4 June 2014
Posted By: Sarah Deeke
Filed In: Honeymoons
Comments Off on Honeymoon in Hawaii
One of the most incomparably beautiful honeymoon spots in the world, Hawaii has something to offer every couple, whether you are looking for an active adventure, a journey into unspoiled nature, or a relaxing beachside escape. Besides, what better place to enjoy being the new Mr. and Mrs. than a paradise that doesn’t require a passport? A great introduction to Hawaii is taking a cruise around the four major islands- Oahu, Maui, Hawaii (or the Big Island), and Kaua’i. The only cruise that sails around the islands is Norwegian’s Pride of America, sailing Saturday to Saturday from Honolulu. If you’ve never been to Hawaii, this cruise is a sampler of the islands, a way to really get to know which island vibe fits you. Here are some of my honeymoon recommendations for my favorite place in the world:
Hawaii (The Big Island)
The youngest of the Hawaiian islands, the Big Island has some of the most incredible live volcanic activity on the planet. Take a Blue Hawaiian helicopter around the island and see streams of hot magma pouring into the ocean amongst giant clouds of boiling steam. Volcanoes National Park is not to be missed. A great spot for hiking, you may find yourself walking on hardened lava that swallowed street signs, covered highways, and demolished towns. An excellent tour is the Captain Zodiac raft excursion out of Kona. Speeding across Kealakekua Bay next to the cliffs, you might spot turtles, colorful fish, and if you are really lucky, a pod of pilot whales. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable, and will show you secluded spots such as the British memorial for Captain James Cook, who discovered the Hawaiian islands, as well as a magnificent collection of giant rocks and cliffs that uncannily resembles the volcano goddess, Pele.
The oldest of the Hawaiian islands, Kaua’i is like the movie capital of this state. From South Pacific to Jurassic Park to Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Descendants, the landscape of Kaua’i is so unique and lush that it has been a Hollywood backdrop for decades. Take a Blue Hawaiian helicopter ride over Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, view the magnificent Jurassic Falls (from Jurassic Park), and maybe even spot a shark swimming in the crystal clear waters off the unparalleled Na Pali Coast. Hanalei Bay on the north side of the island is a great spot to learn how to surf and simply take in the extraordinary beauty of the island.
Maui has the best of both worlds: the peaceful, unspoiled nature of Kaua’i and the social, tourist atmosphere of Oahu. Front Street on the west side of the island has some of the best seafood restaurants and shops on the island. The Old Lahaina Luau on this street is one of the best, most authentic Hawaiian luaus you will ever come across. Dine on classic Hawaiian dishes, such as smoked pork, pineapple, and poi (mashed stem of the Taro plant-you’ve got to try it once). Trilogy Excursions out of Lahaina offers a great snorkeling tour- you cross the bay in a catamaran to the small island of Lanai, which is so unpopulated the snorkeling is unparalleled. You can see anything from turtles to parrotfish to octopus. Perhaps one of the most magnificent features of Maui is whale watching. Thousands of humpback whales swim to Maui during the winter months (you are guaranteed to see a whale November 4 through May 15 if you take a Pacific Whale Foundation Watch) to give birth. All water sports cease during these months to protect the whales, so if you are an active couple looking to go to Maui during that time, don’t expect to jet ski in the bay. Kaanapali Beach is also a five-minute drive from Lahaina. Rated the best beach in America several times, take a surfing lesson in the morning, enjoy a Mai Tai under a cabana, or, for the daredevils, take the plunge off Black Rock Jump. One of the most exhausting yet extraordinary activities is to take a sunrise tour to the top of Haleakala, or “House of the Sun”, the world’s largest dormant volcano. After watching the most breathtaking sunrise, you can check out the rare Silversword plant, which only grows at the top of this volcano, and even look at the Haleakala Observatories, part of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. You can even spot Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea (on the Big Island) on a clear day.
The most populated and tourist-y of the islands, Oahu is home to the state’s capital, Honolulu, as well as Diamond Head, an extinct volcano which is a great place to hike. Downtown Honolulu has every major fashion brand from Louis Vuitton to Tiffany’s to Burberry. Walking around, you may forget you are on an island until you get to Waikiki beach. Beginner surf lessons are everywhere on Waikiki. Check out the Royal Hawaiian hotel, where movie stars and celebrities such as Shirley Temple used to stay before World War II. For the history buff, Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona are just a bus ride away. About the size of a typical Midwestern two-story house, Iolani Palace offers a look back in time to the last reigning queen of the Hawaiian islands, Liliuokalani.