Halekulani. Celebrities and business leaders love this resort for its central location – close to Waikiki Beach – without the usual throng of loud tourists. A receptionist escorts you directly to your elegant room, set in white, blue, and gray. Enjoy complimentary tickets to a Honolulu Symphony concert after your decadent meal at La Mer. Book ahead to stay at the new Vera Wang-designed suite. Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI96815-1988. 808-923-2311. http://www.halekulani.com
Sky watching Haleakia Mountain. At 10,000 feet, this dormant volcano soars above Maui, the second most populous island in the chain. You can drive your rental car to an observation point near the top of the mountain for a stunning view of the island below and the ocean beyond. On your way up, stop off at checkpoints where you can learn more about the region and its environment. On a clear day, you can see 115 miles out to sea. Haleakia National Park. http://www.haleakala.national-park.com
Haliimaile General Store. Tourists who cling too closely to their hotels will miss the chance to sample delicious Hawaiian cuisine in a quaint country setting. Like any good country store, there’s bric-a-brac on the shelves and tropical plants on the copper bar. The owners have created a foodie heaven in Maui away from the bustle of Waikiki. It’s worth the drive. Haliimaile General Store, 900 Haliimaile Rd., Makawao, HI96768. 808-572-2666.
Hang ten! Professional surfers travel the world to catch the kinds of majestic waves you’ll see every day in Hawaii. If you’ve never surfed before, travel to the north shore of Oahu, where Sunset Suzy runs surfing camps for beginners. A self-described surfer girl who first started catching waves when she was fifteen, Suzy has pioneered teaching techniques that help women and girls pick up key skills quickly. (Guys are welcome, too.) Sunset Suzy, 808-781-2692. http://www.sunsetsuzy.com