The Islands of Hawaii
Senior Account Supervisor
For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 21, 2014
KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS BY HEADING TO HAWAII
Does more time with loved ones, better work-life balance or losing that last five pounds sound familiar? Don’t let your new year’s resolutions “hang over” your head. In 2014, it’s time to travel to the Hawaiian Islands! Here are some reasons you need to visit now.
Resolution #1: Make Time Count
Whether it’s as simple as spending quality time in the car cruising the Road to Hana on Maui or as extraordinary as zip lining through Kauai’s lush valleys, there are several ways in the Hawaiian Islands to create priceless memories with loved ones—while capturing the perfect photo for your 2014 holiday card. Hawaii offers unforgettable experiences and the ultimate opportunity to unplug, unwind and reconnect.
Here’s a sampling of one-of-a-kind activities that will remind you to focus on the journey, regardless of the beauty of the destination:
- Learn something new together—you may discover a new hidden talent in the process! The Children of the Land Polynesian Cultural Center (Kauai) offers free cultural classes and events for children, adults, visitors and residents. Classes include coconut weaving, Hawaiian language, hula, kapa (Hawaiian bark cloth) making and more. www.thechildrenoftheland.com
- There’s no better way to bond with loved ones than to get out of your comfort zone. After witnessing a magnificent sunrise on Haleakala, Maui’s highest peak, take the road less traveled and bike down the crater. Cycling down world’s largest dormant volcano may seem daunting, but the ride is surprisingly relaxing and one that the whole family will always remember. www.mauieasyriders.com
- If food is your passion, look no further than the kitchen for a special (and tasty!) night out. In a private class with Gourmet Events Hawaii (Oahu), you can dish up a delicious three-course meal, and learn how to recreate it whenever you’re looking to enjoy a taste of Hawaii back home. www.gourmeteventshawaii.com
- Sail the ocean blue together and embark on an outrigger canoe ride from Kona to Kamakahonu Bay (Hawaii Island). Kona Boys offers canoe tours with the opportunity to snorkel the pristine waters. You may even spot a humpback whale or pod of dolphins! www.konaboys.com
Resolution #2: Stop. Relax. Breathe.
Slow down and take some time to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit. With clean air, warm tropical weather, and friendly people sharing the aloha spirit, a trip to Hawaii can help to get you in a fresh, new frame of mind for the new year.
- Pack Light – No need to stress about packing a whole suitcase full of clothes. Hawaii’s laidback lifestyle and warm weather makes choosing your vacation wardrobe simple: a pair of flip-flops or slippers, bathing suit, and a cover-up is suitable vacation attire.
- Unplug and Unwind – Venturing off to remote areas like Kaena Point on Oahu or Kokee on Kauai may cost you a lapse in Internet or cell phone connectivity for a few hours. Use the opportunity to unplug from technology and recharge your spirit. Inhale the fresh mountain air, listen to the sounds of ocean waves or birds chirping, and take in all the beauty that the islands have to offer.
- Adults Only – Sometimes it’s best to leave the kids behind, in order to truly get the R&R you deserve. Several Hawaii hotels offer adults a quiet respite from children, including the Sea Ranch Cottages at Travaasa Hana on Maui, the Infinity Edge Pool at the Sheraton Waikiki on Oahu or the Ocean Tower Pool at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii Island. Escaping cannonballs in the pool has never felt better!
- Tee Off – Leave your stress on the fairways. From designer golf courses with historic signature holes at oceanfront resorts, to views of a smoldering Kilauea volcano, or mountain courses where refreshing breezes rustle through native forests, golfing in the Hawaiian Islands is double the reward.
- Spa-tastic – Pamper yourself with treatments incorporating the locally grown, sourced, or harvested ingredients like Spa Grande’s Alii Honey Facial using honey from the Grand Wailea’s rooftop apiary (Maui) or a body treatment utilizing Hawaiian noni, coconut, kukui, volcanic clay, and ti leaves at Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Give yourself the ultimate treat, and book an oceanfront massage for an unforgettable experience.
- Vacation on Hawaii’s Lesser-Known Islands – Away from crowds and the hustle and bustle of everyday life are the islands of Lanai and Molokai. Lanai is known for its peaceful seclusion, high-caliber golf courses, and enthralling sights for explorers. On Molokai, you can seemingly travel back in time, feeling the mana (power) of the Hawaiian culture and enjoying outdoor adventures ranging from sports fishing to mule rides.
Resolution #3: Make A Difference
Volunteering and giving back has never felt as good as it does in the Hawaiian Islands. Engage with local Hawaii residents in meaningful ways where values are shared, stories exchanged, and friendships made in the most authentic ways possible. So are you ready?
