Field Guide: Hawaiian Islands

Field Guide: Hawaiian Islands

The Aloha State offers a special kind of paradise for every visitor. Which one will you claim?

The Hawaiian Islands offer an incredible range of experiences unlike any other destination. Dive in and piece together your perfect island retreat.



STAY: Outrigger Aina Nalu
Ensconced in tranquility in Maui’s historic Lahaina Town, sensory stimulation is just around the corner. The bistros and art galleries of Front Street will call you, as will Aina Nalu’s Asian-inspired décor and gazebo gardens.

TASTE: Alan Wong’s Honolulu
For a true taste of Oahu, this is it. Awards? More than you can shake a spatula at. The dishes aren’t created as much as they’re born from a loving union of culinary artistry and ethnic authenticity. True Hawaii regional cuisine with the islands’ freshly farmed ingredients.

Ginger Crusted Onaga at Alan Wong's Honolulu

Ginger Crusted Onaga at Alan Wong’s Honolulu

IMMERSE: Polynesian Cultural Center
Part theme park, part living museum, altogether amazing. Experience the unique island cultures from Oahu to Samoa, Tonga to Tahiti, and beyond. Unforgettable exhibits, enthralling performances, hands-on memories.

SWEETEN: Leonard’s Bakery
The original Hawaiian purveyor of the masalada, a traditional Portuguese donut, Leonard’s Bakery first began serving these golden brown works of art at his Honolulu, Oahu bakery in 1953. If the “Got Masaladas?” t-shirts don’t get you, the 24-count to-go box will.


STAY: Disney’s Aulani Resort
This dream child of Disney Imagineers and local Oahu islanders is the perfect setting for togetherness: Aunty’s Beach House for the little ones, Painted Sky Spa for teens, great golf, shopping and dining for those fully grown, totally mature kids.

FEAST: Island Breeze Luau
The Hawaii Island luau named “Best of West Hawaii” every year since 1980 is one delicious experience. Come for the lavish buffet of kalua pork, fresh fish, grilled beef and fresh island produce. Stay for the Polynesian storytelling, music and dancing. And don’t forget to pass the Poi.

FROLIC: Zip N’ Dip Excursion
Drop into the private paradise of Princeville Ranch on Hawaii Island for the zip line experience of a lifetime. It’s a nine-line course over a gorgeous valley, including the final bad boy, a 1200-footer named King Kong. At the other end is a picnic, waterfall and hidden swimming hole.

Waterfall Hale Massage at the Fairmont Orchid

Waterfall Hale Massage at the Fairmont Orchid

BOND: Na Pali Sunset Dinner Cruise
As luxury catamarans go, this is the flagship. Cruise the magnificent Na Pali Coast of Kauai and share the sparkling surf with dolphins, green sea turtles and, from December through April, humpback whales. Enjoy a scrumptious 3-course dinner and a spectacular sunset for dessert.


SUBMERGE: Manta Ray Dives
Throw caution to the Pacific wind and delve into a night dive off Hawaii Island with Giant Manta Rays (up to 30 feet wide!). Scuba and snorkeling options available. Sitting and gawking, too.

TREK & TASTE: Haleakala Bike Tours
It starts at 6,500 feet, and it’s downhill from there—on a bike safari descending the western slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano. Take a break for a picnic lunch, then enjoy the fruits of your labor—of the fermented variety—at the winery at Ulupalakua Ranch.

ASCEND: Volcanoes National Park
If there was a Mount Rushmore of volcanoes, Hawaii Island’s Kilauea would be on it. A lava-oozing, out of this world landscape, the park has 119 miles of established hiking and climbing trails. Make sure to have some Royal Kona honey and macadamia nut coffee when you stop for a breather.

Field Guide_Hawaii Island

STAY: The Fairmont Orchid
Think of it as a luxurious, 32-acre base camp for your Hawaii Island adventures. Of course, most base camps don’t feature white beaches and blue lagoons. But this is paradise. And after a rollicking day, an oceanfront massage and four-star dinner will outfit you perfectly for tomorrow.


SAVOR: Sushi Sasabune
You don’t have to be a sushi expert to appreciate the exacting technique of the chef at this Oahu hotspot. You just have to have an appreciation of world class sushi. The Omakase style (chef’s choice) features 13 lucky courses. You can stop eating at any time, but why for the love of sashimi would you?

GAZE: Summit Adventures
Take a guided tour of the cosmos, featuring a surrealistic sunset atop Hawaii Island’s Mount Maunakea. After a stellar dinner, your guides will introduce you to a little thing called the universe—with some of the best stargazing on the planet. Earth, that is.

STAY: Andaz Maui
That strange, warm feeling has a name. Relaxation. You’ll find it everywhere inside, and in the 15 acres of breathtaking beachfront. Your breathing will definitely soften too, whether you’re indulging in the sweet joys of Awili Spa or letting go of it all at sunset yoga.

Andaz Maui

Andaz Maui

TRANSCEND: McBryde Garden
Want to truly transcend the human world? Join the plant kingdom. Located on the south shore of Kauai, McBryde Garden is described as “a botanical ark of tropical flora.” Connect with your botanical roots in the lush beauty at Bamboo Bridge and the Canoe Garden.


STAY: St. Regis Princeville
Sparkling views of Kauai’s Hanalei Bay will put you in the zone on two spectacular 18-hole courses. Ten minutes away, enjoy the world renowned Makai course. And swing into the legendary St. Regis bar where the Bloody Mary Cocktail was invented in 1934.

Hole #2 at the St. Regis Princeville

Hole #2 at the St. Regis Princeville

EAT: Kings’ Grille
Some of the tastiest wallet-friendly courses on Hawaii Island are on the menu at Kings’ Grille on Waikoloa Beach. Save room for the 18-hole King’s Course, designed by golf royal Tom Weiskopf.

MASTER: Leadbetter Academy
Get a great grip on your game with some of the world’s top instructors at Wailea Golf Club. The gorgeous views of Maui will inspire, as they did when legendary teacher David Leadbetter chose this spot for his only Hawaiian golf academy.

FLY: Helicopter Tours
Get a bird’s eye view of two of the greatest courses in Hawaii and the world: The Plantation and The Bay at Kapalua Golf Course. And while you’re flying, keep an eye out for Maui’s famous Haleakala Crater. It’s that great big hole with an uphill slope.

To learn more, ask your travel professional about Blue Sky Tours.