Your guide to: Hawaii

Awesome Travel Stuff Hawaii
Your guide to: Hawaii

You can tell a lot about a place by its music. In Hawaii, lulling ukulele melodies guide poetic chants and slack-key guitar rhythms accompany swaying hula dancing. The sounds summon visions of the isles, of inhaling a tropical breeze, surfing smooth waves or sipping from a coconut. The Aloha State balances laid-back vibes with verdant cliffs, volcanic fields and rich lands that beckon adventure.

VISIT HAWAII: GET STARTED

How do you choose which island to visit? Kick it in Kauai, home to the dramatic Napali Coast, or make it to Maui, a top spot for a Hawaii honeymoon. Over on Oahu, Honolulu draws crowds to Waikiki Beach, while the Big Island boasts delectable Kona coffee and epic volcanic views. Check out our quick guide to each island below:

Oahu

WHAT TO EAT
A classic luau meal: kalua pork (cooked in an underground oven and shredded), haupia (coconut pudding), lau lau (meat cooked in taro leaves), and lomi lomi salmon (a salmon and tomato salad).
WHAT TO BRING BACK
Hawaiian music from Honolulu, hand-engraved Hawaiian jewellery and tropical island wear. 

Maui

WHAT TO EAT
Banana bread from roadside sellers (the world’s best?), acai bowls, fresh fish, actual Hawaiian pizza (topped with kalua pork!) and farm-to-table cuisine at restaurants across the island.
WHAT TO BRING BACK
Locally made Maui wine (including pineapple wine!), traditional Hawaiian quilts and the official Hawaiian footwear: rubbah slippahs (basically, flip-flops).

Island of Hawaii

WHAT TO EAT
Poi (Hawaiian pudding made from taro root), macadamia nut cream pie, huli huli chicken (marinated and grilled chicken) and local produce from the Hilo Farmers Market.
WHAT TO BRING BACK
Kona coffee, Hawaiian macadamia nuts and chocolate from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate factory.

Kauai

WHAT TO EAT
Saimin (a mix of Japanese and Chinese-style noodle soup), a Puka dog (a hot dog in Hawaiian sweet bread, topped with a spicy sauce and tropical fruit relish) and shave ice, Hawaii’s colourful dessert.
WHAT TO BRING BACK
A shell lei necklace, arts and crafts from Hanapepe, and wood-carved items made of koa, a native Hawaiian tree. 

Want more inspiration? Check out our guide to each island's highlights here.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON KAUAI

DISCOVER KAUAI'S BEST ACTIVITIES

Film fans might instantly recognize the awe-inducing landscapes of the so-called “Garden Island.” Kauai’s emerald-hued mountains and verdant valleys have played co-starring roles in many big-budget flicks, from Jurassic Park and Avatar to Godzilla and Raiders of the Lost Ark. But don’t be intimated by the island’s Hollywood good looks—it offers tons to do for every type of traveller.

FOR THE NATURE LOVER

Outdoor explorers, buckle up. Kauai’s nickname is somewhat misleading, unless your garden also includes a rugged coastline of sea cliffs, or a canyon carved out of lava rock. The Napali Coast Wilderness State Park invites you to admire its most beautiful sights. Trek its winding trail, cruise by in a kayak, or see it all from above in a helicopter. Next, meet Kauai’s version of the Grand Canyon, the spectacular Waimea Canyon with its rocky terrain tinged in shades of red, orange and green. Hike to the park’s lookouts to take in its gorgeous gorges and dense forests.

FOR THE FOODIE

Of course, gardens also provide produce, and Kauai uses its resources in a wealth of ways, from healthy vegan meals to deep-fried delights.  With Hawaii’s multicultural heritage, the island’s food is globally inspired—its dishes borrow from Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Filipino cuisine. For fresh ingredients, stop at Kauai’s Sunshine Markets (farmer’s markets) in towns like Lihue, or Hanalei. Try originals like spam musubi, a sushi snack found in most grocery stores, or Koloa’s Puka dog, a hot dog in Hawaiian sweet bread, topped with a spicy sauce and tropical fruit relish. No visit would be complete without enjoying the country’s colourful dessert: cold and delicious shave ice, served up perfectly at Wailua Shave Ice in Kapaa.

FOR THE AQUAPHILE

Kauai is not all insurmountable peaks and intimidating vistas. It’s also secluded stretches of white sand and jungle-bound beaches perfect for rest and relaxation. Opt for the golden shores of Kauai’s East Side, nicknamed the Coconut Coast. Near the navigable Wailua River and its famous waterfalls, swim, snorkel and spot all types of underwater dwellers off Lydgate Beach, with its two rock-enclosed lagoons. Crescent-shaped Poipu Beach, on the island’s southern coast, is a popular pick for families and those looking for all types of nautical activities. Forest-rimmed and idyllic, Kauai’s beaches are your window to the Pacific’s crystal-clear waters.

Content courtesy of Air Canada Vacations

Where do you want to go?