Best Hawaiian Vacations for Couples: Where to Amp Up the Romance

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fairmont orchid reviews - beautiful oceanfront pool
The pool at the Fairmont Orchid on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii. Photo credit: Liana Moore

Nothing captures the essence of a romantic getaway quite like the Hawaiian Islands. Whether you choose to spend your days chasing waterfalls, lounging poolside or exploring white sand beaches, the ocean views on each of Hawaii’s Islands will leave you breathless.

For active couples, horseback riding, snorkeling, biking and hiking across lava fields in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will keep you busy for days. And when you’re ready to relax, choose your lodging style. From cozy bungalows to luxury resorts, there’s something for every couple on the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Vacations for Couples, flight over Oahu
Flight over Oahu. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Romantic Getaways on Oahu

Home to Hawaii’s largest city, Honolulu, Oahu is ideal for couples who enjoy a combination of city life, attractions and beachtime. Packed with cultural activities, top-notch restaurants, high-end boutiques, museums and more, Honolulu offers an abundance of things to experience.

Set against a background of high-rises and the iconic Diamond Head crater, the wide crescent Waikiki Beach beckons to surfers. Surprisingly calm waters make Waikiki an ideal place for a couple’s surfing lesson. In contrast, the North Shore is the place to watch professional surfers riding massive waves.

The Manoa Falls Trail combines easy access with a host of natural attractions, making it one of Oahu’s most popular trails. Located a short 10-minute drive from downtown Honolulu, the trail leads to a roaring 150-foot waterfall – the ideal spot for an Instagram selfie.

One of Oahu’s most popular attractions, a hike to the top of the Diamond Head crater, reveals stunning panoramic views of the island and the Pacific. Another must-see attraction, the Pearl Harbor National Monument features four attractions: the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

Where to Stay

Located on Oahu’s sunny west coast, the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Alina luxury resort features restaurants, bars, swimming pools and lagoons with water sports. Enjoy a game of tennis or golf then head to the on-site spa for a couples massage. Conveniently located, the Honolulu International Airport is less than a 30 minute drive away.

Read More: Where to Stay on Oahu

Hawaiian Vacations for Couples on Maui

For those who prefer to spend more time on the beach and less shopping in a big city, Maui should be in your Hawaiian vacation plans. Maui was formed by two volcanoes rising up from the Pacific. The most notable, the 10,000-foot Mount Haleakala, still inspires travelers with incredible sunrise and sunset views.

On Maui, Wailea Beach combines romance with luxury. Here, luxury resorts line the shoreline of the Pacific. Wailea’s white sand beach provides the perfect setting for a day of paddleboarding, sunbathing or whale watching. A paved walkway along the beach allows easy access to the luxury resorts and excellent restaurants.

Considered one of the best beaches in Maui, Kaanapali Beach lies on the island’s west coast. With a more laid-back vibe than Wailea, Kaanapali Beach offers a wide variety of activities.

Spend the day snorkeling or scuba diving in the clear cool water of the Pacific.

What better way to see Maui than embarking on a day trip to Hana? Not for the faint of heart, the Road to Hana stretches 68 miles. The winding narrow roads may be slightly terrifying but the breathtaking views they lead you to are well worth the nail-biting!

Special adventures deserve a place on a romantic getaway and in Maui, horseback rides and helicopter tours are truly special. And, of course, no trip to Maui is complete without a luau. For the luau experience you’ll be adorned with a fragrant lei as you watch the Hawaiian culture presentation. Sip your Mai Tai and absorb  the melodic sounds of ancient drumming, chanting and storytelling as you observe the Hawaiian hula and fire dance performances.

Read More: When’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Hawaii?

Where to Stay

Maui’s luxury resorts  provide an idyllic backdrop for your romantic getaway. Favorites among travelers are the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea and the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua. Hawaii’s only Relais & Chateaux property, Hotel Wailea extends across 15 private acres overlooking the Pacific. The property features 72 luxury one-bedroom suites with large ocean-facing lanais.  A truly romantic getaway,  Hotel Wailea was designed with couples in mind. Escape the beachfront crowds and celebrate each other with award-winning food and wine.

Read More: Complete Packing List for Hawaii with Printable

Chasing Romance and Waterfalls on Kauai

Known as the Garden Isle, Kauai is the greenest, lushest and wettest of the Hawaiian Islands. A true tropical paradise, this remote island served as the setting for Jurassic Park. A hike along the Hanakapiai Falls Trail reveals the reason Kauai was chosen for the movie. You’ll wander through a tropical rainforest breathing in the scent of guava and mango trees before ending at the 300-foot Hanakapiai Falls. Take it all in then jump in the swimming hole at the base of the waterfall.

