A Tropical Travel Blog
by Cate Lincoln

Things to Do

Best Food on Oahu: 18 Local Restaurants You Need to Try

Best Food on Oahu: 18 Local Restaurants You Need to Try

The word Oahu literally translates to “The Gathering Place” and what brings people together more than food?? It’s no surprise that Hawaii has an incredibly unique food scene. Read on for some of my favorite local restaurants on Oahu... This post may contain some...

My Maui Favorites

My Maui Favorites

If you’ve read through this blog much at all, you’ll know that it’s FULL of extensive lists and guides for Maui that I’ve painstakingly compiled with reviews, comparisons, breakdowns, etc. Basically, while this blog obviously contains my recommendations, I try to keep...

The Best Big Island Itinerary

The Best Big Island Itinerary

Planning a trip to Hawaii can seem like a lot of work! Flights, accommodations, rental car...there’s a lot to book! But once you’ve got all of that sorted you’re basically done, right? Well...it depends. A lot of people are fine just bumming around the beach or hotel...

The Best Oahu Itinerary

The Best Oahu Itinerary

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Things to Do in Hanalei, Kauai North Shore

Things to Do in Hanalei, Kauai North Shore

The north shore of Kauai is probably the dreamiest place in the Hawaiian Islands. Lush and tropical, this is the stuff your Jurassic Park dreams are made of. It’s less developed than the more tourist-centric south shore of Kauai and has more of a local feel giving...

Things to Do on Oahu’s North Shore

Things to Do on Oahu’s North Shore

Hawaii is home to some of the most famous waves in the world, and the north shore of Oahu is ground zero for surfing in Hawaii. The legendary surf breaks from Haleiwa to Kahuku have created a “scene” that’s a world away from Honolulu, and whether you’ll be on island...

Sunrise at Haleakala 

Sunrise at Haleakala 

If there’s a “don’t miss” experience on Maui, it has got to be watching the sunrise from the summit of Haleakala. Haleakala (meaning "House of clouds") is Maui's dormant volcano and it’s one of the most unique National Parks in the US. The summit has an elevation of...

Best Snorkeling in Maui (+ Where to Find Sea Turtles)

Best Snorkeling in Maui (+ Where to Find Sea Turtles)

When planning a trip to Maui, most visitors have some sort of agenda or bucket list of must do items, and I think it’s safe to say that for many, snorkeling in Maui is high on the list. The volcanic island is home to some pretty stellar reefs boasting out of this...

15 Things to Do on Kauai

15 Things to Do on Kauai

What are the best things to do in Kauai? Planning a trip to Kauai? You’re going to love it! It’s one of the most beautiful Hawaiian Islands, well known for its lush, green mountains. Remember Jurassic Park? Well, that’s Kauai. With so much natural beauty (beaches!...

15 Things to Do in Maui

15 Things to Do in Maui

Planning a trip to Maui? You’re going to love it! It’s one of the most diverse Hawaiian Islands meaning whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it on Maui. Maui is a huge island and some people get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of incredible things there are to do....

25 Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii

25 Things to Do in Kona, Hawaii

They don’t call it the “Big Island” for nothing. While it’s not the main island (that would be Oahu), the Big Island (also known as Hawaii) is...not surprisingly...the largest Hawaiian island. And that means that there’s absolutely no shortage of amazing things to see...

31 Things to do in Waikiki & Honolulu

31 Things to do in Waikiki & Honolulu

Waikiki is the hub of tourism in Hawaii and for good reason, there’s no shortage of things to do! A lot of people end up visiting and staying in Honolulu/Waikiki by default just because it’s where most people go, so just in case you found this post early on in your...

15 Things to Do on the Big Island

15 Things to Do on the Big Island

Heading to the Big Island? I’m so jealous! The Big Island is the Hawaiian Island that seems to overwhelm most travelers (who may instead opt for Oahu or Maui) but there are sooooo many unique and truly spectacular things to experience here that it’s definitely worth a...

15 Things to Do in Oahu

15 Things to Do in Oahu

Aloha! Thinking about heading to Hawaii? Most people are drawn to Oahu (Honolulu & Waikiki) because of the great flight options. As Hawaii’s main island (but not the biggest!) there is sooooo much to do here! You could stay busy for weeks exploring every part of...

Maui Pineapple Tour!

Maui Pineapple Tour!

If there’s one thing you think of when you think of Hawaii…it just might be pineapple. Surprisingly, pineapple isn’t native to Hawaii. It wasn’t originally introduced by Dole, but when Dole opened his first pineapple plantation on Oahu and established the Hawaiian...

Whale Watching in Hawaii

Whale Watching in Hawaii

Hawaii is known for a lot of things: beaches, waterfalls, rainbows, lush green mountains, but my favorite thing to see in Hawaii are…WHALES! Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from Alaska every winter to mate and give birth in the warm waters. And spotting them (either...

Grand Wailea Luau Review, Maui

Grand Wailea Luau Review, Maui

If there’s one question I get more than others, it’s which luau I recommend on each island. I’ve developed pretty good criteria (based on what I like personally), and can usually form a pretty good opinion before I’ve even been, but there’s nothing like experiencing...

