13 Tips for Visiting Hawaii for the First Time

Planning your first journey to Hawaii? Journey bloggers share their largest ideas for what to do (and what NOT to do) to take advantage of your first Hawaiian trip. Scroll for all the guidelines earlier than you journey to Hawaii!!
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Hawaii is really among the finest trip locations in the US. From the sandy seashores to the waterfall hikes to mouthwatering eating places, Hawaii has all of it!

If that is your first time to the islands, it may be a bit overwhelming.

See more: Tips for travel to hawaii

So, I’ve requested a few of my fellow journey bloggers to share their greatest recommendation for Hawaii journey first-timers.

These bloggers are seasoned vacationers and need you to be taught from their errors and their sensible planning so you may plan your final trip to Hawaii.

Discover out my prime Hawaii journey ideas for planning a visit to Oahu, Maui, or Kauai!

Click on right here to plan your Hawaii journey like a professional!

First Time to Hawaii FAQs

13 Suggestions for Visiting Hawaii for the First Time

1. Keep on One Island

When individuals hear you might be “going to Hawaii” for the primary time, you’ll nearly all the time get requested, “which islands are you visiting?”

Up to now, when airfare was low cost and laws had been lax, it was straightforward to go to two or three completely different islands in a single week-long trip.

Right this moment, nevertheless, you might be higher to determine which island you wish to go to and having fun with that one, exploring it’s distinctive wonders after which planning a return journey.

In some ways, Hawaii is a paradox. Whereas it’s a sequence of islands, individuals underestimate how huge the state is in addition to how huge and numerous the person islands are as effectively.

For example, on a go to to “The Large Island,” you may expertise a tropical jungle on the east facet, an arid desert on the west, grasslands to the north and a few of the tallest mountains in the US within the center.

An identical range might be discovered on the opposite islands, each when it comes to geography in addition to tradition, and meals.

Because of this, whereas “island hopping” may be a enjoyable idea, there’s actually no must do it since you may go to one island and by no means see all of it even on a week-long Hawaiian trip.

James Hill from Cruise West Coast

2. Strive the Native Meals when Visiting Hawaii for the First Time

Once you go to Hawaii, you’ll wish to strive the native meals. On my first go to to Hawaii, I rapidly fell in love with poke.

This scrumptious dish consists of tuna or one other sort of seafood chopped up and marinated with spices, sauces, and greens. You may get quite a lot of poke, whether or not you’re in search of a spicy one or a sweeter poke.

You’ll by no means discover brisker poke than if you’re visiting Hawaii, as many occasions the fish is caught that morning.

After I visited the Large Island, I finished at Da Poke Brothers nearly day by day. You usually eat this with rice and sides like seaweed salad or macaroni salad.

I additionally suggest stopping at a small, native restaurant to strive poke as an alternative of consuming it at a sequence restaurant. You’ll get the expertise of speaking to the homeowners and studying extra in regards to the enterprise that you simply’re supporting whereas in your trip.

Marissa Pedersen from Postcards to Seattle

3. Don’t Go to a Luau on Your First Evening

For many first-time guests to Hawaii, going to a luau is excessive on their bucket record! It’s a fantastic alternative to see components of conventional Hawaiian tradition and eat fantastic meals.

Luau tickets aren’t low cost, so that you’ll wish to take advantage of the expertise.

One technique to be sure to actually get pleasure from your first luau is to schedule it for the tip of your time in Hawaii.

Regardless of the place you’re coming from, you’ll face an enormous time change if you go to Hawaii – 2-3 hours for west coasters and a whopping 5-6 hours for east coasters relying on the time of yr!

Since most luaus don’t finish till late at night time, in the event you purchase tickets for the start of your trip you’ll really feel like a zombie earlier than the primary hula is over.

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So do your self a favor: plan your luau as a technique to have fun the finish of your journey, not the start.

Melissa Conn from The Household Voyage

4. Use Reef Protected Sunscreen

When visiting Hawaii for the primary time, one factor you’ll must know is to make use of reef protected sunscreen.

What is without doubt one of the best issues about visiting Hawaii? That incredible Pacific Ocean you get to swim in! The attractive blue waters, colourful fish, sea turtles, and all of that coral reef that you simply discover in all places across the islands.

Nevertheless, when you find yourself snorkeling or scuba diving, it is advisable be certain to guard the reef by utilizing the proper sunscreen.

Many sunscreens you purchase and convey to Hawaii have an ingredient referred to as oxybenzone in them, which could be very dangerous to the coral reef programs in Hawaii. The chemical bleaches the reefs, ridding them of their shade, and generally die altogether.

Most sunscreens you should purchase on the islands are reef protected, nevertheless it’s best to verify. As well as, if you’re on a scuba or snorkel tour, many occasions they’ll provide reef protected sunscreen without cost.

All in all, among the finest issues you are able to do in Hawaii is get out into the water and see the gorgeous coral reef. Simply just remember to are utilizing reef protected sunscreen when you find yourself moving into that lovely water!

