At the beginning of every year I like to make a list of places I’d love to visit, ranging from local towns in the UK to exotic and far-flung destinations. Even though I know I won’t make it to all (or many) of the places on my list, it gives me a bucket list of places to dream about and save up for.
There are a couple of places that feature on the list every year that I’m yet to travel to, including Hawaii. From sipping cocktails on the beach, to learning how to surf there are a million ways i’d love to spend my time there so I’ve decided to to make a ‘dream holiday guide’ that we can use as an outline of fun things to do and see if we ever make it there.
We are huge fans of villa holidays and I’ve found some incredible homes for rent in Hawaii including these beauties…
Don’t they look utterly idyllic!
Millions of people visit Hawaii each year to spend time on the sandy beaches, explore the rainforests and enjoy everything the state has to offer. Formed by volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is made up of more than 100 islands but is best known for its eight main islands; Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, Kahoolawe. Not all are inhabited or possible to visit but the 4 most popular ones (Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii) have so much to offer.
When it comes to amazing things to see and do, I think Hawaii is the sort of dream trip that would require months just to scratch the surface, but here are a few of the places that are on my ‘must visit’ list:
Haleakala National Park //
Towering over the island of Maui and visible from just about any point, Haleakala Crater offers the most wonderful vantage point to see the most incredible sunrises and sunsets.
Akaka Falls //
Beautiful Akaka Falls is perhaps the island of Hawaii’s most famous waterfall. It’s perhaps the most popular waterfall thanks to its accessibility, making it perfect for families to visit. The walk will take you through forests containing wild orchids, ferns and bamboo groves before coming out at the stunning falls.
Waipi’o Valley //
One of the most spectacular valleys in all of Hawaii, Waipi’o looks utterly stunning. Lush, with dramatic sea cliffs, I’d love to join an organised tour to experience all this valley has to offer.
Pearl Harbour //
You can’t come to Hawaii without taking the time to visit the famous site of Pearl Harbour to honour those who died during an attack by the Japanese in World War II. Tours are readily available.
Paradise Cove //
At Paradise Cove, you can take part in a traditional Luau. You’ll be welcomed with tropical music, setting the scene for the evening and then take a stroll through a Hawaiian village. In the village, you can be shown how to make a traditional Hawaiian lei and you can get into the spirit with a temporary Polynesian tattoo.
Visitors of Paradise Cove have a chance to try their hand at several traditional Hawaiian games including ‘O’o ihe (Spear throwing), ‘Ulu maika (Rolling stone disks) and Moa pahe’e (Dart sliding) and in the evening you can experience a ‘shower of flowers’ as a tree climber ascends to dizzying heights and showers the crowd below with fragrant flowers, participate in the Hukilau on the beach, where you haul in the fishing nets to the rhythm of a conch shell and witness the time-honored techniques of underground oven cooking at the Imu Ceremony.
As you’d expect there are hundreds and hundreds of gorgeous beaches to visit but here are a few that have caught my eye.
Punalu’u Beach, Hawaii //
I’m not usually one for black sand but Punalu’u beach is famous for its endangered green sea turtles and it is one of the few areas the turtles choose to lay their eggs.
Kauna ‘oa Beach, Hawaii //
Kauna’oa beach is one of the prettiest white sand beaches in Hawaii. It’s a real family beach with good access to facilities and is not only great for sunbathing, but also for activities that do not require high surf such as snorkelling. There is also the opportunity to spot Manta Rays in the evening whenthe Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (that is next to the beach) turns on floodlights over the water after the sun goes down. These lights attract plankton, which in turn attract hungry (but harmless) manta rays. There is even a lookout called “Manta Ray Point” where you can get a good view.
North Shore, Oahu //
If the perfect wave exists, you’ll find it on Oahu’s North Shore. The towering, glassy winter waves of this legendary surf mecca draw the best surfers in the world, while smaller and gentler summer waves are better for beginners. Stretching for more than 7 miles, the beaches of the North Shore host the world’s premier surfing competitions during the peak winter months and if you visit between November and February you may witness waves up to 30 feet high!
Lanikai, Oahu //
Have you been to Hawaii? Can you recommend anything else to see and do?
Disclosure: PR collaboration. (All images taken from Pinterest and the Luxury Retreats website)