Each Hawaiian Island Has Epic Beaches
I am often asked which Hawaiian island has the best beach for families. Each island has great beaches, but some are better for toddlers to splash in, some are better for snorkeling, and some are better for surfing. Though, Lanikai Beach on Oahu is often listed as the best beach in Hawaii for families because of its calm, blue waters, and gorgeous scenery.
The best beaches in Hawaii can be found on each of the islands. So rest assured, no matter which Hawaiian island for kids you choose, you will have plenty of sand and surf to enjoy.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
Conveniently located on Waikiki Beach, provides a wealth of fun for families. The comfortable rooms offer views of the ocean, the courtyard, the city, and Diamond Head. On top of the entertainment available at the hotel, Hilton Hawaiian Village also offers Camp Penguin. Camp Penguin is full of engaging and educational activities just for kids and is chaperoned by trained camp counselors.
While the kids learn about Hawaiian culture, the ocean, and marine life, you can take advantage of the hotel?s wide range of amenities, such as:
- Endless shopping
- Introductory surfing lessons and stand up paddleboard clinics
- Holokino Hawaii Sailing Tour
If you?re looking for a hotel away from the crowds, you?ll find it at one of the best places to stay in Hawaii for families: The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resorthonolulu Oahu
Located on Waikikis widest and most spectacular white-sand beach, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is the best family resort in Honolulu.
It has the longest water slide in Waikiki which winds its way into Paradise Pool, one of the resorts six pools. Then you can swim, paddleboard or ride an aqua-cycle at Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, a two-hectare manmade saltwater lagoon adjacent to the beach.
With 20 restaurants and bars, six pools, and five towers of accommodation to choose from, this resort ticks all the boxes for dreamy family holidays. And kids aged between five and 12 will love Camp Penguin. The kids club takes kids on off-site excursions to venues such as Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium, leaving adults free to dine, golf or visit the spa.
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The Big Island: Volcanoes Waterfalls And Cultural Sites
Which is the best Hawaiian island for diverse outdoor adventures? Hawaii Island, also called the Big Island of Hawaii. It has 10 of the worlds 14 climate zones and many fun family activities to explore the varied terrain.
Active volcanoes, beaches, waterfalls, cultural sites and coffee farms are on my familys list of favorite things to do on the Big Island.
There are two active volcanoes Klauea and Mauna Loa in Hilo. For information and lava viewing, visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Stop by the visitor center for park news and activities. This unique park has hiking trails, steam vents, a rainforest and guided tours. Plan to spend a full day exploring this natural wonder.
The sunny Kona side is great for beach activities such as snorkeling and stand-up paddling. The nighttime manta ray snorkel tour is unique to this island. Its a magical experience floating on top of the water in a calm bay, with bright lights drawing the rays who swirl below.
TravelingMom Tip: The nighttime tour in the dark ocean waters can be a little overwhelming for younger kids, as TravelingMom Editor Cindy Richards learned when she took her pool-raised 10-year-old daughter. Fortunately, the skipper on the boat was happy to keep the tween occupied while her mom enjoyed watching the rays dance in the waters below.
Tips For Searching Flights
I highly suggest you start searching for Hawaii flights as early as possible.
Airlines typically release tickets 11 months in advance, so once you know your dates for your trip to Hawaii start searching and continue to check at least once per week.
If you can, be flexible with your flight dates!
The best tactic for finding the best deal is to search a couple of days, or even weeks, either side of your preferred departure date.
But if you cant play around with the date, play around with the time of day you fly which can change the prices significantly.
Typically, flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday can save you money.
Flights that depart the USA mainland late and arrive in Hawaii in the evening, and the overnight return flights, tend to be cheaper.
When searching for the best deal on flights to Hawaii, we always start with a comparison site like Orbitz.com that searches hundreds of flights from all the major airlines.
Plus, you can earn Orbucks the moment you book. $1 Orbuck = $1 off your next hotel. Earn Orbucks on top of your airline miles. The more you book, the more you get
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North Country Farms Moderate Kauai
This is an organic farm that also offers cottages, making for a very interesting experience for the kids and the parents.
The cottages have one bedroom and living space, which can house more people, as well as a kitchenette.
The location is relatively rural, where you gain access to the farms fresh produce during your stay.
The property grows a range of fresh fruits and vegetables, including avocados, lime, lychees, bananas and more.
There is a separate section where chickens, rabbits and ducks are reared.
Best Family Resorts In Hawaii
Researching the best kid friendly resorts in Hawaii can be time consuming and confusing.
Ive hand picked a short list of the best Hawaii resorts for kids on the islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai.
These hotels and resorts offer kid-friendly facilities and activities like water parks and water slides, lazy rivers, family rooms, hula lessons, snorkeling, and beachfront access.
