Maui - The Valley Isle

Valleys and Waterfalls

It’s no wonder Maui is the first choice for anyone planning a wedding, vow renewals, or any milestone celebration that our visitors want to remember for a lifetime. Known as The Valley Isle, Maui is abundant with lush, deep, green valleys alive with vociferous waterfalls. Maui’s allure appeals to sentimental hearts, impetuous explorers, and solitude seekers! 

Maui island is sizable enough to plan a few road trips! Avoid the early morning crowds at Haleakala Crater, and enjoy instead a leisurely mid-morning or mid-day drive along the steep and windy road to Haleakala. At more than 10,000 feet above sea level, Haleakala’s majesty is no less remarkable than sunrise, and the views of the island throughout the day are spectacular!! If starting from Wailea/Kihei or Ka’anapali/Kapalua, the drive up to Haleakala is approximately 2.5 hours, so plan accordingly. This is also a great opportunity to experience Upcountry landmarks, such as The Kula Lavender Farm, Maui Winery, Paia Town, or Makawao Forest. Take a break from driving with a zipline adventure at Pi'iholo, or a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour from the Kahului Heliport!!

There's a reason the Road to Hana is described as something to be survived! For this particular road trip, we highly recommend relying on “professionals!” With dozens of hairpin turns and one-lane bridges, eliminate the stress of driving and take our tour which includes a  knowledgeable guide, delicious lunch, and door-to-door service that will get you back to your hotel/rental in time for sunset! Spend the remainder of your evening looking through all the scenic pictures (and selfies) you took throughout the day...

Ocean Activities

Upon arriving on Maui island, the very first thing you should do is sink your jet-lagged toes in the nearest sand!! The beaches here are vast and glorious, yet formidable. Exercise caution at all times, heed warnings, and don’t compete with ocean currents. 

There are countless ways to experience Hawaiian waters; i.e., off-shore snorkeling, surfing, and canoe paddling to name a few. 

Maui is abundant with undersea life and the snorkeling tours are the best family-friendly activity! Choose a spacious catamaran or a speedy ocean raft – you can’t go wrong! 

Oftentimes, our visitors schedule multiple snorkeling tours during their vacation!!


If visiting Maui during the winter months (Dec-Apr), you must be out on the ocean because it’s Whale season! Every year at this time, more than 12,000 Humpback Whales migrate to the Hawaiian islands with approximately 80% of them enjoying the soothing warmth of Maui waters. There are dedicated whale-watching tours (2 hours), however any ocean activity doubles as a whale watch - including sunset sails. 

Many visitors seize the opportunity to enjoy snorkeling off the shores of nearby Lana’i island. The waters between Maui and Lana’i are teeming with playful dolphins that sometimes will accompany your vessel between islands! 

Whether you’re diving, fishing, or standup paddling – whether it’s sunny, cloudy, or drizzly – you will love every second! Make every moment count while you’re in Maui. 

And, just before you leave to return home, take a quick moment to sink your smiling toes in the sand…. 

Memorable Sunsets

Even lifelong Ambassadors of Aloha never tire of the magnificence of the evening hour when the sun disappears beyond the horizon. 

While in Maui, it’s critical to plan ahead and be firmly situated in a spot with an obstructed sunset view. In the right coastal spot, you will have a view of Kaho'olawe, Lana'i, and Moloka'i!

Be sure to have your camera at the ready to capture images that will memorialize this part of your Maui vacation. 

Restaurant reservations definitely need to be secured in advance to ensure an early evening seating, particularly for parties of 4 or more. 

We have skilled wedding planners that will work with couples to coordinate your ceremony at sunset - followed by a gathering at a nearby restaurant or banquet room.

Planning a “Week of Sunsets” may consist of a dinner cruise, a festive luau, or a special dinner prepared by our private chef! 

Our friends at the Wailea Blue Golf Course have gotten creative and implemented a “Sunset Golf Cart Tour” which includes wine from a local vineyard. And, is there really such a thing as too many sunset sails in Maui? 

