If you are thinking of a beachy destination that’s perfect year-round complete with swaying palm trees, friendly locals, and the scent of plumeria in the air, let me suggest one of the islands of Hawaii. The hard part, of course, is deciding which island to visit.
- Oahu is the island where you’ll find the majority of Hawaii’s population (in Honolulu), world famous Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. This island is a great choice for folks looking for nightlife and shopping, and for those who prefer not to need a car rental on their trip. There are some great hotels and resorts in all quality categories, so this can be a great choice, too, for those on a budget.
- Maui embodies all things “Hawaiian” and is my top pick for first time couples and families to Hawaii. Hotels, resorts, and condo properties run the range from economy to luxury. You’ll want a car rental here.
- Kauai is a bit more rugged and sleepy than Maui. This is a good choice for active couples, active families with teens, and also for couples who really just want to relax the entire time of their trip. Accommodations range from economy to luxury (hotel and condo). Car rental strongly recommended.
- Hawaii (aka “Big Island”) is home of the active volcano, and Volcano National Park. It is also the largest island, with a diverse range of climates. Because the island is so large and the active volcano is on the other side of the island from the hotel area, a car rental is a must. Hotels and condos range from economy to luxury, with the best resort beaches located at the luxury resorts.
- Lanai – a very sleepy, quiet island. Great for the couple who really just want to get away, and for the couple who have travelled to Hawaii before. Luxury accommodations only.
- Multiple islands – if you have at least 8 nights to spend in Hawaii, you can consider a two island hopper stay. Or, perhaps a 7 night Hawaii cruise (you’ll want to arrive the night before for ease of travel and comfort). And there are escorted tour options for those of you who would like to maximize their time, with 3 and 4 island itineraries.
The Hawaiian Islands are about 5 hours’ flight from Los Angeles, and do not require a passport. Driving is easy enough, and all islands lend themselves to lots of exploring and things to do. Hawaii is perfect for honeymoon couples, young families, and extended groups in a range of sizes and ages. There are no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii, though sometimes the hotels are offering a breakfast-included rate. Just be sure and ask about your options when booking your Hawaii package.
As they do every year, the humpbacks are back in Maui. These beautiful creatures make their way to the warm waters of Maui from mid October through the end of May for their mating and calving season.
Maui is a great place for you to enjoy a week or so over the winter months. Add a whale watching day excursion out of Lahaina (the ort city in Maui) for your chance to get up close and personal to these gentle giants.
In Maui, boats are allowed to come up to within 100 yards of the whales. And oftentimes the curious whales will approach the boats, getting even closer than the 100 yards. The peak of the whale season is in January, though you have a good chance of seeing them any time during the season.
And of course, Maui is a year-round tropical destination. So, if you head to Hawaii in winter, you’ll still be able to enjoy bathing-suit-friendly weather, sun, and gorgeous beaches! All I can say to that is ALOHA!
Interested in planning your next whale watching trip to Maui? Contact me by phone or email to get the planning process started.
~Happy travels, Cindy Grant Travel Consultant at Reconnect Travel/Expert Family Travel. 972.625.6200. Located in The Colony Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area (near Frisco, Plano, Carrollton, Lewisville). firstname.lastname@example.org
Swaying palm trees, glorious beaches, Polynesian ambiance: this is Maui the “Magic Isle.” You will quickly fall in love with this tropical island for its natural beauty and charm.
Watch humpback whales in the winter. Snorkel molokini year-round. Enjoy the sunrise atop the Haleakala Crater. And in the evening partake in a luau. Maui is excellent for families as well as couples.
Here are the top five luxury resorts in Maui. You’ll want to rent a car while staying here in order to get around and see the many sights.
- Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (Wailea) – the ultimate in luxury accommodations in Maui. Features 376 rooms on 15 oceanfront acres. New adult serenity pool opened June ’09. Over 40 complimentary services and activities available for guests. Children’s program. Golf next door.
- The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui (Wailea) — Offers spacious luxury accommodations in 413 suites and 37 villas. On 22 oceanfront acres. Features three pools, including an adults-only pool. Children’s program. Golf onsite.
- Grand Wailea Resort and Spa (Wailea) – known for it’s amazing spa and pool areas. Features 780 rooms on 40 beachfront acres. Award-winning spa is 50,000 square feet and offers a variety of treatments. Pool area is over 25,000 square feet and includes slides, waterfalls, and a lazy river. Children’s program. Golf onsite.
- The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua (Kapalua) – laid back luxury in trendy Kapalua area. Features a 10,000 square foot tri level pool, golf onsite, and a children’s program.
- Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (Kaanapali) – features 806 rooms on 40 acres on popular Kaanapali Beach, with one adult and one kid’s pool, and Camp Hyatt kid’s program. Spa onsite and golf nearby.
~Cindy Grant, Travel Consultant RecommendTravel.com 972-625-6200