Honeymoon Itinerary: Hawaii

Trust us: One island is not enough. Get a taste of three epic ones—the adventure-lovers' Big Island, beachy Maui and lush Kauai—over the course of 10 fabulous days. Your itinerary starts here

Updated 08/06/12

Courtesy of The Four Seasons Hualalai

01 of 10

Hawaii, The Big Island

Courtesy of The Four Seasons Hualalai

Day 1

MORNING Touching down in Kona, you might think, Um, have we landed on the moon? Otherworldly black lava rock ripples across the sunny Kona-Kohala Coast, where you'll find all the top resorts. Pick up a rental car—driving through the lunar landscape is half the fun—and ride 15 minutes to the insanely luxurious 243-room Four Seasons Hualalai (left), where you may catch a glimpse of Cameron Diaz or Rachel Zoe. Think seven outrageous pools, an apothecary-style spa, and an open-air gym worth setting a wake-up call for. Rooms from $545; Four Seasons.

AFTERNOON Park it at the adults-only Palm Grove pool with a yuzu-margarita shave ice (like a snow cone—with booze).

EVENING Stay in for a seaside farm-to-table feast at Pahu'ia; 90 percent of what's in the kitchen (Hamakua mushrooms, grass-fed beef) is sourced from local farmers.

02 of 10

Hawaii, The Big Island

Courtesy of Fairmont Orchid

Day 2

MORNING The Big Island's got 11 of the world's 13 climate zones, and the way to see them is from a helicopter. Fly over tropical rainforests; snowcapped Mauna Loa; and Kilauea, an active volcano with incredible red rivers of molten lava; Blue Hawaiian.

AFTERNOON Decompress with a traditional lomi-lomi massage in an outdoor cabana at the Fairmont Orchid's Spa Without Walls. (P.S.: This resort (left), a little more low-key than the Four Seasons, sits on a small, lovely beach. Rooms from $329; Fairmont.)

EVENING Split the kalua-pig quesadillas, warm local goat cheese, and signature Original Wok-Charred Ahi at Merriman's, a hyperlocal restaurant in tiny Waimea—the heart of Hawaii Island's emerald green ranch country; Merriman's.

03 of 10

Hawaii, The Big Island

Courtesy of Hawaii's Big Island Visitor Bureau

Day 3

MORNING Drive to golden Hapuna Beach (left), a half-mile-long stretch where you can lose hours picnicking and sunbathing; Hawaii, The Big Island.

AFTERNOON Throw on a cover-up and explore Hawi, an adorable old mill town now full of brightly colored galleries and cafés. Do a dessert lunch of Kona-coffee ice cream at Kohala Coffee Mill; 808-889-5577.

EVENING The sunset views are amazing from Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar, which is set on a bluff. Pick from 48 wines by the glass and share pupus (appetizers) like Kona kampachi sashimi; Prince Resorts Hawaii.

04 of 10

Maui

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

Day 4

MORNING Nothing beats room-service macadamia-nut pancakes on your balcony.

AFTERNOON You're moving on to Maui (it's a half-hour flight), a honeymoon go-to for its fabulous, everything-you-could-dream-of-is-right-there resorts. One of the glitziest: the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, on the northwest coast, which has a 10,000-square-foot pool and elegant island-style rooms with to-die-for marble bathrooms. Rooms from $399; Ritz-Carlton.

EVENING After a swim (three beaches are within walking distance), try your first poke—raw tuna, Maui onion, and soy sauce; it's like a ceviche—at the Ritz's sleek Kai Sushi.

05 of 10

Maui

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) / Linda Ching

Day 5

MORNING Your best chance of spotting Laird Hamilton is at Colleen's at the Cannery, a café in Haiku with hearty breakfast burritos, healthy tofu wraps, and strong espresso drinks. The surfing icon pops in after riding "Jaws," the monster break, nearby; Colleen's At The Cannery.

AFTERNOON Inspired by Laird's abs? Take a surf lesson at Kalama Park in Kihei, where the waves are more manageable than"Jaws"; Maui Sports Unlimited.)

