Hawaii, the nation’s 50th state, welcomed over nine million visitors in 2017. Travelers come from around the globe for the sugary white sand beaches, warm waters, natural beauty and rich cultural heritage found nowhere else in the United States.
The Aloha State has a lot to offer, and 10Best asked our readers to help us crown the crème de la crème of beaches, restaurants, hotels, attractions and tour companies.
After four weeks of voting, the results are in. Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best Beach in Hawaii: Kaanapali Beach, Maui
Winning beach offers three miles of white sand — Photo courtesy of iStock / ejs9
A former retreat for Maui royalty, some of the island’s best resorts border this 3.5-mile, very popular beach. Waves break gently, a beach walk runs parallel to the warm sand and clear water permits snorkeling.
Don’t miss the daily cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock held at sunset on the north end of the beach in between enjoying the various restaurants and shopping at the waterfront Whaler’s Village entertainment area.
Best Family Attraction in Hawaii: The Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu
Families can tour recreated Polynesian villages at this winning attraction — Photo courtesy of The Polynesian Cultural Center
One of Oahu’s top attractions provides glimpses into the cultures of Polynesia (Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, Marquesas and Tonga). Each one maintains a separate village, where visitors are regaled with information about celebration and survival in ancient days. Demonstrations, performances, narratives, and even a luau are presented, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the spectacle and character of the past.
Best Hotel in Hawaii: The Ritz-Carlton, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu
Guests of winning hotel enjoy an infinity pool on the eighth floor rooftop — Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
This luxury resort overlooking Waikiki Beach features 552 oceanview residences and guest rooms just a 5-minute walk from Honolulu’s Luxury Row. Guests can swim in an eighth-floor infinity pool, relax in a locally-inspired spa or dine at one of three onsite restaurants, including Sushi Sho and Dean & DeLuca.
Best Poke in Hawaii: Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions, Honolulu
Winning restaurant serves six varieties of poke — Photo courtesy of Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions
The mission of Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions is to highlight locally sourced ingredients while offering fresh food to the local community. The menu comprises six poke options, including a tofu option for vegetarians.
Best Restaurant in Hawaii: Monkeypod Kitchen (Multiple locations)
This winner specializes in Hawaiian favorites — Photo courtesy of iStock / bhofack2
A meal at Monkeypod Kitchen is all about sharing a meal and cold beers with friends and family. The seasonal menu might include options like Kauai shrimp and mushroom potstickers, poke tacos, mahi mahi fish and chips or grilled ahi, served alongside dozens of beers on tap.
Best Tour Company in Hawaii: Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Blue Hawaiian offers helicopter tours of Oahu, Maui, Kauai or the Big Island — Photo courtesy of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has been showing off the Hawaiian Islands from the air since 1985. Tour options include Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island, with narration from the pilots (who are all State of Hawaii Certified Tour Guides).
Congratulations to all our Hawaiian winners! Keep this guide handy next time you’re planning a trip to the islands