If you ever wondered how much Facebook knows about us, here's the answer: It knows everything.
And it knows a lot about our travel habits. The Facebook tram recently crunched the data that it's getting from our posts, check-ins and tagged photo uploads, and it’s now official—the Hawaiian Islands completely dominate the list of top honeymoon destinations in the U.S. for newlyweds. The study shows the Aloha State taking five out of 10 spots for honeymooners traveling in the U.S., and it is the most popular top destination for American couples (you can check out the full report here).
We asked our own Hawaiian Islands senior editor, Simplicio Paragas, if he was surprised, but he wasn't.
“Hawaii has always been touted as a top honeymoon destination. Because of our exotic location, natural beauty, world-class resorts and reputation for 'aloha,’ newlyweds are easily drawn to our islands,” Paragas said.
But while the entire state draws lovebirds, Paragas said that when it comes down to which island to schedule for a romantic getaway, it all boils down to personal preferences. The spectrum is wide: Oahu—with Waikiki as the main attraction—is perfect for more of a worldly and cultured experience, while he says Kauai is better for those looking for seclusion and dramatic nature like the picturesque cliffs on the Na Pali coast (pictured above). Then there is the Big Island with its Volcanoes National Park and Maui with its mellow vibe and romantic hotels, and it's easy to see why it can be hard to decide where to go.
“These locations in Hawaii are popular because of the consistently warm weather, sweeping island views (including the most amazing sunsets) and the Islands’ offerings for exceptional and unique dining and shopping experiences,” Rizza Ballesteros, Where's Hawaiian Islands associate editor, explained.
Honolulu for Honeymoons
Honolulu is where couples who want it all tend to go—with nightlife, theater productions, restaurants and beaches the chief draws. Couple those attractions with award-winning restaurants, such as Chef Mavro, 12th Avenue Grill and Town, and there's no question that the city on Oahu is an urban oasis.
“Honolulu is probably the only place in the state where one can go on a hike to a waterfall through a bamboo forest, go surfing, then party at a nightclub—all in one day,” Ballesteros said.
Maui for Honeymoons
Maui finished atop the list as the Hawaiian honeymoon destination for U.S. couples, and while it doesn't have the metropolis-beside-the-ocean style of Oahu's Honolulu, this island is particularly known for its romantic hideaways for couples, including Lahaina, Makena and Wailea.
Lahaina is a former whaling village and offers history along with many options to get out and shop, experience local cuisine and entertainment.
“You'll find a great mixture of locally made goods and clothing and the big-name staples all shoppers look for,” Ballesteros said.
She recommends Lahaina's Front Street for shopping and Banyan Tree Park, where you'll find a courthouse dating back to 1873, for history buffs. The park is also a popular location for local events and festivals.
For couples looking for something more private on Maui, there’s Makena. Its remoteness from the rest of the island makes it the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. The “Big Beach,” said Ballesteros, is one of the most beautiful in Maui and is great for picnics, wading in the water or just soaking up the sun on a beach chair or blanket.
For those looking for the ultimate romantic honeymoon, look no farther than Wailea. With its many luxurious resorts, magnificent views and shopping, couples can dine at five-star restaurants and then walk along the beach as the sun sets.
Up early from jet lag? Paragas says couples should take advantage of that early awakening and head to the island's landmark, the Haleakala volcano, and huddle together while watching the sunrise in the east.
"It doesn’t get any more romantic than that," he said.