EVENING It's a little touristy, but oceanfront Lahaina (left), a historic whaling village close to the Ritz, has some standout restaurants. Order the scrumptious Kona-coffee roasted rack of lamb at upscale Lahaina Grill; Lahaina Grill.

06 of 10

Maui

Courtesy of Grand Wailea

Day 6

MORNING Roll out of bed and walk the nearly two-mile Kapalua Coastal Trail, which has stunning views of Molokai Island; Kapalua.

AFTERNOON Head south to Wailea Beach—home to more five-star hotels—for bodysurfing and great people-watching. Kick off happy hour with fancy umbrella drinks at the Grand Wailea resort's Bistro Molokini, and watch out for whales off-shore (left); Grand Wailea.

EVENING Tomorrow will be jam-packed, so do an early dinner back at the Ritz's hillside fine-dining restaurant, Banyan Tree. Request an ocean-view table, and go for the branzino in miso broth or cumin-crusted hapu (sea bass).

07 of 10

Maui

Joerg Glaescher/Laif/Redux

Day 7

MORNING Pick up the famed 42-mile Hana Highway—a series of some 600 odd hairpin turns among cliffs, waterfalls, and primordial trees—just past the boho town of Paia; Maui. It's about three hours east to time-stands-still Hana, where Oprah goes to chill.

AFTERNOON Don't miss Maui's only black-sand beach, at Wai'anapanapa State Park; Hawaii State Parks.

EVENING Stay for dinner at the luxe Travaasa Hana, and crash in a sea-ranch cottage. Rooms from $800, with meals; Travaasa. Or drive to Paia (the return goes quicker—about two hours) and check into the wallet-friendly Inn at Mama's Fish House. Rooms from $175; Mama's Fish House.

08 of 10

Kauai

Courtesy of St. Regis Princeville

Day 8

MORNING Hop a 40-minute flight to Kauai, nicknamed the Garden Isle. If you've seen The Descendants, you'll recognize the wildly lush, mountainous landscape; Rooms from $545; Kauai. Stay on the north shore and splurge on the St. Regis Princeville (left). While shooting the film, George Clooney loved this cushy resort with butler service and a pool overlooking Hanalei Bay. Rooms from $1,000; The St. Regis Princeville Resort. (For a more affordable option, go the condo route at the nearby Hanalei Colony Resort and cook in. The cozy units are actually two-bedrooms—it's like having a suite. Rooms from $255; Hanalei Colony Resort.)

AFTERNOON Try stand-up paddling, the core workout that's got Rihanna hooked, in Hanalei Bay; Hawaiian Surfing Adventures.

EVENING Back in colorful Hanalei town, strong mai tais (followed by karaoke on Mondays) are the favorite at super-casual Tahiti Nui; Tahiti Nui.

09 of 10

Kauai

Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Kauai

Day 9

MORNING Today you're road-tripping to the sunny south shore. Ride ATVs through the trails of Kipu Kai, a working cattle ranch; Kipu Ranch Adventures.

AFTERNOON Poipu Beach is a series of golden, palm-backed crescents with great wave action. After bodysurfing, you're due for massages in a garden hale at the Grand Hyatt Kauai (left); Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa.)

EVENING On your way back north, stop in Kapaa at Kintaro, a buzzing sushi-and-teppanyaki place that's big with locals; 808-822-3341.

10 of 10

Kauai

Joerg Glaescher/Laif/Redux

Day 10

MORNING See the Napali Coast's 4,000-foot-high cliffs and 14-mile-long Waimea Canyon (left)—a mini version ofthe Grand Canyon—on another helicopter adventure; Island Helicopters.

AFTERNOON Ginger-lychee caipiroskas by the pool, anyone?

EVENING Break out your best dress for the St. Regis's Kauai Grill, which has dramatic Makana Mountain views. It's Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant, so expect haute cuisine, like soy-glazed short ribs with green papaya–jalapeño puree. Ask the sommelier for a bottle of wine that's $10 more than you usually spend—and settle into a serious discussion about your first-anniversary return trip.

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