Hawaii Parks and Family Travel

It’s true, lounging on one of Hawaii’s beautiful beaches may be an ideal family vacation for some, but to really appreciate the different islands and their flavors, to keep everyone in the family interested and distracted, you can count on exploring the natural beauty of the Islands.

That means trails, gardens, national and state parks, scenic locations and sites found all over the islands. We know different travelers and different ages want different experiences. Connecting with nature above and beyond the beach makes Hawaii a great family travel destination. We know because we’ve done all different combinations of islands during 7 and 8 day, more or less getaways and no two islands are the same. And you can’t see everything on an island in one visit. Which is good because no two travelers are the same or have the same interests.

It’s a perfect destination when we infuse your hobbies, interests and activities within your travel plans. It’s not your neighbors vacation, not the mailman’s vacation, not your fellow office employees vacation. It’s about you, wanting to try something you haven’t tried, maybe rejuvenating, building sandcastles, learning to surf as a family, getting your hands on fresh pineapple and doing the hula, Here’s a few tips we’d like to share that you might have not known about, might have heard of, had forgotten or not though of. It might help you choose what island(s) will be your and members of your family’s perfect flavours!

If you’re thinking of doing a stay on Maui, you’ll need a vehicle to get around. Add Haleakala National Park to a day off the beach, how many days can you get sunburned anyway? We all know words fall short on enlightenment, the rebirth of a sunrise every morning and this is a bragging rights recommendation. The summit of Haleakala volcano, by drive ortake the family for the bike ride down from the summit. They’ll dress you warm and you peel off the clothes as is warms up going down. Enjoy the sites, you don’t have to do a 3am wakeup call for Tours to the sunrise-but you’ll never stop talking about it. Have you made it to the town of Hana? There’s more just beyond Hana, head to the town of Kipahulu for ocean vistas, but also culture sites and hiking trails through bamboo forests and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Toss a bag in the car with swimsuits and be prepared to take a dip almost anywhere on Maui! The drive down S. Kihei road has lots to see including beach stops like Kamaole Beach Park III where you can stop and snorkel on site. Up north in the Kaanapali area are the long stretches of beach. Different strokes for different folks.

With respect, Oahu is an island you should include. We say make it the second or third island and head straight back to the mainland from there. No car needed is great, the parking rates are outrageous, take the bus to explore, we’ll do your transfers to and from the airport. There’s Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head for a family hike, head up to the North Shore for a different Oahu with shaved ice, country markets, laid back and surfer beaches. Our top recommendation with everything going on in the world today, experience the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Rich in education and experiences of World War II’s Pacific War, stories and the kids will experience being on a battle ship. The collection of historic sites, museums, stories and displays are almost unbelievable and there are educational programs there, too. Reserve Passports to Pearl Harbor for everyone and take the tour to experience the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. Watch a flick or two about Pearl Harbor before you go, here’s 29 Best World War II Movies: http://www.thewrap.com/pearl-harbor-29-best-world-war-ii-movies-photos/ And here’s 10 Popular Pearl Harbor films, ranked worst to best: http://missoulian.com/entertainment/movies/popular-pearl-harbor-films-ranked-from-worst-to-best/collection_5c986986-282b-56cb-a360-4f698b01cda0.html

You can brag about being on an island that is getting bigger while you were on it! The island of Hawaii offers you an active volcano hike! Get close to the Kilauea Lava flow for a once-in-a-lifetime family experience. What’s going on with the volcano at this very minute? Check it out: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm Did you know there are Lava Boat Tours? Imagine lava meeting ocean. With 333,086 acres of active volcanoes, craters, lava tubes, trails and rainforests, this park will keep everyone excited and entertained for days if you want to, definitely hours and we’ve got a few options for spending the night nearby. Stop at the Kilauea Visitor Center then take on Crater Rim Drive. This drive gets you the best views of the active summit caldera of Kilauea volcano and has scenic stops and trails along the way. The possibilities at the park are almost endless, with itineraries depending on how much time you have to explore. An easy adventure for your family that we suggest is the short tropical rainforest hike to Akaka Falls State Park. It’s easy hiking with views of two of the island’s most exquisite waterfalls. Akaka Falls (442 feet) and Kahuna Falls (100 feet) another million dollar backdrop view for fantastic family photos.

Add The Garden Island, Kauai as part of your Hawaii vacation and there’s the option of a “no hike,” but want those million dollar views at Kokee State Park. Another island that requires a vehicle (we’ll take care of that for you.) The Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon is a drive with roadside lookout stops. Bring a picnic basket for stops along Waimea Canyon Drive and Kokee Road. To name a few: Waimea Canyon Lookout, Puu Hinahina Lookout and Kalalau Lookout. The magnificent views are for the whole family and better yet, you can preplan making a stop at Kokee Natural History Museum to explore exhibits and shop for Kauai-made items.

Everyone has a different definition of the “Aloha Spirit” and there’s no better way to see and feel it than to do an island combo and infuse your taste and style.  Ask PJ about Destination Wedding planning in Hawaii, say “I Do” on one island and honeymoon on another!

Tell us about your tastes and style when you travel and see where that perfect destination or island may be!  Expressly for the love of Hawaii!

Ms. Pamela (PJ) Ott, Hawaii Island Expert

Coming: Hawaii Loves Destination Weddings

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