Relax at These Hawaiian Bars

Embrace the Aloha spirit the moment you pull into port with a stop at one of these lively bars. From beachfront bistros overlooking the picturesque Nawiliwili Bay to the best happy hour in Honolulu, you don’t have to venture far to hang loose since these watering holes are minutes from port.


Honolulu: Mai Tai’s

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Mai Tai’s claims to be the best Pau Hana (happy hour) spot in Honolulu. With its ideal beachfront location, panoramic views of Diamond Head, lively music and spectacular sunsets, we’d have to agree. Locals gather for the restaurant’s award-winning happy hours, Hang Ten Happy Hour daily from 4-7 P.M. and the Late-Night Happy Hour from 8-11 P.M. What to drink? The traditional Mai Tai, of course.


Kahului: The Mill House

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Considering how busy the port of Kahului is, it still remains low key, so you need to venture a few miles out to grab a cocktail. But the Mill House’s short Uber ride is worth the trip. While the restaurant’s focus is on farm to table dining, the tropical plantation is a great place to grab a drink. The backdrop of cascading mountains and heavenly views of the Waikapu Valley are a great accompaniment to your hand-crafted cocktail and lite bites.

Lahaina: Fleetwood’s on Front Street

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Owned by rock and roll legend, Mick Fleetwood, the upstairs bar offers breathtaking ocean and mountain views. Sophisticated yet casual, the bar has an unusually early happy hour from 2-5 P.M, which is excellent for mid-day libations. If you happen to still be in the area at 5:45 P.M, don’t miss The Sunset Ceremony on the rooftop. The daily event, request by Mick Fleetwood, is a phenomenal display of culture, beauty, history, fun and of course sunsets.  Be sure to try Mick’s Mule made of Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Moscato, Giffard’s Crème de Péche, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, Lime, Candy Peach.


Kona: Kona Brewing Company

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Conveniently located right across the street from the port, Kona Brewing Company is known for onsite brews served from ice-cold mugs. Enjoy the island air on the 2,000 square foot lanai or even take a brewery tour. For $15, the one-hour tour includes a complimentary KBC gift and four, 4oz beer samples for those 21 and older.

Hilo: Pineapples

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A great casual place to grab a tropical cocktail, Pineapples‘ open-air atmosphere exudes quintessential island vibes. And true to its moniker, the refreshing Pineapple Pow is served in none other than a cored-out pineapple. Can’t decide? Try the margarita sampler, a selection of four mini margaritas: lilikoi, lychee, strawberry, and mango.


Nawiliwili: Duke’s Canoe Club

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Just down the street for the port, Duke’s Canoe Club’s old world Hawaiin charm brings guests back to the days of Duke Kahanamoku, the legend who popularized the sport of surfing.  The favorite beachfront restaurant and barefoot bar honors the famous Hawaiian surfer. Enjoy live Hawaiian music, stunning views of Nawiliwili Bay and the Hoary Head Mountains for an immersive Aloha experience.

Our Favorite Cruises Departing San Francisco

If you are craving a great escape from your daily reality, take a cruise and adventure in style. San Francisco is a favorite cruise port to begin a cruise, and some of the most exciting journeys depart from this city. If you want to get away and experience a top-rated cruise, we have some travel inspiration for you! Check out our  favorite cruises that port out of San Francisco.

Adventure Through the Hawaiian Islands with Princess Cruises

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Hawaii is an excellent choice for a vacation destination. Taking a cruise gives travelers like you the chance to see and explore several islands with ease. Spend time in Honolulu, Kauai, Maui, and Hilo during this 15- day adventure. You’ll make your way to each port on the Grand Princess ship. Cruising on this trip offers an exciting and stress-free way to get to experience Hawaii.

Experience the Ultimate Alaska Adventure with Holland America

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This fantastic cruise adventure begins and ends in San Francisco. Explore Victoria and Vancouver, B.C., the Inside Passage, and Alaska’s many glaciers and Gold Rush towns on a 21-day cruise experience. You’ll enjoy this journey aboard the impressive Maasdam ship. Get ready to see plenty of gorgeous scenery along the way.

Sail to Sydney with Oceania Cruises

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If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Sydney, Australia, what better way to visit than on a cruise? This offers an exciting way for you to experience some of the best destinations in the world along the way. The 34-day journey takes place aboard the Regatta. Some of the beautiful places you’ll get to see include Honolulu, Bora Bora, Brisbane, and of course, Sydney. This is one unforgettable way to take a much-needed vacation.

