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.
MauiWith more than 120 miles of coastline, Maui tops Mandy Ingber's list. Channel your inner roar, and strike a warrior pose, as you take in the sights and sounds of the deep blue Pacific splashing against the island’s rocky headlands. 960 1280
Viceroy Bali“I have wanted to travel to Bali, and have seen the pictures of the Viceroy -- luxury resort!” says Ingber. Luxury, indeed: The family-owned-and-operated property on the Indonesian island of Bali is home to 25 villas, nestled on a hill overlooking the “Valley of the Kings.” 960 1280
Harbour Island, BahamasThis island, located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, may be a trek to get to, but it’s worth it for the “quaint, sweet town [vibe] and casual, beachy feel,” says Ingber. We’re betting you’ll agree as you stroll past colorful rows of homes and “om” away on the island’s pink sand beaches. 960 1280
GaneshpuriThis small village, about 50 miles north of Mumbai, is “very poor, but soulful and where many gurus have lived and died,” says Ingber. Explore the village’s Siddha yoga tradition at the local ashram, then while away the hours in one of the hot springs near the area’s Tansa River. 960 1280
Kauai“Incredible setting!” says Ingber of this Hawaiian island. “Not only were we in a gorgeous, Bali-style house but the boat ride up the Na Pali Coast is dreamy. Waterfalls and beautiful hikes. So much wild nature here. One of the most bountiful and beautiful places I have been to and taught in.” 960 1280
One & Only Palmilla, MexicoIngber gives this Los Cabos resort overlooking the Sea of Cortez high marks. “I have been here twice, and have had some lovely yoga sessions in this beautiful setting,” says Ingber. “Many of my clients love Mexico because it’s sandy and close -- and we love the sunny weather!” 960 1280
Sha Wellness ClinicThis medical and luxury spa, overlooking Spain’s Costa Blanca coastline, also makes Ingber’s shortlist. A big draw is the surrounding natural beauty; the resort is situated in the Sierra Helada Natural Park, home to protected areas of plants as well as vibrant marine wildlife such as bottlenose dolphins. 960 1280
Aix-en-ProvenceThis region in southern France is another personal favorite; Ingber stayed at a private estate in the country. “We had fresh eggs from the chickens on the property and practiced yoga daily,” she says. “A little sweaty in the summer, but with a farmers’ market and incredible architecture!” 960 1280
Pranamar Villas and Yoga RetreatThis posh oceanfront hotel, built on a stretch of sand near the Costa Rican town of Santa Teresa, came recommended by a friend. “It’s on my wish list,” says Ingber. With 2-story villas built around a saltwater pool, a restaurant with organic fruits and veggies, and tropical gardens, we can see why. 960 1280
Best Places to Go "Om" 12 Photos
Encore at Wynn Las VegasOpened in December 2008, the 2,034-room Encore is all about pure opulence, including the gorgeous European Pool. The classically elegant pool surrounds a unique outdoor casino. 960 1280
Mondrian Los AngelesThis ornately designed Sunset Strip hotel has an exclusive pool and poolside lounge, and more scene than even the Sunset Marquis. The Mondrian Los Angeles’ white walls and hanging potted plants gives this pool a beachy feel -- despite it being several stories above bustling Sunset Boulevard. 960 1280
La Reunion Golf Resort & ResidencesLa Reunion Antigua Golf Resort is an outstanding luxury pick, located in the shadow of 4 volcanoes -- 2 of them active -- about 30 minutes from the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala. Rooms have private patios with infinity-edge swimming pools, but the resort also has a main pool as well as a separate kiddy pool. These gorgeous volcanic views are hard to beat. 960 1280
Gansevoort Turks and CaicosThe Gansevoort Turks and Caicos is without a doubt the sexiest resort on Grace Bay, and a large part of its appeal is thanks to its stunning pool surrounded by palm trees. The pool features 4 hard-decked islands. 960 1280
The JouleThe Joule is one of the coolest -- and most luxurious -- hotels in Downtown Dallas. And it features one of the most talked about pools in the states. The Joule's cantilevered pool juts out over Main Street, so swimmers can get a glimpse of pedestrians below. 960 1280
Biltmore Coral GablesBuilt in 1926, the iconic Biltmore, a national landmark, brings timeless luxury to Miami’s hotel scene. Though far from any beaches, it offers -- among many other luxuries -- an amazing pool. This 22,000-square-foot pool is the largest in the continental U.S. Actor Johnny Weissmuller, better known as Tarzan, was a swimming instructor at the pool many years ago. 960 1280
Gansevoort Park AvenueThis 249-room hotel with flashy decor, lots of bars, and an outdoor pool is the uptown sister to the original, once wildly popular Hotel Gansevoort. The Gansevoort chain knows how to do their pools. One of only a handful of rooftop pools in New York, this is the only one that features a sexy pin-up mural. Plus, the pool has an underwater sound system and is a popular scene during the summertime. 960 1280
