Tranquil beach retreats, breathtaking volcanic hikes, captivating sunsets, exciting nightlife, delicious food…a Hawaii honeymoon has a bit of everything, making it the ideal destination. Spend your days lounging on a private beach, or do some island hopping to get a taste of everything The Aloha State has to offer. Hawaii is so unlike anything else in the US you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a South Asian paradise, without having to renew your passport, or deal with a new currency or language barrier. It’s the ultimate stress-free vacation, and with this guide your planning just got way easier!
When should you go?
Hawaii is most popular between mid-December and mid-April, when many people take advantage of winter and spring breaks. If you can travel between mid-April to mid-June, or from September-December (the low seasons), you’ll find flight and hotel prices are much lower and everywhere is less crowded, so you have more island space to yourself. Weather across Hawaii is consistently tropical and gorgeous (though some islands are wetter than others), so if you’re basing your trip on weather you really can’t go wrong!
Getting to Honolulu by plane is extremely easy. The airport is served by 23 domestic and 16 international carriers, and using tools like Kayak or Google Flights you can compare all of these airlines and determine the best date to book. (Tip: Pack snacks, especially if you’re coming from the East Coast and are flying nonstop! I flew from DC to Honolulu nonstop, making it about a 10 hour flight, but since it’s technically a domestic flight there was no in-flight meal. I was starving by the time I arrived!)
Once in Oahu, you can take smaller carriers to the other five islands. These flights are less frequent, but can still be purchased online.
Which island should you visit?
This is always a tough question. Do you want to relax or do some sightseeing? Are you an active traveler? Do you and your husband love good nightlife? Do you want to stay in one place or visit more than one island? These are all important things to consider when planning your Hawaii honeymoon. If you have less than a week, you probably want to choose an island and stay put, really enjoying your time there. If you have more than a week, you could visit two or three islands. Here are some of the highlights of the three most popular Hawaii islands:
Maui is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world, due to its gorgeous beaches and resorts that ooze romance. America’s version of paradise, Maui is full of lush jungles, miles of peaceful beaches, and a lot of local culture. If you love sea life, you’ll love Maui. It’s one of the country’s best snorkeling destinations, and also home to many humpback whales. Sometimes you can even see them from your hotel room! Maui is also great for couples who like to road trip, as there are coastal highways offering spectacular views. You can rent a car and spend your days exploring the entire island.
If you visit Maui, stay in the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, a secluded honeymoon hotel with an amazing sushi restaurant and luxury spa, or the Travaasa Hana, nestled into cliffs and perfect for the couple who wants to connect with nature and find ultimate tranquility in the infinity pool.
You may remember Kauai from the movie The Descendents, where its gorgeous scenery plays a starring role. It’s called the ‘Garden Island,’ and with vibrant green mountains, coral reefs, staggering cliffs, and colorful sunsets, it really is a natural heaven with a small town feel. There are some local shops and restaurants, but no crazy nightlife or crowded beaches. The island feels secluded, and is perfect for relaxation and spending time outdoors.
If you visit Kauai, stay in the Grand Hyatt Kauai, with its lava rock showers and private beach cabanas, or at the St. Regis Princeville (where George Clooney stayed while filming), with its private beach, butler service, and magnificent restaurant.
If you only have time to visit one island, Oahu is a great option. The island has a bit of everything, from shopping and nightlife to spectacular hikes, snorkeling, and beaches. There are also some great local restaurants and its an easy place to get a feel for Hawaiian life. Visit busy Waikiki by day, but stay in a more remote area to get the best of both worlds.
If you visit Oahu, stay at Kahala, set in a secluded neighborhood and offering beautiful rooms and some of the best service on the island. Or stay at Halekulani, which means ‘house befitting heaven,’ and is understated luxury at its finest (and includes nightly gifts left on your pillows).
Are you planning a Hawaii honeymoon? Let us know in the comments section below!