Kauai is famous for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor adventures. The oldest of Hawaii’s main islands, it’s had plenty of time to erode its peaks into glorious verdant shapes. Home to one of the wettest spots on the planet, you’ll find waterfalls, rainbows, and plenty of lush forests to hike here. The pellucid waters are filled with multicolored fish; dozens of movies have been filmed here, and the island possesses the only navigable river in Hawaii, perfect for kayaking to secret grottoes. While there are tons of fun things to do when you travel to Kauai, these are the very best. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KAUAI?Kauai is a true paradise year-round, but if you’re concerned about heat or heavy rains, the best months to visit Kauai with consideration for the weather are April and May (following the winter rains and before the summer heat hits) and September through November (before the wet winter begins). Here are some of the best things to do on Kauai and COVID travel information to ensure a smooth journey.
From bánh mì sandwiches to Korean classics like tteokbokki, the Hawaiian Islands are brimming with delicious Asian-inspired food.
The culinary scene in America’s most ethnically diverse state is a multifaceted amalgamation of food traditions from Native Hawaiians and early Asian settlers who came to work on sugarcane and pineapple plantations. In the 19th century, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Portuguese laborers would gather together during lunchtime, bring out their aluminum kau kau tins, and share their home-cooked meals. Over the decades, dishes like Korean Kalbi short ribs, Japanese-style chicken katsu, and Chinese pork buns started to take on a distinctive Hawaii flair. Today, diners are spoilt with choice with the wide array of Asian-inspired restaurants, offering everything from savory seafood pancakes to meaty bánh mì sandwiches. Here are 15 delectable restaurants in Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island that celebrate the diversity of the Aloha State.
Get the most out of your Hawaii vacation with the best things to do in Maui.
From atop sky-scraping Haleakala to the depths of Molokini Crater, Hawaii’s second-largest isle bedazzles. Dubbed the Valley Isle, this is the place you come for ultra-soft sandy beaches, monster waves for surfing, bohemian beach towns, migrating humpback whales, traditional luaus, and some of the Pacific’s best food. Whether you’re hanging your (sun) hat at a beach bungalow on the North Shore or being catered to at a trendy luxury resort on the South Shore, there is no shortage of things to do. Here are the top experiences in this bewitching, trade wind-blown, tropical realm. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MAUI?Shoulder seasons are perfection, summer is incredible (smaller swells and fewer storms), and winter is excellent (albeit slightly cooler). Check out Covid-19 guidelines for updates on traveling to Maui.
The Hawaiian word "Mālama" means to give back. These 12 hotels offer some serious Mālama for its guests.
Visiting Hawaii is a dream come true for a lot of people. What’s better than roadside waterfalls, swimming among turtles, mantas, and dolphins, and sipping a tropical cocktail while watching the sunset? These tantalizing experiences have encouraged people to visit Hawaii for decades, and now these experiences are encouraging visitors to give back to this special destination. Through the Mālama Hawaii program, guests are encouraged to connect with the land and the people of Hawaii. Mālama means to “give back,” and through the program, visitors who volunteer can receive perks from participating hotels including free stays, resort credits, free car rentals, and more. “The most powerful aspect of Hawaii is not our incredible natural beauty or rich culture; it’s the deep relationship between the two,” muses the team at Mālama Hawaii. “When you learn to love Hawaii the way we do, not only do you help us perpetuate all that we hold dear, but you get to experience what it’s like to have a connection with this remarkable place.” Volunteering during a Hawaii vacation isn’t just about educating visitors during their visit, it’s about creating a lasting connection with the people and the ‘āina (land). Hawaii has, in many ways, already been ravaged by colonialism, and these programs allow visitors to both restore the old ways of Hawaii while also ensuring there is a Hawaii for future generaitons to enjoy. Putting hands in the ground and planting a tree may not seem like a lot, but it creates a lasting kuleana (responsibility) in those who put it there. It gives visitors, especially their keiki (children), an opportunity to watch something grow over time. Here are 12 Hawaii hotels that allow guests to give back through Hawaii voluntourism and the Mālama Hawaii program.
LGBTQ+ locals share their favorite spots off the beaten path.
Hawaiian culture has always had a deep appreciation of the fluidity of gender and sexuality. Ancient islanders understood that people were made up of both male and female qualities and didn’t assign a gender binary to anyone. The Hawaiian language doesn’t even have gender pronouns like “he” or “she,” and, in the past, same-sex (Aikane) relationships between High Chiefs and talented men were not just common but revered. When Captain James Cook arrived in Hawaii in the late 18th century, he wrote detailed journal entries about the Aikane and the Mahu, or transgender members of the community. In Polynesian culture, Mahu embodies the ideal of spiritual duality and is viewed as a special and revered third sex. Mahu were also traditionally the keepers of local history and genealogy, giving them a sacred place in the community. All of this changed in 1820 when Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii to impose their strict evangelical views on what they saw as the hell-bound islanders. Mahu culture went underground, and Aikane ceased to exist. Two hundred years later, Indigenous Hawaiian people are shining a light on the island’s LGBTQ+ friendly past, and “the rainbow state” is increasingly becoming a hot spot for LGBTQ+ travel, buoyed by the islands’ two annual pride events. While there aren’t as many queer-specific spaces in Hawaii as in, say, West Hollywood, many of the state’s businesses are queer-friendly, and more are popping up every day. Here, we talked to a number of out and proud Hawaiians about their favorite LGBTQ+ friendly beaches, hotels, restaurants, and stores on the island.
Get the most out of your Hawaii vacation with the best things to do in Oahu.
To fully appreciate the multi-faceted paradise that is Hawaii would take a lifetime–but that doesn’t mean its mystical, fragrant beauty can’t be experienced in a week. The most populous of the eight Hawaii islands, Oahu is a good place to start. From the crashing surf breaks of the North Shore to the tangy sweetness of the Lilikoi fruit gracing menus, majestic volcano ranges, and azure-hued bays where Hawaiian sea turtle, manta rays, dolphins, and monk seals happily inhabit, there is much to love about this idyllic urban island. These are the best things to do in Oahu, Hawaii. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT OAHU?No matter what time of year you visit, Hawaii will be warm and inviting. Spring is an excellent choice, summer tends to be hotter and rainier with more placid seas, while winter blesses visitors with dry, cooler weather and occasional seasonal swells. Check out the latest COVID protocol and updates for travel to Oahu here.