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Our Unforgettable Hawaiian Adventure

There’s something truly magical about Hawaii that has always captivated us, particularly its rich surf culture. As avid surfers ourselves, we’ve always been drawn to the place where wave surfing originated. One Saturday morning, when our daughter Jade was just 2 months old, we decided over a cup of coffee that our next trip would be to these enchanting islands.

As if by fate, right after we finished our coffee, we met a woman who owned a large house in Hawaii. This serendipitous encounter confirmed our decision – this trip was meant to be. We managed to rent her house at a very reasonable price. So, five months later in June, we boarded the plane, baby in tow, and embarked on our Hawaiian adventure.

Is Hawaii Too Far for a Baby?

The journey to Hawaii can indeed be lengthy. Our flight first took us to Los Angeles, where we had a three-hour layover. From there, it was a six-hour flight to Honolulu. Traveling with a seven-month-old baby added an element of excitement to the journey, but our little one behaved impeccably, and we remained composed. After 25 hours in transit, we finally touched down in the enchanting land of Hawaii.

Hawaii: More Than Just Beaches and Palm Trees

When most people envision Hawaii, they picture pristine beaches and swaying palm trees. While these are certainly prominent features of the islands, Hawaii has so much more to offer, especially for children. Did you know that the blockbuster movies Jurassic Park and Jurassic World were filmed here?

Experience Hawaii with Kids

Planning a family vacation to Hawaii? This tropical paradise offers a wealth of activities and attractions that are sure to delight both kids and adults alike. From exploring lush rainforests and beautiful beaches to engaging in thrilling water sports and cultural experiences, Hawaii is a dream destination for families.

Top Family-Friendly Activities in Hawaii

Here are some of the top family-friendly activities to enjoy in Hawaii:

  • Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Witness the power of Mother Nature at this awe-inspiring park, home to two active volcanoes.
  • Explore the Polynesian Cultural Center: Learn about the rich history and culture of the Polynesian people through interactive exhibits and performances.
  • Enjoy Water Sports: From surfing and snorkeling to paddleboarding and kayaking, Hawaii offers a plethora of water sports for all ages.
  • Discover the Honolulu Zoo: Home to over 900 different animals, this zoo is a must-visit for animal lovers.

Best Time to Visit Hawaii with Kids

The best time to visit Hawaii with kids is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and the ocean conditions are ideal for water sports. However, the winter months (December to February) can also be a great time to visit, especially for those interested in whale watching.

Where to Stay in Hawaii with Kids

When it comes to accommodation, Hawaii offers a range of family-friendly options. From luxury resorts with kid-friendly amenities to budget-friendly vacation rentals, you’re sure to find something that suits your family’s needs and budget.

Travel Tips for Visiting Hawaii with Kids

Here are some travel tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Hawaii with kids:

  • Plan your itinerary in advance: This will help you make the most of your time in Hawaii and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-see attractions.
  • Pack appropriately: Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, swimwear, and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Stay hydrated: The Hawaiian sun can be intense, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

With its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and endless activities, Hawaii is a fantastic destination for a family vacation. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the Aloha State!

Exploring Hawaii with a Baby: What to Do?

Our Hawaiian adventure begins on Kauai, where we took a plane from Oahu on the first day. We settled in a spacious house in Kapaa, a village conveniently located in the middle of the island. From Kapaa, it’s approximately an hour’s drive to the island’s northernmost point and an hour and a half to the southernmost point, making it an ideal base for exploration.

The village itself may be small, but it boasts several coffee shops that open at 6 in the morning. This is a real boon for those of us still grappling with jet lag. We often find ourselves there, savoring a cup of coffee after watching the sunrise on the beach.

Discovering Kauai: The Flower Island

We spend two weeks on Kauai, also known as the flower island, and quickly discover its breathtaking beauty. As a volcanic island, Kauai features mountains and rugged landscapes that are truly awe-inspiring. The nights often bring rain, while the days are warm and sunny, creating a unique and enchanting atmosphere.

Discover the Best Highlights of Kauai

Known for its endless stretches of beautiful beaches, Kauai is a paradise when you visit Hawaii with a baby. There are several must-see spots that you certainly shouldn’t miss.