Also, many of these best hotels in Hawaii for families offer day camps for kids that give parents some much-needed time out. And take advantage of keiki programs that range from lei-making to scuba lessons.
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Best Hostel On Big Island: The Big Island Boutique Hostel
A beautiful place to stay in Hilo, The Big Island Boutique Hostel is safe, secure, clean, and friendly. The hostel and rooms are accessed by code pads, and there are lockers to keep your belongings safe.
There are mixed and female-only dorms, and private rooms for two. Theres a basic kitchen for some DIY meal prep, as well as a bar and cool common room. A book exchange, clothes swap, free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, and parking add to the fun and convenience.
How To Find The Best Island For Kids In Hawaii
Before I break down the different islands, let me point out what you can find on ALL of them.
Each main Hawaiian island has kid-friendly beaches with easy hiking trails and resorts that offer amazing pools to cool off in! Youll also be able to explore farmers markets, go to luaus, and get beautiful photos.
There are a lot of things to do on all four main Hawaiian islands, but each one has its own unique personality.
Below, Ill tell you the things that set each island apart from the others so you can choose the best island in Hawaii for kids.
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Atmosphere Aplenty At This Kauai Family Resort
Land in Lihue on the island of Kauai and take a short ride from the airport to reach Kauai Beach Resort. Driving through the banyan-lined tree tunnel at the entrance is to be transported to a wonderland, where all you see for miles in either direction are trees and ocean. Head to the beach at dawn or dusk and moody views have guests mesmerized. On the northern border of the resort, enjoy a picturesque sight where an idyllic stream flows lazily into the ocean. Bleached driftwood is deposited along its banks, and where it empties, the oceanâs reef structure enhances the setting with swirling eddies.
The resort sits in a wilderness of forest so that whether your room is mountain-viewing or ocean-facing, youâll find pristine views. The rooms are spacious and the beds and pillows offer a restful eveningâs sleep. Step onto your lanai at dusk or dawn and youâll be taking in the stunning strokes of one of natureâs loveliest landscapes on Hawaiiâs oldest island.
Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Hawaii
You could spend months exploring just one of the Hawaii islands, let alone all of them! If you really cant decide where to stay in Hawaii, we think Maui is perfect for first-timers and beach lovers alike.
Kauai island is great for hiking, and home to spectacular waters. If youre worried about your travel costs, dont be Hawaii doesnt have to be expensive! If you plan ahead and make the right choices, you can visit the islands and all of their hotspots even on a budget!
Oahu is the most convenient island for solo travelers, families, and groups alike. The Big Island is twice the size of Oahu and has plenty to see as well!
Ultimately, you cant go wrong! All of the islands have beautiful beaches, and offer a slice of tropical paradise.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email to find out how.
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Embassy Suites By Hilton Waikiki Beach Walkhonolulu Oahu
With spacious suites ideal for families and a complimentary made-to-order breakfast, Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk provides the perfect base for all your Hawaiian adventures.
Relax on the Grand Lanai balcony on a chaise lounge alongside a heated pool, whirlpool spa and childrens pool. Head to the beach for some snorkelling, stand-up paddleboarding and surfing. If you fancy shopping, the boutiques of Kalakaua Avenue are only a block away.
Lanai Where To Stay In Hawaii For Couples
Lania is a Hawaii Island for a perfect tropical getaway for couples with its luxurious beach resorts where you will be able to find more secluded hideaways. On this island, you will have more privacy and still, you will be able to benefit from the fun activities of Hawaii.
In Lanai, you can swim with dolphins, and enjoy postcard-perfect beaches without the tourist crowd. Lanai is the place to go if youre looking for that famous isolated beach photo. You know the ones a single person on an empty beach, surrounded by palm trees, during the sunset. Perfection! I bet you already want to teleport yourself there, I sure do!
Having mentioned those lush beachfront hotels in Lanai, here are my top 4 accommodation picks for you to have an unforgettable tropical holiday.
|Hakuna Matata Maui|
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Things To See And Do In Kapolei
- Spend a day speeding down water slides at the massive WetnWild Hawaii.
- Learn more about the local culture and take hula lessons or watch some fire knife dancing at Chiefs Luau.
- Head over to Laie, on the North Shore of the island, and learn about the local culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
- Get adventurous with zip lining or off-roading at the Coral Crater Adventure Park.
- Enjoy the beach at Kahe Point Beach Park, Paradise Cove Beach, or the Makaha Beach Park.
- Learn more about the areas history at the Naval Air Station Barbers Point Museum.
- Play a few rounds of golf at the Barbers Point Golf Course or the Ewa Villages Golf Course.
