Swaying palms and white sand – it’s what you dream of year-round. Make the most of Hawaii’s sun-soaked climate by relaxing on one of its many Instagram-worthy beaches. Just pack sun lotion, a good book and your sunnies, and you’re all set. Here’s our pick of the beaches you can’t miss on your Hawaii holiday:
- Waikiki Beach: Situated on the south shore of Oahu island, this beach has pristine waters and good vibes. Surf’s up and this is the spot to take a lesson. It’s so vast that it’s actually made up of eight sections, all with different attractions and activities, from canoe rides to shopping.
- Lahaina Beach: Located on Maui, Lahaina Beach is where to come to see traditional hula dancing for the full Hawaiian experience. There are plenty of fun activities to try, like surfing and sailing, and it’s located next to a lively town.
- Poipu Beach Park: On Kauai, you’ll find Poipu Beach Park. Got little ones? The calm, clear waters and range of restaurants nearby make this just the place for all the family.
Luxury Hawaii holidays
The peaceful, gentle pace of life on these islands means you're free to put your feet up, recharge and treat yourself. Whether you’re on a Hawaii honeymoon or a long-awaited all-inclusive Hawaii holiday, here’s how to spend it in the lap of luxury (with a Mai Tai in hand, of course):
- Kaanapali Beach: This spot is home to a cluster of elegant hotels. The Kaanapali Hotel prides itself on sharing the deeper meaning of ‘aloha’ with its guests. Rooms have views of the beachfront, and you can enjoy a traditional hula every night. There's even a chance to try your hand at lauhala weaving too.
- Hilton Hawaiian Village: Spread across 22 tropical acres, this resort has so many opportunities for relaxation. We recommend a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage at the hotel’s celebrated Mandara Spa. Feel your troubles melt away underneath the expert hands of friendly massage therapists. You deserve it.
Food and drink
From time to time, you'll need to drag yourself away from the beach to grab a bite (it’s hard, we know). But in Hawaii, there’s no shortage of delicious options to choose from. Here are some of the traditional restaurants and dishes not to miss on your Hawaii holiday:
- Helena’s Hawaiian Food in Kalihi: Helen Chock has been delighting locals and tourists alike since 1946, and the once-humble eatery has gone from strength to strength, receiving a James Beard award in 2000. Don’t miss the Kalua pork.
- Ono Seafood in Honolulu: Poke, a fresh, raw fish salad, is a celebrated Hawaiian dish and it’s started popping up on menus around the world in the last year too. Try it the way the locals like it at this authentic, fuss-free location in Honolulu.
- Aha’Aina in Waikiki: This restaurant at the Royal Hawaiian Resort is located on sacred grounds, and honours the land’s history with the Royal Luau. Music, dance, stories and food take diners on a delicious culinary journey. Bring your appetite and your camera.
Culture on your holiday to Hawaii
Hawaii is a diverse land with a rich history and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Learn more about its islands and people by checking out some of our cultural highlights.
- King Kalakaua’s Iolani Palace: You’ll find this fascinating building in Oahu. Built in 1882 by Hawaii’s last king, it had telephones and electricity even before the White House did. It’s now a museum, where you can discover grand rooms and opulent decor, and find out about the history of the monarchy.
- Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau: This is the largest and oldest site of worship on Oahu, most likely dating back to the 1600s. The low stone walls are the remains of a village, which encompasses over two acres. The hike to this lesser-visited site also provides incredible views of Waimea Bay.
Its natural beauty and dramatic landscapes make holidays to Hawaii perfect for a bit of adventure. If you’re looking for a hit of adrenaline on your Hawaii holiday, try some of these adventurous activities on for size.
- Kalalau Trail: Stretching for 22 miles, this trail takes you hiking along the pristine, untouched Na Pali coastline, past crashing waterfalls and soaring peaks.
- Waimea Canyon: Widely heralded as ‘Hawaii’s Grand Canyon’, Waimea Canyon rewards hikers with striking red earth, stomach-churning valleys and dramatic rock formations.
- Crater Rim: Driving around Crater Rim will reveal the active volcano of Kilauea and the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park – don’t miss the impressive Thurston Lava Tube. A few things to keep in mind with this one: the park can sometimes be closed due to volcanic fumes, so be prepared to change your plans. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes and long trousers, and avoid hiking when it's dark.
- Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: Hit the water and go snorkelling at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. If you’re interested in wildlife, you’ll love swimming with protected manta rays on Hawaii Island.
Hawaii events and festivals
This vibrant slice of paradise is home to a host of fun events throughout the year. Here are the key dates to pencil into your diary:
- January to March: Come and experience some of the best whale watching in the world on Maui’s incredible coast. During these months the whales undergo their annual migration, so prepare for some spectacular showing off.
- November and December: Get inspired for your surfing lesson by checking out how the pros do it. In November and December, the annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing takes place in Oahu. Watch the elite surfing set tear it up on killer waves to a backdrop of good music and food.
Aloha doesn’t just mean ‘hello’, it means ‘goodbye’ too – but we have a feeling you’ll have more difficulty saying one of these than the other. From exciting adventures to non-stop relaxation and incredible cuisine, there are so many sides to this destination. Discover them all on an unforgettable getaway. Find out more about Hawaii holiday packages and Hawaii hotels with Virgin Holidays today.