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Planning Your First Trip to Hawaii? Here's What You Need to Know

With excellent restaurants and world-class family resorts, Hawaii is a one-of-a-kind paradise. It's no wonder Hawaii was named one of the best travel destinations by both Travel & Leisure and Forbes. If you were hoping to book a vacation to Hawaii this year, we have good news: Hawaii is officially open to visitors again. Here’s all you need to know to plan the perfect trip to paradise.

Review the Requirements 

Travelling may look a little different this year, but it can still be an experience of a lifetime. Make sure to brush up on all the Hawaii state travel requirements so avoid any travel worries,

Islands to Visit 

First-timers planning a trip to Hawaii often spend lots of time trying to decide which islands to visit. It’s highly subjective, depending on your time, budget and goals. Whether you are visiting Hawaii for a relaxing honeymoon getaway or looking for an activity-driven escape, there's an island for you. Click here to find the perfect Hawaiian island(s) for you

What To Do 

Home to stunning natural beauty, miles of sugar-white sands, and famous historic sites like Pearl Harbor, Hawaii offers something for every kind of traveler. With so many options, it can be hard to choose what to do. We've narrowed it down a bit for you—and here are are our top picks.  

Enjoy the Coast From the Sea

Experience unforgettable views of the islands just as the ancient Hawaiians did, gliding across the waves in your watercraft. Grab a paddleboard or canoe at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. The resort is set on the beautiful Waikiki Beach, arguably one of the most scenic beaches in Hawaii. 

Learn to Hang Ten 

Can there be a better water sport than surfing? It’s good for the soul and lots of fun. Waikiki Beach on Oahu is a favorite spot for beginners. This area boasts gentle, predictable waves perfect for learning to surf. Want to know where to learn the moves? Check out Faith Surf School in Waikiki. They offer both private and group lessons. 

Try a Taste of the Islands

With all of the fresh seafood and perfectly ripened tropical fruits, Hawaii is a gourmet paradise. For unique views and an atmosphere to match, have dinner at Duke’s Waikiki (including Hula Pie). This restaurant is located right on the beach, and it's the perfect place to catch a spectacular sunset. Oahu’s also great for local craft beer—and you can check out the original Maui Brewing Company on the island of Maui OR at the Waikiki location. Enjoy a sampling of some of the best Hawaii-made beers and see how it’s done.  

Appreciate Local Art

Hawaii is an art-lover’s paradise. Stroll through the Honolulu Museum of Art for a view of Hawaiian artistic endeavors over the centuries, or take a stroll through the Waikiki Beachcomber, which is the first lifestyle hotel that is curated by local Hawaiian artists. 

Where To Stay

Whether you're staying on the popular island of Oahu or one of the more laid-back neighbor islands, we've got you covered., With properties on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, you have lots of options. We have many family-friendly accommodations as well. Our Maui family resorts, Oahu family resorts, and Kauai family resorts are the perfect place to get some sun and surf with your whole family.

What To Pack

Wondering what to pack for a week in Hawaii?  One item that you should bring is reef-safe sunscreen. And surf-and-snorkel friendly bikinis. Want to know what else to bring and what to leave at home? Take a look at this blog post.

What To See 

Here are three can't-miss places that we think every traveler should visit on a trip to Hawaii. 

The Road to Hana - Viewing Maui's spectacular shoreline from the Hana Highway as it twists and turns through thick jungle, near gushing waterfalls and past sheer cliffs is one of the top things to do in Hawaii. Make a day of it by stopping at sights along the way like Wailua Falls and Wai’anapanapa State Park.

Iolani Palace - Visit the site of America's last monarchy, immaculately restored and filled with items of historic and artistic importance. The home of Hawaii's ruling family, it offers daytime and evening tours and glimpses of Hawaii's royal past.

Waimea Canyon - The island of Kauai's breathtaking gorge plunges into a deep crevasse, offering stunning hues of red rock interspersed with green vegetation. Visitors can hike along the rim at nearby Kokee State Park for spectacular views and picture taking.

Whether you plan on visiting just one island or want to take in as many as you can, your visit will take you to places of unique and astounding tropical beauty. With so much to offer, you may find yourself longing to return to these magical islands again and again. And, with so many family resorts, Hawaii is a perfect destination for the whole family. So what are you waiting for? Explore rates for your Hawaii family travel here.

