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

Photos

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

  

The road to Hana is long and winding, with interesting stops along the way. Four miles into your trip will bring you to the colorful town of Paia where you can get a fish burger at the popular Paia Fishmarket, then head to Hookipa Beach, also known as the windsurfing capital of the world. 960 1280

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Located on the mid-slope of Maui's Haleakala volcano, Makawao has one foot in its plantation past and another in its thriving arts community. It's also the biggest little town in the area known as Upcountry Maui and is famous for its Hawaiian cowboys, known as paniolo. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

From the air, the Hana Highway looks like a zigzag line drawn by a three year old. It twists and turns for 52 miles and takes anywhere from two to four hours to traverse depending on how many cars you meet on the one-way bridges. In fact, there are 54 bridges and 600 curves to make sure you're paying attention. And please do, because in addition to the traffic, the flowing waterfalls, plunging pools, scenic rainforests and the town of Hana are well worth the drive. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

There are rewards in life that are all the sweeter because of the effort it took to get there. Hana is such a place. Separated from the rest of Maui, you'll feel as if you stumbled upon the land that time forgot. Spend a few nights in Hana and soon you'll have trouble remembering where you came from and wondering why you'd ever go back. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Take a farm-to-table culinary journey at Oo Farms in Upcountry Maui. Located along the slope of Haleakala, the fertile soil of Upcountry is home to some of Maui's finest farmland. Oo Farms is owned and maintained by I'O and Pacific'O restaurants in Lahaina, so their perfect peppers, hearty greens and even local asparagus go straight from harvest to your favorite dish. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Every evening on the northernmost cliffs of Maui's Kaanapali Beach, a cliff diver lights the torches then dives off Puu Kekaa, or Black Rock. This dramatic show is a reenactment of a feat performed by Maui's revered King Kahekili. Surrounded by restaurants, the ceremony also takes on a modern twist, signaling the end of the day and the start of your own private celebration. 960 1280

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Maui has always been a magnet for those who love the sea, from Hawaiian voyagers to whaling ships and modern-day catamarans that glide upon the water. Complete your Maui vacation with a few hours offshore, tacking up and down the coastline with the West Maui Mountains in your view. Add a splash of champagne or a frosty mai tai and there's nothing else like it. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

It doesn't matter how old you are'when you walk 'through an ocean,' the little kid in you comes out to play. Fantasy mixes with reality as you come nose to nose with wide-eyed tuna and white-tip reef sharks. Yellow butterfly fishes flutter like leaves around coral, while slick stingrays glide by without a care in the world. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Molokini is a small, crescent moon-shaped atoll off the coast of Maui. It's in a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District, which means fishing is prohibited, so it's teeming with life. Take a snorkel or scuba tour and you'll be treated to a kaleidoscope of over 250 colorful varieties of tropical fish. Tours are available out of Maalaea Harbor and Lahaina. Insider tip: Early morning is best because the water is clear. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

Maui might be for lovers, but it's also for golfers. And if you love golf, that's even better still. There are 14 courses on Maui, with several ranked at or near the top of the 'world's best' list. The PGA TOUR's Hyundai's Tournament of Champions is held here each year, so you never know who you might see on the course. This particular breathtaking beauty is the Makena North Course. Now that's a view that'll challenge your concentration. 960 1280

The Hawaiian Islands  

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