Zach & Julie Ruhl from Ruhls of the Highway

5. Analysis Seashores Earlier than You Go

In your first journey to Hawaii, I’d be keen to wager that heading to the seashore is on the very prime of your agenda. And in the event you’re touring to Hawaii with children, I’m positive they will’t wait to play within the waves!

Whereas seashores everywhere in the islands can look peaceable and serene, it’s crucial that you simply perceive that Hawaii’s place within the ocean makes for distinctive and harmful circumstances.

Perform a little research earlier than you get to the island to find out probably the most family-friendly seashores, and persist with these.

One among my private favorites is Lydgate Seaside on Kauai, with two protected swimming lagoons. Go for lifeguarded seashores, and all the time verify the seashore warning indicators if you get there.

It sounds nice to simply wander out and discover a serene, secluded stretch of sand someplace, however there are sometimes hidden risks that continental seashores simply don’t must take care of. This doesn’t simply go for households with children – adults must be equally cautious!

Hawaiian seashores are unimaginable, and may completely be the very first thing you do if you get to the island! However be sensible about water security and have a plan for the place to swim.

Dani Ward from Diapers in Paradise

6. At all times Verify the Climate Earlier than Climbing

Earlier than happening any hike, it is rather essential to verify the climate and floodplains. If there’s a chance of rain, look to see in case your hike goes by means of a floodplain or crosses any rivers.

If it does, there’s a likelihood for a fast rise in water ranges or water overflowing into the world you might be mountaineering.

When visiting a buddy on Oahu, we did a spur-of-the-moment hike and didn’t look to see if it might rain. Partway by means of our hike, we bought caught in heavy downpour. We didn’t thoughts and determined to maintain going.

Sadly, the rain didn’t cease and we didn’t notice how huge the rivers had been that we would have liked to cross.

Once we reached the primary river, we didn’t assume we had been too removed from the tip and determined to cross as an alternative of going again up and down the mountain, which we felt could be too harmful because it had been raining closely for hours by this level.

It was above our knees. We quickly reached the second river, which we might see rising quickly from all of the rain.

It was very scary and taught us to all the time verify climate and floodplains earlier than doing any hike.

Erin Tracy from Touring Through Historical past

7. Do Your Personal Circle Island Tour of Oahu

If you’re visiting Hawaii and probably Oahu for the primary time, get pleasure from your go to to Honolulu and Waikiki and that a part of paradise.

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However in the event you actually wish to get a taste of all the island, go on a circle island tour. Or higher but, lease a automotive and do your individual circle island tour, which is a improbable technique to expertise one of the best and remainder of the island.

On a tour, you may select the place you wish to go, the sights that attraction to you or simply do a improbable drive with coastal views and discover some good scenic spots alongside the way in which to get pleasure from and {photograph}.

You possibly can go to standard sights together with Pearl Harbor, the Dole Plantation, Haleiwa and the North Shore space with the Banzai pipeline, Sharks cove and into the attractive japanese coastlines.

Alongside the way in which there, you may go to the Mormon temple, Byodo Inn Temple and the beautiful seashores at Lanikai and Kailua seashore. It’s as much as you to select and select what you wish to do and see.

For extra inspiration, try my tour of the North Shore of Oahu right here for extra pictures and standard issues to do and see within the space.

Noel Morata from This Hawaii Life

8. Take a North Shore Tour

With simply three days in Oahu, I used to be overwhelmed with the tens of issues to see and do with so little time.

I needed to see one of the best of Oahu’s North Shore with out the trouble of renting a automotive, site visitors, and parking.

As a substitute, I packed a dry bag with a bikini, snorkel set, and durable footwear and hopped on the Surf Bus, a small group tour that stops at a handful of locations round Oahu slightly than at each noteworthy vacation spot.

Slightly than being caught on a bus all day, I had loads of time to snorkel, hike, and go on a kayaking tour. The day ended with a heaping pile of shave ice.

A North Shore tour of Oahu with just some stops is the easiest way to take advantage of a brief keep in Oahu.

Or, in the event you’re planning to remain some time, it’s greatest to do that tour initially of your journey to get a really feel for what components of the island are price venturing again to for full journeys.

Chantae Reden from Chantae Was Right here

9. Snorkel with Manta Rays

An absolute must-do exercise if you go to Hawaii is to snorkel or dive with manta rays at night time.

Manta rays are monumental, with a wingspan of as much as 29 toes! Seeing them is an incredible once-in-a-lifetime expertise.

A number of boats depart from depart late each afternoon from Kailua-Kona on the Large Island. A close-by website has been set with monumental floodlights completely mounted to the seabed in a big circle.

As nightfall turns to darkish, the lights are turned on. The sunshine attracts swarms of microscopic, invisible-to-the-eye plankton.

Plankton are manta rays’ foremost meals supply, so their presence in flip attracts the mantas. Divers sit across the circle of lights and snorkelers maintain on to massive rafts on the floor above them.

Earlier than lengthy, monumental creatures swoop out of the darkness, mouth huge open to scoop up the plankton. They flip and twist and glide round above the lights, typically just under the floor (and snorkelers). It’s a actually unimaginable sight!

Children over the age of 5 can snorkel. Divers must be licensed. The location is open all year long, and though it’s not assured to see the manta rays, likelihood is good due to the lights/ plankton.

James Ian from Journey Gathering

10. Hike to Papakolea Inexperienced Sand Seaside On The Large Island

Papakolea Seaside is a inexperienced sand seashore positioned on probably the most southern level on the Large Island, Hawaii. With solely three inexperienced sand seashores on the planet and one being in Hawaii, it’s a fantastic alternative for a fantastic journey.

You may get to this seashore by taking freeway 11, to the street to South Level between mile marker 69 and 70 to the tip the place you’ll discover a car parking zone. You possibly can park your automotive there. That is the place your mountaineering expertise will begin.

The hike is about 2.8 miles and despite the fact that it may be sizzling, it’s a considerably straightforward hike, my eight yr outdated daughter had no drawback doing it and also you’ll witness a few of the most stunning landscapes.

There are drivers ready initially of the hike to take you all the way in which to the seashore for a charge however driving there’s unlawful.

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Once you get there you must climb down the cinder cone however don’t fear, it’s completely doable with kids.

Once you plan your hike, be sure to’ll have loads of water, meals/snacks, sunscreen, sun shades, hat and acceptable apparel since there aren’t any shaded areas or any meals distributors on the Inexperienced Seaside.

This can be a as soon as in a lifetime enterprise for some individuals and also you’ll be amazed by the wonder and the individuality of this attractive seashore.

Patricia Martin from Journey Fam Life

11. Spend a Complete Day at The Polynesian Cultural Middle when Visiting Hawaii for the First Time

Initially, I believed it was only a luau and present however, I discovered that it’s truly an all-day attraction. There are villages positioned throughout the middle representing completely different islands within the Pacific. At every location, there are arts, crafts, or reveals.

We spent a lot of the day studying and laughing. A number of the reveals are very humorous and very entertaining.

Our favourite reveals had been the water present referred to as Huki, which advised a historical past of how the Polynesian Cultural Middle was fashioned, and Ha Breath of life was one other wonderful present with fireplace twirlers!

We beloved our time there and I do know you’ll like it too!

Tip – Once you buy your tickets be certain to improve to the luau. We made the error and ended up buying a buffet and didn’t notice it didn’t embrace the present.

BUY NOW

Lisa Manderino from Planning Away

12. Volunteer with a Non-Revenue

There isn’t any scarcity of wonderful excursions to get pleasure from in Hawaii. As a former sea kayak information and SUP teacher at Kailua Seaside Adventures on Oahu, I can wholeheartedly suggest that you simply lease a kayak or take a guided tour within the stunning Kailua Bay!

Nevertheless, past all the websites to see and excursions to take, I like to recommend that you simply do a little analysis and discover a native non-profit to provide your time to. That is an incredible technique to give again to the communities of Hawaii whereas digging in to the native tradition. Fairly actually!

At Papahana Kuaola, you may sign-up for one in every of their many volunteer days to work of their taro patches and be taught in regards to the root vegetable that has been on the core of Hawaiian’s diets for hundreds of years.

It’s extremely refreshing to take part in one thing that’s much less transnational in nature and that exists to serve native communities.

Though these experiences could also be seemingly much less glamorous, the experiences through which I join with locals and within the case of the taro patches – get my palms somewhat soiled – have been those that I keep in mind most fondly.

Hayley Spear from Hayley Sarah Weblog

13. Go Ziplining when Visiting Hawaii for the First Time

Ziplining might be thought-about an excessive exercise however upon getting completed it you might be hooked (no pun supposed). With so many choices of excursions and experiences to get pleasure from in Hawaii, it may be difficult to determine on which one to go for.

For our household, ziplining was on prime of the record, as a matter of truth, this was my daughter’s favorites and since we had her with us we needed to drive to Hilo and discover a firm that may permit children.

It was completely definitely worth the drive, not solely to go to a few of the websites on that facet of the Island, however the firm we selected was wonderful. The employees was so attentive with my daughter, they even went tandem together with her since she was very mild for one of many lengthy strains.

On our 4 hour zipline tour, we bought to zipline over a few waterfalls and a few stunning landscapes.

If ziplining is in your bucket record, Hawaii is unquestionably price a strive. Simply don’t overlook to e-book prematurely because the selections of corporations that permit children are very restricted.

Patricia Martin from Journey Fam Life

Wrap Up

Earlier than your journey to Hawaii, I instructed looking at my step-by-step Hawaii journey information so you recognize precisely the right way to plan a visit to Hawaii.

And you’ll want to discover the remainder of this prime Hawaii journey weblog for all one of the best Hawaii guides and Hawaii journey ideas!

Planning on visiting Hawaii for the primary time? Try our detailed posts about Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Large Island, Molokai, and Lanai! And discover out the highest issues I want I knew earlier than going to Hawaii with children.

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