Your Essential Guide to Hawaii - Brownell Travel

Your Essential Guide to Hawaii

Beaches, volcanoes, surfing, and more – Hawaii has something for everybody. Our partners at Classic Vacation have an incredible portfolio of hotels, resorts, and activities, and your Brownell Advisor will work closely with you to design your perfect Hawaii itinerary. But before you go, use our essential guide to Hawaii to help plan your vacation to our 50th state.


How long to spend in Hawaii:

If you’re traveling from the East Coast plant to spend at least 7 nights in Hawaii; from the West Coast spend at least 5 nights.

Island Hopping:

There are regularly scheduled flights between the islands and they normally take about ½ hour to 1 hour. On average, plan on spending about $100 per person each flight.

Insider Tip:

Most islands have either a Costco or a Sam’s Club, so if you’re a member of one you can save money on gas and stock up on essentials.

Hawaii Island Guide


Kauai is the northernmost and oldest tourist island and has been the setting for many movies, including Jurassic Park.

What to do:
  • Visit Waimea Canyon aka the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”
  • View the Napali Coast by boat or by helicopter
  • Kayak or paddleboard on the state’s only navigable rivers
  • Tube the irrigation ditches of former sugar plantations
Where to stay:


Oahu is home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, and boasts an exciting mix of both history and adventure.

What to do:
  • Privately guided tour of Pearl Harbor
  • Surfing lessons
  • Helicopter tour
  • Hike Diamond Head
  • Snorkel in Hanauma Bay
Where to stay:


One of the most popular islands, Maui is the valley isle and has great beaches.

What to do:
  • Sunrise at top of Haleakala
  • Whale watching in winter months
  • Snorkeling in Molokini Crater and Turtle Town
  • Power hang gliding in Hana
Where to stay:


A less commercialized island (we’re talking only one traffic light!), Lanai offers a more off-the-beaten path experience.

What to do:
  • Relax on the beach
  • Spot spinner dolphins
Where to stay:

Four Seasons Resort Lanai: recently renovated and one of the most luxurious resorts in Hawaii


The island of Hawaii, more commonly known as the Big Island, earned its nickname for a reason – all other islands can fit in it and it is still growing!

What to do:
  • Stargazing at the Mauna Kea observatory
  • Enjoy views from the many scenic overlooks
  • Explore waterfalls and black sand beaches
  • Nighttime manta ray snorkel trip
  • Visit Kona Coffee farms
Where to stay:

Contact a Brownell Travel Advisor to start planning your trip to Hawaii!