- Restore A Taro Patch – Spend the morning at one of Oahu’s most beautiful off-the-beaten-path locations and join a community workday at Kakoo Oiwi. Clearing invasive vegetation, weeding and maintaining existing taro, or building auwai (irrigation ditch) for new taro will give you a new appreciation for Hawaiian culture, farming, and ecology. www.kakoooiwi.org
- Clean the Coastline – A group of surfers, divers, sunbathers and ocean lovers formed Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii (SCH) to give back to the coastlines that inspired them so much. SCH members organize fun beach cleanup days around various parts of Oahu, promoting community service and education along the way. www.sustainablecoastlines.org
- Stewardship at the Summit – In addition to the state’s only active volcano, not many people know that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii Island) features endless acres of impressive rainforests. Volunteers can help keep these rainforests in pristine condition by signing up for the Stewardship at the Summit program. Tropical birds will provide a sweet serenade as you help clear invasive plants for a half-day. www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/summit_stewardship.htm
- Help Animals – The Maui Humane Society’s “Helping Paws” is a volunteer program for pet-deprived visitors who want to interact with and help homeless animals. The Helping Paws Visitor Program takes place at the Maui Humane Center shelter every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon involving pre-planned activities such as walking dogs, bathing puppies, brushing cats, or playing with puppies and kittens—an important part of their socialization. Fido won’t bark, he’ll say “mahalo” to you! www.mauihumanesociety.org
- Count Whales – Really. NOAA needs your help monitoring humpback whales from the shores of Oahu, Hawaii Island and Kauai. Not only is this a fun volunteer activity, but it also helps provide population and distribution information on humpback whales around the Hawaiian Islands. Upcoming Sanctuary Ocean Count dates are February 22 and March 29. http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov
Resolution #4: Lose Weight
Fresh air, picture-perfect weather and a “hang loose” laidback attitude are among the many reasons why Hawaii has been recognized as the nation’s healthiest state in the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for the last consecutive four years.
Whether you are dusting off your running shoes or a fitness enthusiast, there’s something challenging and enjoyable for everyone. The following ocean and land activities will reinvigorate your mind, body and spirit and jumpstart your healthy lifestyle:
- Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) – Experience the sport that is taking Hawaii by storm. While SUP looks deceptively easy, the popular activity delivers a full body workout and has become a popular cross-training activity. The best part about SUP? The spectacular view unlike any boring gym—a clear blue horizon teeming with ocean life.
- Surfing Lessons – No trip to Hawaii is complete without riding the warm waves of the Pacific Ocean. Surfing lessons are available on nearly every island and are suitable for any experience level. Surfing will utilize muscles you didn’t know existed, but riding your first wave (with or without a push from your instructor) is an experience unlike any other, making for a satisfying workout.
- Yoga on the Beach – Get your heart pumping while finding a moment of serenity—all with a stunning ocean backdrop. Yoga is known to improve flexibility, strength and posture and the added benefit of practicing on an uneven surface such as sand will strengthen secondary muscles as well. Imagine listening to the sound of crashing waves (no music necessary!) and smelling fresh saltwater as you relax and tone your body. After your workout, take a dip in the ocean to cool off.
- Jogging Paths – Why run indoors on a treadmill when you’re surrounded by paradise? With Hawaii’s ideal year-round weather, getting outdoors for that cardio workout is all the easier to do, plus it’s free! Tie your shoelaces and jog around scenic locales like Ala Moana Beach Park or Leahi otherwise known as Diamond Head on Oahu, Wailea Beach Walk or Kaanapali Resort on Maui; Wailoa River State Park on Hawaii Island, or Ke Ala Hele Makalae Corridor on Kauai. Ideal time? Sunrise or sunset, of course.
- Hiking – Waterfalls, lush rainforests, native plants and breathtaking ocean views are just a few of the sights to look forward to on one of Hawaii’s many trails. A variety of hikes with various length and difficulty are available for every skill level. Just remember – the harder the climb, the more rewarding the view.
Resolution #5: Bucket List…Check!
As the rest of the country freezes over, there’s no better time than now to take a trip to the perpetually warm and sunny Hawaiian Islands. Live in the moment and cross off more than one item off your bucket list this year with these only-in-Hawaii experiences:
- See an Active Volcano – Experience Kilauea (Hawaii Island), one of the world’s most active volcanoes, from earth, sea or sky. The most common way to see the volcano is by exploring the 330,000-acre Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by car and on foot. After sunset, Halemaumau Crater gives off a vivid glow that illuminates the clouds and the plume as it billows into the night sky. Kilauea’s lava flow is best seen from the air on a helicopter tour, or if lava is flowing into the ocean, by boat tour.
- Discover a Hidden Waterfall – Take a trek off the beaten path to enjoy some of Hawaii’s best-kept secrets like Manawaiopuna Falls on Kauai also known as Jurassic Falls for its appearance in the blockbuster hit “Jurassic Park” and only accessible via air tour; or the 400-foot Waimoku Falls on Maui – the pot of gold at the end of the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park, requiring a three to four hour hike through bamboo forests, past roaring cascades and into the green heart of the island.
- Swim with Dolphins or Manta Rays – Get up close and personal with these amazing marine creatures in their own natural environment. Embark on a morning sail off Oahu’s quiet Waianae Coast for a water encounter with Hawaiian spinner dolphins; or suit up for a nighttime dive off the Kona Coast on Hawaii Island to swim with the manta rays.
- Conquer Your Fears – Take your vacation to new heights on an adrenaline pumping skydive or zipline in the Hawaiian Islands. Whether you’re taking the plunge out of a plane above Oahu’s picturesque North Shore; or soaring over Kauai’s lush rainforest or the 250-foot Akaka Falls (Hawaii Island) by zipline, don’t forget to enjoy the incredible views along the way.
- Savor Hawaii’s Cuisine – From shave ice to sashimi, everything tastes better in Hawaii. The culinary scene in the islands has evolved to be incredibly fresh, local, ethnic, inspiring, and ono (delicious). Given the variety of food trucks, new and tried and true restaurants, and culinary festivals in Hawaii, avid foodies will find plenty to do and taste.
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, for marketing management services in North America. The HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.