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Hawaii

The iconic Pacific Ocean paradise achipelago

Overview

Floating all by themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands are a dramatic archipelago of eight major islands, a collection of atolls and a number of smaller islets, extending some 1,500 miles from their northernmost point to the southernmost. The four most visited islands – Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii – all bring something different to the tropical table of paradise; each one represents the gorgeous landscapes of Hawaii in a quite unique and unforgettable way.

The islands overflow with natural beauty. Long days of Pacific sunshine sparkle over multi-hued volcanic beaches, jaw-droppingly beautiful waterfalls, verdant rainforests and palm-fringed cobalt-blue lagoons. Yet despite all their exotic allure and isolation – two-and-a-half thousand miles from anywhere else in the USA and entrenched in the midst of Polynesia – there’s no mistaking the quintessential Americaness of these Islands. On August 12, 1898, after decidedly controversial circumstances which saw the overthrow of a monarchy, Hawaii was formally annexed as a territory and thus became part of the United States. Its integration into the nation’s spirit was accelerated by the critical role it played in the war against Japan, and the subsequent expansion of national tourism, finally achieving statehood status, becoming the last of the 50 states to join the Union in 1959.

Oahu is Hawaii’s most populated island with over three quarters of inhabitants calling the island home. It’s also by far the most visited, due to its reputation as “one-stop Hawaii”- all the ingredients of tropical paradise in one without jumping on another flight, boat or the joys of repacking luggage. And to an extent, this is true. Pristine beaches mingle among headline-grabbing restaurants, panoramic turquoise bays and emerald valleys compete with the legendary surf of north shore and Eastern and Western traditions reside side by side in the form of upmarket malls and quaint craft boutiques; all of it bound by a deep sense of history, culture and tradition.

But if you are happy to jump on another flight, boat and embark on another bout of packing, there is far more of paradise on offer than just the one island. Maui skilfully juggles the staggering beauty of its waterfalls, white sand beaches and breathtaking ocean views with the fine dining, pampering spa treatments and lively entertainment of its luxury resorts – and it excels in both genres – careful in its quest that one attribute doesn’t impinge on the other. Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island to distinguish it from its state, is a geological masterpiece whose joint star attractions both reside in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: The 13,796-foot Maunaloa is the planet’s largest volcano, while Kilauea is the most active and there’s a pretty good chance you can see it in action. Consequently the beaches of the Big Island come in a various shades of gold, white, green or black sand. The last of the big four – Kauai – carries a weighty responsibility. It’s generally considered the most beautiful of all the islands and with very good reason. With icons such as Waimea Canyon and the pleated cliffs of Napali Coast as part of its scenic portfolio, it’s no wonder the island has become such a regular fixture among Hollywood locations.

So from urban Honolulu on Oahu to the luxury resorts of Maui to the natural wonders of Kauai and the Big Island—while each island conjures up a little of their own individual piece of magic, whichever island or islands you find calling out to you, they all come with a generous helping of Hawaiian culture and a good old Aloha welcome. You’ll find more detailed information on the individual islands by clicking on the respective tabs.

Things to do

Holidays

Browse our amazing range of holidays in Hawaii

Popular Hawaii holiday ideas

  • Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

    Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa

    from £111

    The Hilton Hawaiian Village is a superb hotel located right on the Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Oahu with excellent amenities.

    Rooms are spread...see more

  • Moana Surfrider Hotel Oahu, Hawaii

    Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

    from £107

    The luxurious Moana Surfrider is the premier destination for Waikiki travellers. It has Waikiki’s first and only beachfront spa, the Moana Lani Spa, offering...see more

  • Sheraton Kauai Hotel

    Sheraton Kauai

    from £95

    The Sheraton Resort Kauai enjoys a delightful location with pretty gardens and great amenities, just steps from the beautiful sandy Poipu beach.
    ...see more

  • Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa, Hawaii Island

    Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa

    from £60

    Perched on the rocky headland of Keauhou Bay, Big Island, the Sheraton Kona Resort is a large hotel with excellent facilities and superb views over the...see more

  • Sheraton Maui Resort

    from £118

    Nestled beside striking Black Rock, one of the best snorkelling areas on the island, the Sheraton Maui is a large and classy beachfront resort.
    ...see more

  • Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Oahu Hawaii

    Sheraton Waikiki Hotel

    from £100

    The stylish Sheraton Waikiki sits on the shores of Waikiki Beach, Oahu with views of the shimmering ocean from many of its rooms and restaurants.
    ...see more

  • Hawaii islands cruise

    Norwegian Cruise Lines- Hawaiian Islands Cruise

    from £1,005

    Sailing from Honolulu around the four main islands of Hawaii, this relaxing cruise takes you to the Big Island where you can explore active volcanoes,...see more

Top tips

Top tips for visiting Hawaii

1. The story behind Lei

• The giving and receiving of Lei, whether made of flowers, leaves, shells, seeds or other materials is a special way to express Aloha. It is a sign of welcome, congratulations or just an expression of feeling and bond. Regardless of material, wear it with pride.
• When purchasing a Lei, be aware of products that cannot leave the state of Hawaii or be taken back home.

