Hanging Loose in Hawaii

Sandy beaches, lush jungles, breathtaking mountains, and amazing weather make America's fiftieth state a popular vacation destination. (While it can get pretty rainy between October and February, the lowest average temperature is only 72 degrees Fahrenheit!) Whether you're looking for an adventure or just planning to relax in luxury, there's something for everyone in Hawaii!

Planning Your Trip

No matter when you're planning to visit the Aloha State, it's a good idea to buy your plane tickets and make any necessary reservations about four months in advance. For most trips, buying in advance ensures better prices, but it's especially true with popular destinations like Hawaii. The high season (when most tourists visit and prices are usually higher) is between December and April; the low seasons (when the islands are less crowded and airfare and hotels are less expensive) are generally spring and fall. Try traveling between June and October for the warmest weather.

Where to Stay

It's not hard to find a hotel on any of the islands that suits your preferences, from the lavish to the more basic, because Hawaii's thriving tourist industry means a large selection of accommodations at competitive prices. Travelers who want to experience what it's like to live in Hawaii, rather than just visit, can rent houses for short periods; this is often a great option for families or large groups who don't mind giving up some of the conveniences—such as room service and a cleaning staff—of hotels. Already planning multiple return trips? Look into timeshares; you can “buy” a portion of the property and have it to yourself for a prearranged time every year—just watch out for scams and make sure you read every contract thoroughly before signing.

What to Do

Sometimes the greatest pleasures in life are the simplest: sunning on the beaches, sipping a cocktail by the pool, taking the time to decompress and live in the moment. For the more adventurous among us, Hawaii is full of things to do and unique places to see. Take a surfing lesson in the blue waters around the Big Island or take a scenic drive up Haleakala, Maui's eastern volcano, for a look at one of the best astrophysics observatories in the world (sadly, the compound itself is not open to the public, but the surrounding area has dramatic views). Try sea kayaking around Kauai, attend a luau, or explore Honolulu. Popular hiking trails, museums, and other attractions are everywhere.

What to Eat

It's not hard to find familiar restaurants in Hawaii, but why go to the same burger chain you have at home when you can try something new? Hawaiian cuisine is a delightful blend of native, Polynesian, Eastern Asian, and American tastes—and many traditional dishes deserve a try. Hotel restaurants are usually good about mixing local fare with more familiar menu items, but it's at smaller restaurants and hole-in-the-wall places popular with the locals where you'll find the best poi (a starchy pudding made from the taro root) and poke (raw fish similar to the Japanese sashimi). For comfort food, try spam musubi (grilled spam on top of rice, wrapped in dried seaweed) and loco moco (a hamburger patty and a fried egg on top of white rice, covered with gravy).  And for those with a sweet tooth, don’t forget malasadas and chantilly cake! 

Remember: the most important thing to do in Hawaii is have fun! Aloha!

This article was written by Oscar Howard, world traveler.  He loves Hawaii and all the islands in the pacific.  If you’re looking for a good activity to keep you busy in Hawaii, check out Body Glove SNUBA.