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Best Luxury Hotel In Diamond Head: Lotus Honolulu At Diamond Head
If youre looking for a comfortable place to stay, then this hotel in Oahu is a good choice. Its close to local attractions like the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial and offers rooms with private bathrooms and balconies. Theres a small fridge in each room as well as entertainment equipment and the beach is within walking distance.
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Each Hawaiian Island Is Unique
Each of the Hawaiian islands has a unique personality and feel to them, with a wide variety of experiences that differ from each other. And each one has its’ own special Aloha, with unique activities and sights.
You will also find a lot of culture on each island. As I love learning about cultures through food, rest assured that each island has great restaurants featuring amazing Hawaiian foods that are often of the highest quality and locally sourced. It is a significant part of any Hawaiian Ohana and a great way to experience any of the islands.
Tips For Planning A Trip To Hawaii With Kids
Planning a trip to Hawaii with kids? In this step-by-step Hawaii vacation planning guide, Im sharing tips on how to plan your dream family trip to Hawaii.
Down below youll discover what Hawaiian islands are best for families, how to search flights and accommodation, the best things to do in Hawaii with kids, and much more!
When youre planning a family vacation, you deserve to go away and create priceless memories without stress in the trip planning process.
Hopefully, this guide will save you some time, money, and your sanity!
With a tropical climate and stunning beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, gorgeous scenery, and adventure activities, Hawaii is what many people consider paradise.
Ohana is deeply important in the Hawaiian culture making it a perfect family travel destination.
The Hawaiian Islands are a natural playground with endless snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, zip lining, and volcano exploration. Plus wildlife encounters with sea turtles, manta rays, whales and dolphins.
And then there are the cultural activities like learning to hula dance, attending a luau, and visiting important museums like at Pearl Harbor.
If you dont know how to plan a trip to Hawaii, read on.
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Things To Do In Hawaii With Kids
When planning a family trip to Hawaii, youll want to know what are the must-visit Hawaii tourist attractions and the best things to do in Hawaii with kids.
As much as we like to just show up, some trip planning is a good idea especially if you are visiting a popular destination, like Hawaii, in the peak travel season.
Popular attractions like Pearl Harbor in Oahu can book out well in advance, so dont just show up on the day expecting to get in.
Research and organize your tickets to any attractions, shows, or events.
Plan ahead and book any necessary experiences you would like to have so you dont miss out on having your best family vacation in Hawaii!
Park Shore Waikiki Moderate Oahu
The Park Shore Waikikis location is truly impressive, right next to the Honolulu Zoo and across the Waikiki Beach.
This means that you get to hear animals and see sweeping views of the blue water from the property.
They have nice Hawaii family vacation packages, choose from among one or two-bedroom suites that come with sofa beds, or spend a little more for the lanai room that opens up right on the pool deck.
While the beach isnt a private one on this family-friendly hotel in Waikiki Hawaii, a section of its beach has gentler waves for the little ones.
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Best Airbnb In Ala Moana: Studio W/ Sunrise Views Over Diamond Head
Suitable for two guests, this studio apartment offers comfortable surroundings in the heart of the city. Its a great choice whether youre deciding where to stay in Oahu for one night or for a longer visit. A private bathroom, small kitchenette, and pool access are included in the apartment as well as easy access to local beaches and to more private, hidden spots.
Why Else Might The Big Island Be The Best Choice For Your Family
The big island offers more than volcanoes. Youll want to pick the big island for your family because:
Compared with Oahu and Maui, the big island feels like a well-kept Hawaiian secret. Sure, in Kailua-Kona there are a lot of tourists, but the rest of the island is quiet and wide open.
Swim with Manta Rays
We didnt plan our trip to the big island just for this, but this activity is probably the biggest reason we are excited to return again. Night swimming with manta rays was a highlight of our stay and is a great activity for older kids.
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Why Is Maui The Best Hawaiian Island For Kids
Maui is the perfect choice for families seeking a bit of touristy fun but also wanting more remote adventures. This Hawaiian Island combines beaches, snorkeling excursions, scenic drives, and cultural activities to create the perfect family vacation.
Pros of Visiting with Kids:
- Beautiful, award-winning beaches that are less crowded.
- Features a mix of city attractions as well as more rural activities for a slower-paced vacation.
- Ideal island to visit for snorkeling.
Cons to Visiting with Kids:
- To travel around Maui, you will need a rental car and may need to rent car seats depending on the age of your children.
- There are fewer paid attractions in Maui, so if your kids need lots of stimulation it might not appeal to them.
Maui is an excellent choice for families with kids of all ages. Due to its combination of things to do, from remote outdoor excursions to ticketed fun like luaus and cruises, have a wide variety of options while visiting Maui.
Likewise, it?s easy to access Lanai, a smaller, lesser-known Hawaiian Island, via ferry from Maui. Beaches here are also some of the best in the world, which is sure to win over every member of the family!