Plan Your Trip: Hawaii

For the "Hawaii Revealed" feature in the March 2009 issue of ISLANDS, features editor Matthew Miller island-hopped across Hawaii for 18 days. His mission was to explore the islands through the expertise of locals and find how all the aspects of Hawaii — the culture, the nature, the luxury — come together. Here is the travel information from his trip if you'd like to trace his route. And to see his full story, click here.


Fly into the Kahului Airport (OGG) aboard Hawaiian Airlines, which offers a wide variety of inter-island transfers.

Stay along the road to Hana in the Hotel Hana-Maui, with spectacular views of famed Hana Bay, On the north shore, the Pa'ia Inn is a boutique hotel that puts you at the center of the surf scene.

Eat at Moana Bakery & Cafe, and when the chef comes to say hi, ask how he thought up the dish you're eating, 808-579-9999. For the freshest fish, try Makawao Sushi. 808-573-9044

Visit the jet-black stone beaches of Wai'anapanapa State Park along the eastern coast, Nearby, you'll find Kahanu Garden, which has an amazing collection of Hawaiian plants in one of the largest untamed native hala (pandanus) forests in Hawaii.

Big Island

Fly into the Hilo (ITO) or Kona (KOA) international airports, which are on directly opposite sides of the island.

Stay on Kona at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu.

Eat and get your luau on at Kona Village Resort's buffet-style aha'aina (luau banquet), the perfect chance to sample poi and other island foods, on Wednesdays and Fridays.

See manta rays doing barrel rolls off Kona with Bottom Time Hawaii, On the south coast, visit Volcanoes National Park, where steam vents and lava flows erupt almost continuously. Don't bring back any lava souvenirs; legend warns that Pele curses those who do.


Fly into the Honolulu International Airport (HNL), a common entry point from the U.S. mainland.

Stay at Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, amid the lively beach culture.

Eat local Kona kampachi marinated in yuzu juice or a Waikiki roll at Doraku Sushi in the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.

Paddle with Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks to the Moku Lua islands to see endangered ground-nesting wedge-tailed shearwaters and plunge into an ocean-fed natural pool.


Fly into the Lihu'e Airport (LIH), located on the southeastern part of the island.

Stay at Waimea Plantation Cottages, Waimea, where an 1800s sugar plantation meets modern oceanfront resort luxury, On the north side of the island, down seven one-lane bridges, try Hanalei Colony Resort, which offers renowned sunset views and secluded beaches.

Eat ahi tacos, freshly made salsa and a horchata at Shaka Tacos in Kapa'a. 808-823-0012

Hike with the knowledgeable Peter Artley of Kauai Eco Tours. For a challenge, try the 10-mile Na Pali rim loop or, for a more gentle hike, try the 4-mile rainforest trek to Kuilau Ridge.