Take Your Best Shot: Hawaii

From a Waikiki rainbow to a wedding on Waimanalo Beach, here are some of our favorite Hawaii shots from the Travel Channel community.

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Best Western Adirondack Inn
This alpine-style Best Western, located in Lake Placid, NY, has a great location across from the Olympic Center and blocks from downtown Lake Placid and Mirror Lake beach. The cozy living-room-like lobby, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, fitness center, free breakfast and game room are added bonuses.
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The Annabelle Inn
This rustic Aspen, CO, lodge stays true to its unflashy roots with nicely updated mountain-lodge-style decor in the lobby, including tons of old, unfinished barn wood (even the ceilings), comfy leather couches and a cozy stone fireplace. The layout of the Annabelle is unlike any other in the area, with a 4-story, courtyard-style layout exposing all the stairways and walkways to the elements.
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The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort
This rustic-luxe, chalet-inspired lodge is one of Vail's premier options, with a location in the heart of Vail Square, near the Eagle Bahn lift. The 62 luxurious rooms feature massive bathrooms, stone fireplaces and scenic balconies. Both the lavish spa and rooftop lap pool pack serious wow factor.
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Crystal Peak Lodge
As one of the higher-end properties in Breckenridge, it has a great winter location on Peak 7, right on the Breck-Connect Gondola line. Upscale details can be found throughout, including exposed wood beams in the open common area and stone fireplaces in the big, individually owned condos.
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Fairmont Chateau Whistler
This 550-room Fairmont Chateau is perched amid Bavarian-styled buildings just outside of Whistler Village, with magnificent views and close proximity to ski lifts. The 2 eucalyptus steam rooms and multiple Jacuzzis make it easy for guests to warm up after a day in the snow.
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High Peaks Resort
Near the Olympic Center and a short drive away from slopes, the High Peaks resort is built on the site of the first Lake Placed B&B, built over 100 years ago. Today, it's a great pick because of its warm, inviting interior and scenic views of the lake (seen from most rooms).
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Loden Hotel
In a bustling coastal metropolis that uniquely offers views of both the mountains and the sea, a boutique hotel is just what you need to come home to in Vancouver. The Loden Hotel will make you feel relaxed after a long day of skiing the nearby slopes.
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Nita Lake Lodge
A luxurious escape from the madness of the touristy parts of Whistler, the 77 suites at Nita Lake Lodge evoke sophisticated, mountain-town style, with high, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and beautiful balconies with gorgeous views.
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One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort
One Ski Hill Place is located directly on the mountain in Breckenridge, CO, and the on-site Gondola transports guests within walking distance to Main Street. It's a true ski-in/ski-out property, and the views are excellent.
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Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside
This 121-room hotel has a premier location in the heart of Whistler Village, right next to the ski lifts. Rooms are homey and functional, if not luxurious, with light wood accents, space-saving Murphy beds, kitchenettes and fireplaces. After a day out in the cold, the outdoor Jacuzzi is a wonderful treat.
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The Peery Hotel
The main draw of this quaint, historic hotel is its downtown Salt Lake City location, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions. The rooms have Tempur-Pedic beds with quality linens and romantic white canopies, iPod docks and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.
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The Sassy Moose Inn
This homey inn with quaint on-site spa and log cabin decor will help you feel like you’re in your own living room. Its proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort make it a great, casual destination.
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The St. Regis Deer Valley
The St. Regis offers a true 5-star experience. Skiiers will love its location in Park City, UT: its is directly on the famous ski resort of the same name, offering excellent ski-in/ski-out access for guests.
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Stein Eriksen Lodge
This luxurious 170-room Park City lodge offers ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort, and has a design style that could be described as "wilderness chic." Perks such as free ski valets and free shuttles to the slopes from the parking lots are season-long luxuries.
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Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa
In keeping with its name, hideaway has a distinct mountain-lodge vibe. This cozy hotel is just steps from the base of Jackson Hole Mountain resort, and only a mile from the entrace to Grand Teton National Park.
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Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa
This value-for-money hotel is located in a serene, creek-side spot in Vail Village, close to the Bahn ski lift. Among its many other amenities, the excellent, organic Terra Bistro is a favorite with locals as well as guests, and provides free hot breakfasts.
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Sweet cinnamon sticky buns are perfect with pecans on top. 960 1280

  

Cooked in a vat of bubbling oil, these french fries are a true indulgence. 960 1280

  

Fill up with a plate of tasty spaghetti served with tomato sauce and flecks of fresh basil. 960 1280

  

The only thing that can improve on a tasty slice of rich New York cheesecake is a gooey topping of sweet cherries. 960 1280

  

This burger is an all-American favorite, topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, special sauce and, of course, bacon. 960 1280

  

Don't just dismiss mac and cheese as kids' food; the luscious, creamy goodness tempts adult palates, too. 960 1280

  