Ultimate Guide to Kihei, Maui

Ultimate Guide to Kihei, Maui

A good many of visitors to Maui are attracted to the Kihei area because of it’s central location, sunny weather, beautiful beaches, large number of restaurants, and bargain priced accommodations. It feels more like a “town” than a lot of Maui’s resort areas even...

5 Day Trips from Maui

5 Day Trips from Maui

If you’re planning a trip to Maui (maybe you've already been before and this is a repeat trip?), you’re likely looking forward to plenty of time beach bumming and doing your favorite things, but just in case you’re looking for even MORE things to do and fun to be had,...

Molokai: The Most Hawaiian Island

Molokai: The Most Hawaiian Island

This trip to Molokai was sponsored by Maui Nui (the tourism board for Maui County), which means all of my expenses were paid for and the itinerary was organized for me. As always, I only recommend my absolute favorites to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that...

Things to Do in Paia & Haiku, Maui

Things to Do in Paia & Haiku, Maui

Home to big wave, surfers, hippy towns, and so many sea turtles, Maui’s north shore is a region that you definitely don’t want to miss. Even if you’re staying in the resort areas in south and west Maui, it’s worth at least a day trip to see the sites. There are three...

Snorkeling Molokini Crater, Maui

Snorkeling Molokini Crater, Maui

After my mask was secured and my fins were strapped to my feet, I waded down the final few steps of the catamaran’s ladder and eased into the water. Sun rays cut through the deep blue water and made it practically sparkle…the tropical fish were dancing all around me....

Guide to Upcountry Maui

Guide to Upcountry Maui

Are you planning a trip to Maui? Yippee if you are! You’re probably thinking about swaying palm trees, golden sandy beaches, and exotic marine life and while the land of the hula certainly has all of that, it has much, much more. The vast majority of space on Maui...

Driving the Road to Hana, Maui

Driving the Road to Hana, Maui

Maui’s Road to Hana is one of the most famous (or infamous) drives in the world and in my opinion is the #1 don’t miss thing to do on Maui. What makes this drive so special? The Road to Hana is over 50 miles along Maui’s rugged north shore and east side with 600+...

Napali Coast Boat Tours Kauai

Napali Coast Boat Tours Kauai

If you’re going to Kauai, you likely know that the #1 thing to do there is see the Napali Coast. If you’re done any research at all, you probably know that it's not just something you can drive up and see. Kauai’s Napali Coast is so isolated and rugged that it can...

Kauai Helicopter Tours: Which is the Best One?

Kauai Helicopter Tours: Which is the Best One?

Kauai was pretty much made to be seen from the air. Only 20% of the island is developed which means that most visitors only see a tiny fraction of its splendors. And boy does it have splendors. I personally think that Kauai is the most beautiful of the Hawaiian...

Haleakala Downhill Bike Ride: The Best Tours

Haleakala Downhill Bike Ride: The Best Tours

One of the most popular tourist attractions on Maui is Haleakala, a large dormant volcano whose slopes are the heartland of Maui. While tons of people ascend to the summit each morning to watch the sunrise, the lucky ones get to follow it up with a downhill bike ride...

5 Best Spas on Oahu

5 Best Spas on Oahu

Hawaii is home to some of the world’s best spas and resorts and while Oahu doesn’t do luxury and relaxing experiences quite as well as some of the other islands (mainly Maui), there are still quite a few noteworthy spas on the island. Whether you’re looking for a...

Top 20 Adventure Activities on Maui

Top 20 Adventure Activities on Maui

If sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun is not your idea of fun, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy on Maui. From water sports to full day adventure excursions, here are some of the top adventure activities on Maui: This post may contain some...

15 Things to Do on a Maui Honeymoon

15 Things to Do on a Maui Honeymoon

Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world and for good reason…it’s tropical, it has all of the amenities and activities you could want, and it’s relatively easy to get to for being on the other side of the world. And of all the islands, Maui is...

The Best Maui Itinerary

The Best Maui Itinerary

You probably think that after you book your flights, your accommodations, and your rental car, you’ve got it made in the shade, right? Not so fast. Surprisingly, many people find laying out a daily itinerary for their trip the trickiest part! While Maui has some of...

Ultimate Guide to Ka’anapali, Maui

Ultimate Guide to Ka’anapali, Maui

Ka’anapali is a resort area in West Maui that’s anchored by the ultra nice Ka’anapali beach. Originally developed in the 1960s, it remains the most popular place to stay and play on Maui. The old whaling village of Lahaina is nearby so you’ll be right in the middle of...

Ultimate Guide to Wailea, Maui

Ultimate Guide to Wailea, Maui

Of all the amazing resort areas in Hawaii, Wailea – a resort community in south Maui – is by far my favorite. If you’re never been to Maui before, chances are it’s exactly what you think Maui would be like – manicured and lush, quiet and luxurious with gorgeous...

