So, you’re heading for the Aloha State for the very first time. Exciting! We have a guide that includes everything you need to know about the best way to see Hawaii for the first time.
What’s the Best (and Worst) Way to See Hawaii for the First Time
What to Do
Take a helicopter tour
One of the best ways to see Hawaii for the first time is to schedule a discount helicopter tour. You and your loved ones or friends have the opportunity to see endless beauty from above while receiving fun facts about the areas you are flying over. Whether you want to soar with the doors off over a volcano or take a whole circle tour of the island, you have options — and you’ll save money when you book through Tropical Helicopters.
Some of the most popular tours they offer are the doors off the volcano tour as well as the Hawaii circle island experience. The circle island experience will allow you to see all five volcanoes, including the active Kilauea Volcano. Before you reach the volcano, you will fly over the world-famous Kona coffee belt, green, black, and white sand beaches, and even a desert (yes, we said desert).
Additionally, you will be able to fly through the majestic Kohala mountain range. Since most of the waterfalls in this region are only accessible from the air, you are treated with an up close and personal experience. Some have said the Kohala valleys are some of the most spectacular in Hawaii and you will soon understand why.
Wondering how to save money on a trip to Hawaii? The best way to see Hawaii for the first time is to watch your budget. Restaurants can be pricey, and you’ll benefit from seeking out activities and tours that offer discounts (like Tropical Helicopters rides). You can also find local Groupon deals, cheaper hotels, cheaper airfare to the islands and more — if you do your research!
Get in the water
The best way to see Hawaii for the first time is to try something you wouldn’t in landlocked locations (if you happen to live in one of those states or countries). There are a few things you can do to experience the beautiful oceans.
One activity you can do is sign up for surfing lessons. Each island has a number of surfing schools to help you learn how to surf in no time. What’s also cool about this activity is you get to hang out with people who are from the area. Be sure to ask them about cool things to do as well as the best local places to eat.
Some surf schools to check out:
Another thing you can do is rent snorkeling gear and enjoy a day out in the water looking at the different species of fish. When you are out in the water be sure to keep an eye out for the state fish, humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Also, on every island, there are snorkeling locations where you will find yourself swimming with turtles. When you go to rent your gear ask the person behind the counter where you can find the best spot to encounter them. You can also book boat tours that will take off the shores and out into the deep to snorkel.
Some snorkel experiences to check out:
- Kealakekua – Big Island
- Poipu Beach Park – Kauai
- North Shore – Oahu
Get local at a luau
Toss on a lei and head to the nearest luau. The best way to see Hawaii for the first time is to dive into the culture where ever you decide to visit. A traditional Hawaiian luau offers authentic dishes (such as kalua pig roasted in a pit, poi, lomilomi salmon, and more). You’ll also get a taste of island entertainment — complete with ukulele music and hula dancing.
Visit the volcanoes
You can’t fly all the way to Hawaii and not see a volcano. Wondering how to see lava flow in Hawaii? Be sure to keep up with a Lava Update before you book your trip so you can see how active the volcanoes are and if you can actually see lava flows or not. You can even take a Doors-Off Over The Volcano helicopter tour and see the activity from above.
Departing from Hilo, this Hawaii helicopter experience will take you 500 feet above the Kilauea Volcano. You will also be shown the way water reacts as lava flows off of the volcano into the ocean. After feeling the heat, you’ll cool off as you fly over the rainforests of Hilo and see the mist rising from Wai‘ānuenue (Rainbow Falls). Top off the tour with the vistas of Mauna Loa for an unforgettable Hawaiian experience.
What NOT to Do
Are you wondering how to save money on a trip to Hawaii? The best way to see Hawaii for the first time is to watch your budget so you can have room for everything you would like to do. Restaurants can be pricey, and you’ll benefit from seeking out activities and tours that offer discounts (like Tropical Helicopters rides). You can also find local Groupon deals, cheaper hotels, cheaper airfare to the islands and more — if you do your research!
Here are some easy ways to instantly save:
- Go on the off-season
- Look for discounted tour and activity alternatives
- Find the best airfare deals
- Stay on one island
- Don’t rent a car, opt for public transit
Escape the Crowds
This is one thing we can’t stress enough. It’s tempting to go where everyone else is going, but there is so much hidden beauty on every island. Many people don’t know this but you can rent a car for cheap at the airport when you first fly in. You should take advantage of this perk because you will want to explore on your own. One of our favorite things to do is hop in the car and just drive. Along the way, you might find quaint beaches, great snorkel spots, and hidden waterfalls.
Don’t Try and See Every Island at Once
We know how tempting this can be, but do not try and see every island at once. You will end up spending a ton of money and the travel time is not worth it. You are better off spacing out your vacations because everyone is always looking for a reason to go to Hawaii. If you are tempted to visit more than one island, make sure you do your research so you know how much time you’ll spend traveling and think about what you can do instead of wasting your precious time in a car or plane.
Don’t Spend Your Vacation at Your Hotel Pool or Beach
The last piece of advice we have for you is to not get stuck and stay at your hotel pool or beach. As stated above there is so much beauty outside of your hotel that you are missing out on. There are other outdoor activities you can do besides spending your day at the pool or beach. You can hike various different locations and experience amazing lookout spots or you can hop on an ATV and let the wind blow through your hair. Also, you can go parasailing and enjoy the view while you’re 1,200 ft in the sky. The choice is yours but don’t make the wrong decision.
Seeing Hawaii for the first time is going to be an amazing experience. Figuring out what you want to do in a short period of time can be a little overwhelming. Make sure you do your research into what you want to see and do the most.
For more information about any of the helicopter tours above, please contact Tropical Helicopters today!