and Lanai to give birth during the winter months.
Naming the top 10 Hawaii vacation spots is a tall order, as that all depends on what your interests are. Some travelers on romantic vacations would rather go horseback riding along the beach or go hiking through the lush forests, while travelers on family trips might prefer eco tours, spending time at the swimming pool, or playing a few rounds of golf. Overall, the best Hawaiian vacations include plenty of time to visit multiple islands and their attractions
Two of the top 10 vacation spots are Waikiki, on Oahu, and the island of Maui. Waikiki Beach is one of the best known destinations in Hawaii, boasting tandem and long board surfing on its rolling waves and an abundance of hotels and resorts. The city also features an upbeat atmosphere with jazz clubs, dance clubs, pubs, bars, and traditional Hawaiian music, and as nightlife isn’t always part of Hawaiian getaways, it might be worth staying here if you’re looking for extra excitement once the sun goes down.
Maui is known as the most romantic of the islands, which explains why it’s perfect for both honeymoons and destination weddings. Possible activities include golf, sailing, and wine tasting tours, and the town of Lahaina, which is known for its whaling history and the terrific luaus in the area. If Hawaii’s natural attractions are what draw you, consider Molokini, a volcanic crater located in the channel between Maui and the nearby island of Kaho’olawe and a terrific spot for scuba diving. Maui is also home to the largest dormant volcano in the world, Haleakala.
Several of the best trips to Hawaii include historic tours, and one of the most moving is touring the USS Missouri site of the unconditional surrender or Japan during World War II on September 2, 1945. Walk the same corridors and decks as the sailors of that era. Stand on the Surrender Deck where the official papers were signed. Peer out into the harbor where the USS Arizona lies as a memorial to those who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, and visit the Punchbowl Memorial.
One of the most popular of the top 10 Hawaii vacation spots for a romantic getaway is the island of Lanai. Secluded and with minimal residents, Lanai offers travelers a quiet respite from the crowds. Visitors enjoy hiking up Munro Trail or visiting Kaunolu Village with its ancient ruins and petroglyph carvings or strolling along Shipwreck Beach. Lanai City offers a quaint atmosphere, restaurants, and shopping. Two resorts, the Manele Bay Hotel and The Lodge at Ko’ele, provide five-star luxury accommodations and dining. Lanai also has a championship golf course perfect for those interested in golf vacations.
On the Big Island, the top 10 Hawaii vacation spots could also include a visit to Hilo or Kona, a trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a hike to Akaka Falls, or a trip along Alii Drive. The beaches here are top-notch as well, but there’s so much to do that you can easily balance a beach vacation with an exciting outdoor getaway.
Hawaii Luxury Vacations
Hawaii Luxury Vacations
Luxury vacations in Hawaii are among the most popular holidays for visitors from the United States and Asia. A luxury Hawaiian vacation is possible on any of the six major islands, and each of them offers its own distinct personality. Kauai is called the "Garden Island," and is known for its lush forest covered mountains, lovely botanical gardens, and sparkling waterfalls. Luxury vacations in Hawaii on this island are apt to bring you to the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, which offers breathtaking mountain and ocean views, a full-service spa, numerous dining options, and even a supervised children's program.
If your luxury Hawaiian vacation takes you to the Big Island, you will be able to explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the volcano Kilauea that has been erupting continuously since 1983. You will find the most cosmopolitan luxury trips to Hawaii on the island of Oahu, where you will find the metropolis of Honolulu and iconic sites such as Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, and Waikiki Beach.
Some of the best luxury vacations in Hawaii will be found on the island of Maui, which has a remarkably high percentage of luxury hotels and resorts. Many of these are smaller, more exclusive boutique hotels that emphasize low-impact ecotourism, although there are larger resort complexes to be found around Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina. Wailea hotels offer more upscale resorts, including the beautiful Four Seasons with its sophisticated suites and rooms overlooking the golden beach. On the other side of the island in the charming village of Hana is the Hotel Hana, the oldest luxury hotel on the island set in 66 acres of plantation that rolls down to the sea. For more remote and secluded stays, you can head to the island of Lanai, home to two prestigious Four Seasons Resorts—the Four Seasons Koele and the Four Seasons Manele Bay.
Cruise Vacations to Hawaii
Cruise Vacations to Hawaii
Cruise vacations to Hawaii can be some of the most travel experiences, though it’s a longer journey than other cruise vacations, such as the Caribbean cruises typically leaving from Florida. Unless you’re going on a long journey through the Panama Canal, options for either a luxury or cheap cruise to Hawaii will leave from the Pacific coast of the US, primarily Southern California. While it’s possible to find decent rates by booking at the last minute, the best Hawaiian cruise package prices are typically found during the off-peak season.
There are two options for cruise vacations to Hawaii. The most common one is to depart from the US mainland, travel to the islands and visit major destinations, and then return to the port of call via cruise ship. If you don’t have time for this type of vacation, which can be lengthy, or you don’t want to spend the majority of your vacation on board a ship, then the second option, which is also a great way to find a cheap cruise to Hawaii, is to take a cruise that originates in Hawaii itself and travels to various islands. This way, passengers can spend more time exploring the islands and can also look forward to a more thorough look at the culture of this Pacific paradise.
Available throughout the entire year, cruise vacations to Hawaii come with a variety of itineraries, the most popular of which is a seven-day voyage that includes stops on all the major islands. Regardless of what itinerary you choose, however, you’re likely to see important sites all the same. For instance, the Big Island is the largest of the bunch, and it includes a number of port areas, such as Kona. There are beautiful beaches and lush vegetation, but it’s also popular for the black fields of hardened lava, the Kilauea volcano, and the great hiking in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.