Hawaii Reunion Activities
Boasting one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea, the Big Island is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The island’s size and ranges in altitude offer an array of climate variations for families, from black beaches, rainforests, and volcanic desert to snow-capped mountains. Sightseers can view Japanese bridges in the Liliuokalani Gardens and petroglyphs in the rocks of the Kohala Coast. They can visit the Ellison S. Onizuka Center for International Astronomy or Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii planetarium. There are countless beaches, parks, tide pools and snorkel destinations as well as the Kahua Ranch in Waimea, where families can experience Hawaiian cowboy life.
The Big Island offers boat rentals and cruises, art galleries and museums, farmer’s markets, annual festivals, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hula contests, kayak trips, manta ray diving and whale watching.
There are several golf courses on the island, dubbed the “Golf Capital of Hawaii.” Among them are Hualalai Golf Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, the championship Francis H. Li Brown courses at the Mauna Lani Resort, Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed courses at Mauna Kea Resort, Robert Trent Jones Jr. courses at Waikoloa Beach Resort and Ocean Course and Mountain Course at Kona Country Club.
Maui Family Reunion
Known as the Magic or Valley Isle, Maui is home to the Maui Ocean Center, which surrounds families with over 750,000 gallons of water as they make their way through the acrylic tunnels, manta rays and sharks swimming over and around them. Guests can also take a ride on an old-fashioned Sugar Cane Train from the 1890s on the Lahaina-Kaanapali Railroad.
Maui is surrounded by beaches and offers several educational centers like the Haleakala Visitor Center at Haleakala National Park and Hawaii Nature Center in Wailuku.
The waters surrounding Maui are unusually warm and attract thousands of humpback whales every year. All types of whale watching adventures are available. Families can learn about Maui’s ancient whaling culture at the Whalers Village Museum in Lahaina. The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum in Pu’unene spotlights agricultural history, while the Lahaina Historic Trail showcases the island’s famous seaports. The isle has a lively art life and culture, found at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului and Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center in Makawao.
There are 14 golf courses on Maui, some of which have been ranked as the world’s best. Maui is the annual home to the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Kauai Reunion Venues
The Garden Isle offers over 50 miles of beaches, along with rainforests and thousands of plant species, showcased at the Waimea Canyon and Kokee Natural History Museum in Kokee State Park. The beaches at Hanalei Bay and North Shore, Smith Family Garden Luau in Kapaa, Lydgte State Park and the Kauai Plantation Railway in Kilohana are great family destinations. Snorkeling, scuba diving, hula, surfing and live music are some of the many activities offered.
To learn more about Kauai and its culture, families can visit Kauai Museum in Lihue, Grove Farm Museum in Lihue and Waioli Mission House in Hanalei Town. Farm tours are available in Hanalei Town and the South Shore, where Kauai Coffee Plantation is located. Kauai is also home to some of Hawaii’s largest botanical gardens. The National Tropical Botanical Garden is located in three separate places on the isle. Allerton Garden and McBryde Garden are west of Koloa, and Limahuli Garden is on the isle’s North Shore.
Oahu Reunion Sites
The Gathering Place, Oahu is the third largest and most populated Hawaiian island. Home to Honolulu, the state’s capital and largest city, Oahu offers plenty of dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities for families as well as public and private beaches, surfing destinations and golf courses. Places like Waikiki, a famous white beachfront dotted with high-rise resorts and condos, Pearl Harbor’s memorials and museums, and the Polynesian Cultural Center make for great family stops.
Just off the beaches of Waikiki families will find huts filled with Hawaiian keepsakes and authentic handcrafted souvenirs and shops filled with the latest fashions. Restaurants let guests try everything from Kona coffee to roasted macadamia nut mahi-mahi.
The Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie is a 42-acre facility on Oahu’s North Shore. Recreated villages represent South Pacific destinations from Samoa, Aotearoa (Maori New Zealand) and Fiji to Hawai’i, Tahiti, Tonga and Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Families can participate in authentic island games, preparing food, training for war and other activities.
There are several memorials, monuments and museums that make up the Pearl Harbor Pacific National Monument and National Historical Landmark. Guests can visit the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Pacific Aviation Museum and USS Oklahoma Memorial.
In downtown Honolulu, families can tour Iolani Palace, the only official state residence for royalty in the U.S.; Kawaiahao Church, the first Christian Church built on Oahu and nicknamed “Westminster Abbey of the Pacific; and Bishop Museum, the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific and home to millions of Hawaiian artifacts. They can also enjoy the music and nightlife of the Chinatown arts district or Ala Moana, the world’s largest open-air shopping center with over 290 stores and restaurants.
Haleiwa, on the North Shore of Oahu, is famous for surfing at Waimea Bay, Ehukai and Sunset beaches. There are plenty of shops and restaurants, and Haleiwa is known for its arts district.