Hawaii Dreaming

I’ve been Hawaii dreaming lately.  Like, a lot. Sadly I have never been, but it has always been on my travel bucket list. It’s been a dream to laze about on the Big Island and explore the other captivating islands on a leisurely escape. Ahead of booking flights and arranging luaus, one of the main decisions to make ahead of a trip is whether to indulge at a resort, or go for the convenience and homestyle feel of renting a (luxury) home away from (not so luxurious) home. Hawaii rental homes  can run the gamut from chic apartments to sprawling estates.   

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*This is a post sponsored by Luxury Rentals. All opinions are my own.




When I think of Hawaii, I can just picture myself lounging on a balcony, taking in the sweet, salty, balmy breezes. I mean, check out this beauty above.  I can taste the piña colada now! This property, named the Ginger Residence would be perfect for a group of couples to go in on together. Lots of space for privacy (it sleeps eight), plenty of perks at the residence and nearby resort, it looks like a perfect option to combine luxury with affordability and roominess.  The description on the website has me day dreaming in flip flops already– check this out… 


Swaying palms, white-sand beaches and brilliant turquoise water—it doesn’t get much dreamier than the views from Ginger Residence. Set on the landscaped grounds of the Montage Kapalua, this stunning Maui vacation rental is just steps from Kapalua Beach and looks out over the Pacific to a neighboring island in the distance. Invite up to eight friends or family members to share in a tropical idyll at this three-bedroom luxury property.

You get the best of both worlds with a property like this– all the perks of the resort but the privacy and personality of a rental home. According to the description, it offers even more, so take a look!  After you have secured your home away from home, it’s time to start planning the fun.  I am admittedly not very knowledgeable about the different islands, so doing some research, and preplanning with this post has been so informative, making this wanderluster even hungrier for a trip to Hawaii. I have put together a bit of a wish list, and recommendations from friends, family and trusted travel resources.   Take a look and let me know what you think, or if you have any to add. I’ll be sure to update!

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Friends that have visited Hawaii have reported that the Dole Plantation should be on the must-see list. The sprawling plantation, located in Wahiawa, HI is FREE to enter. It’s family friendly and has a pineapple cutting demonstration which could be full of tips!

For “a more active pineapple adventure”, navigate the Pineapple Garden Maze, take a tour on the Pineapple Express Train, or explore the Plantation Garden Tour.  Then go grab yourself a Dole Whip. From what I have heard there are only two places you can get the OFFICIAL Dole Whip– Disney World and The Dole Plantation. (The plantation is open from 9:30am to 5pm.) 


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When I started looking into the trip’s possibilities, I came across the magical journey of swimming with sea turtles. Our family has always been big fans of snorkeling, which is of course on the list to do in Hawaii, and we’ve all heard about swimming with dolphins (which I am sure is a lovely experience), but this takes the cake for me. The idea of going out into open water to meet these majestic, peaceful turtles really speaks to me. I love turtles, of all sorts. (My family jokingly calls me the Turtle Whisperer so I’d be thrilled to see them float about in person.)

Beyond pineapples and turtles, I know there is so much more to the eight main islands of Hawaii. 

I found this great list of 10 Most Striking Spots in Hawaii from National Geographic.  These breathtakingly lush landscapes are high on my list of spots to explore. 

And Fodors put together this list of the 40 Ultimate Things to Do in Hawaii.

And some fun facts I discovered:

  • Hawaii is the only state the grows coffee. (I will definitely be stocking up on coffee to bring home with me!)
  • More than one-third of the world’s commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii. 
  • More than 100 world-renowned beaches ring Honolulu. 
  • On the island of Maui  the Haleakala Crater (Ha-lay-ah-ja-lah), is the world’s largest dormant volcano.
  • The Big Island of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is the world’s most active.
  • Hawaii  is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids. (Two of my favorite things)

Another few fun facts, orchids hold a special place in our family’s heart. My grandfather started growing orchids in a greenhouse living on frigid lake Erie. The love for the tropical plant became a familial hobby, as my grandmother, mother and sister all love the vibrant and exotic plants. My mother still has an orchid Buddy started growing decades ago, and it blooms every year. My husband and I even got married at the Orchid Society in Florida. I hope to find a special plant for her while I am there. 

But I want to know what is on YOUR list?

Where is the best luau?

What adventure activities wold you recommend?

If you have been to Hawaii, please share your recs in the comments! I would love to hear what attractions you think I need to include on my itinerary. Gimme all the foodie spots, must see locales and lounging beaches and natural wonders. Nothing is too big or too small. Any hole in the wall mom and pop shops for a bite or the perfect boutique to scoop up some locally sourced gifts to bring home. I want it ALL. 

Ready. Set. Go!

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