It’s no wonder that Hawaii is always ranked as one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations. Newlyweds can’t help but feel the romance with the Islands’ slow pace and idyllic scenery. Hawaii’s largest island is no exception, covering some 4,000 square miles (10,360 square kilometers) with awe-inspiring volcanic peaks, wind-swept beaches and an abundance of fun things to do as a couple. So, sweethearts, set your sights on Hawaii Island, a true honeymooner’s dream destination. Here are some ideas to inspire your romantic trip.
Where to stay
North of Kailua-Kona, the community of Waikoloa boasts an exceptional array of romantic resorts. Waikoloa Marriott Resort & Spa showcases oceanfront luxury with an on-site spa, golf course and infinity pool, while Hilton Waikoloa Village is located on a pristine saltwater lagoon and home to Legends of Hawaii Luau. For the active couples, Mauna Kea Resort, an Autograph Collection at Kaunaoa Bay is home to The Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara, Mauna Kea Golf Course and Seaside Tennis Club.
Off the grid but close to creature comforts, The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls is a wild escape near Hilo Town, offering rappel trips down its private waterfall, cooking classes, farm tours and more. An hour’s drive south, Volcano House overlooks Halemaumau Crater of Volcanoes National Park — a historic hotel with a truly one-of-a-kind location.
The quiet southern side of Hawaii Island has an abundance of outdoor pursuits but not as many hotels as Kona or Hilo. Fortunately, Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat satisfies every honeymooner’s checklist with plush luxury suites and personal balconies, farm-to-table meals and intimate Hawaiian arts workshops.
Caption: Love is in the air at Rainbow Falls, where the Wailuku River drops some 80 feet near Hilo.
Play tourist together
Begin the rest of your lives together by checking off the essentials of Hawaii Island. (Plus, playing tourist means announcing your newlywed status at every opportunity.) Take a long walk hand in hand along the most famous shorelines like Hapuna Beach, the island’s largest white-sand beach, or Punaluu Black Sand Beach near the national park. Waterfalls have long been associated with romance and two dreamy cascades are easy to access from Hilo: Rainbow Falls, known for the vibrant colors reflecting in its morning mist, and Akaka Falls, flowing in a lush tropical forest. Golfers will be enamored with the lava-lined, Jack Nicklaus-designed Hualālai Golf Course, while ocean lovers might opt for a snorkel tour of the historic Kealakekua Bay with Sea Paradise. For a well-deserved buzz, join a Kona coffee farm tour complete with tastings or imbibe like a local at Kona Brewing and Ola Brew.
Caption: Decompress together at the Hoola Spa, where massages are offered on an oceanfront lanai.
Rejuvenate your souls
All that wedding planning can take a toll on your mind, body and spirit — fortunately, Hawaii Island is ripe for relaxation. The Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara has a special suite reserved just for couples, where you can receive lomi lomi massage side by side. Breathe in the tropical air with an oceanfront lanai massage at Kona’s Hoola Spa or an outdoor body treatment featuring Hawaiian botanicals at Spa Without Walls at The Fairmont Orchid in Waimea. Hualalai Spa at the Four Seasons also has outdoor spa hales set in the gardens, plus the resort has an impressive saltwater aquarium pool, home to some 4,000 tropical fish, that makes for an inspiring cool down. Afterwards, reconnect with a stroll through Hawaii Island’s best-known nature spaces like Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary in Captain Cook or Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden near Hilo. Consider wrapping up the day of zen with a sunset dinner cruise from Kona to Kealakekua Bay, filled with swoon-worthy scenes.
Caption: After the big leap, dive into the ocean for a unique snorkeling with manta rays nighttime experience along the Kona Coast.
Create action-packed memories
For the couple that feels the butterflies while chasing thrills together, skip the spa time for some bucket-list activities. Nothing says adventure like a day with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, soaring above the towering sea cliffs of Waipio Valley and the Kohala mountain range while holding hands. Keep your hearts pumping with Hawaii Zipline Tours’ exciting zip course over the private 250-foot Kolekole Falls, just downstream from Akaka Falls near Hilo. On the Kona side, join an Atlantis Adventures submarine tour to explore the depths of a natural coral reef together. Experienced equestrians might opt for the cantering horseback rides at Kahua Ranch Naalapa Stables, where you'll be treated to panoramic views from mountains to coastline. Come dusk, a unique experience of snorkeling with manta rays is a popular activity available along the Kona Coast — a wild encounter that’s sure to bring you two even closer. Click here to see more of our Hawaii Island activity partners.
Caption: You’ll forever remember your time together exploring the world-famous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Immerse yourselves in culture
Cultural activities go hand in hand with making sentimental memories — you’ll gain a more profound sense of place while deepening your relationship. Start at Hilton Waikoloa Village, which hosts cultural classes every morning, instructing participants on how to make kukui bracelets and flower lei. Mauna Kea Resort also offers a variety of workshops in Hawaiian traditions, from hulu (feather art) and ohe kapala (bamboo stamps) to chanting and ukulele lessons. Next, witness Hawaii’s legendary history firsthand by visiting one of the island’s five National Parks sites like the refuge of Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, arguably the nation’s most unique national park. One might say no sweethearts’ trip to Hawaii is complete without attending an authentic luau and a favorite is the Sunset Luau at Waikoloa Beach Marriott, set in front of Anaehoomalu Bay. It showcases the music and dance of Polynesia with a contemporary Hawaiian buffet and imu ceremony — not to mention a full open bar — culminating in a Samoan fire dance finale. Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Legends of Hawaii Luau happens three times a week and includes unlimited adult beverages, lei greetings and a spectacular torch run.