Editor’s picks for where to stay in Hawaii. (more…) Read More →
One word, three syllables, beginning and ending with “A.” Capture the spirit of aloha in Hawaii.
ALOHA. There’s no better way to begin an exploration of the romantic possibilities of Hawaii than this magical word. You might already know that aloha has the hula-dancing flexibility to mean both hello and goodbye. But aloha also translates to a special word that’s at the heart and soul of pretty much everything we do as human beings.
Legendary writer Jack London put it this way, with passion: “In what other land save this one is the commonest form of greeting not ‘Good day,’ nor ‘How d‘ye do’, but ‘Love’? That greeting is ‘aloha’: love, I love you, my love to you.” We may all be living in a social world of “likes,” but a romantic world of loves—of aloha—sounds a lot more inviting. In Hawaii, the invitation is handwritten, with little hearts all over, sealed with a kiss and sent to couples everywhere and at every stage of life’s romantic journey.
“The lei was only the beginning, “says Emily Temple of Funjet Vacations. “Hawaiians embody the essence of travel: discovery, respect for diversity and the idea of being one people. There is so much history to the islands, and when you visit, you become part of it.” Hawaii has so much to love, so much that is uniquely Hawaiian. We know you’re ready for an Hawaiian experience and the opportunity to find your own aloha.
At First Sight
Natural Wonders, Views, Tours
Expect your heart to feel some magic when you and your significant other arrive, whether it’s the first time or the latest. Wherever you venture, Hawaii is a feast for the eyes—and all the other senses. There’s only one way to begin—with a spectacular Hawaiian sunrise. You can’t go wrong anywhere. But Maui’s Haleakalá National Park is truly above
and beyond. Your observation deck is a 10,000-foot dormant volcano. As the stars fade, watch for the first glow of light and find a place to sit along the rock wall.
You’ll have the best seat in the house. Now that you’re up, picture this: a place so phenomenal it’s called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It’s Kauai’s Waimea Canyon. Ten miles long and 3,000 feet deep, the shifting light and colors of this amazing natural attraction will mesmerize you. To find a more beautiful drive other than Maui’s Road to Hana, you might have to check other planets. This curvy coastal road offers views of cliffs, waterfalls, beaches and rainforest. Double your waterfall pleasure with the sheer beauty of Twin Falls.
Get out and stretch your legs with a stop at the Kaupo General Store where it’s a step back in time. Just before the town of Hana, you’ll find Waianapanapa State Park & Black Sand Beach. Here, you’ll be transported to another world and time by the ancient lava caves, sea arches, and the pitch-black basalt rocks that become the famous black sand of
Hawaiian lore and legend.
That’s the land. Now let’s hit the water, via catamaran on a sunset dinner cruise. While you’re sipping drinks and taking in an awe-inspiring view of the sunset, dolphins may jump up for a view of the two of you. Of course, when the sun goes down, the stars come out. And so do lovers of stargazing. On the Big Island that means Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in the state at nearly 14,000 feet. Here, the landscape is surreal and the sky is all stars—and all yours.
Christy Calabrese of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau says it best: “Breathtaking landscapes and views offer the perfect backdrop, and it is the only-in-Hawaii experiences that make the Hawaiian Islands one of the most romantic destinations in the world.”
Head Over Heels
Action, Adventure, Discovery
Some people follow the whispers of their hearts. Others follow shout-outs from their adrenal glands. In Hawaii, you can do both. Not only that, you can do all the action and adventure things you love with the one you love. How aloha is that? Altogether, the main islands—Hawaii, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai and Maui—are the dream team of island adventure. There’s more than one way for your hearts to beat as one.
Be a high-flying legend with a thrilling doors-off helicopter ride over Oahu with Blue Sky Tours. The unobstructed, once-in-a-lifetime views would make any Hawaiian hawk screech with joy. When you come back to earth, you’ll want to hit the ground running. Actually, we’ll let the horses do that. You’ll be high in the saddle, like the legendary paniolo of Hawaii’s historic “cowboy culture.” On the Big Island, you and your partner can take a horseback tour of Waipo Valley, its waterfall trails and the ancient Valley of the Kings.
There’s horse power and there’s horsepower. So rev things up UTV-style on the Munro Trail on Lanai. UTV means utility terrain vehicle. It also means seating for two. As off-road vehicles go, it’s a beauty, but no match for the hot-wheeling aesthetics of this 12.8-mile dirt road hugged by rainforest. The spectacular canyon views of Maunalei Gulch will rock your world, as will the scenic overlook with views of Maui, Molokai, the Big Island and Oahu.
Save a spot on a whale-watching adventure in the ‘A’uau Channel. The best time to see the humpbacks, known locally as kohola, is November to May. Many experts believe the whale song is a male serenading a potential partner. So sweet. Even more precious is when one of them blasts above the surface with 45 tons of passion.
Hot To Trot
Food, Culture, Nightlife
People talk about the aloha spirit. But what is it? Is it the universal force the Hawaiians call mana—the secret for attaining true health, happiness and success? Is it the spirit of nature, so all-pervasive in a place that is as true a paradise as any on earth? Is it the inclusive spirit of the original Hawaiian culture
and the diversity of cultures that call Hawaii home? The answer is simple. Yes to all.
“More than anything, you will find the aloha spirit in the people,” says United Vacations’ Camilla Aluli, who lives on Oahu. “Nothing would make them happier than for you to feel the love and the joy they feel.” So it’s time to truly embrace Hawaii and celebrate. Hawaii will hug you back.
The word luau instantly generates pictures in your mind. At Paradise Cove on Oahu, you’ll enjoy a superlative Hawaiian luau with traditional music and, yes, hula, hula, hula. The famous kalua pig highlights the menu, but save room for the fire dancers. We can’t guarantee it’ll light your own fire, but we have a warm feeling it will.
Love the arts? Then take a walk on the creative side at the Hanapepe Town Art Walk. Each Friday night, the charming town of Hanapepe on Kauai’s West Side unveils another
masterpiece. Meet local artists, musicians and craftspeople. Visit the delightful local eateries, shops and galleries. And paint the town red, or whatever color combination you like.
There exists only one royal residence on United States soil. And Hawaii is extending an invitation for you and a guest to visit. It’s ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu, once the official residence of Hawaiian royalty. Lovingly restored to its Old World elegance, the 10-room, four-story Italian Renaissance home was wired for electricity before the White House and Buckingham Place. Now that’s power.
Where can you visit authentic villages and meet the natives of six Pacific cultures in a single day—and without paddling a single stroke? Welcome to the Polynesian Culture Center on Oahu’s northern shore. Experience the unique island cultures from Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga and the Marquesas Islands. Unforgettable exhibits. Enthralling performances. There’s a lot to love.
Relaxation, Wellness, Bliss
Body. Mind. Spirit. The ancient Hawaiians believed that these three aspects were so intricately connected that a person could not be healthy in one without being healthy in all three. Today, couples who are seeking to celebrate and strengthen their own intricate connection will enjoy the mystical pleasures of ancient ways coupled with those of a distinctly contemporary nature.
“From sun, sand and surf to adventure and foodie fun, Hawaii has something for every couple looking for an once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Calabrese says. Whether it’s a traditional Lomi Lomi beach massage for two by candlelight, natural hydrotherapy in Hawaii’s legendary healing waters, or a transcendental, hand-in-hand walk on the beach at sunset, the two of you will find a whole lot to love. It all comes together on the beach of Hanalei Bay with Kauai’s lush green forests rolling down to the sea. A special couple strolling barefoot in the sand. It’s picture perfect. So send us a selfie, OK?
True love has a way of transcending everything. So take a little break from the animal kingdom and join the plants. The Big Island’s Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden has the
transformative power, with over 2,000 species of tropical plants in a gorgeous 40-acre valley. You and yours will never have a more lovely opportunity to, as they say, stop and smell the flowers. Spend some time among the fresh produce, flowers and made-only-in-Hawaii items at any of the islands’ local farmers markets. You’ll also find the famous Hawaiian beef, aqua cultured seafood and local honey.
When you’re ready for that couple’s massage, the oceanside is waiting. In fact, it’s had a place reserved for you for centuries. The healing art of the Lomi Lomi massage has been practiced in Hawaii even longer. Another name for it is “Loving Hands.” Or you can think of it as the massage so nice they named it twice. Better yet, don’t think anything, just breathe and enjoy.
“Hawaii is the perfect romantic location for all ages because if fulfills all the sensory requirements of love,” Aluli says. “The people are warm and loving, the air is warm and sweet with the scent of blossoms, the sites are varied and awe-inspiring and the sounds of the ocean, music, and laughter open the heart to romance.” When the time comes, here’s how to give Hawaii a special goodbye kiss. On the Big Island, you can plant a koa tree with Hawaii Legacy Hardwood. Koa wood has an honored heritage in Hawaii. The ancients believed that the spiritual energy in all things was especially present in the koa tree. So honor the koa and celebrate your Hawaiian experience together. The rainforest will love you for it, forever.
Once you experience the spirit of aloha, the loving spirit will always be with you. Just as you can be far away from the one you love and still feel that person with you, so too with Hawaii. Maybe that’s the ultimate meaning of aloha. That even when we’re apart, our love holds us together. With that, we say aloha. Goodbye, hello and especially, love.
Plan your Hawaiian vacation with your preferred travel professional or at United Vacations.