The breathtaking archipelago of Hawaii sits like a string of emerald jewels in the midst of the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The stunning landscapes, expansive sand beaches, cultural attractions, and abundance of recreational activities make Hawaii an ideal spring break getaway destination. Near most vacation rentals in Hawaii are seemingly endless opportunities for swimming, boating, sightseeing, shopping, and fine dining. Here are the best spring break vacation destinations in Hawaii.

1. Princeville, Kauai

Hilly ocean coast.

The town of Princeville is on the north side of the island of Kauai amidst a lush landscape of rugged mountains, sharp sea cliffs, tropical valleys, and pristine beaches. Go snorkeling in the tranquil waters off the white sands at Anini Beach Park. At the Princeville Center, browse through eclectic local shops, such as the Island Soap and Candle Works, the Naturally Hawaiian Gallery, and the Magic Dragon Toy and Art Supply. Have a meal of fresh Hawaiian cuisine at Tiki Iniki Restaurant and Bar. From the mall, stroll down Princeville Path, the main thoroughfare, past the spectacular scenery of the plunging waterfalls on Namolokama Mountain. Play 18 holes at Makai Golf Course, renowned as one of the best courses on Kauai. View the amazing Napali Coast cliffs on a catamaran out of Hanalei Bay with Napali Coast Hanalei Tours.

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2. Honolulu, Oahu

Hawaiian beach surrounded by buildings.

Spring break vacations in the city of Honolulu on Oahu offer an endless range of possibilities. Head for world-famous Waikiki Beach for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Get your blood flowing by renting a surfboard and taking some lessons at Big Wave Dave Surfing Company. Gather souvenirs and bring gifts back for friends and family while you’re shopping for endless hours at the International Market Place and the Royal Hawaiian Center at Waikiki. Hike to the summit of Diamond Head, a volcanic crater that overlooks the city, for a panoramic view of the Honolulu skyline and the southern Oahu coastline. Visit iconic cultural attractions such as Bishop Museum, the largest Polynesian history museum in the Pacific, and Iolani Palace, formerly the home of Hawaiian royalty. Tour the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor. When you’re hungry, enjoy some delicious Japanese food at the Jinroku Pacific Teppan Grill and Bar.

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3. Haleiwa, Oahu

Palm tree crowded beach in Hawaii
Source: Flickr/Joel

Haleiwa is a charming surf town on the north shore of the island of Oahu. In winter, the north shore is pummeled by massive waves at iconic sites of international surfing competitions such as Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Ehukai Beach, whose waves are also known as the Bonzai Pipeline. By spring, the huge waves have somewhat diminished, and the crowds have dissipated, leaving the lovely north shore beaches ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Take a tour with the North Shore Surf Bus to visit these famous beaches and swim, snorkel, and learn to surf. Just south of Haleiwa is the historic Dole Plantation, where you can enjoy getting lost in the mile and a half of footpaths in the world’s largest maze. Be sure to shop for souvenirs at the rustic North Shore Marketplace and Haleiwa Town Center. For a unique local dessert, head for Haleiwa Shave Ice to taste Hawaii’s equivalent of a snow cone.

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4. Kailua, Oahu

Sandy beach of Hawaii.
Source: Flickr/Sean Munson

The town of Kailua lies on the east side of the island of Oahu, and its two gorgeous beaches provide satisfying locations for relaxing spring breaks. Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach, with their powdery soft sand and crystal clear waters, are terrific for swimming and water sports. To enhance the experience, rent a kayak, paddle board, or snorkeling gear at Twogood Kayaks Hawaii. Stop at the charming beachside Kalapawai Market for picnic supplies, or head south for a visit to the stunningly beautiful lighthouse at Makapuu Point and Sea Life Park Hawaii, where you can swim with dolphins, sharks, and sea lions.

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5. Maunaloa, Molokai

Papohaku Beach Molokai Hawai
Source: Flickr/Patrick McNally

The small plantation town of Maunaloa is on the western end of the island of Molokai, near the beautiful white sand expanse of Papohaku Beach. This three-mile stretch of soft sand and serene waters is perfect for spring break swimming, sunbathing, beach sports, and water play. Don’t miss a visit to the iconic Big Wind Kite Factory, which specializes in handmade kites and also sells music, books, and other unique Hawaiian items. Take a tour of the factory, and enjoy a lesson in the techniques of kite flying.

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6. Kapalua, Maui

Beautiful coast of Hawaii.
Source: Flickr/dbkfrog

The beautiful town of Kapalua lies on the northwest shore of Maui at the foot of the West Maui Mountains. Renowned as a resort area, the coast features three white sand beaches in close proximity to town. Rent snorkel sets, boogie boards, and umbrellas from the Snorkel Store to make your beach time more comfortable. Enjoy a round of golf at the prestigious Plantation Course, which hosts the annual PGA Tour Tournament of Champions. When you feel your stomach growling, savor excellent island cuisine at the Pineapple Grill or the Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar.

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7. Maalaea, Maui

Humpback whale breaching the water.
Source: Flickr/Warren Antiola

Maalaea is a lovely beach town on the southwestern coast of Maui. Spring is ideal whale watching season off Maui’s coast, so join Maalaea Whale Watch out of Maalaea Harbor to view humpback whales in their natural habitat. Maalaea is also home to the Maui Ocean Center, the largest aquarium in Hawaii. The aquarium features immense displays of living coral reefs, a turtle lagoon, a marine mammal center, and an open ocean exhibit with a transparent tunnel. Join a snorkeling tour to fascinating offshore Molokini Crater on the Pride of Maui catamaran.

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8. Kailua-Kona, Big Island

Ariel view of Kona Hawaii.
Source: Flickr/The Hippie Triathlete

Historic Kailua-Kona is a beautiful coastal town on the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii. King Kam Beach in the center of town is a perfect family-friendly spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. For a more ambitious adventure, join Kona Honu Divers for the Manta Ray Night Dive and Snorkel, which takes you up-close to massive night-feeding manta rays. Don’t miss a visit to the Kona Coffee Living History Farm, where you can stroll among the coffee trees, watch farmers mill and dry the beans, and buy some world-famous Kona coffee. When you’re thirsty, head for the Kona Brewing Company to sample the handcrafted beer. Enjoy freshly-grilled steak or seafood at the Beach Tree Bar and Grill.

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