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Hawaii offers a whole lot to travelers—from breathtaking beaches and rigorous hikes to outstanding food and luxurious spas. Whatever your travel style and preferences, Hawaii is a place to find exactly what you want, perfect weather included.
Disclaimer: I haven’t been to Hawaii yet, but since I decided to relocate to Mexico, I was planning a trip to the islands (closer to get there compared to living in Europe!) and I am super excited to finally be able to tick them off my huge bucket list!
#1 | Hawaii for the Adventurer
Home to beach-side cabanas and resort-style mega pools, Hawaii is known for its opportunities to relax and unwind. There’s nothing wrong with that (see section #4!), but the state offers some incredible ways to get a little—or a lot—adventurous. From air tours to boat rides, you’ll be able to soak up every inch of the islands by air, land, and sea.
Hawaii by Air:
For a birds-eye view of the islands, book a helicopter tour (think of the opening scenes of Jurassic Park for a preview of what you’ll be seeing). If that’s not enough, scope out a skydiving company, strap on your chute, and take the jump of your life.
Split the difference between air and land with a zip line tour. Zip courses are dotted throughout the islands, and each one offers a little something different. Some pair zip lining with hikes or waterfall swims; others allow guests to soar along extended lines that cross valleys and hop from peak to peak.
Hawaii by Land:
Hop on an ATV, a horse, or in a Jeep and bounce through rainforests and valleys on backroad trails. Take a slower route with a waterfall hike, or trek up one of the islands’ many peaks – Diamond Head is a favorite of Oahu’s visitors. Go lava-spotting with a hike to Mauna Loa, the Big Island’s largest active volcano, while you learn about the incredible history and geology of the islands.
Hawaii by Sea:
Strap on a mask and snorkel and drift through Hawaii’s warm waters as fish and coral unroll beneath you. For a closer look at what lies below the surface, you can book a scuba tour with a more advanced group. Many snorkel and scuba companies feature guided tours with marine biologists at the ready to keep adventurers informed about the sea life around them.
For a glimpse of larger ocean mammals, whale watching tours offer incredible, up-close experiences with humpback whales. During the winter months, humpbacks end a 3,500-mile migration from Alaska, off the coast of Maui. Whale watchers can board motor vessels or sailboats for their trip—and can rest assured that organizations like the Whaleman Foundation are working to develop whale watching guidelines that protect and preserve whales and their habitats.
SURF IN THE USA 🙂
No trip to Hawaii would be complete without a surf session. Oahu’s North Shore is home to some of the world’s most famous breaks, including Backdoor and Banzai Pipeline. Keep an eye on professional surf contest calendars, and you might catch an international competition. If you’re looking to hit the waves yourself, book a lesson on Waikiki beach—it’s beginner friendly.
#2 | Hawaii for the Foodie
One of the best ways to experience a new place is to eat your way around it. While the islands are home to most major chains, travelers would be remiss to skip out on the island’s native foods.
- Oahu: seek out made-to-order acai bowls—top with coconut shreds, goji berries, and homemade granola for a great start to your day. Get blending at Hale’iwa Bowls.
- Maui:, grab fresh fish at Mama’s Fish House (the second most popular restaurant in the U.S., according to some). Caught fresh and cooked to order, this is a must-eat for seafood lovers.
- Kauai: serves up sushi—in sandwich form. These sushi rolls on steroids can be found at Kikuchi’s food truck.
- Molokai:, chow down on a traditional teriyaki chicken bowl over steamed rice at Mana’e Goods & Grinds. Drizzle on extra sauce and pair with a cold Primo.
- Lanai: is your spot for fresh Hawaiian coffee. Coffee Works serves up fresh roasted beans, best enjoyed on their patio.
- Big Island: Get fresh with a poke bowl from Umekes. Fresh yellow fin tuna is diced up and tossed with sea salt and spices. It’s like eating butter, but healthier.
#3 | Hawaii for the Culture Hunter
Learn to hula, attend a luau, make your own lei, and stroll through small Hawaiian villages. Despite being part of the U.S.A., Hawaii is like a different country thanks to its rich cultural history and enduring traditions.
Those who love to immerse themselves into the culture of a new place will find plenty of options to do so on the islands. Sure, there are pig roasts and sugar cane plantation tours, but the state is also home to incredible art galleries and museums. Hawaii Museums Association has a list of the best places to get an art fix.
Scope out the music scene by keeping an eye on concert calendars, or dropping into local joints—it’s not uncommon to catch a local star strumming or singing away.
#4 | Hawaii for the Spa Lover
Time to treat yourself. While Hawaii’s resorts and hotels offer incredible spa treatments and experiences, there are plenty of independent spas with services unique to the islands.
Opt for a Polynesian coconut scrub, which starts out with a massage featuring coconut and pineapple products, and finishes with a coconut milk moisturizer.
- Take your treatment outdoors—many spas offer massages and more in private gardens, beachfront cabanas, or cool courtyards.
- Soak and soothe tired muscles in a hot spring. Nothing’s better after a long day spent surfing or hiking.
- Get your energy flowing with a seashell treatment. Native shells are used at key points on the body to jump-start your energy.
- Go native with local plants, oils, and herbs. Many spas incorporate natural elements into their treatments, ensuring that you’ll have an authentic, relaxing, and truly unique experience.
Excited yet? You can #LetHawaiiHappen by booking your getaway with AllTheRooms, and a portion of every booking will support the conservation work of the Whaleman Foundation.
*Image credits: Pixabay.com