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What are some fun things to do in Hawaii?

by Fergy Ferguson

Most of my Hawaii vacation clients usually ask at one point, “What are some fun things to do in Hawaii”?  If that isn’t a loaded question, I don’t know what is.  To answer the question properly, I usually have asked several other questions about what kind of activities they normally like to do on vacation.  Sometimes the answer is directly tied to the specific island they’re going to.  So I will be doing a series over the next several weeks answering the question for each island.  I do want to answer the question generically though for activities that can be done on every island.  Let’s go through some of my favorites activities to do while on my Seattle to Hawaii vacation.

One of the very first things that I always want to do is go snorkeling.  I have done other posts on favorite snorkeling spots, the object here is that I find it necessary to get into the water as soon as possible.  The good thing about snorkeling in Hawaii is that there is plenty of beach snorkeling, and some really great boat tours.  In regards to the boat tours, I wanted to let you know about a really great place to book these tours.  Tom Barefoot’s Tours is one of the best “all-in-one” clearing houses for purchasing Hawaiian tours, activities, and adventures.  You can chat with an activity expert on-line, or call them toll free at 1-808-442-8472 to get advice and ask questions.  Another good thing about this website is they have a really good Hawaii Beach Guide, which includes advice on water safety and snorkeling.  Plus they have a low price guarantee so you know you are getting the best price.  For those that are going to doing a lot of snorkeling, a weekly rental is probably the best way to save a little bit a cash.  There are plenty of people to renting snorkel gear by the week, so ask your concierge to do direct you to one close by.

Another thing I like to do right off the bat, is to find myself a comfortable spot to look out over the water.  Although I may have a lanai at my hotel or condo that I like use in the mornings, I’m always looking for a place on the beach, or by the pool, to be able to camp out and watch the water too.  Sometimes a comfortable spot presents itself in the form of a coffee shop, restaurant, or bar where you can go get something to eat and drink while you look out on the ocean.  I highly recommend finding your spot, whether it be a spot on the beach, on the pool deck, under a tree on a bluff, or that restaurant or bar.   A big part of my vacation is just finding time to relax, and looking out over the ocean is a great way to do that.

Getting back to more active pursuits, one of my favorite fun things to do in Hawaii has always been going on any type of boat ride.  One of the great things about Hawaii is that there’s just about every different kind of boat ride available.  You can go on a short 30 minutes to an hour catamaran ride right off the beach, you can go for a dinner cruise, a sunset cocktail cruise, a snorkel boat tour, a whale watch/dolphin experience, and even a submarine ride.  For those of us that are used to ferries, there is even a ferry that goes from Maui to Lanai and Molokai.  With the weather being so good all the time, getting out of the water can be a big part of your Seattle to Hawaii vacation.

Another thing that my wife and I have been enjoying recently has been zip lining.  On every island there are multiple zip line operators.  Finally the best one can almost be a little daunting.  Again, asking your concierge, or checking out some of the review sites will be your best guide to the zip line company that will give you the type of experience you want.  I know that many of you want my review and I will just tell you that a favorite of mine on the island of Maui, is the Skyline Eco-Adventure folks.  They actually run 2 separate sites on the island, and are environmentally friendly tours.

What about riding bikes, learning to surf, going on a short waterfall hike, exploring a botanical garden, or just strolling through one of the many small towns in Hawaii.  The point here is that there are so many activities you can participate in, that just picking a few is hard.  My suggestion is that you pick a “top 3”, and then leave yourself room to get into the slow pace of your Hawaii vacation.  One of the most prevalent things you will notice about your Seattle to Hawaii vacation is that being on “Hawaii Time” is acceptable, and for some, actually preferable.

I personally think going on a Hawaii vacation and not learning something about the Hawaiian people is counterproductive.  So one of my favorite things to do is to learn something new about the culture every time I go to the Hawaiian islands.  If you are on the island of Oahu, I always suggest you try to go downtown to see the capital, Iolani Palace, or any of the other cultural museums within walking distance.  I also highly recommend the Bishop Museum and Queen Emma’s summer Palace.

Speaking of immersing yourself in the Hawaiian culture, what is a Seattle to Hawaii vacation without a Luau?  There are plenty of differing luaus on every island, and I will give my favorites for each island as I continue this series on fun things to do in Hawaii.

A hui ho….

Master Hawaii Vacation Consultant
Call 206-623-2490

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