5 Things You Must Experience on Your Hawaiian Vacation

1. Eat Authentic Polynesian Cuisine

There’s something delectable about Polynesian food. The range of flavors is unlike what we’re used to in colder climates. It’s packed with the rich colors and flavors of fresh seafood, tropical fruits and macadamia nuts. The best way to taste the food is at a luau. Luaus are traditionally great celebrations for royalty or momentous occasions, but now they’re often offered for travel groups or at smaller hotels for the guests. Expect succulent kalua pig, cooked in an underground oven, poke, and marinated sashimi tuna, fresh seafood in a macadamia crust, as well as tropical salads, salted plums and even spicy jerkey.

Tako Poke

2. See the Volcanoes

The Big Island is home to two active volcanoes. The island is actually simply an exposed peak of a vast undersea mountain range that continues to grow. In fact, Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world! It and Mauna Loa (the world’s largest volcano) are both within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can take helicopter tours of the craters and it’s not uncommon to see lava flowing from them. If you’re taking a bus to the top, be sure to pack warm clothes. The temperature varies greatly from sea level and you’ll likely want a warm coat and pants.

Haleakala Peak Shadow

3. Wear a Lei

The lei is a custom that was introduced to Hawaii by the early Polynesian explorers. It’s important to know a couple of lei etiquette points. Never refuse a lei – it is a sign of affection. If you are allergic to the flowers and simply cannot wear it, place it in a spot of honor. Allow the person giving the lei to kiss you on the cheek. If you are going to give a lei, never wear it before you give it away as it is considered to be bad luck.

Hawaiian Leis

4. Snorkel

Hawaii is home to some of the best snorkeling beaches in the world. Because the islands are made from lava flow, they are a perfect home to a wide array of exotic, colorful fish and marine life. There are 266 miles of coastline around the Big Island alone, and the snorkeling opportunities abound. Keep in mind that there are a variety of conditions – some beaches are more accessible than others. Visitors can go on day trip snorkeling tours, or venture off on their own.

Snorkelers with a sea turtle in Hawaii

5. Visit Local Farmers Markets

Because of the lush environment, fruits, vegetable, nuts and coffee grows very easily in Hawaii. As a result, there are several great farmers markets that visitors to the islands shouldn’t miss. Hundreds of vendors regularly bring their food and hand crafts to sell to visitors and locals alike. This is a great way to save on meals, or just pick up a snack for your day excursions. The markets also offer an opportunity to talk with the locals and learn a little bit more about the place you’re visiting.

Hilo Farmers' Market, Hawaii

There are endless things to do in Hawaii. Whether you like to lie on the beach or hike through the forests, there is something exciting for every member of your family. YMT Vacations offer cruise and land tour packages that make planning your Hawaiian vacation even easier!


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