The evening breeze out on the open ocean is utterly intoxicating, as your Captain navigates your vessel directly toward a disappearing sun. Combine your wedding and sunset sail with your Captain presiding over the nuptials!

By the time you’re headed back to shore, darkness has fallen and lights line the coastline. 

Maui is a very special island and is revered as a sacred place – from Lahaina to Wailuku to Hana. In a quiet moment, close your eyes, remain still - and you will hear echoes of ancient life in Old Hawai'i.

The Big Island

#BigIsland #Hawaii #Aloha

Active Volcanoes (Don't Remove Rocks!)

 If you’ve chosen the Big Island as your vacation destination, start getting excited! You are about to embark on a remarkable journey that can only be experienced on the Big Island. There are countless historical landmarks, pristine beaches, lush mountain ranges, and an active volcano!! You don’t have to be a geologist or petrologist to appreciate the complexities of black sand beaches or active/inactive volcanoes! The Big Island contains a number of “must-see” things to do, so planning ahead is critical to your vacation experience. A visit to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is something you may do on your own, however to make the best use of your time it’s recommended that you take a land tour with a knowledgeable guide. This is the best way to visit multiple sights in minimal time. Some tours combine a helicopter tour with a zipline adventure, for example. By far, the most popular activity is a helicopter ride which offers a stunning aerial view of the lava flowing from the active volcano - and concludes by flying over remote waterfalls.

Ziplines

You find yourself on the Big Island which is lush with dense jungles and sloping mountains - ZIPLINE! Start your adventure at the top of a mountain slope and enjoy the view along an 8-line side-by-side zip. Transportation from Hilo and Kona is provided. Following your adventure, lunch is waiting in a nearby pavilion with extraordinary mountain views that stretch all the way to the distant horizon. Other fun activities are ATV riding in beautiful Waipio, and a visit to Akaka Falls.

Night Snorkel with Manta Rays

Snorkeling with Manta Rays by moonlight is much like swimming with dinosaurs! Situated on the west side of the Big Island, there are several great choices to experience this unique adventure. Other things to do while visiting Kona are morning snorkels, or an evening luau!  


Here's a peek at a Manata snorkel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnuwO29zVkA

O'ahu - The Gathering Place

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

"A Date that will Live in Infamy." 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt reluctantly addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress, and a heartbroken nation the day following the attack on the battleships in Pearl Harbor. More than two years after the start of World War II, the U.S. entered the conflict. The USS Arizona Memorial honors the memory of more than 2400 lives lost in Pearl Harbor. 

On the deck of the USS Missouri ("Mighty Mo") on September 2, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan's surrender, in effect ending one of the bloodiest battles in world history. The USS Missouri proudly rides at anchor next to the USS Arizona Memorial, both monuments marking the beginning and end of U.S. involvement in World War II. 

History comes to life in each of the monuments at Pearl Harbor. Visitors are deeply moved by standing in the footsteps of General MacArthur and seeing the precise spot where the surrender occurred. 

The historical significance of the USS Bowfin Submarine and the Pacific Aviation Museums are also remarkable and shouldn’t be missed. USS Bowfin (SS-287) is a fleet attack submarine that fought in the Pacific during WWII, and helped to make famous the term, “Silent Service.” Bowfin was launched on 7 December 1942, exactly one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger, so it is fitting that her permanent home is at Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i.

Traffic is Real

Full Disclosure - O'ahu is home to nearly 1 million residents, accommodates more than 600,000 visitors each month - and is the third largest of 4 major islands in Hawai'i. Do the math. There is no magic bullet, weekends are sometimes worst than weekdays...

The best advice we can offer, to the extent possible, don't be in a rush while visiting O'ahu. It is possible to spend your entire vacation contained in a beautiful resort or vacation rental - but hardly practical. Planning ahead is critical if you want to get  the most value out of your vacation dollars!

It's strongly recommended that you speak with our Ambassadors of Aloha to best plan an ideal itinerary for your visit to O'ahu island. We can help you decide whether you need a rental car or if you should use UBER/LYFT instead; whether to drive or join a group activity; which tours do/do not provide transportation;  and which areas should be avoided. 

