For the past 20 years, my husband and I have explored the islands, and when our son Calvin came along 17 years ago, we introduced him to the fun and adventure. Hawaii is much more than a natural paradise… to me it’s a relaxing destination full of memories of my son growing up surfing Waikiki beach and watching baby whales frolic in the warm Maui bay.

I remember the time when we took our son to his first luau. He loved the tiki torches and the sound of the drums. When we returned home, he asked for a luau in our backyard and I immediately bought tiki torches.

First timer? Family trip? Maui is the perfect spot. The island offers so many fun activities for kids and adults. Plus, all of the natural beauty to be explored by bike or on a hike. For example, on a typical hike or bike ride you might see a sugar cane farm, less traveled beaches and amazing views.

If you are visiting Hawaii for surfing and great restaurants, you must go to Oahu. Surf and play on Waikiki beach, and eat the original Duke’s. The reason I love Waikiki is because it’s famous for its beaches and every hotel room is just two or three blocks away from the ocean (if it’s not directly on the beach). With Diamond Head mountain as your backdrop, Waikiki waters are calm and perfect for a surfing lesson.

Eating at the original Duke’s restaurant is like nothing else because it was home to Duke Kahanamoku. A surfing legend, Duke grew up swimming, surfing, canoeing and bodysurfing in Waikiki. In 1929, he rode a monster wave for 1-1/8 miles at Waikiki, likely the longest ride in modern times. The restaurant is a tribute to Duke, and it has the best food and cocktail menu. Coconut shrimp, crusted Halibut, the burger and the famous Hula pie – all perfect after a day of fun in the sun.

Hawaii is also convenient. When you land in Hawaii – at any of the quaint airports – you are welcomed by a warm breeze, the scent of plumeria and an easy pace. My favorite activities are snorkeling along with sea turtles, sunbathing and whale-watching during humpback migration season (December—April).

Just recently we discovered the magic of Kauai and we fell in love with the slower pace and the magnificent lush landscape that you must take in by sea and by air. The laid-back atmosphere and gorgeous scenary makes me feel totally relaxed, happy and rested. A great place to recharge your batteries.

Listen to the Ellen K Morning Show on KOST 103.5 FM. Follow Ellen K on Facebook or Instagram and read more on her Blog.

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