Another must-see on Kauai, the Waimea Canyon State Park overlooks of one of Hawaii’s scenic treasures – the deep, colorful gorge of Waimea Canyon. Venture through the park along a scenic drive stopping for photos at canyon overlooks. Plan a wildland picnic or explore one of the park’s hiking trails to further connect with nature.

Kauai’s beauty captivates all who visit. While there consider kayaking along the scenic Na Pali Coast. Or, keep things romantic with a hand-in-hand stroll along the golden beach of Hanalei Bay.

A treat for golfers, the Poipu Bay Golf Course sits eight stories above the Pacific Ocean providing jaw-dropping views from every angle of the course.

Where to Stay

The beachfront Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Poipu on Kauai is an excellent choice for a Hawaii vacation getaway. Situated on the white sands of Poipu on Kauai’s sunny south shore, this luxury oasis showcases lush gardens, acres of pools, ocean view dining and rooms with private lanais. Additional amenities include championship golf and the Anara Spa.

Hawaiian vacations for couples shoreline along the island of Hawai'i
Big Island Coastline. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Heat Up Your Romance at the Volcanoes on The Big Island

The largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Hawai’i harbors two active volcanos. Continuously erupting since 1983, Kilauea’s lava flow lights up the night at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Nearby, Mauna Loa claims the title of the largest active volcano on the planet. The volcano makes up approximately 51% of Hawaiʻi Island and rises an astonishing 30,000 feet from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Hawaiian vacations for couples sunset into the clouds at the Mauna Kea Summit
Sunset into the clouds at the Mauna Kea Summit. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

The Big Island is also home to the coldest place in Hawaii – the snow-capped summit of the dormant Mauna Kea. Measured from the floor of the Pacific, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world. Ambitious couples can hike to the summit. But if you prefer to drive, rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle and make your way above the clouds along the steep road to the mountain top. Here the sun disappears into the clouds as it sets instead of the ocean creating one of the most romantic sunsets you’ll ever experience.

Hawaiian vacations for couples Akaka Falls nestled in a rainforest
Akaka Falls. Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Hawai’i Treasures Beyond the Volcanoes

Located near the laid-back town of Hilo on the island’s windward side, the Akaka Falls Trail leads to two impressive waterfalls. To discover the waterfalls, you’ll wind through a lush rainforest where azaleas, bamboo, gardenias and hibiscus thrive along with an unimaginable variety of trees. Up first is the 100-foot Kahuna Falls. But the show-stopper is the 442-foot Akaka Falls.

For a memorable hike, take the Pololu Historic Trail. The steep rocky trail descends to a stunning black sand beach below rewarding your efforts.

Where to Stay

If a luxury resort is your style, you’re in luck.Located along the Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualai features modern rooms with Hawaiian-inspired décor. Amenities include numerous swimming pools, five dining options, a full-service spa and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf Course. Another perk, the resort’s adults-only Palm Grove infinity pool, features five couples’ cabanas with customizable beds similar to the Four Seasons signature mattress. Private, white sand beaches add to the lure of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

For those who prefer a cozy cottage, the Bananarama Cottage delivers. Featuring an ocean view and a large screened-in lanai, Bananarama Cottage is located in a small neighborhood a five-minute walk from a gorgeous oceanfront park and black sand beaches. This unique vacation rental’s design is inspired by its location on a boutique banana farm featuring 70 different varieties of bananas.

Based in New York City, Terri Marshall is an award-winning writer covering cultural travel, multi-generational travel, road trips, soft-adventure, camping, cars and characters. From hanging out with penguins in Antarctica to fishing for piranhas in Peru to road-tripping through the jungles of Belize, Terri’s always up for an adventure. Drop her into a landscape filled with mountains, towering evergreens, waterfalls and a glacier or two and she’ll be in heaven. But what thrills her most of all is traveling with her teenage grandkids. Terri serves on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee for the North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA). She also serves as the First Vice-Chair of the Eastern Chapter for the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). In addition to writing for SheBuysTravel, Terri’s publication credits include AARP, Island Soul, Girl Camper Magazine, A Girls Guide to Cars, CHILLED, World Footprints, North Hills Monthly, Alaska Business Monthly, Alaska Contractor and more. Follow her on Instagram at TrippingWithTerri.
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