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Hawaii is often associated with lilting ukulele music, white sand beaches, and swaying palm trees, but the state capital of Honolulu on the island of Oahu has a lot more to offer than just peace and quiet. Thanks to these roundtrip flights on Hawaiian Airlines (from $322, a low by $73), you can touch down at Honolulu International Airport, right in the center of all the action.
It may seem tempting to just tell your cab driver to take you straight to Waikiki Beach, but relax! You're on island time now. Set your bags down at the Pacific Beach Hotel (from $119, a low by $30; expires September 16) and get yourself a drink with an umbrella in it. (We recommend a Blue Hawaii, which was actually invented in Waikiki in 1957.) Feeling relaxed yet? Add a touch of romance to your trip by setting sail on an Island Magic Catamaran sunset cruise (from $24, a low by $26; expires September 24).
For those who prefer to book a flight and hotel together, we found this 3-night vacation that includes a flight and stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani (from $1,364, a low by $14; expires September 30). While we doubt you'll want to budge from this beachfront paradise, the deal also includes a car rental and we recommend taking the Pali Highway and heading west to the lush Windward side of Oahu. Stop at the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout for unrivaled views over the rugged cliffs of the Ko'olau mountain range. Further up this route you can visit Kailua or cross over to the scenic Kahekili Highway.
If you're trying to keep your budget in check but still want the convenience of booking your flight and hotel together, then check out the Maile Sky Court Hotel for a 3-night stay which also includes a flight and car rental (from $1,015, a low by $187; expires September 30). Even though you'll have a car at your disposal, you won't have to drive all over the island to enjoy the beauty of Oahu; take a short drive through the University of Hawaii up to the Manoa Falls, or head south to the district of Waikiki to visit the Diamond Head Crater.
Once you've had enough of the action and adventure of the capital, head off to Maui for a little down time with a 3-night stay at the Ka'anapali Ocean Inn (from $1,112, a low by $165; expires September 30). This deal includes a car rental for the duration of your stay, too, which will let you explore Maui. So hop in, roll the windows down, and venture around the Valley Island to see the stunning views in Haleakala National Park and beyond. For those who want to raise the bar on their Hawaii vacation, a 3-night stay at the Sheraton Maui will turn a Hawaiian vacation into a Hawaiian dream vacation. With flights and car rental included, your stay here will also introduce you to a dramatic moment in Hawaiian legend: Each day at sunset, the hotel performs the cliff dive ceremony, where a diver recreates the last chief of Maui's dive from Black Rock into the Pacific Ocean to demonstrate his spiritual strength. (Conveniently, you can enjoy this bit of culture from the comfort of the Cliff Dive bar.)
After Maui, hop over to Hawaii's "Garden Island," Kauai. Bundle your flight with a 3-night stay at the Aston Aloha Beach Hotel next to the Wailua River (from $1,157, a low by $204; expires September 30). If you thought time was slow in Maui, it seems to stop altogether on Kauai. Technically the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, yet last to enter the kingdom of Hawaii (and reluctantly at that), Wailua offers lush, sweeping landscapes — probably what attracted Steven Spielberg to film Jurassic Park on the Na Pali Coast. Your stay here also includes a rental car, and you'll want to make time to visit the stunning Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park. One mile wide and 10 miles long, the canyon is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."
Being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean may get your sea legs twitching. If that's the case, board a Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaii Cruise for two (from $1,998, a low by $20; expires September 30) in Honolulu for a 7-night voyage that stops off in Kahului Maui, Hilo, Kona, and Kauai. The cruise offers over 90 shore excursions, including luaus, golf, snorkeling, historic tours, and nature hikes. However you choose to spend your week-long adventure, take time to enjoy the sun and say your final farewells to the summer.
Our bags are just about packed and we're ready to say Aloha to Hawaii. We sure hope you'll head out to these Pacific Islands, too, but if you've got another locale in mind for your next trip, be sure to check out our daily travel deals for other airfare, hotel, and vacation packages.