2. Whale watching in Hawaii

• Although whales can be spotted from any of the islands in the season between November and April, the best island for whale watching is Maui. If your visit doesn't fall during peak whale-watching season, you may still get sightings.
• Alternatively, visit the Whalers Village Museum, which has a direct view to the Auau Channel, one of the densest humpback whale population areas in Hawaii. The shallow, warm water constitutes one of the world’s most important habitats for the endangered North Pacific humpback whales and this protected area is designated as the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

3. Hawaiian sunsets

• When planning sunset activities be aware that Hawaii, like other places close to the equator, has a very short (5- to 10-minutes) twilight period after the sun sets. After that, it's dark.
• If you hike out to watch the sunset be sure you can make it back quickly, or else make sure you take a torch with you.

4. Driving in Oahu & Hawaii

• If you want the freedom to travel around the island of Oahu on your own timetable, you will need to look at hiring a car.
• You should reserve your rental vehicles in advance because availability can be an issue on some islands. You can of course take a bus tour which can be a more stress-free way to explore the Islands, and shuttles, taxis and public transport are available on most islands.
• Just be aware that if you do have your own car, rush-hour traffic around downtown Honolulu can start as early as 6:30am and generally continues until 9am. At day’s end you can expect the traffic to build up from around 3pm until approximately 7pm.

5. Hawaii weather

• Weather in Hawaii is very consistent, with very little fluctuation in temperature throughout the year. There are really only 2 seasons in Hawaii: summer is from May to October and winter from November to April. • The average daytime summer temperature is approximately 25°C while the average daytime winter temperature is 26°C. Winter tends to be wetter but does make a welcome respite from the cold weather back home.
• The best weather can often be found in April, May, September and October.

6. Island hopping

• If you are not on a cruise, the best way to island-hop is by flight. So decide which islands you would like to visit and then your flights can be arranged at the time you book your holiday.
• If there is something that you would specifically like to visit such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or you’d like to see the rugged Napali Coast on the island of Kauai, interisland day excursions are available to book once you arrive in Hawaii.
• There used to be an interisland ferry service but no longer; however, there is daily ferry service from Lahaina Harbour in Maui to the smaller islands of Lanai and Molokai.

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At a glance


  • We offer holidays to 4 of Hawaii's islands: Big Island, Maui, Kauai and Oahu
  • Year-round warm weather with average temps of 25°C
  • Home to stunning beaches, volcano national parks, lush forest, shopping, dining & surfing

Trusted travel partner


Winner of British Travel Awards 2020 - Gold award for Best Holiday Company to Canada (Large)
Winner of British Travel Awards 2020

Gold award for Best Holiday Company to Canada (Large)


Fully protected - We are members of ATOL, ABTA and IATA
Fully Protected

ATOL, ABTA and IATA logos

We are members of ATOL, ABTA and IATA.

Price Match Guarantee
Price Match Guarantee

If you find the same tour cheaper through another operator, we'll match the price.

Why book with American Affair


  • Expert Knowledge
  • 20 Years Travel Experience
  • ATOL & IATA Protected
  • Tailor Made Holidays

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At a glance


  • We offer holidays to 4 of Hawaii's islands: Big Island, Maui, Kauai and Oahu
  • Year-round warm weather with average temps of 25°C
  • Home to stunning beaches, volcano national parks, lush forest, shopping, dining & surfing

Trusted travel partner


Winner of British Travel Awards 2020 - Gold award for Best Holiday Company to Canada (Large)
Winner of British Travel Awards 2020

Gold award for Best Holiday Company to Canada (Large)


Fully protected - We are members of ATOL, ABTA and IATA
Fully Protected

ATOL, ABTA and IATA logos

We are members of ATOL, ABTA and IATA.

Price Match Guarantee
Price Match Guarantee

If you find the same tour cheaper through another operator, we'll match the price.

Why book with American Affair


  • Expert Knowledge
  • 20 Years Travel Experience
  • ATOL & IATA Protected
  • Tailor Made Holidays

Get in touch

Stay connected with
American Affair