Ventana Inn & SpaSituated on more than 200 acres of picturesque land -- in Big Sur, CA -- , the Ventana Inn & Spa looks like a rustic cabin nestled in the woods -- yet it features a long list of on-site amenities, including 2 pools. This pool is in a secluded spot for a reason -- it's the resort's clothing-optional pool. So forget your bathing suit and enjoy a dip au naturel. 960 1280
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and SpaThe beautifully designed, 780-room Grand Wailea has one of the top US spas, a prime location on one of the best US beaches, and 9 pools -- including arguably the best one in Hawaii. The massive main pool has several fun features, including volleyball nets, a waterslide, and a rope swing. Dive in! 960 1280
Four Seasons MauiAn immaculate, art-filled property fronting Wailea beach, the Four Seasons Miami stands at the pinnacle of the area's resorts, offering spacious rooms, a top-notch staff and a slew of amenities, including three high-design pools. The poolside cabana staff refills guests' free glasses of ice water, and employees patrol the lounge chairs with cold towels and spray-bottles of Evian to spritz guests' faces. 960 1280
Royal Corin ResortFor Costa Rica’s Royal Corin Resort & Loto Spa, this 54-room boutique hotel has a lot to offer, including great views of Arenal volcano, a lovely spa, a bar with an outdoor terrace, an on-site restaurant and a beautiful pool. This hot springs pool features natural thermal waters that help guests relax and take in the scenery. 960 1280
The Raleigh HotelSome things at the Raleigh Hotel are vintage-bordering-on-dated, but not the stunning free-form pool. This pool became a Miami landmark when former swimmer and movie star Esther Williams leapt from its waterfall diving board in a sequined bathing cap. 960 1280
12 Amazing Pools 12 Photos
Wanderlust Festival in O'ahuWelcome to Wanderlust O'ahu. Yogis take their practice to the crystal clear Hawaiian ocean for standup paddleboard yoga – the ultimate test of balance. Hawaii was the birthplace for standup paddleboarding, after all, so it's no surprise SUP yoga has taken off here, too. 960 1280
Hands Up for O'ahuWanderlust festival is the largest multi-day yoga event in the world, with annual events in Squaw Valley, Calif., Stratton Mountain, Vt., Copper Mountain, Colo., and Whistler, British Columbia. In 2013, it has expanded to Chile and O’ahu. 960 1280
Explore Hawaii's Turtle Bay ResortTurtle Bay Resort, which hosted this year’s Wanderlust O’ahu, is a 880-acre paradise that sits on the northernmost tip of the North Shore with 5 miles of remote beachfront. 960 1280
Surfing for All LevelsYogis take to the waves for surf lessons on O'ahu's North Shore, where big wave surfing was born. Luckily, there are smaller waves for beginners, too. 960 1280
The Lush Na Pali CoastOn Kauai’s northwest side lies the 17-mile Na Pali Coast, a jaw-dropping sight whether you are taking in its panoramic views from a helicopter, boat or on foot along the famed Kalalau Trail (a challenging 11-mile trek for experienced hikers only). With 3,000-foot towering cliffs plunging into white-sand beaches along the emerald Pacific Ocean, Na Pali Coast is definitely a must-see on Kauai. 960 1280
Untamed KauaiThe fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands, Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle, has developed only 3% of the island for commercial and residential use. Since most of Kauai’s 69,000 residents live along the coastline, the island’s interior remains an untouched paradise. And the locals want to keep it that way—no structure can be built taller than a palm tree (that's about four stories high). 960 1280
The Grand (Waimea) CanyonDubbed "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific," the 3, 567-feet-deep Waimea Canyon is one of Kauai’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Extending 14 miles across the western end of the island, Waimea Canyon is filled with numerous hiking trails for beginners to expert trekkers alike. If you aren’t a hiker, you can still experience the spectacular views from the main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, which takes you to Waimea Canyon Overlook, where you’ll be wowed with sweeping panoramas of the deep gorges and craggy cliffs. 960 1280
Wet and Wonderful Mount WaialealeJust as the landscapes are diverse on the island, Kauai’s weather is likely to be dramatically different depending on the location. So while beachgoers might be basking in the sunshine on the shore, mountains hikers will be trekking through a downpour. In fact, Kauai is home to Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest areas on Earth, which receives about 450 inches of rain per year. Usually shrouded in mist, Mount Waialeale is best viewed on a helicopter tour, much like most of Kauai’s natural wonders you’ll find. 960 1280