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  • Home of Hawaiian Music, Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Renovated modern guest rooms
  • Immersive cultural activities
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Hawaii’s first and only craft hotel
  • Home of The Beachcomber Originals
  • Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop
  • Island’s longest bar at Maui Brewing Co
  • Beachfront location
  • Home of Duke’s Waikiki
  • Hawaii’s best live music venue, Blue Note Hawaii
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Intimate retreat for adventure seekers
  • Easy access to Waikiki Beach
  • Choice for value-minded families and groups
  • Spacious guest rooms and studios
  • Offering connecting rooms and kitchenettes
  • Spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes
  • Ideal for large groups or families
  • Steps to Waikiki Beach and International Market Place
  • Onsite restaurants – Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Tanaka of Tokyo
  • Only half a mile from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • Pet friendly
  • Convenient for business travelJust minutes from Pearl Harbor
  • Only resort condo directly on Waikiki Beach
  • Sweeping panoramic ocean views
  • Family friendly
  • Perfect for extended stays
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Intimate, boutique style condo resort
  • Situated in the Waikiki Beach Walk shopping and dining district
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • 38 tropical beachfront acres
  • 3-acre aquatic playground
  • AAA Four Diamond Award accredited
  • Luxury, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites on Kaanapali Beach
  • Located on 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort
  • Choose from 3 beaches and 11 restaurants
  • Ocean and golf room views
  • Offering two magnificent golf courses
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Located within the world-famous Wailea Resort community
  • A short drive from the Shops at Wailea and beaches
  • Near Wailea’s most renowned restaurants
  • Ocean view of Molokai and Lanai
  • Boasts oceanfront pool
  • Private lanai
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Fronts the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort
  • Short walk from Whalers Village
  • Featuring three swimming pools
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Boutique-style condos in heart of Lahaina
  • Two blocks away from Front Street
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants
  • Offering stunning views of Lanai and Molokai
  • Newly renovated condos
  • Oceanfront on property dining at the Gazebo Restaurant
  • Heated river pool running through two-acre property
  • Features flumed water slides
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Cottage-style beachfront condos
  • Complimentary access to Poipu Athletic Club
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Oceanfront condos
  • Includes an ocean pool within a natural stone breakwater
  • Adjacent to the Coconut MarketPlace
Watch the majestic manta rays that swim through Keauhou Bay. Or spend your day relaxing at the spa. It all starts here, on Hawaii Island.
  • Guests treated to infinity pool and lava rock whirlpool
  • Surrounded by Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course
  • Selection of on property dining options
  • Five distinct properties to choose from
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Close to upscale King’s Shops and Queen’s Market Place
  • Golf at Beach Course
  • Set on 18 oceanfront acres
  • Boasts 3 swimming pools and 2 tennis courts
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Set on a lava rock bluff
  • Panoramic views of the Kona coast
  • 5-minute drive to restaurants and shops
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Beachfront bures
  • Complimentary beach services
  • Kava ceremony welcomes guests
  • Wood-carving guest activity
  • Enjoy Meke traditional song and dance
  • Beachfront bures
  • Offering Meimei nanny service
  • Talai butler service available
  • Named #1 Family Resort
  • Amazing firewalking ceremony
    • Luxury beachfront suites
    • Mauritian Rum tasting experience
    • Dance to Sega music
    • Relax on private beach
    • Complimentary kid’s club
    • Located beachfront on Lamai Beach
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located beachfront on Bangsak Beach
    • Swimming pool
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located on Surin Beach
    • Boutique resort
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Restaurant and in-room dining
    • Luxury resort in the Maldives
    • Choose from beachfront villas or over-water villas
    • Numerous dining options, including our signature restaurant Moodhu Grill
    • Fully equipped PADI and SSI dive center
    • Famous for Waikiki Beach
    • Hike Diamond Head Crater
    • Take a historical journey at Pearl Harbor
    • Birthplace of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku
    • Home to Iolani Palace, US’s only royal place
    • Voted “Best Island in the US”
    • Home to Haleakala volcano
    • Famed for whale watching during the winter months
    • Famous scenic stretch road to Hana
    • Mile long of sandy shore at Kaanapali Beach
    • Nicknamed the Garden Island
    • Known for lush valleys, waterfalls and hiking trails
    • Has more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island
    • Most hiking trails than an other Hawaiian Island
    • Largest coffee plantation in the US
    • Often referred to as the “Big Island”
    • Kilauea volcano is the most active and largest in the world
    • Known for black sand beaches
    • Grows most of the world’s macadamia nuts
    • Home to some of the world’s largest telescopes
    • Beachfront bures
    • Authentic cultural experiences
    • Family-friendly accommodations
    • Beach & water activities
    • Accommodations in Koh Samui, PhangNga and Surin Phuket
    • Exotic cuisine featuring aromatic spices and fresh ingredient
    • More than 40,000 temples throughout the country
    • Unique variety of wildlife and nature
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