We do not want you spending unnecessary time behind 6 lanes of brake lights on a vacation you worked hard for and deserve to enjoy! We suggest activities away from congested Waikiki, such as kayaking in Kailua, or a daylong excursion at The Polynesian Cultural Center or Pearl Harbor - all offer transportation.

Lifefong Ambassadors of Aloha have been living with O'ahu traffic since ancient times and know instinctively which routes are best from Point A to Point B. Additionally, we know the nearest places to hangout and relax if you find yourself stuck and waiting for traffic to clear.

Nightlife in Waikiki

Relative to the other Hawaiian islands, O'ahu offers vibrant and diverse choices for our nocturnal visitors. Waikiki is definitely robust in this regard. Get your UBER/LYFT app ready and let's get right to it! The following recommendations are not listed in any particular order:

  • RumFire - Sheraton Waikiki -  Rediscover the art of conversation and enjoy some social comfort food - the best place to live Liquid Aloha. 
  • Asylum Afterhours - 816 Queen St. 
  • Sky Waikiki - 2270 Kalakaua Ave -  Open-air lounge atop a 19-story building featuring happy hour, light bites & nightclub after 10pm. 
  • Addiction @ The Modern Honolulu 1775 Ala Moana Blvd.
  • District Nightclub - 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
  • Mai Tai's - Ala Moana Shopping Center, 4th Floor

This is a good start - visit one or all in one night! 

If you want to get further away from Waikiki for an evening, visit The Kona Brewery in East O'ahu in Hawaii Kai (7192 Kalaniana'ole Hwy). Very spacious on the marina, great beer, good food and live music.

Visit another new hotspot in Chinatown called Manifest - located at 32 North Hotel Street, about 20 minutes from Waikiki. Chinatown has quite a few new and trendy restaurants and galleries, so get there early for dinner and stay for the club scene. 

Always be aware of your surroundings, and exercise caution, especially if this is your first time to O'ahu. It's critical that you know your exact location at all times...just sayin'.

Kaua'i - The Garden Isle

Untouched Paradise

Kaua’i, affectionately referred to as The Garden Isle, is also the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain. Measuring only 562.3 square miles, Kaua’i tantalizes the senses with an extraordinary beauty that rivals some of the world’s natural wonders! If you consider sightseeing a relaxing way to spend your first day on the island, take a mini-road trip to Waimea Canyon – The Grand Canyon of the Pacific. With the remaining daylight hours, head over to Wailua Falls! The sights and scenery along the way offer a genuine “sense of place” and bring a welcome realization that you are officially on vacation in Hawai’i! Once the jetlag has subsided, Kaua’i has no shortage of hiking trails – moderate to intense! There are stunning views of rocky sea cliffs, white sandy beaches, and sea caves on nearly every hiking trail! Plan ahead and invest in a drone - you'll be glad you did...


From The Sky

Approximately 90% of The Garden Isle cannot be accessed by vehicle making helicopter tours among the most popular thing to do on Kaua’i. You will need a rental car for sightseeing and getting from place to place. However, to see the immense grandeur of the other 90% of the island, we recommend you treat yourself to a helicopter tour. Blue Hawaiian Helicopter operates their state-of-the-art ECO Star, which is 23% bigger than other models, and covers nearly the entire island in a 50-minute tour. 

Your journey begins with a flight to spectacular Hanapepe Valley, then continues on to Manawaiopuna, commonly referred to as "Jurassic Park Falls." Next it's up the Olokele Canyon before moving on to eye-popping Waimea Canyon, the famed "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" where you'll explore many hidden waterfalls. Then, the sculptural masterpiece of the Na Pali Coast gives way to the Bali Hai Cliffs, and the pristine blue waters of Hanalei Bay and the Princeville Resort area. Weather permitting, you’ll visit Mt Waialeale, the heart of the ancient volcano. This is the wettest spot on earth, with an average rainfall of 450-500 inches annually! Flying into the center of the crater with its 5000-foot walls towering above and its 3000-foot waterfalls surrounding you, is a truly awe-inspiring finish to your ECO Adventure over the Garden Isle.