My family and I had a perfect Hawaii vacation over spring break. We split the vacation between Oahu and Kauai.
If you’re looking for a resort atmosphere in Oahu you should consider Turtle Bay Resort, which is about an hour’s drive from the airport on the north shore of the island. It has great activities (golf, horseback riding, tennis, snorkeling, etc.) and is also a very short drive from the Polynesian Cultural Center. The grounds are beautiful and they have two championship quality golf courses on site, one of which was designed by Arnold Palmer and hosts tour events. Waikiki Beach is great for beach activities and shopping. Spending a few nights at each lets you experience the best of both.
The other half of the vacation was spent in Kauai. The island has spectacular scenery that has been used in many movies (Jurassic Park, King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark). The eastern side of the island is one of the rainiest locations in the world. The heavy rains have caused a lot of erosion, which is how the Waimea Canyon (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) was formed.
There is plenty of sun on the south side of the island, which is where we stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. The Hyatt is great for adults and children and has a golf course that hosts a PGA event. It has the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen at a hotel. Kauai has a variety of activities for a small island. You can find just about anything from the mild (helicopter rides, hiking, catamaran) to the more daring (zip lining, sea rafting, ATV tours). We were there four nights and would have liked to have had a few more. We never made it to the rainy side of the island, which we were told is stunning. We did explore the Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali coastline, which were stunning and sunny!
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Mike Nelson is senior vice president and chief operating officer for Orbitz Worldwide.