Hawaii has opened up to international visitors and you won’t find a better destination for a pandemic detox.
The biggest problem with a holiday in Hawaii is deciding which of its six major islands to visit. Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and the island of Hawaii each has its own distinct personality, adventures, activities and sights.
Regardless of which one you choose – or if you’re lucky choose them all – breathtaking beauty awaits you at every turn. Home to active volcanoes, glorious beaches, magnificent national parks and perfect year-round temperatures, it’s no surprise Hawaii sees more than 10,000 million visitors a year.
Whether it’s heart-pounding adventures, total relaxation or something in-between, Hawaii has it all. From spectacular beaches offering everything from surfing to paddle sports to scuba diving. Then there’s the endless outdoor experiences such as skydiving, zip lining, waterfall rappelling and helicopter tours.
If hiking is your thing, then Hawaii’s National Parks offer some of the most beautiful trails in the world. Not to be missed are the trails at Waimea Canyon. 16 kilometres long and 900 meters deep, it’s known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Though you might find it hard to pay attention to where your feet are stepping with dazzling waterfalls and the verdant beauty constantly drawing your gaze.
Another thing guaranteed to keep you gazing is whale watching. Each winter, Hawaii is the stage for some of the best whale watching on the planet, when thousands of humpback whales migrate to its warm waters to breed and nurse their young. Tours from just about every island can bring you thrillingly close to these magnificent creatures.
1,500 years ago, Polynesians arrived in Hawaii after navigating the ocean using only the stars to guide them and so for history lovers, Hawaii has plenty to offer with an abundance of museums and historical sites.
Visit a prehistoric Hawaiian fishing village or even an old sugar plantation – for an extra thrill try tubing through old sugar plantation chutes. Also worth a visit is Iolani Palace. Built in 1882 by King Kalakaua, it was the home of Hawaii’s last reigning monarchs. Another must see is the Pearl Harbour National Memorial.
There’s also plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in Hawaii’s rich culture. Why not attend a Luau. These traditional Hawaiian experiences feature delicious food and lively entertainment; a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates Hawaii. While you’re there, have a go at Hula. Much more than a dance, Hula is a type of storytelling and is an important Hawaiian tradition.
As for where to stay, there’s too many options to go through them all. On my visit I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. One of the most extravagant resorts on Kauai, the 602-room hotel certainly puts the Grand in Grand Hyatt. This luxury oasis with lush gardens, acres of pools and immaculately kept tropical grounds has every amenity you could ask for.
And as I discovered on arrival, it is across the street from the award winning Poipu Bay Golf Course. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that my husband chose this resort out of all the options in Hawaii. While he challenged himself on a course played on by some of best professional golfers in the world, I enjoyed a few cold brews delivered straight to my buggy as I drove around taking in the beautiful scenery.
Lastly, you’ll want to check out Hawaii’s capital Honolulu, renowned for its dining, nightlife, shopping and of course, Waikiki Beach. This two mile stretch of sand and rolling waves is perfect for those looking to learn to surf.
And perhaps you’ll be lucky to experience a truly special encounter at Waikiki Beach like I did. While swimming at this iconic beach a sea turtle popped its head up right next to me and then swam alongside me. It was a moment I will treasure forever. What treasures will you find in Hawaii?