Kauai, Hawaii (Shutterstock: see credit below)
List 11 August

5 unmissable Hawai‘i experiences

These tiny islands have lots to offer the intrepid traveller – from fascinating food to unique Polynesian culture. Here's where to start planning your trip

1. Shaved Ice

A Hawaiian favourite after a long day baking on the beach. This combination of shaved ice and colourful fruity syrups is a hit with both visitors and locals – try it with azuki beans or ice cream for an extra twist. Shaved snow is another popular local treat: it's created from frozen yoghurt and comes in flavours ranging from mango to green tea to Piña Colada.

Shave ice (Shutterstock)

2. Pu‘u Pehe Cove, Lāna‘i

Also known as ‘Sweetheart Rock’, Pu‘u Pehe is located between Mānele Bay and Hulopo‘e Bay. This breathtaking expanse of pearl-white sand and crystal blue waters welcomes snorkellers, surfers and body boarders, as well as those wanting a picturesque sunbathing spot.

Sweetheart Rock – Island of Lanai, Hawaii (Shutterstock)
Sweetheart Rock – Island of Lanai, Hawaii (Shutterstock)

3. Hilo Farmer’s Market

There's no better way to experience the amazing cultural diversity of Hawai‘i than at Hilo Farmer’s Market located on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The market offers a number of delicacies; from locally grown fruits and vegetables used in regional cuisine to exotic varieties including dragon fruit. The market also has a range of food stalls with interesting varieties of prepared foods including Korean Kimchi, Filipino lumpia (fritters) and of course, Hawaiian poi. It's also a great place to pick up handmade artwork and unique gifts.

Hilo's Farmer's Market (Shutterstock)
Hilo's Farmer's Market (Shutterstock)

4. Polynesian Cultural Center

Located to the North of O‘ahu, the Polynesian Cultural Center encompasses all things Polynesian – and you can learn about the different Pacific cultures including Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti and of course Hawai‘i. You'll also find traditional Hawaiian cuisine, dancing and crafts – don't miss the tiki carving, cooking demonstrations and canoe tours.

Polynesian Cultural Center (Shutterstock)
Polynesian Cultural Center (Shutterstock)

5. Memorial Day Ceremony

On 25 May, over 40,000 people flock to Oʻahu’s south shore beach. The ceremony celebrates and honours loved ones who have died. Visitors personalise a lantern with words and images of their choice, and the lanterns are then placed into the ocean creating a glittering, poignant scene.

Main image: Kauai, Hawaii (Shutterstock)