With Old Man winter hanging over our heads — and knowing that he’s not going away anytime soon — we’re spending our days counting down till summer.
191 to go. That seems like an awful lot of days. It’s more than six months! Luckily, we don’t need to spend them all in the frigid New York City. (Yes, we know we’ll be eating our words when summer hits and temps hover in the high 90s.)
But for now, we’re dreaming of warmer places. One of our favorite vacation locations is Hawaii. Say Aloha to exotic islands with a warm tropical climate and amazing scenery.
Each island has its own charm, and there are many different ways to stay in style while visiting Hawaii. Looking at hotels, Maui houses the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, and O’ahu has the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Some of these hotels offer both stunning hotel rooms and private villas.
Speaking of villas, Luxury Retreats offer many remarkable villas and vacations rentals throughout the islands, perfect for private getaways and relaxing to the beat of your own drum. Some of the villas are located within the luxury hotels, while others are part of private clubs and properties. The villas vary in size, so it’s great if you’re traveling with a bigger crowd — or you just love the spaciousness and want to feel the true freedom of vacationing.
Where to stay is, of course, a big part of going on vacation. But so is what to do. And the activities of Hawaii are plentiful. Being islands, of course, means that beachside is aplenty. And there’s nothing quite like the freedom of easy access to the beach and Hawaii’s beautiful natural wonders.
We can’t talk about Hawaii and not dive into talking about its nature and wildlife. Some of the most incredible nature sites are found in Hawaii. On Kauai’s North Coast, you’ll find the Napali Coast full of emerald-green pinnacles, hidden beaches and cascading waterfalls. You can book a boat tour and explore the many secret sea caves. On O’ahu, you can find what has become an iconic symbol of Hawaii: Leahi — also known as “Diamond Head.” A state monument with glittering calcite crystals.
On Maui, the legendary Hana Highway offers some of the most spectacular scenery you’ll ever see on a drive. As you twist and turn through rainforests, seascapes, and incredible waterfalls, you’ll really awe over the beauty of nature. Another nature marvel is the Papohaku Beach Park in West Molokai; one of the largest white-sand beaches in Hawaii.
Of beach-related activities, there are many to choose from. Depending on what type you are, you can either go for a run on the beach and end it with a dip in the ocean, or you can pack a little bag and lounge for hours with the waves just a few steps away. A good beach-read is essential, along with some headphone with a beachy playlist and some snacks — and you are good to go. And of course sunscreen, always remember sunscreen.
Many resorts and villas also come with pools, if that’s more your speed. The same thing goes for packing some pool necessities to keep you entertained while lounging poolside.
Let’s talk food, shall we? Did you know, that you’ve probably already had an iconic Hawaiian dish? The popular poke bowls that took our city by storm last year actually stems from Hawaii. More than that, its name is Hawaiian for “to section” or “to slice or cut”. This isn’t the only dish of course. Thanks to Hawaii’s ethnic diversity, this state has quite an extraordinarily distinctive food landscape.
Indulge in a plate Loco Moco — white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. It might not sound gourmet, but this meal will surprise you. As will the plate lunch — the Hawaiian version of the south’s meat and three — with creamy macaroni salad, rice and a meat of your choice; we recommend tender Kailua pork.
Hawaii of course also have some sweet treats. Malasadas, a fried doughy goodness covered in granulated sugar, were actually brought over by Portuguese laborers. And thank goodness for that, because these are delicious! There are several bakeries in Hawaii that specialize in this pastry, and you can get them with different fillings and flavoring. For a cooling treat, Hawaii is also good for shaved ice — also known as “ice shave.” Instead of the traditional snow cone, which consists of crushed ice, these are made by shaving a block of ice and you can pick and choose your flavors by the array of syrups.
Living easy, exploring and eats. That’s what vacations are all about. And Hawaii definitely delivers on these three parameters.