There is exactly one place that Steve and I always want to go back to: Hawai’i. Between the two of us, we’ve visited 69 countries (and counting!), countless cities, and 45 states, but Hawaii has that little something special that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s hard to put your finger on, but it’s the whole feel, the vibe, the attitude of the islands that make them worth going back to again and again. Here are some of the things that inspire our perpetual return.
Dramatic Sea Cliffs
The drama of a green-blanketed cliff dropping off into the ocean is awe-inspiring. Kaua’i’s Na’pali Coast and Molokai’s 4,000-foot cliffs (the tallest in the world) are two of the most beautiful, majestic, and truly stunning sites anywhere. I could gaze at them all day, from any angle.
There’s only one place to get the most epic view of the world’s tallest sea cliffs:
The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Kalaupapa Peninsula
Steve and I really enjoy hiking all over the world, but especially in Hawai’i. The landscape within each is so diverse, you can come across desert, evergreen forest, jungle, and beach in a single trail. If you’re up for gaining enough altitude, you can even find snow. It’s fascinating. Some of our favorites include Kaua’i’s Kalalau Trail and its epic cliff views, Maui’s Pipiwai Trail with its bamboo forest, and O’ahu’s Kuliouou Ridge Trail and its stunning cliff-top vista.
More here: The Best Hikes in Hawai’i
Once In a Lifetime Adventures
If you need a little excitement in your life, you’ll find it in abundance across the Hawaiian islands. We’ve taken a tiny plane on a scenic flight around Kauai. We’ve ridden in a helicopter to visit Hawaii’s forbidden island, Ni’ihau. We’ve taken a boat to see lava up-close as it creates new land. We’ve danced at a luau and road tripped the Island of Hawai’i.
Whether you’re looking for dinosaurs (all the Jurassic Park films were made in Hawaii), wanting to zipline through the jungle, go horseback riding with Paniolos, or snorkel with the fishes, Hawaii will be your land of adventure.
Read next: Hawaii’s Best Adventures
Mesmerizing Sea Life
Rule #1 is to stay a safe distance from the wildlife (so they’re safe from you). Rule #2 is to see the wildlife and marvel at them. Hawaii is home to endangered Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, bazillions of colorful fish, dolphins, and whales come here to mate and give birth in the winter! For those of us who didn’t grow up near the ocean, seeing such graceful beings in (and popping out of) the ocean is an inspiring experience.
Where can you see Hawaiian Monk Seals? Take a Peek at Ni’ihau.
You might come to know this as Aloha. People talk about kindness all the time, but it’s an integral part of the Hawaiian culture in a deeper, more meaningful way. People will smile at you. They’ll offer to give you help or directions. They’ll be gracious when you don’t understand something or have trouble pronouncing Hawaiian words. People you meet will go above and beyond to show you hospitality—truly, above and beyond what you’ll expect. It’s humbling and encouraging to visit Hawaii. So we keep going back.
More ideas here: The Best Trips for Positive Vibes
The Most Delicious Fruit
Fruit tastes better in Hawaii. It’s fresher, it’s sweeter, and it tastes more intense. I’ve always loved fruit anyway, but Hawaiian fruit is truly on another level from what’s available on the Mainland. Whether it’s topping an acai bowl, served as a side, or blended into a smoothie, the fruit you taste in Hawaii will be the best you ever tasted.
Keep eating: The Best Foods to Try in Hawaii
The Slower Pace
This is the original reason we decided to make Hawaii a yearly excursion. Steve and I live in the D.C. area, meaning there is no election off-season and no slowing down. The attitude is, If you’re not way too busy, what’s your existence even worth?
Well, Hawaii is the antithesis of that. We can’t help but slow down and truly enjoy being with each other. We feel our tenseness—which we don’t even notice at home—melting away as soon as we get off the plane. It’s so relaxing (even for us!) that once you experience it for yourself, you’ll want to come back for more as often as possible.
More here: My Hawaiian Islands Page
What’s your go-to vacation spot, and what about it keeps bringing you back? Comment below!
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