Overdue for a vacation? Craving the sand in your toes and the sound of waves crashing? Then it’s time to leave your hectic life behind and escape to the Hawaiian Islands. Known for its stunning beaches, active volcano, and fascinating culture, Hawai’i boasts jaw-droppingly gorgeous destinations that will make your vacation one to remember. Here are 7 of the best places to visit in Hawai’i.
1. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Big Island
If you’ve never seen a volcano before, you’re in for a treat. Begin your journey through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located on Big Island to explore the active volcano, Kilauea. At the Visitor’s Center, park rangers can provide you with information on the park’s 150 miles of trails and suggest ranger-led activities for you and your family.
You won’t be able to ignore the strong smell of sulfur along Crater Rim Road, the steam coming off the ground looks almost apocalyptic. Further down, the scenery changes to a lush forest, and after a short hike, you’ll walk through one of nature’s most awe-inspiring creations, Thurston Lava Tube.
Where to Stay
After grabbing a bite at one of Big Island’s best restaurants, call it a night at Fairways North 1, a secluded tropical oasis and the epitome of luxury. Built under pod-style pavilions under one continuous roof, Fairways North 1 has breathtaking ocean views from every room.
Pocket doors open the grand, luxurious spaces to the elegantly designed lanai. Drink at your private pool’s swim-up bar, listen to the waterfall’s roar, relax in the jacuzzi grotto, and you’ll soon realize that you’ve found paradise.
2. Na Pali Coast, Kaua’i
The Na Pali Coast is known as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The 17-mile coastline along Kaua’i’s north shore remains largely untouched due to the rugged terrain. Here are a few ways to view the coast’s monumental cliffs, deeply-etched valleys, and picturesque waterfalls:
- Helicopter tour: Most of the Na Pali Coast is inaccessible by land or water, so taking a helicopter tour is arguably the best way to see it.
- Sunset cruise: Departing daily from Port Allen, sunset cruises provide yet another perspective, allowing you to relax while taking in the views.
- Hiking: Hiking all or part of the Kalalau Trail should be reserved only for the most adventurous visitors due to the sometimes dangerous weather conditions in the area.
Where to Stay
Ever imagined living at a spa? Then after your Na Pali Coast adventure, stay at the Laulea Kailani Villa! This property will give you and your travel companions the ‘wow’ factor the second you enter to see the grand staircase. Each room flows together and is designed to accentuate the mountain, waterfall, and ocean views.
Relax in the open-air shower or one of the giant soaking tubs. The Hanalei mountains are the perfect backdrop for your practice in the private yoga/meditation room. Laulea Kailani Villa is the perfect place to rejuvenate your body and mind.
3. Secret Falls, Kaua’i
One of the worst kept secrets on Kaua’i is how fabulous Secret Falls is. Legend has it that Hawaiian kings used Sacred Falls pools as a bathing site. Nowadays, guided kayaking tours shuttle you up the Wailua River through the rainforest and past the lovely Fern Grotto. Then, you’ll make the short trek to the 120-foot plummeting falls, where you too can bathe like a royal.
Where to Stay
Since you’re feeling imperial, treat yourself by staying at the bright and airy Ohana Kamalani.
The Makai Golf Course and ocean views from the outdoor lanai are just the beginning of the accommodations you’ll enjoy at this property. The lower level features a private pool complete with an island-style tiki bar. Located on the north shore of Kaua’i, this home has easy access to amazing beaches and tons of restaurants and shops.
4. Wailua Falls, Kaua’i
Experience another natural wonder by visiting Wailua Falls, near Lihue. The falls is one of the most popular attractions on the island since it can be easily viewed from the roadside, no hiking is required. This spot is prone to rainbows due to the mist from the crashing 85-foot falls, so have your camera ready because you’re sure to snap some one-of-a-kind photos.