Explore the Mexican Riviera with Princess Cruises

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Lastly, take a trip through the Mexican Riviera on a 10-day roundtrip cruise from San Francisco. You’ll get to explore Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. This journey gives you the perfect opportunity to see some favorite Mexican cruise ports.

All of these San Francisco cruises offer a comfortable and fun cruise experience with a lot of exciting activities and amenities. All you need to do now is decide which cruise you’ll try first!

Delightful Hawaiian Excursions

Outside of the incredible spa experiences and gourmet dining at some of Hawaii’s world-class resorts and cruise, you can enjoy some unique excursions and activities around the island. The island of Kauai is a popular destination for luxury adventures and off-the-beaten path excursions. Here are some of our best picks for luxury experiences around Hawaii.

Doors-Off Helicopter Tour in Kauai

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Almost all of the island of Kauai is only accessible by helicopter or airplane. If you want to see the stunning landscapes and sites like Jurassic Falls, Na Pali Coast and the Waimea Canyon, settle in for a helicopter tour that can take you from Lihue to Kauai for an afternoon of adventure. Some tour operators offer a ‘doors-off’ tour where you can peer outside the door as you fly above trees and landscapes for some incredible views. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don’t want to miss out on!

Sunrise Lava Tour

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Make your way to the volcanoes of the Big Island at sunrise to see the active lava flows on a morning hike. Volcanoes National Park is a rainforest park that is affected by volcano activity daily. It can be a challenging hike for new climbers but a great way to get outdoors and see volcanic activity safely. The lava flows daily and tours begin as early as 4 a.m. Plan on hiking about four to five miles in either direction to make the most of the experience and see the volcano in action.

Kauai Backcountry Adventure

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One unique way to experience the island of Kauai is by going on a tubing tour. Instead of traveling around the island in a kayak or a boat, you can go tubing down the rivers through the rainforest and old plantations. The Lihue Plantation already has an old irrigation system that’s perfect for tubing. Head off on a guided tubing excursion to discover the landscapes and travel through dark tunnels as a group. It’s a fun and unique way to explore the island in a few hours.

Best Family-Friendly Cruises to Hawaii

If you really want to capture the Aloha spirit and warmth of the Hawaiian people, visiting more than one island is essential. A cruise to Hawaii not only lets you travel between islands without the hassle of unpacking and planning transportation, but it’s also perfect for families. And, while many ships sail the Pacific, few offer long hours at port, first-class accommodations, and family-friendly entertainment. We’ve done our research, and when it comes to the best family-friendly Hawaiian cruises, these ships are making waves.

Norwegian Cruise Line: Pride of America: Honolulu to Honolulu

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s award-winning itinerary sails to four of the Hawaiian Islands and features nearly 100 hours in port, more than most other ships, for a truly immersive experience. Sailing year-round from Honolulu, the true excitement comes from dazzling shore excursions.  Explore the Kualoa Mountain ridge or even hang 10 at one of the world’s top beaches. Unique to Norwegian, the ship overnights in two ports: Maui and Kaua’i. But, there’s plenty of Aloha spirit on board as well as off. Norwegian’s first-class entertainment brings Hawaii to you. In addition to hula and lei making classes, an ‘Ohana arrives on board for an Aloha Polynesian show. The Pride of America offers 19 dining options, including local Hawaiian cuisine such as Pineapple Beurre Blanc with fresh seafood. With a range of accommodations from inside staterooms and family suites, spas, and exciting entertainment options there is no shortage of family fun onboard as well as off.

Disney Cruise Line: Disney Wonder Honolulu to Vancouver

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A perfect mix of days at sea and a port, Disney’s 10-night Hawaiian cruise has all the makings of a first-class family vacation; after all this is Disney. With five days at sea, you’ll have plenty of time to hang out with your favorite Disney characters, explore the ship’s Broadway-style shows, and embark on an epicurean adventure with themed dining. Your adventure begins in the tropical city of Honolulu on Oahu and ventures to the port of Hilo, Nawiliwili, and Kahului. Your journey ends in a lush paradise of a different type: Vancouver British Columbia. Here, you’re greeted by picturesque snowcapped mountains, making for a perfect contrast to the tropical rainforests of Hawaii. If you want the inside scoop on how to make the most of your Disney Cruise, check out our hidden tips and tricks.

