Some of Our Favorite Summer Vacation Spots For Hawaii Residents & Visitors

You may have heard that Hanalei isn’t looking her best right now. She’s having some work done. In fact, most Kaua‘i’s North Shore and many parts of Kaua‘i are in recovery from record rainfalls that have ravaged homes with flooding, sinkholes, and landslides. Some significant infrastructure – including roads and bridges – needs to be repaired and rebuilt in Hanalei and across the North Shore of Kaua‘i. Our heart goes out to our North Shore community (where our headquarters are located) as we face these challenges.

In the meantime, for those of you looking for an alternative vacation spot in the next month or two, we’d like to introduce you to some of our favorite Hawai‘i destinations. Like Kauai’s North Shore, these favorite spots are world-renowned for their unique and stunning natural beauty. Some of them, though not all, are away from the hustle and bustle of resorts and will give you a real taste of what Hawai‘i life is like for the lucky residents who call our beautiful state home. 

As a refreshing alternative to hotel stays, and often a more economical one, we offer up some delightful vacation homes to rent in these spots, too. We encourage you to browse your dates and desired locations at Hawai‘i Life Vacation Rentals

Volcano, Hawai‘i Island

Where else can you see sapphire oceans, turquoise bays, white sandy beaches, and red-hot lava flows, not to mention snow-capped volcanoes all in the same day? Where else can you visit some of the biggest ranches in the country, ride horses, go whale watching, dive with Manta Rays, and then sip a tropical drink on sugar powder sand? The Big Island of Hawaii offers all of this and more.

The glow of lava at dawn at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 

Volcanoes National Park is the biggest tourist attraction in the state of Hawai‘i and the small town of Volcano, located at 4,091 ft above sea level, isn’t your standard Hawai‘i beach vacation destination. In the middle of the hot summer, we love Volcano for its cooler weather, breathtaking natural beauty, stargazing opportunities, and of course, it’s proximity to the bubbling cauldron of magma at Volcanoes National Park. Evening excursions to view the Milky Way from high on the volcano will provide a view of the stars like you’ve never seen before. Since there’s little light pollution this far from any continent, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

If National Parks are your thing, read this round-up of the Eight Beautiful National Parks in Hawai’i for some other vacation options. While you’re on the Big Island, don’t miss the charming town of Waimea and its paniolo (cowboy) culture, farmers’ markets, and farm-to-table dining. Enjoy the unique beauty, sights and sounds of the Big Island, and be sure to look for a Big Island home to rent for you and your family this summer. You’ll be glad you did!

Entrance to the Thurston Lava Tube at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Kailua & Lanikai, O‘ahu 

Kailua was originally conceived as a bedroom community of Honolulu, on the island of O‘ahu. This small town gem on the Windward coast of O‘ahu is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods for O‘ahu residents, popular for its laidback vibe, boutique shopping, great dining, and stunning beaches. There are no hotels in Kailua and there are laws in place that prevent them from being developed, but there are plenty of wonderful vacation rental options for your summer escape.

Lanikai is an exclusive enclave situated at the end of the 2.5 miles of white sand of Kailua Beach. Luxury homes dot the beautiful white sands of Lanikai Beach, one of the most popular on O‘ahu. Nearby, the Pillbox Trail draws residents and visitors for morning hikes and offers an easy 30-minute trek to a fabulous view of the Mokulua Islands, just offshore from Lanikai Beach. (see the view of the “Mokes” from the water’s edge in our stunning cover photo!) Vacation rentals in this area are abundant. Kailua & Lanikai are within an easy driving distance to the many attractions of Honolulu, Waikiki, and O‘ahu’s fabled North Shore, though everything you need is right in charming Kailua town.

Wailea, Maui

Wailea Beach boardwalk in South Maui, Hawai‘i.

Wailea offers the quintessential luxury resort vacation destination, with no less than five, crescent-shaped beaches for you to relax and enjoy. Located in South Maui, luxury resorts dot the coastline of this area that spans 1,500 acres. Expect sumptuous spa experiences, world-class golf courses, fine dining restaurants and fabulous ocean views. There are a host of desirable vacation rental condos and homes in the Wailea area, all perfect for your summer getaway where you can relax poolside with a good book and a cocktail or two. Once you’ve unwound, there are plenty of local hiking trails, excellent snorkeling, lava fields, and sights to see. The Shops at Wailea offers a variety of excellent retail therapy when you’ve had your fill of unwinding at the local spas, beaches and swimming pools. The Wailea Beach boardwalk (pictured) is a lovely place for a sunrise or sunset walk or run, and is an excellent place to people watch while taking in the incredible Maui views.

Poipu, Kaua‘i

If you do decide to visit Kaua‘i, we can’t say enough about the perpetually sunny town of Poipu on the island’s southern shores. Poipu offers great beaches, surfing, fine dining, resort living, plenty of excellent golf courses, and a tempting array of condos and homes to rent. Did we mention the shopping?

If you choose to visit Kaua‘i, we kindly ask you to leave the North Shore roads clear for emergency vehicles who are currently in the midst of rescue efforts. Please spend money at local businesses and in Kaua‘i’s many wonderful restaurants – our community needs your support in this difficult time. In the coming weeks, there will be plenty of rebuilding to do in Hanalei and beyond, so please avoid this area as recovery takes place. Mahalo nui loa!

A colorful Hawai‘i sunset, a tranquil beach & palm trees. Poipu Beach, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i. 



Comments (0) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.

More Articles from Hawaii Life