I visited Hawaii once, about 40 years ago. Returning to Hawaii is on my travel bucket list. One day I will make it there, hopefully with the grandkids in tow. While this may have been a honeymoon destination in the 60’s, it is now a family vacation destination.
With over 10 million visitors in 2018, it doesn’t show signs of slowing down as a top vacation destination anytime soon.
Hawaii- The Best Places For Families
Hawaii is made up of six unique and beautiful islands, each offering its own distinct personality. From wild adventures, to relaxing beach days and cultural enrichment, Hawaii is a great family destination.
The Big Island
The Island of Hawaii is the largest island in the Hawaiian chain. It’s twice as big as the other islands combined. Did you know you can travel through all but four of the world’s climates from tropics to polar tundra? It is truly awe-inspiring with its volcanoes and black sands, you must visit The Big Island.
The amazing and relaxing Kona Village Resort is located on the western coast of the Big Island. Offering breathtaking views, the Kona Village Resort is a beach vacation come true.
The resort offers 125 individual bungalows that are spread out across 82 tropical acres. They are all different in style, size, and view. The south side of the resort offers palm trees and tropical foliage, while the lagoon side features wildlife, and the north side features a unique lava flow. The Polynesian style cottages have no television sets! This allows you to really experience the resort as a family, trying out new activities, exploring the rich marine life including sea turtles and blue tangs.
If you visit the resort between December and April, you may even catch the North Pacific humpback whales as they migrate from Alaska to Hawaii – right off the beach. Almost every night at the resort, you can see the manta rays swim into the light in front of the Hale Moana restaurant.
The Kona Village Resort in an example of everything that Hawaii has to offer its visitors.
Maui- A Beach Lovers Paradise
Maui, also known as “The Valley Isle”, is the second largest Hawiian island, it is also home to some of the most amazing beaches. Some beaches offer swimming year round, while others are best for surfing or snorkeling during certain times of the year. Depending on where you choose to stay, there is always a famous beach nearby.
In order to get the most out of the island of Maui it’s best to rent a bungalow and jeep so you may explore freely.
If you drive along the west coast of Maui from Lahaina to Kapalua, you’ll see many breathtaking beaches along the coast. Kaanapali Beach will offer you over three miles of white sand with a variety of watersports, including surfing, sailboating, and even catamaran rides. On the north end of the beach is Black Rock, which is well known for snorkeling.
The rule with Hawaii and Maui is that the further South you travel, the less crowded the beaches will be. Kihei offers you a series of beaches along the six mile coastline, some even offering lifeguards, restrooms, and picnic areas. Polo Beach and Wailea Beach offer both restrooms and equipment rentals. Or, if you prefer a more secluded beach, you should visit Maluaka Beach at the Maui Prince Hotel – where you may even encounter some green sea turtles.
The beaches of East Maui are unlike others in Hawaii. Surrounded by lush scenery, the beaches are secluded, scenic, and very colorful. Hamoa Beach is a must visit if you plan to visit East Maui. As you approach the beach from the main road, you’ll walk past colorful plants and palm trees surrounding Hamoa Beach. Just off Hana Highway is Hana Bay Beach, which offers black volcanic sand.
Oahu- Don’t Miss Waikiki Beach
Located on the sun drenched Hawaiian Island of Oahu, Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous and well known beaches in the entire world, with luxurious hotels and beach clubs set right on the beach.
The Waikiki Beach is shallow and water is calm almost year round, especially in the winter months when the surf stays under three feet.
Waikiki Beach is also known for its gentle waves which are ideal for beginner surfers. You can rent surfboards and gear on the beach, even take lessons if you have never surfed before.
As you travel along the beach from west to east beginning in Diamond Head, you’ll encounter several first class hotels such as Hilton Hawaiian Village, Sheraton Waikiki, Outrigger Hawaii, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
While there are many spots for your Hawaii vacation, few manage to capture the beauty and tranquility that Waikiki offers. If you’ve been looking for the ideal place for your family beach vacation, you shouldn’t hesitate to go to Waikiki.
If you would rather stay in a more secluded area, Kahala Mandarin Oriental is 10 minutes away from Waikiki Beach and offers a long sandy beach, and swimming with the dolphins – which is something everyone is sure to enjoy.
Those that like adventure can choose from a wide variety of water sports and land activities on Oahu. If you would like to spend your vacation in or near the water, you should try surfing, scuba diving, or windsurfing. The land activities here include hiking through rain forests, biking along the mountain ranges, even parachuting.
Oahu is a destination that offers many different activities for the entire family. You can choose from children’s programs at Waikiki Beach hotels, hands on programs, and a variety of water sports. The Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the See Life Park of Hawaii are just a few of the attractions the whole family can enjoy together.
Kauai- Nature Lovers Paradise
Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and is sometimes called “Garden Island”, which is very accurate. The oldest island in the chain is covered in lush emerald valley, mountain ranges, and jagged cliffs, it’s a nature lovers paradise. Some areas on Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, showing stunning displays of nature.
Poipu Beach is a popular spot on the island offering crystal-clear waters which make for perfect snorkeling. At times you may even encounter a Hawaiian monk seal, which is an endangered species. There are life guards, picnic areas and a wading pool for the little ones.
The Coconut Coast and South Shore are the best places to stay on the island offering hotels, resort and vacation rentals. Other areas of the island do have homes for rent on short term basis.
No visit to Kauai is complete without a trip to Waimea Canyon, located on the west side of the island. Stretching 14 miles long, 1 mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon Lookout provides panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles.