Dreamworthy Destinations

 Hawaii 

There's enough beauty and activity in Hawaii to fill more vacations than we could take in a lifetime. With so much to choose from, first-time visitors need to be selective. Our recommendation is to settle first on the Hawaii you want to see. It might be beaches, a luau and nightlife; it might be rare orchids and hikes in the rain forest; it might be quiet countryside, small towns and scenic drives. Whatever the combination, there is almost certainly an island or islands best suited to your Hawaii vacation dreams.

Best Time to Go

The best times to visit are mid-April to early June and mid-September to mid-November, when days are in the 70s-80s F (22-32° C), and nights in the 60s-70s F (17-27° C). These are also the least crowded periods.

Weather

Weather in The Hawaiian Islands is pretty consistent, with only minor changes in temperature throughout the year. There are really only two seasons in Hawaii: summer from May to October and winter from November to April. The average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85° F (29.4° C), while the average daytime winter temperature is 78° (25.6° C). Temperatures at night are approximately 10° F lower than the daytime. August is the hottest month, with an average high of 89°F (31°C). February is the coldest month, with an average high of 80°F (26°C).

Transportation

A rental car or tour bus is usually the best way to travel on most of the islands. Public transportation is limited, except in Honolulu, and the distance between far-flung attractions makes a taxi impractical.

  • Air - A number of domestic and international airlines serve Hawaii. Several of them fly nonstop between Honolulu and cities in North America, Asia, Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, Guam, the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia, and offer connecting service to other countries. Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the hub of island air travel. Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui, Lihue Airport (LIH) on Kauai, and Kona International Airport (KOA) on the Big Island also have nonstop flights to cities on the U.S. mainland and to Canada. There also are flights between Japan and Kona International Airport.

  • Car - Most visitors make use of a rental car during their visit. Be aware that demand for cars can exceed supply, so book early.

  • Ferry - Passenger ferries operate between Maui and Lanai and between Maui and Molokai.

  • Public Transportation - Honolulu has the most extensive public bus networks. The public bus service on the Big Island, Maui and Kauai is limited. A rental car is a must on those islands, as well as Lanai and Molokai. 

  • Ship - Cruise ships depart from Honolulu and make port calls at Maui, Kauai, and Hilo and Kona on the Big Island. Other ships with international itineraries make stops at the islands as well.

  • Taxi - Taxis are available on all the islands, but they can be rather expensive, especially for long-distance trips.

Language

Primarily English, though Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Ilocano, Samoan and other languages are also spoken. 

Things to Do & See

Oahu
  • Bishop Museum

  • Iolani Palace

  • Honolulu Academy of Arts

  • Polynesian Cultural Center

  • Hanauma Bay and Pearl Harbor

  • Waikiki is Hawaii's most famous beach

Maui
  • Haleakala National Park

  • road to Hana (with a stop at the Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden) 

  • Maui Ocean Center

  • Upcountry Maui and Iao Valley State Park

Big Island
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

  • Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

  • Hulihee Palace

  • Lyman Museum and Mission House

  • Imiloa Astronomy Center and Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Kauai
  • Waimea Canyon

  • Kokee State Park

  • Napali Coast State Wilderness Park

  • Kauai Museum

  • Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden.

The main attraction, of course, is the beaches. Waikiki is Hawaii's most famous beach, but be sure to check out some of the other gems, too—there are amazing stretches of white, green, red and even black sand scattered throughout the islands. Try swimming, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddling and boogie-boarding. If you want to get offshore, charter a fishing boat or take a dinner cruise. 

 

For those who prefer to stay dry, there are world-class golf courses, bus tours, biking, hiking and horseback riding. The Big Island is great for camping and stargazing, and thrill seekers will want to zipline on Maui and Kauai.  At the end of your busy days, pamper yourself with a lomilomi massage, seaweed wrap or some other exotic treatment; Hawaii's spas rank among the best in the country. 

Memorable Meals

  • Have a Plate Lunch, which consists of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and everything from kalua pork, Korean barbecue, chicken katsu, beef teriyaki, or mahimahi. 

  • Enjoy shaved ice; these finely shaved snow cones are served with colorful flavors on the top with a choice of ice cream or azuki beans on the bottom.

 

Oahu
  • The fresh fish specials at Alan Wong's Honolulu, the delectable fusion of flavors in the pho at The Pig and the Lady

  • Afternoon tea at The Veranda

Maui
  • An appetizer and a drink at the secluded Mama's Fish House outside Pa'ia; sushi at Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

  • Celebrity chef cuisine at Star Noodle

  • Dinner and a show at the Old Lahaina Luau. 

Must-Have Experiences

  • Atlantis Submarines, a one-of-a-kind underwater experience off the shorelines of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island

  • Take a surfing lesson 

  • Take a lei-making class 

  • A lomilomi massage

Especially For Kids

Oahu
  • Critter Encounter at the Waikiki Aquarium 

  • Children's programs at the Hawaii Nature Center

  • Hands-on exhibits at the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center and the Bishop Museum

Maui
  • The walk-through aquarium tunnel of Maui Ocean Center

  • The Maui Golf & Sports Park for miniature golf, bumper boats and the X-treme trampoline

  • The ziplines at Maui Tropical Plantation