Traveling to Hawaii
I consider Hawaii a must-visit destination for luxury travelers. Some of the most beautiful beaches, rain forests, and waterfalls in the entire world can be found here and there are, of course, the awe-inspiring volcanoes, but what I love most about Hawaii is the easygoing culture. When I immerse myself in the Aloha spirit, I can unwind in a way I can seldom do at home. I’m grateful for the fact that there are now direct flights from San Diego to Hawaii, but don’t let the time it takes to get from the mainland U.S. to the islands keep you from planning a trip. Every hour you spend flying to the islands will be well worth it, so why not make this the year you add some Hawaii hashtags to your Instagram account?
Getting Up Close and Personal with Volcanoes
One of the reasons so many people come to Hawaii is because they want to see the world-famous Hawaiian volcanoes. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii is where you’ll find the world’s most active volcano — Kilauea. After the huge eruption that lasted from May through July in 2018, there’s no longer red lava within the caldera but there’s often steam pouring out of the caldera’s perimeter and a massive crater. The lava fields are a sight unlike any other. You can also visit Haleakala, one of the world’s biggest dormant volcanoes, in Haleakala National Park in Maui. You can actually hike in the crater. Oahu is, of course, home to Diamond Head, Hawaii’s most recognized landmark. Hiking the trail is one of the best ways to see amazing panoramic views of the island.
Visiting Hawaii with Kids
You can do as much or as little as you want to when you visit Hawaii, but when you visit with kids, chances are you’re going to want to put together an itinerary ahead of time. Don’t try to pack in too much (especially when the weather gets hot) but do consider trying some of these family-friendly activities during your trip:
Learn to surf: Kids and teens who are comfortable in the water can learn to hang ten in group and private lessons.
Take a snorkeling tour: We were lucky enough to be among the first snorkelers of the day at Molokini Crater, and being able to swim through such gorgeous waters without the crowds is well worth the early morning wake-up call.
See the volcanoes from a helicopter: You’ll get a bird’s eye view of your favorite island on a helicopter tour.
Go zip lining: One of the coolest ways to see the rainforest canopy is to strap into a harness and fly over and through the tree tops at thrillingly high speeds.
Take a trail ride: Kids seven and older and their parents can take in Hawaii’s beauty on horseback. Some riding experience is helpful, but usually not necessary provided kids (and grownups) feel comfortable on horseback.
Some of My Go-To Spots in Hawaii
Hawaii is uniformly beautiful, but like any traveler, I have my favorite go-to spots on the islands. If you’re planning Hawaii travel in the near future, you might want to check out some of these places:
We’ve stayed at Kaanapali Resort in Maui multiple times over the years and have loved all of our visits. Maui’s beaches are especially beautiful, and the beach at Kaanapali (once a favorite vacation destination of Hawaiian royalty) is just stunning. There’s also plenty to do. When you’re staying at the resort, they’ll get you set up with everything you need to boogie board, snorkel, or play. We also loved the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, which is minutes from downtown Lahaina.
This exclusive enclave on Maui might just be the most beautiful spot on the island. It’s less crowded than other areas, but there are still luxurious beaches, well-appointed hotels, and tons of activities to fill your days and nights. You can swim, snorkel, stroll and catch some sun on the sand, or play golf at Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold, and Wailea Emerald — three of the championship courses the area is famous for. When we visit, we stay at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, which has some of the biggest rooms on the island and definitely the most beautiful views. You’ll find plenty of on-site activities and amenities to keep both kids and adults busy.
Kukui’ula in Koloa
This planned community on Kauai is as luxurious as it is laid-back. Take your pick of world-class dining, shopping, golf, and entertainment, or retire for some pampering to the island’s spa, Hi’ilani. The spa has an amazing meditation garden, a secluded adult lap pool, and a one-of-a-kind seven-step ritual that includes visits to a sauna, steam pavilion, deluge shower, and a bracing frigid outdoor plunge pool.
This crescent-shaped volcanic atoll off the south coast of Maui is both stunning and fascinating. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities here, due to the very, very clear water. The atoll is all rock — there’s no soil or sand washing into the water, and the resulting clarity lets coral reefs thrive. When we visited we saw black triggerfish swimming near the surface, bright yellow tang, colorful parrotfish, raccoon butterflyfish, and Moorish idol, and got some awesome photographs to remember them by. Kids will love getting up close to nature, and you might even spy some eels and white tip sharks, too.
Luxury Hotels in Hawaii
Hawaii may be famous for its natural beauty, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful luxury hotels and spas. Imagine being pampered at Aulani, a Disney® Resort & Spa on the beautiful island of Oahu, during their Mahalo Mama Month, or visiting The Spa at Kukui’ula, Kauai’s most luxurious spa. One of our favorite resorts in the world is Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. I’ve written a number of reviews of luxury hotels in Hawaii because I want help you choose one that you love for your next Hawaiian vacation.
When you’re ready to book, keep in mind that I have access to exclusive VIP amenities as an Independent Affiliate of Cadence® Travel. When you book through me, you’ll get extras like room upgrades, spa credits, and more at many luxury hotels in Hawaii.