Where to Stay
After the falls and a quick visit to one of the incredible beaches, head to Plantation Cottage at Poipu for some much-needed rest. Described by a former vacationer as, “A dream place in a dream location,” you’ll want for nothing in this cozy, luxurious property. This plantation-style home sits along-side the Kiahuna Golf Course and its pool, BBQ and outdoor lava rock shower provide the perfect playground for your family. Drink your morning coffee on the master-suite lanai and take in the tropical views of the golf course and ocean.
5. Old Lahaina Lu’au, Maui
A Hawaiian vacation is not complete without attending a traditional lu’au. At the Old Lahaina Lu’au, you have the option to dine at a traditional low table, sitting on cushions cross-legged for a more intimate and authentic experience. Once your hosts have offered you a lei greeting, you will have the opportunity to:
- Enjoy island crafts and demonstrations such as poi pounding and kapa making
- Indulge in lau lau (lu’au leaf wrapped pork) and other Hawaiian foods
- Witness a spectacular production that takes you on a journey from ancient Hawaiian hula to a more modern style
Where to Stay
Once you’ve had your fill of kalua pig, hunker down at Aina Nalu D207. Each of the two bedrooms in this condo has its own en suite bath. Wake up in the tropical paradise that is Hawai’i to palm trees outside your windows.
This property is fully loaded with everything needed to create an oasis away from home, including wifi, high-quality coffee, and even upgraded hypo-allergic linens. It’s also located in the perfect location for families wanting to take part in awesome island activities.
6. USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, ‘Oahu
While beautiful, the USS Arizona Memorial tells the heart-breaking story of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, which sank many of the ships on Battleship Row, including the USS Arizona. This brazen attack forced the United States to enter World War II.
The only way to get to the memorial is by boat from the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center. About 1.5 million people visit the memorial annually, so reservations are recommended to guarantee entry.
Where to Stay
After you take in the humbling history of Pearl Harbor, spend the evening relaxing in the dreamlike Ocean House property. Upon entering you’ll be greeted with 25-foot ceilings and the sounds of the indoor waterfall that provides the perfect soundtrack for the serenity that awaits.
Every room lends itself to the inconceivable ocean views. Soak in spa-like tubs that will truly make you feel like you’re in a tropical oasis. Hang out in your personal Hidden Sand Terrace where a flat spot by the ocean has been carved out to create a private nook with two lounge chairs perfect for unwinding after a long day.
7. ‘Iolani Palace, Honolulu, ‘Oahu
For history buffs, a must-see during your Hawai’i vacation is the beautiful ‘Iolani Palace, home to the last two reigning monarchs, King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani. After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Queen Lili’uokalani was arrested and held prisoner in one of the rooms of the palace.
During her imprisonment, she spent her days praying, writing songs, and quilting. When you take a tour of the palace, you have the opportunity to enter the “imprisonment room,” where one of the Queen’s quilts is on display. The tour also allows visitors to see staterooms, such as the throne room and dining room.
Where to Stay
Banyan trees are prominent on both the palace grounds as well as this cleverly named vacation rental, Banyan House. Self-described as ‘life at its finest,’ Banyan House is a 14,000 square foot private beachfront estate. Luxury begins the moment you enter the lush foyer and take floating steps through the pond that leads to the grand room.
This incredible property boasts two-story wings that extend from either side of the great room providing a game room, office, gym, and additional guest suites. The backyard offers a modern style pool surrounded by native plants and leads directly to the crystal ocean.
Reserve the Most Luxurious Home Away from Home
With a trip to Hawaii, you can explore an active volcano, admire waterfalls, take in history, and even lu’au like a local. Just want to relax? Hawai’i’s beaches offer crystal, clear blue water in both exciting or quiet settings.
After a day of exploring the island, relax in one of the truly luxurious Elite Pacific Vacation properties. Each home is like living in paradise. Whether you want to spend your Hawaiian getaway practicing your golf game or taking in the ocean views, Elite Pacific Vacations’s user-friendly platform makes finding your perfect island oasis effortless.