The crisp green beans and burst cherry tomatoes look tasty, but the star on this plate is the mouthwatering steak. 960 1280

  

Who needs a plain doughnut when you can enjoy one topped with creamy icing and colorful sprinkles? 960 1280

  

Food Porn  8 Photos

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Artist Peggy Hopper is known for her distinctive paintings of island women, with soft tones and gentle shapes that welcome you like a warm embrace. Her gallery is just one of many you will discover on Oahu. The Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum feature enviable collections from around the world. On the First Friday of every month, the Chinatown district of Honolulu explodes into an urban block party with niche galleries and art shows practically on every corner. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

What's a pink Spanish-Moorish hotel doing in Waikiki? The answer: stealing your breath away. The Royal Hawaiian opened in1927 when the era of luxury travel to Hawaii was just beginning. After a five-day sea voyage, passengers would move into the 'Pink Palace of the Pacific,' bringing with them steamer trunks, servants, and even their Rolls Royce vehicles. In 2008, this classic gem underwent an extensive restoration to become the Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort. Gorgeous. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

A trip to Pearl Harbor will fill you with pride and also humility. The Arizona Memorial is dedicated to the USS Arizona's 1,102 sailors who were killed when Japanese Imperial forces attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Nearby, the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial honors the battleship where Japan's Emperor Hirohito surrendered to end World War II. A bit of trivia: the Missouri's bow is placed to convey that the battleship now watches over the Arizona so that her sailors may rest in peace. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Oahu is a shopaholic's paradise. Where else can you find Hawaiian-style coffee mugs in a big box store, hand-carved tikis made by those who understand the meaning of each groove, the latest designer brands, warehouse outlets with summer styles 365 days a year, plus, swap meets and farmer markets that offer foods and gifts you might not find anywhere else? 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

What's the best place to surf on Waikiki Beach? Just ask the 'Duke.' Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was Waikiki's best known beach boy, the 'Ambassador of Aloha' who introduced surfing to the world, and always, the consummate gentleman. He was also an Olympic champion who won three gold, two silver and one bronze medals. Today, residents and visitors alike drape leis on his statue as a gesture of aloha. And if you're searching for Waikiki's most perfect waves, Duke marks the spot. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

There's an indescribable something special about Waikiki Beach when the sun goes down. It's an energy, an undercurrent of nightlife that's about to unfold. Sophisticated nightspots. Island music scenes. Mai tais with flavors like lychee, li hing and mango. This is Waikiki Beach--the one and only. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

If you can stand on two feet, you can surf. Perhaps not well at first, but that's half the fun. Waikiki beach boys will show you what you how. You'll start with a lesson on the sand followed by a gentle push in the waves, and off you go. If you're serious, start early in the morning before the crowd shows up. After your lesson, you can rent a board and keep practicing. Watch out. It's addicting. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Haleiwa Town on Oahu's North Shore is part country, part chic, and all fun. It started as a beach town on the outskirts of the cane and pineapple fields and has retained its rustic roots. It's a must-stop for shaved ice, shopping, art galleries and crafts, and of course, good eats. It's also the perfect excuse to move a little slower and linger a little longer. Whether you're on your way to Pipeline and Waimea, or heading back to your hotel, Haleiwa is a 'no hurry, no worry' kind of place. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

'One paddle, two paddle, three paddle. Four to take me home.' These famous song lyrics are synonymous with outrigger canoes and paddling on Waikiki Beach. Hop in and you'll feel the thrill as your canoe glides out to sea. The best part of the ride is when you turn back toward shore and ride the waves in. It's like surfing while sitting down. In paddling there are two words you won't want to mix up: 'hui' means to switch paddling to the other side, while 'huli' means to turn over. Fun, but wet. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Ask anyone who lives on Oahu's Windward side where the best beach is located, and they'll say 'Kailua.' It's a thriving beach town where you can wear your pareo (wrap around) into the grocery store and flip flops (we call them 'slippers') are the only locally-approved footwear. And the beach, let's just say that it's the second-most photographed stretch of sand on the island. Kailua has several kayak rental and surf stores. If you're into kite boarding, this is also the beach of choice. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

In the days before Hawaiians had a written language, their history was preserved through the storytelling art of hula. Ancient chants told of lineages, legends, and the traditions that reached far back to the beginning of time when gods created the islands and the Hawaiian people. While it is great fun to learn a few hula moves at a local shopping center or luau, as with any art form, it can take years to master and a lifetime to perfect. 960 1280

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Stretching 14 miles long, one mile wide and 3,600 feet deep, the Waimea Canyon is often referred to as the 'Grand Canyon of the Pacific.' The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads you to several lookout points where time seems to stand still and the only movement you see is the shadows of clouds as they pass over the valley. At the end of the road is Kokee State Park with 45 miles of hiking trails. The road is slow and winding, and there's no food or water'just you and nature¬'so start out early and bring everything you'll need. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