Wailua Falls: Drive-By WonderKauai is known for its beautiful waterfalls, but many of its falls can be viewed only by helicopter or by hiking miles deep into the rainforests. While it is one of the easiest cascades to get to, Wailua Falls is just as awe-inspiring as some of the more hidden waterfalls in Kauai. Even though you can view Wailua Falls from the road, take the more adventurous route and hike the steep but short path down to the waterfalls where you can marvel at the rushing 80-foot cascades. 960 1280
Hanalei BayOne of Kauai’s must-sees is Hanalei Bay, a half-moon bay on the North Shore with almost 2 miles of palm-tree lined beaches framed by lush green mountains. Also worth a stop, Hanalei Town is dotted with art galleries and surf shops and is so beachy-cool that it looks like it came right off a movie set, much like the rest of Kauai. 960 1280
Manawaiopuna Falls/Jurassic FallsManawaiopuna Falls, or Jurassic Falls as it’s now known after it was featured in Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, plunges 360 feet into a lush valley. The best way to see this colossal cascade is on a helicopter tour as the falls are on private property—and not Steven Spielberg’s, if you’re wondering. 960 1280
Movies Filmed on KauaiIt’s not just travelers that are inspired by Kauai’s picture-perfect paradise. Hollywood is so taken with the Garden Isle’s scenery that it has filmed over 65 movies here, including South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Tropic Thunder, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Descendants and Jurassic World. Polynesian Adventure Tours offers a six-hour cinematic tour of Kauai’s most famous movie sites. 960 1280
Helicopter Tour of the IslandOnly 10% of Kauai is accessible by car, so the best way to see the rest of the island is on an aerial tour. Jack Harter Helicopters was the pioneer in helicopter tours on Kauai (now a thriving industry) when Jack Harter starting offering tours of Kauai’s inaccessible terrain in 1962. For maximum thrills, take the no-doors helicopter tour. Not only will you get well-earned bragging rights for this high-adrenaline ride, you won’t have to deal with window glare interfering with your jaw-dropping photos. 960 1280
Endless White-Sand BeachesWith 50 miles of golden strands, Kauai has a seemingly endless amount of beautiful beaches—more beach per mile than any other island in Hawaii. Some of the most popular beaches include Hanalei Bay and snorkeling favorite Tunnels Beach, both on the North Shore, and the sun-drenched Poipu Beach on the South Shore. But the beauty of Kauai is that you’ll likely stumble upon a hidden beach all your own that will rival any of the more well-known beaches. 960 1280
Kauai's Wild WatersVisitors must keep in mind that Mother Nature calls the shots in Kauai. No matter how peaceful and inviting the water looks in Kauai, the island is notorious for its strong currents and dramatically changing conditions. So it is strongly advised to only swim in lifeguard-protected areas and to take beach safety warnings seriously. 960 1280
Fly Straight to ParadiseYou can reach Kauai via a short 25-minute flight from Honolulu; Hawaiian Airlines has more than 30 daily flights into Kauai’s Lihue Airport. Due to rising demand, Hawaiian Airlines also has non-stop service between Los Angeles and Lihue throughout the year, with an increased schedule around the holiday season. This is another indication that the island’s popularity is growing, so now is the time to plan your vacation to Kauai, while it’s still not as touristy as the other islands. 960 1280
2: Four Season Hualalai (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)Take a refreshing dip the Beach Tree pool at the Four Seasons Hualalai. It's just one of 7 pools at this luxe resort.
3: Hilton Waikoloa Village (Waikoloa, Hawaii)The Hilton Waikoloa Village is so huge that guests will appreciate having the tram and canal boats to explore all 62 acres of this oceanfront resort.
Hilton Waikoloa Village (Waikoloa, Hawaii)Guests can relax in Kohala River pool, four interconnected pools with waterslides, that winds through the resort. Kids will enjoy the Kona pool is the Hilton Waikoloa Village's largest pool and it includes a 175-foot waterslide. And if parents need some downtime away from the kids, they can enjoy a secluded retreat by the Ocean Tower pool.
4: Sheraton Kauai Resort (Koloa, Hawaii)Enjoy Poipu beach and stay at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, where guests who reserve an Ocean Luxury room, get a spectacular ocean views.
Sheraton Kauai Resort (Koloa, Hawaii)The Hawaiian sunset on Poipu beach is just one of several reasons why guests will enjoy their stay at this resort. And if you're an outdoor enthusiast, we recommend some of the activities nearby including ziplining, moutain tubing, snorkeling, hiking, biking, surfing or playing a round of golf.
5: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (Wailea, Maui)A guest watches the sunset from the Serenity pool at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, located on the island's southwest coast.