Hawaii is a beautiful beach destination. It is one of my favorite vacation destinations. Whether you are spending time island hopping or exploring the many wonders on the Big Island, this enchanting archipelago will steal your heart.

From sampling the local cuisine to finding the perfect vantage point to soak in the endless natural beauty of the island, you will come up with a long list of items you want to include on your trip.

Make Sure to Try the Local Food

Already in love with your local poké restaurant? That’s just the tip of the iceberg! From sweet treats like shaved ice to sounds-weird-but-is-amazing Spam Musubi Hawaii is a culinary wonderland.

Thanks to diverse international influences from Japan, the Phillanaipehine, and China by way of Hawaii, the Hawaiian kitchen has truly unique offers. It also embraces a wide array of local fruit and vegetables that are fully embraced in farm-to-table restaurants.

Before you go, I suggest you grab my guide to the ten essential Hawaiian foods you must try.

The Big Island

Don’t try to visit too many islands in one trip.

There are so many irresistible destinations it’s hard not to want to rush from one topical oasis to the next, but take a breath! The real beauty of Hawaii is the relaxed lifestyle.

Choose to operate on island time and relish the true beauty of it.

The islands are bigger than you think. The variety of nature on each island is so great there’s no way to experience it all in one day. Make the most of your time with your family and enjoy the little things that make Hawaii so special.

Check out my Which Hawaiian Island Should You Travel To? guide to decide which island is the perfect place for you and your travel style. Each island has its own unique draw.

Wear Reef-Safe Sunscreen

I have talked before about how dangerous sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are. Hawaii actually banned sunscreen containing these ingredients because they harm coral reefs.

When you are buying your sunscreen, you are all set. Bringing cream from home? Look at the ingredients. If you love Hawaii’s beautiful oceans, protect them with reef-safe sunscreen.

Understand the Weather

While the weather of Hawaii is mostly amazing, it can also be very changeable. It can start pouring at a moment’s notice, especially during the rainy season from November to March. Fortunately most of the storms occur overnight, and many afternoon showers disappear as quickly as they arrived.

Remember that every island has a dry side and a wet side. When you are traveling by car, pack a breathable raincoat, towel, change of quick-drying clothes.

Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car

If you don’t bring your rain gear, you will be very vulnerable to theft. You should not leave expensive cameras and handbags or other expensive items in your car while you are at the beach. It will make you a target for thieves.

Leave expensive gear at your hotel or bring it with you when you leave the car. If you must store things in the car, keep them locked away in the trunk where they are out of sight.

Check Conditions Before Hiking

Look at the weather forecast and see what it says regarding the tides. Certain stretches of beach are hard to walk on during high tide, so plan ahead.

Have Some Cash on You

Roadside fruit stands are found in the countryside, in small towns, and on country roads throughout the world. They provide a way to sample the impressive array of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and artisanal treats.

Many of the small vendors don’t accept cards, so always have some money and a few coins in your pocket.

Rent a Car

You can have the most memorable of Hawaii’s memories only if you take a car to get there. To get to your destination, you might need a set of wheels.

It’s easy to rent a car right from the airport and be on your way so just plan ahead.

Learn About Polynesian Culture

Avoid the tourist traps and explore authentic Hawaiian culture. This is unlike anywhere else in the United States, and it will be well worth your time to learn about the island’s unique history and culture.

Join a local tour or explore the local culture centers by yourself.

And of course, go to the obligatory luau! They are a central part of Hawaiian culture and a prime opportunity to feast on incredible local food.

Helpful Tip:

I would recommend booking your tours and luaus for near the end of your trip. With the time change it will be hard for you to adjust to local time during the first couple of days. Try to follow your own schedule until you are used to the time difference.

Water shoes are good for both you in and out of the water.

Water Shoes Can Be a Lifesaver

Bring good water shoes for any time that you will be hiking in or near the water. It is easy to step on a sea urchin, or get a cut from something sharp underwater.