Discover the Northernmost Beach Accessible by Car: Ke’e Beach

Ke’e Beach, the most northern beach you can reach by car, is a stunning location where mountains meet the sea. From here, you can embark on the most picturesque coastal walks.

Experience the Magic of Queens Bath

A mere half-hour drive from Ke’e Beach is Queens Bath in Princeville. This enchanting spot is a local secret, but don’t worry, locals are always willing to guide you. To reach Queens Bath, you’ll need to trek through the jungle. We recommend swapping your slippers for sneakers and, if you have little ones, a carrier will make the journey easier. After a 15-minute walk, you’ll encounter a series of lava pools bordering the sea.

We were fortunate enough to visit when the water level was low, allowing us to swim in the pools. Even our little Jade enjoyed the water in her large float. The beauty of this place is hard to put into words, but believe it or not, there’s a place that left us even more awestruck: the Napali Coast.

Take a Breathtaking Drive to the Napali Coast

From Kapaa, it’s a few hours’ drive to the Napali Coast, but the journey itself is an adventure! As you drive through the canyon, you’ll eventually reach a viewpoint overlooking a valley. This valley is a riot of colors, with mountains, a bright blue sea, and lush greenery.

Plan Your Visit for Optimal Views

For the best views, plan to visit in the morning when it’s often clear. Trust us, the early start is worth it. For us, this was the absolute highlight of the trip!

Our Journey from Kauai to Maui

After a delightful time on Kauai, we embarked on an 8-day adventure to Maui. Here, we had the opportunity to surf the south side of Hookipa, even amidst the sea turtles. We took turns hitting the waves, usually while Jade was asleep in her pram, creating a relaxing experience for both of us.

One of the aspects we adore about Hawaii is the prevalence of surfing among children. It’s akin to how Dutch children learn to play soccer or hockey. We often witnessed parents surfing alongside their kids, which was truly fantastic!

We secured an apartment in Paia through Home-away. Originally a hippy village with a strong surfing vibe, Paia has become quite touristic in recent times. From Paia, it’s worth taking the scenic route to Hana, a beautiful coastal road adorned with waterfalls. Just beyond Hana, you can explore the Bamboo forest and a magnificent waterfall.

Experience the Majestic Volcano of Maui

Maui, a gem in the Hawaiian archipelago, boasts a magnificent volcano with a road leading all the way up to its crater. The journey may be long, but the breathtaking view of the island from the top is worth every moment.

Discover the Tranquil Lagoons of Kauai, Maui, and Oahu

On the islands of Kauai, Maui, and Oahu, you’ll find numerous serene lagoons. These are secluded beaches, shielded by rocks, where the waves can’t reach the shore. These lagoons provide a safe and calm swimming environment for young children, as there is no current and no waves. This makes them an ideal choice for families vacationing in Hawaii with a baby.

Our Final Days in Hawaii: Exploring Oahu

We spent our last three days in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, specifically in Honolulu. This bustling city is the perfect place to learn how to surf, although it can get quite crowded. To capture that ultimate Hawaii feeling, you can watch Hula dancers performing along the boulevard in the evening. It’s a touristy experience, but it’s also a lot of fun!

If you’re looking for more travel inspiration, check out this list of 80 things to do on Oahu.

Hawaii: A Paradise for Nature Lovers

Overall, Hawaii is a stunning destination for nature enthusiasts. The views are simply phenomenal. Foodies will also appreciate the abundance of organic dining options. We were fortunate not to require any medical attention during our trip, but it’s reassuring to know that quality healthcare is available when traveling with young children. I can wholeheartedly recommend Hawaii to everyone, even those with a baby. If surfing isn’t your thing, you can easily combine a visit to the islands with a two-week stay in California. For us, Hawaii was the best trip we’ve ever taken, and we can’t wait to return someday.

This article is written by our guest blogger Marieke. She lives in Zandvoort with Thijs and their three daughters Jade (8), Bente (almost 6), and Jule (2). Marieke and her family love to travel and try to save money so they can embark on a far-flung adventure every few years. In her everyday life, Marieke is a journalist for RTV North-Holland.

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