There's enough beauty and activity in Hawaii to fill more vacations than we could take in a lifetime. With so much to choose from, first-time visitors need to be selective. Our recommendation is to settle first on the Hawaii you want to see. It might be beaches, a luau and nightlife; it might be rare orchids and hikes in the rain forest; it might be quiet countryside, small towns and scenic drives. Whatever the combination, there is almost certainly an island or islands best suited to your Hawaii vacation dreams.
Hawaii's attractions are as diverse as its people. Everything you might expect to find in a sophisticated, cosmopolitan destination is there, including museums, art galleries, temples, gardens, zoos, marine parks, and cultural and historical sites. The Aloha State also claims award-winning wineries and breweries, some of which offer public tours. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring Hawaii's eight national parks.
You certainly won't have trouble finding things to do in Hawaii; in fact, you may have trouble paring the list down to something manageable. There truly is something for everyone. The main attraction, of course, is the beaches. Waikiki is Hawaii's most famous beach, but be sure to check out some of the other gems, too—there are amazing stretches of white, green, red and even black sand scattered throughout the islands. Try swimming, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddling and boogie-boarding. If you want to get offshore, charter a fishing boat or take a dinner cruise.
Virtually none of the food sold in Hawaii is true "Hawaiian food." It is a mix of cuisines and products introduced from other countries.
Island chefs have developed a style of Hawaiian regional cuisine that incorporates fresh locally grown meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables in a multicultural infusion of flavorings, ingredients, spices, sauces and cooking methods. This is the creative cuisine that many of Hawaii's finer restaurants serve.
The islands also have everything from fast-food chains to Mexican, French, Italian, Indian, Filipino, Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants.