Hawaii is unlike any place on earth so it’s no wonder that the US granted it it’s own time zone. Hawaii is one of those rare places that can offer almost anything (yes sometimes even snow). So get your bags ready and jot these must do’s down; you’ll thank us later.
Food & Farm Tours
Hawaii has a dynamic food culture that combines ancient traditions with global flavors brought to the islands by immigrants over hundreds of years. Food tours are the perfect way to taste a little bit of everything. On the Island of Hawaii, you can take tours of honey farms and coffee plantations to taste the famous Kona coffee, fresh from the source. There are a variety of opportunities for farm and agricultural tours throughout the islands.
Volcanoes National Park on The Big Island
Hawaii’s Big Island is home to Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Its current eruption has been putting on a show for decades, stunning visitors and scientists alike. Depending on the activity of the volcano at the time of your visit, you could see lava flowing directly into the ocean, sulfuric smoke billowing out of Halemaumau Crater, or the red glow of a lava lake at nightfall. Even if the lava isn’t active, a visit to Volcanoes National Park is still worth it. Whether you’re hiking across the floor of a solidified lava lake or walking through the interior of an eerily beautiful lava tube, prepare to be amazed.
Biking Down Haleakala
Mt. Haleakala is the largest dormant volcano in the world, rising to 10,023 feet above sea level. Haleakala is known for its stunning sunrise views, and one of the most memorable ways to experience a Haleakala sunrise is via bicycle; yes you heard me right. It makes for a very early morning, but a memory you will always cherish. There are numerous bike rental companies to choose from and each company will provide bikes, helmets, and cold weather gear for the 20+ mile ride down the mountain.
If it’s your first trip to Hawaii, you must attend a traditional luau. The feast typically has music accompanied by dance and, of course, no shortage of food. Bring a big appetite, because attending a Hawaiian luau means feasting on a variety of delicious foods including traditional Polynesian fare such as lomi lomi salmon and kalua pua’a (roast pig), prime rib, chicken, and rice dishes. Many resorts also offer luaus so inquire at your hotel.
Seeing any part of Hawaii from the air is an incredible sight. Helicopters can access parts of the island unreachable by boat, car, or foot. Most operators offer tours of West Maui and Molokai, and Hana and Haleakala, though some also take passengers on scenic, hour-long flights of the whole island. No matter which route you choose, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of waterfalls, craters, cliffs, and valleys.
Snorkel in Hanauma Bay
On the very east side of Honolulu, near an area of town called Hawaii Kai, is Hanauma Bay, one of the most famous places on the entire island for snorkeling. The bay, sunken into a crater with a gorgeous stretch of golden sand, is a nature reserve and marine sanctuary. When you arrive at Hanauma Bay, you’re normally required to watch a short video about the marine life and the preservation of it, and you can then take the short 5-minute hike to the bottom of the crater to get to the beach and get in the cool clear water. If you’re interested in snorkeling while you’re in Honolulu, Hanauma Bay is the place to visit.