1. Explore upcountry Maui.
The Valley Isle is a place of uninterrupted natural beauty, and nowhere is that more true than upcountry Maui, on the slopes of Mount Haleakala. It is easy to say that this area of Maui, comprised of Makawao, Pukalani, Kula and Ulapalakua, is known for its magic landscapes and stunning vistas, and there are countless destinations to pack into a short weekend: Maui Wine, Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, Surfing Goat Dairy, and the Kula Botanical Garden, just to name a few.
2. Visit Kalaupapa, Molokai’s leper colony.
If you’re looking to get away from it all and immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture, history, and unspoiled natural beauty, look no further than a weekend getaway to Molokai to visit Kalaupapa, a former leper colony. With the ocean on one side and giant 1,600-foot cliffs on the other, the Kalaupapa Leper Colony – described by Robert Louis Stevenson as a "prison fortified by nature." - is a U.S. National Park.
3. Head to Kailua-Kona.
Located along Hawaii Island’s scenic Kona coast is Kailua-Kona, a historic seaside village full of natural beauty, royal history, and plenty of charm. Established by King Kamehameha I to be the seat of his government when he was the chief of Mona before he consolidated rule of the island chain. The historic town later became the capital of a newly unified kingdom, before it moved to Lahaina, and later, Honolulu.
4. Check out Lanai.
The fifth largest of the Hawaiian Islands - Lanai - is home to only one school that serves the entire island, and you won’t find a single traffic light here. Also known as the Pineapple Island, for its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation, the island measures in at only 141 square miles. The island is home to 3,100 residents, and approximately 98 percent of the land is owned by Larry Ellison, founder and chairman of Oracle.
5. Go camping on the beach.
The budget-conscious nature lover can secure a camping permit at any number of beaches throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Pack up your car with camping supplies and head to the beach for a weekend of waking up late, sipping your morning coffee on the beach, and hanging out in the water.
6. Hang out on Oahu’s north shore.
While Oahu’s north shore is known for its massive waves and professional surf competitions during the winter months, this beautiful stretch of coastline has so much more to offer. From the best acai bowls and shave ice in Haleiwa to snorkel spots, secluded beaches and phenomenal hiking, you could spend a year exploring the north shore without visiting the same place twice - but a weekend will have to suffice for now.
7. Head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Perhaps Hawaii’s most famous park, everyone should experience Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in their lifetime. Stay at the nearby Volcano House, and don’t miss Thurston Lava Tube, Chain of Craters Drive, Kilauea Caldera, and the stargazing at the summit of Mauna Kea.
8. Relax in Ka’anapali.
With several luxury hotels and resorts, this Maui beach destination is the perfect place to treat yourself to a relaxing weekend full of laying in the sun, mai tais on the beach, and maybe a massage? This Maui resort destination is a picturesque backdrop from a girl’s weekend, or romantic getaway.
9. Hike the intense Kalalau Trail.
Along Kauai’s fabled Na Pali Coast, this strenuous hike is approximately 11 miles long, and stretches from Ke’e Beach to the Kalalau Valley. Most hikers opt to camp along the trail, as only expert hikers can complete the 22-mile round trip trek in one day. Note: this is an extremely dangerous hike, and should only be completed by extremely experienced hikers.
10. Have a staycation in Waikiki.
Waikiki draws more tourists than any other place in Hawaii, and with world-class beaches, luxury resorts, high-end shopping and some of the best food around, it’s hard to argue with them. If you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket, indulging in an expensive Waikiki weekend can be just what you needed: drinks on the beach, spa treatments and shopping followed by dinner, drinks and a night on the town.
11. Drive Maui’s famous Hana Highway.
This infamous 64.4-mile stretch of highway between Kahului and Hana features 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide, and 620 curves through lush, tropical jungle. The Hana Highway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, and while it only takes two and a half hours to drive the entire road, you could easily make several stops along the way and make it either a day, or two day, adventure.
12. Hang out on Oahu’s windward coast.
Located on Oahu’s breathtaking windward coast, Kaneohe was named one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods to visit, according to Conde Nast Traveler and Airbnb. Not only has the picturesque seaside neighborhood experienced an increase in popularity of 324 percent on Airbnb, but the lush oasis is home to some breathtaking beaches, truly incredible hiking, and several hidden gems – both natural and man-made.
13. Kauai’s Coconut Coast is awaiting your visit.
The east side of Kauai is affectionately referred to as the coconut coast for the groves of coconut trees near Kauai’s resort areas. Home to Wailua and Kapaa, this area offers incredibly hiking at Sleeping Giant, stellar views at Opaekaa Falls, kayaking down Wailua River, and plenty of amazing beaches.