Seniors Guide to Hawaii
Heading to America’s warmest state for some sunshine this winter? If you are so lucky to be doing this, be sure to check out some of the best senior-friendly attractions in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is a dream destination for many people. This Polynesian beauty, situated midways in the Pacific Ocean between Asia and the Americas, is characterized by volcanically formed mountains (some still active!), relaxing palms that sway in the breeze, and beaches that consistently rank among the best in the world.
After a long day sightseeing, exploring tall mountains such as Mauna Kea, or simply lounging on legendary beaches such as Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, the perfect way to end a dream day in paradise is to grab an alcoholic drink of one’s choosing, and honor the sun as it passes into the depths of the Western horizon. What follows is a selection of places in the Hawaiian Islands that provide the ideal surroundings for a romantic sundowner drink that both of you will remember for a long time to come!
The big island of Hawaii – Mauna Kea and coffee farms
While it may not have the glamorous beaches that other isles in the Hawaiian chain, the Big Island has plenty of other attractions that make a visit here well worthwhile.
One of the tallest mountains in the world, Mauna Kea is a volcano that you should make every effort to see while you are on the Big Island. Several astronomical observatories at located at the top and the surrounding terrain resembles the surface of Mars.
Once you get down to lower elevations, be sure to check out some coffee farms, as you’ll be able to learn about the growing and manufacturing process behind your favorite morning drink, plus you’ll be able to sample some cups fresh from the fields.
Uncle George’s Lounge, Volcano House, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island – Located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, this bar is perched on the rim of the Halema‘uma‘u Volcano. This grants guests an unbelievable show come sunset, as not only can you watch the sun sink into the clouds (if the weather happens to be like that), but dependent on the activity of the volcano, you may also be able to see the glow of magma in the crater below. Be sure to order the house specialty, Pele’s Fire, a hot mix of amaretto and coffee.
Oahu – world-famous beaches and Polynesian culture
If you are after some quality time in the sun, then heading to Oahu will prove to be a smart choice. From the glitzy fame of Waikiki Beach in downtown Honolulu to the surfer favorites along the island’s north shore, you’ll find a place that speaks to your soul.
If you wish to learn more about the people that originally inhabited these isles, the Polynesian Cultural Center will teach you about a seafaring civilization that populated islands stretching from Hawaii to the Cook Islands. With exhibits and live entertainment in the evening, it will be a visit that will be well worth the gate admission.
Mai Tais at Mai Tai Bar, Royal Hawaiian, Honolulu, Oahu – Get the famous Hawaiian cocktail, the Mai Tai at the bar that invented it, which also bears its name. Located on the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian hotel, the dress code here is smart, so it enables this spot to retain a touch of class. The upshot of that is that prices are a bit higher than in other spots on Waikiki Beach, but you’re here to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience, so don’t let it detract you from enjoying a gulp of tasty history, while you watch the South Pacific sun slip into the ocean.
Maui – waterfalls and wild sea coast
Those seeking to get into contact with Hawaii’s natural side will find plenty of opportunities to do so on the island of Maui.
With scores of state and national parks, there is much to see in the way of waterfalls in Maui’s interior (Ohe’o Gulch Kipahulu is not to be missed), and wild sea coast (Wainapanapa State Park stands out, with blowholes, sea caves, and a fantastic black sand beach).
Merriman’s, Kapalua, Maui – Is wine your drink? If you are staying on Maui, be sure to check out Merriman’s, located in the resort town of Kapalua on the West Coast, is the perfect spot to swirl a quality red or white wine while you watch the sun slide towards its primary destination of the day. Merriman’s is also highly regarded for its food. When the sun has finished its final act, be sure to try their sliders, truffle fries, as well as the “surfing goat cheese” appetizer, all of which come recommended by former customers.
Kauai – lush greenery and timeless helicopter rides
Not bothered by a bit of rain? Kauai has much to offer if that is so, as its mountains, jungle, and coastline will captivate naturalists with every vista that it brings to the table.
While you might not have the stamina to hike the Na Pali Coast yourself, there are plenty of tour companies that operate sightseeing helicopter rides, which will allow you to see the sea cliffs from an elevated perspective, and access to the world-famous beach that lies at trail’s end.
If you can’t make it to any of these destinations, or if you are on a different Hawaiian island than what is shown here, all you have to do is head down to the water, and search for a beach bar, preferably with tiki torches and with some old-style Hawaiian music playing in the background. Buy a simple rum cocktail, and watch the sun slip into its nightly slumber, surrounded by the rustic charm that Hawaii has gotten down to an art form.