Splurge: Hawaiian Musts if Money Is No Object

Going to Hawaii on an unlimited budget would be a dream come true for most of us; for those who want to experience the best of the best that Hawaii has to offer and have the ability to do so, there is a nearly endless amount of luxurious resorts spread throughout the islands, along with the opportunities to experience a great number of exciting adventures and relaxing pursuits.

Combining a little of the nightlife, shopping and cultural experiences available in Honolulu with some relaxation and tranquility on Kauai will get you the best of both worlds.

Where to Go Shopping on Oahu

Honolulu is a great place to do some shopping. Here you can stock up on those colorful Hawaiian shirts or bikinis and sundresses, as well as wonderful local works of art.

Bailey’s Antique & Aloha Shirts in Kapahulu has a wide array of vintage Hawaiian shirts that come with a local history lesson and much more. Featured on a number of travel shows, including Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” there is a lot more to it than the 15,000 or so shirts—you’ll find new and vintage Hawaiian dresses and all types of Aloha wear and jewelry, as well as Hawaiian collectibles. If you hang out for a little while, you might even see a celebrity or two, as many frequent this famous shop.

The Aloha Tower Marketplace, located on Honolulu Harbor, is an outdoor market bazaar that’s distinctively Hawaiian, with specialty retail shops and live entertainment.

Na Mea Hawaii sells a wide variety of paintings and crafts from more than 40 artists from across the islands.

If you are ready to start shopping now, you can get all kinds of Hawaiian treats from HawaiiFlowerLei.com. They have a carefully selected range of gifts, including traditional leis, Hawaiian soaps and candles, snacks, jewelry and more. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can shop with confidence.

Check them out here:

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Where to Stay and Eat in Honolulu

Now that you’ve exhausted yourself with all of that shopping, it’s time to check in to the place to stay, the Halekulani Hotel.

Here, you’ll find a garden oasis in the middle of the urban chaos of Waikiki. Many rooms offer a stunning ocean view and all of the expected amenities, such as luxuriously comfy robes and separate soaking tubs. In the evening you can watch the incredible sunset from your balcony and listen to live Hawaiian music.

Be sure to dine at Roy’s while in Honolulu; it’s one of the best you’ll find on any of the islands and is perfect for a celebration, romantic meal or just because.

Roy’s is a little more formal than many of the establishments here, but the service is impeccable and you deserve a little pampering, right? The macadamia nut–crusted mahi-mahi is to die for, as is the mouth-wateringly delicious chocolate soufflé for dessert.

Must-do Oahu Activities

Waikiki beach is the only place in Hawaii where the waves can be surfed via canoes. You don’t need any skills and the “beach boys” will keep you safe while you sit back and enjoy the ride. The canoes are a modern version of the boats used by the ancient Hawaiians for fishing and traveling between the islands.

A complete Pearl Harbor tour is also well worth the time. The USS Arizona, the ship that sustained the greatest number of casualties, is still visible from the surface of the water with the memorial built over its final resting place.

If you’re the type who enjoys thrilling, heart-pounding adventures, skydiving over the island is the way to see Oahu like few have seen it before—an experience of a lifetime for those who dare.

Swimming with the dolphins is another must.

There are also a number of boat trips available from the island and many combine the trip with snorkeling among brilliant reefs teeming with tropical fish.

Next, fly into Lihue, Kauai and spend some time on The Garden Isle.

Where to Stay in Kauai

For the ultimate in luxury and pampering amid paradise, enjoy a stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. The architecture is gorgeous, and you can toast to an incredible day on the island while watching the sun go down from your ocean-view room and private lanai. Relax in the pool surrounded by waterfalls and a lush garden setting.

Dining on Kauai

Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa is the place to go for meals featuring fresh seafood, incredible water views and, often, live entertainment. This is where the upscale locals go for a special occasion, and it’s sure to be another of your most memorable dining experiences while in Hawaii.

Must-do Kauai Activities

During the day, visit the island’s numerous spectacular waterfalls, such as the double-tiered Wailua Falls that appeared in the opening scene of the 1970s television show “Fantasy Island,” and hike the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” at Waimea Canyon State Park.

Don’t forget to spend time on one of the many idyllic beaches found here, including Tunnels Beach, with its outstanding snorkeling during the calm summer months, and the white sand beach at Hanalei Bay. The latter is surrounded by mountains with cascading waterfalls that provide an amazing backdrop. It’s surely one of the best on earth.

On Kauai, a helicopter tour is truly a must. Not only will you get a birds-eye view of the entire island, but seeing it by air is really the only way to take in all of its magnificent beauty. The majority of this island is still inaccessible by car, so helicopter is often the only way humans can experience all that it has to offer.

You’ll fly deep into the famous canyon to Mt. Waialeale, the wettest spot on Earth, and along one of the most breathtaking coastlines on the planet, the Napali Coast.

Cap off your day with a sunset cruise along this same coastline and watch the sun dip below the horizon as dolphins race alongside the boat. It just doesn’t get much better than this.