LGBTQ Honeymoons: Relax. It’s Hawaii.
Hawaii is a welcoming destination for LGBTQ honeymoons
[dropcap letter=”T”]he magic and mysticism of Hawaii have entranced people for eons. From the crashing ocean waves against ultra high cliffs and the lush verdant topography to the abundance of thrilling adventures, Hawaii beckons to visitors, both new and returning.
While there’s much to do and see in Hawaii, it’s equally as important that the relaxed vacation, wedding and honeymoon destination be seen as more than you’ve ever thought it to be. If you’re seeking a fully cultural experience with some of the most magnificent vistas imaginable, you’re ready to experience all that is Hawaii.
Surprise gay wedding in Hawaii
A loose understanding of what islands you want to experience, how long you’re visiting and, of course, where you’re staying, make for a good foundation for your trip to Hawaii.
After that’s decided, why not let yourself go with the flow? There’s so much to discover off the beaten path. From tantalizing cuisine to the fun-loving residents full of personality, getting on board with experiencing a place like Hawaii as the locals do takes you from being just a tourist to full-blown destination immersion. In other words, #LetHawaiiHappen.
Here are our recs for enjoying the six major Hawaiian Islands, all of which boast equally distinctive merits.
Kauai is a nature lover’s paradise with the tropical rainforests covering much of its surface. The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Napali Coast are views that inspire people to make bucket lists. Hikers from all over the world flock to the 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant ridge. On the coast, vacationers enjoy waterfalls, scenic drives, water sports and snorkeling at the more than 60 beaches on this island. If you’re really looking for a unique cultural aspect to your trip, head to the sugar plantation at Grove Farm Homestead Museum.
The majority of Hawaii’s population dwells on Oahu (nearly three-quarters). For this reason, the scene is set with an urban energy and offers a wealth of fantastic dining options. Top Hawaiian chefs in Oahu are known for sourcing local ingredients for their farm-to-table dishes. Go here for far-out surfing on the legendary North Shore, exciting festivals, off-the-beaten path hiking destinations, gorgeous beaches and historic lessons at sites such as Pearl Harbor.
Maui offers a laid-back vibe, but still offers a variety of attractions and activities that cater to just about every interest. While adventurers hike the dormant Haleakala volcano, more relaxed travelers can soak up the sun on one of many different beaches or play the fairways at one of Maui’s 14 golf courses. Culture seekers will delight at sites like Iao Valley State Park, Banyan Tree Park and the Old Lahaina Luau. And for a kid-inclusive trip, head to the Maui Ocean Center to learn all about Hawaii’s underwater residents.
Part of Maui County, Lanai is a small island. Romance travelers, honeymooners and private people travel here for luxury, seclusion and serenity. Active travelers can enjoy sailing, snorkeling, intro and certified scuba diving, SNUBA, whale watches, marine mammal searches, adventure rafting, kayaking, and sunset sails. However, there’s no shame in the fly-and-flop traveler, and Lanai is paradise for those seeking relaxation and refuge.
Part of Maui County, Molokai is a small island known for its cultural authenticity and commitment to an unspoiled and simpler life. Read: There’s not a single traffic light on this island. But a visit to Molokai isn’t without excitement. You’ll be thrilled at the sheer awesomeness of Kalaupapa Peninsula, the site of Saint Damien’s mission where he ministered for 16 years to those suffering from Hansen’s disease. Be sure to take the mule ride to get there for an authentic, life-changing experience.
Explorers will appreciate Hawaii Island as it boasts a myriad of adventures, such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can see Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Itineraries can be as varied as your imagination, from walking on black sand beaches, snorkeling with manta rays or heading out to the country, where you can meet people who embody perhaps an unexpected aspect of Hawaiians: paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys). These folks are all over Waimea, a historic area full of rolling, green pastures which is still home to cattle, cowboys and ranches. Out here, stop signs read “Whoa,” instead of “Stop.” Don’t miss Kahua Ranch, a working sheep and cattle ranch that allows you to learn about the paniolo lifestyle. Or explore the scenic landscapes of Waimea by horseback or ATV. Then visit “An Evening at Kahua Ranch” to fully experience the best of Waimea’s cowboy country.
Learn more about Hawaii at gohawaii.com. Tag @GoHawaii in your adventures and travel planning on Instagram.
Photos: Go Hawaii except “An Evening at Kahua Ranch” (polyadhawaiitours.com)
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Kirsten Ott Palladino
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