Think Hawaii is just a ‘flop and drop’ destination? Think again.
Ah, Hawaii. It conjures images of luaus, beaches, and hula dancing. And for many travellers, it embodies the very essence of a ‘flop and drop’ holiday, with beautiful resorts, crystal clear waters, and a mai-tai always on standby.
But we bet you didn’t know that there’s a laundry list of other activities and experiences Hawaii has to offer. Whether you’re an intrepid adventurer or eco-warrior, diehard shopper or food fanatic, Hawaii delivers for all types of holidayers.
THE SHOPPER’S PARADISE HOLIDAY
Does your dream holiday involve designer labels, stunning storefronts, tasty restaurants, and being treated like royalty? Well, Hawaii is the place for you. Just 30 minutes from Waikiki Beach, you’ll find Waikele Premium Outlets® – the only outlet on the island. But just because it’s the only one, doesn’t mean it’s slacked off on its offerings.
Quite the contrary – at this outlet you can score delicious discounts on more than 50 brand name outlet stores including Coach, kate spade new york, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. Enjoy lunch in the open-air food pavilion or at one of many food trucks on site, and shop as late as 9pm every day except Sunday. It’s your one-stop shopper’s paradise.
THE ADVENTUROUS HOLIDAY
Hawaii might have a reputation for flopping on a beach and not moving for two weeks, but this reputation isn’t as well deserved as you might think. It’s true that Hawaii’s best features is its natural environment, but it ain’t all cocktails and hammocks.
On the island of Maui, you can hike to the top of Haleakala Volcano and watch the sunrise over the islands. And if you’re feeling really energetic, you can even follow the Sliding Sands Trail from the summit into the heart of the crater – over 6km downhill – to explore the out-of-this-world landscape from the inside.
For a rush of adrenalin, kayak down the Wailua River in Kauai before ziplining above the island’s luscious, green valleys. Better yet, splurge on a helicopter flight that soars over craters, volcanoes, forests, and beaches – the purest way to see the whole state, given that over 90% of Hawaii is accessible only by helicopter.
And the pièce de résistance of adventures in Hawaii? The Hana Lava Tube. Formed almost 1,000 years ago, molten lava spewed up from underground, flowing toward the ocean. As it cooled and hardened on top, the lava continued flowing beneath for years before draining out, leaving a fascinating and completely natural tunnel that visitors can now explore.
THE NATURE-LOVING HOLIDAY
Over on the island of Kauai – nicknamed the ‘Garden Island’ – you can immerse yourself in nature at its absolute finest. Top of the list is Kokee State Park, with over 70km of hiking trails and camping for as little as $12 per night. Explore the 4,000+ acres of forest brimming with native plants, vibrant bird life, sweeping valleys, and views of Waimea Canyon.
Keen to swap the tourist-lined streets for the great outdoors? Beyond the resorts of Lanai lies rugged shorelines and hidden treasures, where you can ride horses, get lost on scenic hikes, and snorkel in the calm blue waters of Hulopoe Bay in South Lanai. Want more? Try scuba diving the Lanai Cathedrals, the famous lava caverns of the south coast.
THE FOODIE TOUR HOLIDAY
If you’re looking for truly authentic, beautifully-prepared local food, Hawaii has it in spades. From the upland cattle farms, the Pacific Ocean heaving with sashimi-grade fish, and an abundance of fresh produce, there’s no end to the foodie treasures served in Hawaii.
Oahu, known locally as the ‘Gathering Place’, has morphed into a foodie nirvana boasting a melting pot of flavours. Go for fine-dining at places like Roy’s and Chef Mavro, or feast on local specialities like loco moco – white rice, hamburger patty, and a fried egg topped with smooth gravy – in trendy neighbourhoods like Kakaako and Kaimuki.
Over in Maui, roadside food stands serve up the best of local cuisine grown in the Kula region, not to mention their farm-to-table philosophy, showcased at places like Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation. Here, you’ll dine on plantation food, craft drinks, and dishes that honour the various cultures that emigrated to work in the island’s sugarcane industry.
HAWAII FOR ALL TYPES
Far from being a one-hit wonder, Hawaii is a surprising and breathtaking destination. No matter what kind of experience you’re seeking, you’ll find it hiding in a corner or crevice of this magical land.