Hot summers in the city are the inspiration for many Hawaiian vacations. The collection of islands in the Pacific offer temperate climates, lush scenery, distinctive cuisine and a number of tourist attractions and activities. Chartering a private jet to one of the islands and then island hopping via inter-island flights or ferries is perhaps the best way to experience all that Hawaii has to offer. Here are some places to go and activities to do that will make any Hawaiian trip spectacular.
#1 Na Pali Coast State Park
Na Pali means high cliffs, and the park’s breathtaking precipices that surround the Kalalau Valley rise above 4,000 feet above the ocean. The Na Pali Coast State Park in Kauai is a favorite for adventure travelers partly because of its natural beauty and partly due to its inaccessibility by standard vehicles. Visitors reach the state park’s famed beaches by helicopter, hiking, kayaking or chartering private catamarans.
#2 ʻIolani Palace
The only known royal palace that is still standing on U.S. soil is the ʻIolani Palace that was built in 1979 by the last monarchs of Hawaii. The Honolulu estate sits on over 10 acres of land, and it’s architecture was influenced by both American and European designs. The Hawaiian royals used the palace as a place to receive foreign heads of state and hold state dinners, but they actually slept in traditional huts nearby. Under the guise of creating an independent republic for Hawaii’s citizens, U.S.-backed revolutionaries overthrew the humble monarchs less than 14 years after the palace was built. The goal of the revolution was really to annex the beautiful islands as a U.S. territory and subsequent 50th state. Today, ʻIolani Palace is registered as an historic site, and visitors can tour both the building and the surrounding grounds.
#3 Kona Coffee Living History Farm
Besides purchasing a pound or so of souvenir Kona coffee to take home, many visitors to the Hawaiian islands enjoy finding out how the famous coffee was grown and processed during the early part of the 20th century. The Kona Coffee Living History Farm features costumed historians who demonstrate the heritage skills that were used by the coffee farmers of that time period. Guests can take self-guided tours of the farm that contains coffee groves and historic replica buildings.
#4 Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Nearly every city in America has a botanical garden, but it is unlikely that any of them can rival the beauty that is found within the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. This garden is located in a coastal valley on Hawaii’s Big Island, and it has a wide variety of native plants, trees and water features. The garden is set within a tropical rainforest, and visitors stroll along well-marked trails and boardwalks to discover over 2,000 species of flora that are surrounded by streams, waterfalls and the lovely Onomea Bay.
#5 Dole Plantation Tour
While the pineapple is not an official symbol of Hawaii, it is closely associated with the tropical state because of the role that the crop played in Hawaii’s history. Before Hawaii became a world-class tourist destination, it relied on agricultural products for its economic sustenance. The Dole food brand is also tied to pineapples, and the company started the Dole Plantation tours in Oahu during the late 1980s to pay tribute to the fruit’s Hawaiian legacy. Visitors can take a garden tour and sample some of the specially-crafted food items that contain pineapple at the plantation’s country store.