On the south side of Kauai, the Koloa district stretches from rustic Old Koloa Town all the way to the sunny shores of Poipu Beach. Quaint restaurants and charming shops greet you, and like everywhere else on Kauai, life is slow and meant to be savored. Lappert's Ice Cream is a Kauai original with waffle cones that will bring out the kid in you. To and from Old Koloa Town, a lacy tunnel of trees serves as your gateway, reminding you that beauty is everywhere. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Perched at the northernmost tip of Kauai, the 53-foot Kilauea Lighthouse was built in 1913 as a beacon for traveling ships. Although its light was turned off in the 1970s and has been replaced by an automatic beacon, you might say it still calls out to travelers with its incredible view. From December to May, humpback whales are often seen breaching off shore, so be sure to bring binoculars. 960 1280

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Hanalei Pier equals romance. From the song Hanalei Moon to the passion of Roger and Hammerstein's South Pacific, who can resist holding hands while lost in a painted sunset? If the end of the pier could talk, we know it would have many tales of whispered proposals and sparkling engagement rings. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

One of the nicest ways to explore Kauai is under your own steam in a one-man or tandem kayak. The beaches surrounding Mount Makana (nicknamed 'Bali Hai' after the island in Roger and Hammerstein's South Pacific) are gentle and inviting, and especially welcome after paddling in the sun. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

It's debatable as to which view of Wailua Falls is more beautiful'from the above where you can appreciate its majesty, or from below where the cool mist from the waterfall nourishes the hanging ferns and tropical foliage that create Kauai's popular Fern Grotto. You just might have to find out for yourself. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Oh go ahead. Take off your shoes, roll up your pants, hike up your dress and get your feet wet. As cliché as it sounds, it's simply irresistible. Our suggestion for such frivolous frolic is on Poipu Beach where you'll find a wonderful array of restaurants, and a long stretch of sand where you can either work up an appetite or walk off dessert. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

On Kauai, beauty is everywhere, which makes a simple bike ride a non-stop photo opportunity. Pack your camera and a map and set off to explore. You'll see sights you wouldn't see any other way. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

It's hard to describe the sheer majesty of Kauai's Napali Coast, with its sheer, razor-sharp ridges that seem to drop straight to the earth. By helicopter, you're privy to cascading waterfalls and hidden inlets, and depending on your pilot, you might even swoop down into a cave. If you thirst for the sea, catamaran cruises and zodiac tours are the way to go. For experienced hikers, the multi-day hike along the rugged coast is among Hawaii's most scenic. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

The Iconic Hula Girl

The Iconic Hula Girl

Hula has become a worldwide symbol of Hawaii’s beautiful culture and people. Legend has it hula originated on the islands of Molokai and Kauai. 960 1280

  

The Lei

The Lei

In Hawaii, visitors are welcomed with a warm “aloha” and adorned with beautiful, fresh leis. The affectionate greeting is usually accompanied by a kiss. 960 1280

  

Surfing in Hawaii

Surfing in Hawaii

Once a sport reserved only for the alii (Hawaiian royalty), surfing is often called “the sport of kings.” Big wave surfing also originated in Hawaii when surfers began to ride powerful winter waves of Makaha in the 1950s. 960 1280

  

The Luau

The Luau

Hawaii's signature dance is often performed at luaus, which are traditional Hawaiian feasts. The Paradise Cove Luau, the Alii Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center, both on Oahu, and the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui come highly recommended. 960 1280

  

A Hawaiian Tradition

A Hawaiian Tradition

The lei, a necklace of beautiful fresh flowers, has become a universal symbol of Hawaii. However, traditionally only women would wear flowers -- men would wear a lei of beads. 960 1280

  

Hula Auana

Hula Auana

A style of hula, hula auana is danced to western-inspired music and has a more modern, fluid style. Hula kahiko, also known as ancient hula, is danced in more traditional costumes to dramatic chants and percussion and less familiar to tourists. 960 1280

  

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

Originally Hawaiian feasts were called pā‘ina or 'aha‘aina. The newer name comes its main dish known as Luau, young and tender leaves of the taro plant are combined with chicken and baked in coconut milk. 960 1280

  

The Feast

The Feast

The traditional luau feast was eaten on mats the floor and often featured poi (a Polynesian staple starch made of taro), poke (a raw salad of ‘ahi tuna), lomi salmon, opihi and haupia. 960 1280

  

Polynesian Culture

Polynesian Culture

In addition to hula, many luaus also feature Samoan fire dancers and Tahitian dancers. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited on stage to show off your moves in front of the crowd. 960 1280

Polynesian Culture  

Kālua Pig

Kālua Pig

Roasted pig is always the star of the Hawaiian luau. Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method and means, literally, “to cook in an underground oven.” 960 1280

  

Traditional Luaus

Traditional Luaus

Three things are fairly standard at traditional luaus: they’re always held at sunset, they’re usually on the beach, and everything is eaten with ones fingers. 960 1280

  


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