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.