Some couples plan their honeymoon with the goal of unplugging completely. They look forward to being pampered with room service and spa treatments, and they want their toughest decision to be: sun or shade? Other couples envision tons of action…hiking through forests, snorkeling, and splashing in waterfalls. Then, there are those who crave a vibrant nightlife, shopping and fine dining. The Hawaiian Islands are a popular choice among honeymooners because they cater to every one of these desires.
Each of Hawaii’s eight islands beats to a slightly different drum. This quick guide will get you thinking about the Hawaiian Islands, and which one may be right for your honeymoon.
If you seek adventure on your honeymoon, the “Big Island” of Hawaii may be just your style. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park allows you to experience the active Kilauea volcano, hike through craters, and get an up-close view of petroglyphs. Check out the Hawaiian Cowboy lifestyle, or Paniolo, in Waimea. Historic sites and villages allow you to round out your adventure with some true Hawaiian history and culture on this unforgettable island.
If working and volunteering is your “couple style,” you have the opportunity to assist with the restoration of this beautiful island, which was at one point declared uninhabitable due to a lack of fresh water. Environmental groups have been working since 1976 to restore the island, which was stripped of its resources over the years when it served as a penal colony, a ranch, an American military training ground, and finally a bomb range. Kahoolawe is off-limits to the public; however, if you truly are curious, you can access the island by joining one of the volunteer groups that travel there monthly.
Known as Hawaii’s greenest island, Kauai is teeming with natural wonder, including parks, caves, and waterfalls. The North Shore boasts the Na Pali (high cliffs) Coast, The Maniniholo Dry Cave (site of Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides) the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife refuge (where you can observe rare animals in their natural habitats), and the Hanalei Valley lookout. West side attractions include Waimea Canyon State Park and Kalalau Valley Lookout. Don’t pass up the top South Shore sites: Koloa Landing (the Whaler’s Cove), Kukuiolono Park (former estate of plantation owner Walter McBryde), and Spouting Horn Beach Park. Finally, the East Coast beckons with the peaceful Fern Grotto, the Keahua Arboretum, Kilohana Plantation Estate, Menehune Fish Pond and Opaekaa Falls.
Often called the Pineapple Island, a nod to its history as a pineapple plantation, Lanai offers honeymooners the best of all worlds. You can spend your day soaking in nature, exploring natural rock formations such as Keahiakawelo (The Garden of the Gods) and Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock), then return to your four-star luxury resort for some indulgence. The secluded bays and beaches themselves are a main attraction of this enticing island; so if relaxation is on your agenda, look into Lanai.
When it comes to romance, this island paradise can’t be beat. With many small towns off the beaten path, Maui offers an opportunity to mix with the locals. One of Maui’s best-known destinations is the Road to Hana, also known as The Land that Time Forgot. Thanks to the local community, which has fought vehemently against development and destruction of Hawaiian culture, this 100-kilometer road remains unspoiled. Another can’t-miss area is Molokini Crater, a crescent atoll formed after a volcanic eruption more than 230,000 years ago. Today, this State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District is a diver’s paradise.
Experience Old Hawaii at the untouched island of Molokai. The locals are proud of the fact that no building is taller than a palm tree, and that there is not a single traffic light on the island. The activities here include anything in the water—scuba, fishing, snorkeling and whale watching. For hikes, don’t miss Kalaupapa Peninsula. This former leper colony is now a historic site, and you may only visit if you are invited by one of the current residents, or by taking an approved tour. Be sure to also visit the Halawa Valley, home to the breathtaking Hipuapua and Moa’ula Falls.
No island has preserved Hawaiian culture like Niihau. You won’t find power lines, telephones, paved roads, running water or cars; but you will find true Aloha spirit that exudes from the 250 native Hawaiian residents. Although staying overnight on Niihau is prohibited, some tour companies offer half-day trips to this pristine “Forbidden Isle.”
Home to the state capital of Honolulu, Oahu offers an unbeatable mix of history, shopping, scenery and culture. You can spend one day hitting the city sights—touring the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, then shopping designer stores and the Waikiki International Marketplace—and another day out in nature surfing the North Shore and snorkeling at Honauma Bay. Ready for some exercise? Hike the .7 miles up to the extinct volcano, Diamond Head crater, for some breathtaking views. Afterwards, check out Waimea Valley, a sanctuary for native birds and plants and also home to Waimea Falls, where cliff divers demonstrate their brave skills. Here, you also can experience true Hawaiian history via reconstructed archeological sites, hula demonstrations, lei-making classes and Hawaiian games. Want more culture? Don’t miss the Polynesian Cultural Center for an authentic luau and some of the best Hawaiian dancing in the world.
Once you have an idea of how active—or not—you and your future spouse wish to be on your honeymoon, you can narrow down your choices. It is always a great idea to engage a travel consultant to help you make your final decisions. Our consultants at Global Escapes are on top of the latest travel news and trends, and they can advise you all along the way. They will spend some time getting to know you, and then help determine which destinations best fit your needs. Give us a call or book a consultation online so that we can help you enjoy planning your Hawaiian getaway! Aloha and mahalo!