Unwind and let the oxygen-rich air of Kauai's Wailua River invigorate your spirit as you kayak to a cascading waterfall. Or breathe deeply at the edge of the time-swept Waimea Canyon as it speaks to you without words. On Kauai, native fishponds amaze with 1,000-year old forward thinking, while legends of the Napali Coast transport you back in time. From the small towns of Hanapepe and Old Koloa Town to sunny Poipu Beach, this is truly "Hawaii's Island of Discovery."
On the island of Oahu, learn to ride the waves in Waikiki where surfing was born or catch a big-wave surf meet on Oahu’s famed North Shore. Between sunrise and sunset, you’ll have hours to explore the hottest farm to table restaurants, browse the latest designer and local fashions, check out the urban art scene in Chinatown or stroll into Hawaii’s history at Iolani Palace. When the sun goes down, the “Heartbeat of Hawaii” awakens to a new beat, and it’s time to put on your dancing shoes.
Known as the “Valley Isle,” Maui is dotted with quaint towns, artist communities and local favorites that have been around for generations. Head to Wailuku for pastries from a “mom and pop” bakery, or head to Lahaina for a taste of Maui’s famed farm to table cuisine. From shimmering beaches and sacred Iao Valley to migrating humpback whales and sunset on Haleakala, it’s not surprising Maui was voted the “Best Island” by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler for 19 years.
“Hawaiian by nature,“ the island of Molokai remains true to its island roots. There are no traffic lights—just aloha—in the harbor town of Kaunakakai, where fisherman haul in their daily catch and farmers showcase fresh-picked produce from neighboring fields. Quiet your spirit and you’ll feel the mana (power) that protects the island, from an area near Maunaloa said to be the birthplace of hula to the indescribable beauty of Halawa Valley. Or, descend 1,700 feet on a surefooted mule to the remote settlement of Kalaupapa and change your perspective forever.
Lanai is an island of intriguing contrasts. Hike the lunar landscape of Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods) or picnic overlooking Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock), named for a maiden Puu and her handsome warrior. Two Four Season Resorts pamper you—one along the seaside, the other in the misty mountains—while Hotel Lanai in Lanai City welcomes you with old plantation charm. Whether you’re hiking among native ohia lehua trees on the Munro Trail or making your way to the 18th hole, Lanai is easily Hawaii’s “Most Enticing Island.”
Island of Hawaii
Think big. The island of Hawaii is the youngest and largest island in the Hawaiian chain, but it’s remarkable for more than just its size. Picture yourself visiting Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, or talk story with a cultural demonstrator at Puuhonua o Honaunau, a historic park that was once a place of refuge. Whether you’re walking on a black sand beach, snorkeling with manta rays, horseback riding in Waimea or sailing along the Kona Coast, the island of Hawaii is your island for adventure.