Eight main islands make up the 50th of the United States, taking their name from the biggest of the lot – helpfully known as The Big Island. The most famous islands include Maui, Oahu and Kauai, all formed from volcanic eruptions, which have led to the stunning landscape of these lush islands.
As famous for their love of Spam and ukuleles as topaz oceans and sugary sand beaches, Hawaii is a honeymooners’ paradise. If you want to try your hand at surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, wakeboarding or all the other exciting kinds of watersports, Hawaii is a fun and safe place to dip your toes in. Say ‘aloha’ and you’ll never want to say goodbye.
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Where to Go in Hawaii
Unsure which island to pick for your Hawaii honeymoon? The Big Island is best for hiking and spotting wildlife, like dolphins and sea turtles. You can swim with Manta rays in Kona and get up close (but not too close) with one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea.
Go to Oahu for fusion food and farmers markets in Honolulu, plus a pretty amazing selection of beaches. Waikiki beach is the perfect place to go for shopping, sunbathing and celeb-spotting.
Maui is a mecca for surfers, kiteboarders and whale-spotting. Take a trip to the historic town of Lahaina for good food, shopping and a relaxing stroll.
Kauai is irresistibly laid-back, with dramatic coastal cliffs and crags perfect for exploring. Intrepid explorers should head to Waiua Falls or the mountains of the Napali Coast.
When to Go to Hawaii
April to November is Hawaii’s dry season, but you’ll actually be sensible to avoid the height of summer. Hawaii gets super hot and humid around this time and the worst thing you want to do on your honeymoon is have to spend all your time indoors with air-conditioning.
The cheapest months to visit are April and May, and September and October, when the weather’s great and the hotels and beaches are less crowded.
What to See in Hawaii
Sunrises and sunsets are astounding in Hawaii, none more so that from Haleakala Crater on Maui. If you fancy a view you’ll never forget, book yourselves onto a helicopter tour over the islands at sunset.
If one of you is a Jurassic Park fan, you’ll recognize Hawaii as the set for Steven Spielberg’s epic. You can go on tours around the island, including this cool one on ATVs. Just make sure you wear your helmet! If one of you is an Elvis fan, he filmed three movies in Hawaii and you can follow his footsteps by finding his filming locations in Oahu and Kauai. There’s also plenty of tours of Pearl Harbour and the USS Arizona Memorial for history fans.
Where to Stay in Hawaii
This acclaimed 5-star hotel is a blissful haven on the buzzing, upmarket Waikiki Beach on Oahu, boasting three seaside restaurants, a jazz lounge, and attentive staff offering sunscreen and cocktails at every turn. Sit back and don’t worry about a thing at Halekulani.
Four Seasons Hualalai, Hawaii
Surrounded by the black-lava landscape of Hawaii, this resort is perfect for exploring everything available on the island. Helicopter over volcanoes, dine under the stars, hike lava fields, snorkel, learn the ukulele or go on waterfall excursions. Of course, if you just want to relax, at the Four Seasons, you’re in the right place too.
Hotel Wailea, Maui
Maui’s boutique adults-only Wailea resort is secluded and swanky. Avoiding the flashiness of some hotels on the island, the atmosphere is nature-inspired, modern luxury with a chic clientele – ideal for a private escape.
Kahala Hotel & Resort, Oahu
Famous names including The Queen, Angelina Jolie and even the Dalai Lama have stayed at the Kahala which should tell you all you need to know about the luxury and unrivalled service at this peaceful resort. You can swim with and feed the hotel’s dolphins, take a hula class, then dine in their sushi and steak restaurant for the ultimate fun, romantic day.
Travaasa Hana, Maui
This unspoilt part of Maui is full of beautiful hidden beaches, lush rainforest and spectacular hikes. Adventure lovers will get their fill in nearby Haleakala National Park, boasting a huge bamboo forest with 400ft waterfalls. For romance, enjoy a night under the stars in one of Travaasa Hana’s hot tubs before returning to your ocean bungalow.
How to Get to Hawaii
Flight time from the UK is at least 17 hours. You’ll need to take an 11 hour flight to Los Angeles or San Francisco and then transfer onto a six hour plane to one of Hawaii’s main airports: Lihue Airport in Kauai, Honolulu International Airport in Oahu, and Kahului Airport in Maui.
Once you’re there, hiring a car to drive around the island is recommended, and you can take planes or ferries to go island-hopping.
You’ll need to get an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online through the Visa Waiver Programme before you go. Check on the gov.uk website for more specific restrictions.