Mark Twain called Hawaii "the only supremely delightful place on earth." Venture to the remote archipelago and you'll be hard pressed to disagree with such succinct praise. All the archetypes of a tropical paradise are there—sunshine, beaches, waterfalls hidden alongside orchid-lined trails—that together will have you torn between trying to see everything and doing absolutely nothing. This, intrepid traveler, is just the kind of dilemma you want to have.
By all means, spend time sipping fruity cocktails by the pool at your pick of hotels in Hawaii, but those mai tais will taste even sweeter at the end of a day packed with island adventures. As you watch the sunset to the sounds of a slack-key guitar, reflect on a day when you saw the earth being made, discovered the brilliance of an underwater world, or witnessed humpbacks breeching close enough for you to feel the oceanic reverberations.
Hawaii vacations are an opportunity to embrace relaxation and adventure all at once. Snorkeling is one of the most popular things to do in Hawaii, and for good reason. Float in the muffled silence and, spotlighted by rays of diffracted sunlight, you might see a moray eel guarding his coral crater, lemon-sized puffer fish bobbing by, and kaleidoscopic schools of tropical fish fluttering in sync to the unknowable rhythms of the reef. Be sure to vary your gaze, as you could be sharing a swim with centenarian sea turtles or manta rays moving in a mesmerizing dance. Return to land to experience other Hawaii attractions, among them incredible volcanoes. On Maui, hike into the seven-mile-wide crater of Haleakala, and on the Big Island, witness the simultaneous creation and destruction of land itself on Kilauea. Here, molten lava at unimaginably high temperatures sizzles into the Pacific, and the resulting beacon of steam signals the clash of elemental forces for miles around.
It's time to say aloha to Hawaii. Book your flight and hotel at the same time with Travelocity and save your money for a bag of macadamia nuts or Kona coffee to bring the tastes of paradise back home with you.