Princess Cruises:  15 Day Hawaiian Island Cruises

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From the moment you embark on your Hawaiian adventure, you’ll understand why the Travel Channel named Princess Best Cruises to see Hawaii. Whether you join in on the King Kamehameha Festival, take Polynesian language classes or learn to play the ukulele, from the moment you step foot on Princess’s Hawaiian cruise, there are so many ways to capture the Aloha spirit. Fall in love with all that Hawaii has to offer as you journey from Los Angeles to Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Lahaina where you’ll explore dazzling waterfalls, black sand beaches, and world-class shopping. Foodies take heed. Food & Wine magazine named Princess Best Cruise Line for Food Lovers. And with freshly prepared Hawaiian dishes like marinated Kona shrimp and Hawaiian Macadamia-infused deserts, it soon becomes evident how the ship earned the accolades. Even the little ones will delight in the child-friendly options, especially tempting desserts made just for them.

Breathtaking Hawaiian Cruise Excursions

The Hawaiian islands are a volcanic paradise full of waterfalls and rainforests. These three Carnival Cruise shore excursions explore some of the most unique and exciting landscapes the islands have to offer.

Amazing Waterfall Swim and BBQ Lunch Tour

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Hilo is home to Hawaii’s tallest, most beautiful, and most famous waterfalls and visitors on this tour will see all three and a few more. After touring Akaka Falls, Kahuna Falls, and Rainbow Falls, the tour goes off road to a double-tiered waterfall flowing into a natural mountain pool. At this stop, guests can relax and wait for their BBQ to be prepared and served while watching the majestic waterfall. After lunch, the tour goes to a final waterfall stop where visitors may swim in the natural pool and then explore the surrounding rainforest.

Molokini and Turtle Town Zodiac Snorkeling Adventure

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The Molokini Crater lies just thirty minutes off the coast of Maui and is reached by a raft ride. Once at the crater, visitors can snorkel and explore the sea cliffs, coral reefs, and the unique and famous “back wall.” After snorkeling, visitors will move to “Turtle Town” for a swim with the giant sea turtles and have lunch.

Kona Coast Helicopter Tour

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The Kona Coast of the big island in Hawaii is famous for its towering sea cliffs and cascading waterfalls. When in the helicopter, visitors are able to see the immense valleys and shimmering lava flows contrast with the emerald green golf courses of the island. From the air, hidden ancient Hawaiian villages can be seen nestled into the rainforests and mountainsides. This tour enables visitors to see parts of the island most never witness.

Our Favorite Adventures on a Hawaiian Cruise

Hawaii continues to be a popular destination for a cruise, and for good reason. Lush green forests, dormant volcanoes, beautiful beaches, amazing waterfalls, and perfect weather make the islands an ideal destination for a cruise adventure. Several major cruise lines offer some exciting shore excursions and adventure as part of your itinerary.

Here are five incredible adventures to enjoy on your cruise in Hawaii:

ATV Off-Road Adventures

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If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, drive the backroads in an ATV to discover the sugarcane fields, mountain tunnels and natural pools of Kauai. This is a popular excursion for those who want to discover some destinations off the beaten path and spend some time in nature.

Deep Sea Fishing Excursions

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You’ll find several deep sea diving destinations on the coast of Kona, a popular Hawaiian destination for fishing enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of a catch-and-release adventure as you discover mahi-mahi, wahoo, and ahi tuna around the coast. These guided tours are a great way to enjoy the water from a fresh perspective and learn about Hawaii history from local guides.

Trip to the Haleakala Volcano

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This is the highest point in Maui and offers magnificent views of the island on a sunny day. You can take a driving tour up to the mountain and bike the way down to make the most of this adventurous experience. The landscape is relatively untouched and more than three quarters of Haleakala National Park spill over into the crater.

Kilauea Volcano Helicopter Ride

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Take a helicopter ride over the Kilauea Volcano, one of the active volcanoes in Hawaii where you can see flowing lava and hardened volcanic rock. The guided tour will give you more insights about the volcanic activity of this volcano and some tours will take you to the ground to visit rainforest-based waterfalls.

Whale Watching Trip

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Many travelers head to Hawaii during the winter and early spring months just to see the whales making their way across the water. You can go on a whale watching excursion to see humpback whales swimming across the ocean right before your eyes. The best time to book this experience is between December and April.

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