Guide to Ko Olina Oahu, Hawaii

Guide to Ko Olina Oahu, Hawaii

Ko Olina is an oceanfront resort area on the leeward (west) side of Oahu. It’s a preplanned community (as in, much of the infrastructure was laid out before many of the resorts and restaurants moved in) so it has a bit of a curated and idyllic vibe that although is...

Old Lahaina Luau Review, Maui

Old Lahaina Luau Review, Maui

If you’re looking for the best luau in Hawaii, you can stop looking. This is it. Maybe a bold statement, but I’ve been to a lot of luaus in Hawaii and I know when I’m impressed. And I’m impressed. Before attending this luau, I’d long heard that it was the best on...

Aulani Luau Review (Ka Wa’a)

Aulani Luau Review (Ka Wa’a)

If there’s one question I get asked more often than most, it’s definitely about the best luau in Hawaii. So whenever a new luau opens up, I’m always eager to try it out. You know, for research ; ) Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, on Oahu debuted their luau (Ka Wa’a)...

The Best Kauai Itinerary

The Best Kauai Itinerary

So you’ve got your airfare booked, hotel picked out, and rental car reserved. You’re all ready right? Not so fast. While it has glorious beaches, most people don’t go to Kauai just to lie on the beach and work on their tan. I mean, it’s too far and too expensive to...

5 Day Trips on the Big Island

5 Day Trips on the Big Island

If you’re planning a trip to the Big Island, you’re probably planning quite a bit of time for beach bumming and lounging around the resort pool (because that’s what a beach vacation is all about right??), but just in case you’re looking for more things to do on the...

Stargazing at Mauna Kea, Big Island

Stargazing at Mauna Kea, Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii has some of the most unique terrain to explore on any of the islands. I mean, lava and green and black sand beaches? And not to mention the jungles and waterfalls. But on my last trip to the Big Island, I got to experience something truly...

Best Big Island Snorkeling Spots (& Kayaking Kealakekua Bay)

Best Big Island Snorkeling Spots (& Kayaking Kealakekua Bay)

If you’ve got a list of “must dos” for visiting the Big Island, I bet that snorkeling is ear the top of it. There’s nothing like getting a glimpse of a whole other world under the sea of intricate reefs and colorful fish. Well good news! The Big Island is home to some...

Paradise Cove Luau Review

Paradise Cove Luau Review

If there’s one thing you have to do in Hawaii, it’s go to a luau right? After doing a little bit of research, most people looking for a luau on Oahu have it narrowed down to one or two choices pretty easily: 1) the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and 2) the...

5 Things to Skip on Oahu

5 Things to Skip on Oahu

Let’s face it, not everything in Hawaii is super dreamy and fabulous. Some experiences and things to do get over-hyped or played up in guidebooks and tourism brochures. And there’s just not time to do everything, so how are you supposed to know what’s worth doing and...

ATV Tour on Oahu at Kualoa Ranch

ATV Tour on Oahu at Kualoa Ranch

Oahu is one of the most ruggedly beautiful islands in Hawaii, but you have to get out of Waikiki to see it, and one of the best places to go on Oahu to see the island's true beauty is Kualoa Ranch. Located on the windward coast of Oahu (one of the most dramatically...

10 Best Kauai Beaches

10 Best Kauai Beaches

Most people come to Kauai for sunshine and beaches…and these beaches sure don’t disappoint! Kauai’s beaches have some of the most gorgeous backdrops you’ll find anywhere in the world. A word about Kauai’s beaches though…surprisingly, many of Kauai’s beaches aren’t...

How to See the Napali Coast

How to See the Napali Coast

I think Kauai is the prettiest of the Hawaiian Islands…it’s so lush and green and it has some of the most dramatic landscapes I’ve seen anywhere. If you’re looking to see the best of Kauai, that’s definitely the Napali Coast. The Napali Coast’s rugged green cliffs are...

Hiking the Kalalau Trail, Napali Coast Hike

Hiking the Kalalau Trail, Napali Coast Hike

If there’s a holy grail of all hikes in Hawaii, it’s got to be the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. This 11-mile trek takes hikers into the heart of the Napali Coast, which is only seen by boat, by air, or on this hike. The trail starts at Ke’e Beach and ends at Kalalau Beach...

Smith Family Luau & Fern Grotto Review, Kauai

Smith Family Luau & Fern Grotto Review, Kauai

If there’s one iconic thing to do in Hawaii, it’s got to be going to a luau right? Would you believe I’ve only ever been to one luau before and it was back before my blogging days so I figured my latest trip to Kauai was high time for another one! Smith Family Luau...

21 Best Maui Beaches

21 Best Maui Beaches

While there is no shortage of things to do on Maui, most people go there with one thing in mind…beaches! Maui has some beautiful beaches and it would take you weeks to explore all of them! So I’m breaking down Maui’s best and most popular beaches (plus some lesser...

Cruises to Hawaii: The Best Excursions

Cruises to Hawaii: The Best Excursions

For a lot of people, a Hawaiian vacation is THE dream! Visions of swaying palm trees, ukulele music, hula dancers, surfers, and iconic beaches are what everybody thinks of when they imagine Hawaii. And, hey, it’s all there! But for many travelers, choosing an island...