U.S. Destination Spotlight: Hawaii
Romantic, tropical, gorgeous
Special because …
World-class resort hotels
Amazing weather year-round
Golf, surfing, fusion cuisine
Sneak away to a secluded waterfall. Close your eyes and breathe the warm, fragrant breezes. Let the spirit of aloha wash over you in this tropical paradise where love can’t help but flourish. Choose from six beautiful islands and a bevy of well-appointed, world-class resorts. Relax in the shade of swaying palm trees and revel in the endless pampering for which the people of Hawai’i are known. Or, partake of the array of activities from golf and surfing to volcano hikes and bicycle rides. Experienced local vendors make planning an absolute breeze and brilliant sunsets ensure stunning photos of you and your loved ones.
Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine
A traditional lu’au is practically a must-do for your rehearsal dinner, with hula dancing and fruity-drink infused toasts to a happy life together. Each morning, you can awaken to fresh fruits, rich Kona coffee, and breakfast for two … while your guests gather for brunch by the sea before taking off for an afternoon of golf, surfing, and fun.
Dining venues located in the resorts themselves and along the shores offer oodles of choices. Pacific Rim and Hawaiian Fusion specialties are to-die-for. But familiar continental favorites such as steak and pastas are available as well. Don’t miss the locally grown pineapples and tasty macadamia nuts.
For Culture Lovers
Located in the South Pacific, the archipelago of Hawai’i offers a rich blend of cultural influences from China, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Portugal, France, Britain, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Hawaiian music often features a steel guitar, “slack-key” guitar, or ukulele. To add some local flavor to your reception be sure to include “Some Enchanted Evening” from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific and Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s medley of “Over the Rainbow.” Hula dancing lessons are optional, but fun!
Championship golf and surfing are the top activities. But there is plenty more to do (or not do) after you tie the knot. You can watch the sunrise from the top of a volcano and sip tropical drinks by the sea. Walk hand-in-hand down a black sand beach as the waves lap at your happy little toes. Tour a Kona coffee plantation, hike to a hidden waterfall, or play tennis morning, noon, and night.
Adventurous types can go horseback riding, flightseeing, zip lining, bicycling, sky diving, and (ahem) shopping! Water sports include stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, and more. History buffs can visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on O’ahu. And nature lovers can indulge in rainforest hikes and eco-adventures.
Maui – Known for beautiful Kaanapali Beach, spectacular diving off tiny Molokini, stunning Haleakala National Park, the scenic road to Hana, championship golf, and humpback whale watching.
Hawaii’s Big Island – Home to the active volcano Kilauea, Akaka Falls, Punalulu Black Sand Beach, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Popular areas include the Kohala Coast, Hamakua Coast, Historic Kailua Village (Kailue-Kona), and the Holualoa coffee plantations.
O’ahu – A lively mix of natural beauty and action-packed art and cultural centers. Hotspots include Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, Iolani Palace, Pearl Harbor, and surfing on the North Shore.
Kauai – Hawaii’s northernmost island, known for its lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls, laid-back atmosphere and rich culture. Hotspots include Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Wailua River, Kilauea Lighthouse, and Coconut Coast.
Molokai – Paradise for nature lovers featuring tranquil seascapes and unspoiled coastlines. Highlights include Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Halawa Valley’s towering waterfalls, and three-mile long Papohaku Beach.
Lana’i – Hawaii’s intimate and tranquil island. Highlights include two prestigious golf courses, Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods), Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock), and Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach).
Who Got Married There?
Bill & Melinda Gates, Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green, James Gandolfini & Deborah Lin, Eddie Vedder & Jill McCormick, Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson (date set for November 11, 2011)