Hawaii is more than just sand and surf—it’s also one of the most culturally diverse places in the United States. Whether you’re planning your first trip to the Hawaiian Islands or you already know that you have to go back, here are some authentic ways to experience the island’s culture and festivals.
Explore Hawaiian Culture
Hawaiian culture has much to offer with its ethnic traditions and rich heritage. Take some time to explore the natural beauty, tropical climate, and cultural experiences on your next trip. Here are a few authentic cultural experience ideas you might want to check out while visiting this tropical destination:
- Tour the impressive Bishop Museum in Honolulu which offers visitors a product showcase of Hawaiian artifacts. This is one of Hawaii’s most popular museums, boasting over 17 million artifacts from around the world as well as information about Hawaii’s history and culture, according to the museum’s website.
- Experience authentic Hawaiian cuisines like kalua pork and pipikaula (Hawaiian smoked beef)
- Visit coffee farms in Kona on the Big Island and taste the sweet-smelling tropical beans
- Watch hula dancing at least once during your stay on Oahu’s North Shore – this is an experience you’ll never forget
Experience Local Festivals
Hawaii is an all-year-long destination, not just for the summer. From peak flowers in spring to fall foliage in autumn, there’s always something to do and see. Local festivals are also plentiful and offer a taste of the many cultures that call Hawaii home.
One such festival is the Makahiki Festival which begins at the end of October and continues into November. This celebration was started by King Kamehameha in 1791 and involves traditional games, practices, ceremonies, and rituals from prehistoric times to honor the harvest season.
Another popular annual event is Honoka’a People’s Parade & Celebration held annually on December 28th in Honoka’a Town on rural Hawai’i Island.
Plan Your Dream Wedding in Paradise
If you’re looking for a destination wedding ceremony in the Hawaiian Islands, here are a few ideas to help get you started.
First, decide on the date and location where your destination wedding ceremony will take place. Popular spots are Maui’s Wailea Beach House and Kauai’s Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.
The cost to rent the venue will vary based on how many guests you plan to invite and whether you want an outdoor or indoor ceremony. The average cost is $6,000-$8,000 per day for outdoor ceremonies and $4,500-$5,500 per day for indoor ceremonies.
In addition to your venue rental costs, there may be various other costs that come into play depending on what type of ceremony you would like.
Where to Stay on Each Hawaiian Island
The choice to stay in hotels, resorts, and living places for tourists are up to you. However, it is best to rent out something close to the place where you plan on exploring so that you don’t have to spend hours commuting back and forth.
In order to make your stay as comfortable as possible, it’s best if you can find a place close by that has all the amenities that are important to you, such as restaurants and shopping centers.
For example, if your time in Oahu is going to be filled with surfers’ paradise activities like surfing lessons or SUP yoga classes, then staying at Kahala Resort & Spa will be perfect for you because they offer all these things right on site!
Best Places To Eat In Hawaii by Island
The best places to eat in Hawaii will vary depending on the traveler. Some visitors prefer to dine at restaurants that are as authentic as possible, while others want to enjoy seafood dishes and surf and turf. Luckily, there are plenty of excellent options for both types of foodies in Hawaii.
Oahu is home to some famous eats like Alan Wong’s restaurant, which offers a blend of Asian and Hawaiian cuisine. The Kahuku Grill is a favorite stop for Kauai residents who want to enjoy traditional plate lunch fare with their friends or family.
Visitors from the mainland can’t go wrong by stopping by the North Shore’s Da Poke Shack for some fresh poke bowls.
Oahu is the island of Honolulu and the major tourist destination in Hawaii. It’s home to world-famous attractions like Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, and the North Shore.
The island also offers many opportunities for visitors to experience authentic Hawaiian culture from hula performances to ukulele lessons. Visitors can enjoy everything from luaus to surfing lessons to snorkeling adventures!
Maui (Kahului Airport)
If you want to get a taste of Hawaii and all its wonderful culture, then consider heading to Maui. The airport in Kahului offers many options for travelers coming from the mainland or other islands in Hawaii. There’s an array of tours available at the airport, so you can choose one that suits your interests and schedule.
One popular option is the Maui Kine Grindz tour which takes visitors around the island for three hours and features stops at various landmarks such as Iao Valley State Park, Haleakala National Park, and Molokai Fishpond.
Kauai is the northernmost and second-smallest Hawaiian island. It is known as the garden island because, in addition to scenic ocean views, it offers numerous green, undeveloped hillsides. The main economic activities on Kauai are agriculture, tourism, and recreation. At 888 square miles in land area, Kauai’s beauty draws visitors from all over the world.
First-time visitors can visit historic landmarks like Pali Lookout or Hanalei Bay. For those who want more adventure than just a day trip offers, natural wonders such as Waimea Canyon or Na Pali Coast await your exploration. There are also opportunities for water sports at places like Kawaihae Bay or surfing beaches like Anini Beach Park.
The Big Island (Kona, Hilo International Airport)
Kona International Airport Provides the gateway to The Big Island, the only Hawaiian island and home to the Kona coffee plantations. Tourism plays a big part in the economy here and many visitors come to see traditional Hawaiian culture preserved at places like Waimea Bay, Rainbow Falls, Pololu Valley Lookout, and Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site.
For those interested in history as well as adventure tours, seeing Pearl Harbor is also a must-do. Kailua-Kona is located on this island and offers great shopping, dining, and recreation for all different tastes. Hilo International Airport Is Located in East Hawaii and may be accessed by car from Puna or West Hawaii via Saddle Road.
Trying Hawaiian culture and festivities can be an experience of a lifetime. There are so many ways to experience Hawaiian culture and festivities, so don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start. Start by visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center and then go on an adventurous trek in Hana. You can experience Hawaiian culture from afar and from up close, but the most important thing is to get out there and have fun!