Hawaii is an exotic destination. Travel to this paradise, floating far out in the Pacific Ocean, is easy if you just give yourself plenty of time to get there. Do some homework before you go to plan for unusual adventures on the islands, then embrace the travel with grace, flights from the East Coast or the Midwestern USA will usually have a stop off in Los Angeles, unless you opt for the non-stop which can be 11 hours or more on a plane. Regardless of your flight option be sure to pack a carry on with a good novel, natural snacks like unsalted nuts and dried fruit or Kind Bars, extra water, a moisturizing spritzer facial spray ( I prefer Rosewater based organic sprays but there are many herbal sprays check out www.sephora.com or Google the words “facial sprays”) and a bottle of hand sanitizer.

Hawaii is a tropical paradise with more than 137 islands making up what is known as the Hawaiian Island chain. Travelers like me love to come visit because the tropical latitude yields an almost constant day length and plenty of wonderful sunshine. Although it can be a bit hotter or cooler, the average daily temperature is 75 degrees which is nearly perfect.

The Island economy thrives on tourism. I was lucky enough to travel to Oahu Island, one of the bigger islands which houses the capital, Honolulu, for business and pleasure many times. The cover photo is looking out onto the Pacific ocean across the Infinity pool at the Sheraton hotel on Waikiki Beach.

As you enter the Sheraton, you are greeted by this lovely Turtle statue (above) in the lobby pointing you on to head to the check in counter. The Sheraton is certainly a lovely place to stay, especially if you will be joined by your family after your business is through. The ocean views, the fabulous landscaping around the swimming pools and the fantastic infinity pool, which makes it feel like you are on top of the ocean, are all super amenities that the Sheraton provides. There are two bars; one is “The Edge” serving luscious drinks at the infinity pool and the other is the “RumFire” often seen in the Hawaii Five-O TV series, overlooking the Ocean and swimming areas.

However, if you are looking for the “most” Hawaiian of experiences in Honolulu, just next door is The Royal Hawaiian Resort and Hotel, now part of the Marriott Bonvoy group, my personal favorite on Waikiki Beach. The Royal Hawaiian has a storied history and over the years hosted many famous movies stars, royalty and was the site of fabulous parties. The decor is in the style of “Old Hawaii plantation” and has many lovely features. The Beach at the Royal Hawaiian is pictured below and the hotel is known to locals as “The Pink Lady”.

The Pink Lady

After getting settled in your hotel, you might make a decision to head to the beach or go on a shopping adventure for unusual and exotic gifts for yourself or those you left at home. Just steps away from either of these hotels is the Royal Hawaiian Center (www.royalhawaiiancenter.com) a shopping mall with international luxury brands and unique, unusual island boutiques. 110 retail shops and over 25 restaurants, you will enjoy a stressless chance to window shop, buy and you can also enjoy one of the many cultural events the Center sponsors. They have classes in Hawaiian traditional crafts, dancing, etc. and often have live shows and live music throughout the week. If you are still hunting for more, walk out of the center a few steps to find some of the best duty free shopping in the world at the T Galleria by DFS. And once you have conquered your shopping list, you must try a sweet treat from the Honolulu Cookie company (www.honolulucookie.com) in several prime locations in and near the center. Honolulu cookie has the most divine shortbread cookies in several flavors and dipped varieties. You can also opt to take an UBER or LYFT to the Ala Moana center, about five minutes by car, to visit the Big Island candy company ( www.bigislandcandy.com ) where macadamia nut confections are made using the highest grade chocolates, kona coffee, island eggs and butter. The Ala Moana center also features a large assortment of Luxury stores and wonderful restaurants.

Depending on how much time you have to visit Oahu, I suggest that you look at the number of different type of trips you can take to see and enjoy as many outdoor adventures as your time permits. There are open door helicopter tours of Oahu, there are double decker buses that you can hop on and off at different sites and hear a narrative about the area. You can buy a guided hiking tour to the top of the Diamond Head Crater on the Diamond Head Crater Adventure. Or, you can take your own hiking tour at the Makapuu Lighthouse where you might see Whales out in the ocean (December through April) once you have climbed a top the 647 ft summit. I am always interested in seeing lovely flowers, where ever I am in the world, so I would recommend visiting the Lyon Arboretum run by the University of Hawaii and just a short trip from Waikiki beach, also a visit to the Kawamoto Orchid Nursery if you love beautiful orchids and may want to purchase an orchid to have shipped home.

I suggest you visit Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com) and read the reviews for the many adventure listings for Oahu, I have always found this to be a good way to research some ideas before I go and pre-book a tour if it may sell out so you know you have a place. In another blog post I will discuss the two other favorite places I have visited in Hawaii. They are the wild and rugged Kauai, Hawaii which is called the GARDEN ISLE and Maui, Hawaii which is another particularly popular island ( especially for golfers).