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Kauai

Wailua Falls, Kauai

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Every trip to Hawaii should include a visit to a waterfall. Sometimes getting the best view is as simple as rolling down the car window, while falls that play hard-to-get require lacing up hiking boots or meeting with tour guides. And every so often, a swimsuit is happily required. But however you get there, you’ll want a camera handy when you do. Here, a few spots we love to get you inspired.

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sunset in kauai, a romantic destination that's great for solo travelers

Flickr/Nicki Dugan Pogue

Traveling by yourself? One great thing to note about some romantic travel destinations is that they can also be fantastic places for solo travelers. And just think — nobody will be harping on you about whether you got him or her something for Valentine’s Day. Here are some sweet destinations where it doesn’t matter if you have a plus-one:

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murrells inlet - huntington beach state park - matt trudeau - 620

No summer is complete without a trip to the beach. But instead of the typical best-of roundup, we decided to do something a little different: We had the ShermansTravel staff share their favorite off-beat alternatives to the hotspots that everyone flocks to in drove. We won’t go as far as to call these spots “secret,” but we will promise that you’ll find a relatively intimate excursion with lots of character at any one of them. Ready to feel like a beach insider and stretch out?

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Affordable Hawaii HotelsThink New York City has a lock on the most expensive hotels in America, or glitzy South Beach? Think again. The highest hotel rates in the U.S. are actually in Hawaii. So far in 2013, guests have spent an average of $233 per night for a hotel room in Hawaii – that’s an increase of $27 over the previous year! With airfare costs on the rise, this can make for a spendy island getaway. But not all Hawaii hotels cost a fortune. Here are some money-saving tips so you can enjoy the luau (or the whale watch, or six hours of lazying in the sun with a view of Diamond Head in the distance) without worrying about how you’ll pay for it: Read more

iStock International

Ahhh…the family beach vacation. It’s as all-American as apple pie, a time-honored tradition where some of the best childhood memories are made. Everyone has their favorite sands, but when it comes to family-friendly options, not all are created equal. We’ve picked 10 great family beaches across the country that parents and kids alike are guaranteed to love – whether for their gentle surf, range of activities, sand-castle potential, or educational elements. So gather the gang and pack up the SPF and beach ball – it’s time to take the clan to the sand! Get a preview of our favorite shores with our Family Beaches slideshow.

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HawaiiHave you booked a trip to Hawaii for 2013 yet? On and off since late fall, we’ve seen jaw-droppingly low fares from Hawaiian Airlines, offering non-stop service to the 50th State. And they’re back again this week.

Depart from New York City and head to the Aloha State’s capital, Honolulu, for just $365, round-trip, taxes included. For a more laid-back vacation on the islands of Maui, Kauai, or Kona (The Big Island), add just $13. For less than $400, you could trade next week’s chilly New York forecast for Hawaiian paradise. Seriously. Read more

Hawaii, a great Thanksgiving getaway idea

Hawaii Tourism Authority/Tor JohnsonEnjoy a Turkey Day getaway at these 10 Thanksgiving vacation destinations

We’ve come up with a cornucopia of travel ideas focused on great Thanksgiving vacation destinations. Sure, we cover the obvious – after all, no list would be complete without a nod to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade or the site of the 1620 Pilgrim landing – but we also favor less traditional destinations, from lush islands and beach spots to desert landscapes and ski slopes. Plus, with fares so discounted to Europe at this time of year, we’d be remiss not to pick at least one European capital; our preferred city is known for its terrific beer and French fries, although you’ll be hard-pressed to find football on television (American football, that is). We’ve even recommended a jaunt on the high seas, since we figure there’s no better tribute to the adventerous spirit of the Pilgrim pioneers than by making your own transatlantic trek. So bring your family along for the fun and enjoy the best of Thanksgiving!

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In our romanticized, and admittedly naive, fantasy about life as a movie star, nothing is as unquestionably glamorous as traveling around the world on location. But considering that central casting hasn’t yet discovered us, we’ll make do by traveling in the footsteps of the best picture nominees for the 84th Academy Awards.
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A330 Pr Week Award ResizedJetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines have announced a partnership that’s primed to make travel to the Aloha State easier than ever before, particularly for East Coast travelers. The newly inked arrangement will allow for seamless daily connections between flights out of New York City (via JetBlue’s JFK hub) and into Honolulu (on Hawaiian Airlines), allowing customers to book single tickets that combine travel on the two carriers.

The new partnership will be featured on Hawaiian Airlines’ soon-to-launch flights (on June 5, precisely) between New York City and Honolulu (where continuing connections are additionally available to Kauai, Maui, or Hawaii Island), on what will be the only nonstop offering on that particular itinerary (advertised rates start at $431 each way). Or, customers can book travel immediately via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), where JetBlue operates, and Hawaiian Airlines currently offers multiple daily departures to Hawaii (rates start at $339 each way). Plus, the airlines have agreed to allow for reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between the two carriers. Read more

Villa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran BayIf one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend more quality time with the person you love, then I suggest you enjoy that togetherness someplace amazing! And what’s better or more romantic than a stunning, sun-kissed island? There’s something innately sexy and bond-inspiring about the sea – floating together in gentle turquoise surf, walking hand-in-hand at sunset, enjoying the day’s fresh catch paired with a rum cocktail or a fine wine. So as the new year begins, here are my top 10 picks for the most amazing islands to escape to together in 2012. Read more

Waimea CanyonIt was early on a Monday morning when the buzzer rang. FedEx was at the door, delivering a compact box containing one of the best . . . surprises . . . ever.

Tucked inside the parcel was my Nextpedition trip console – and an envelope that would reveal my first Farbarian-meets-Adrenalista-match-made-in-travel-heaven destination: Kauai!

Three days later, my husband and I were bound for the not-so-Farbarian town of Newark, N.J., to catch an 11-hour flight to Honolulu, where we’d hop a 30-minute flight to Lihue, Kauai.

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Serenity Pool at Wailea Beach Marriott on MauiHawaii is a sublimely romantic destination any time of year, but when the holidays are over and the chill of January and February sets in here in the lower 48, our 50th state starts looking extra appealing. This winter, those warm temperatures and balmy breezes can be yours at a savings, thanks to several free-night resort promotions. Here’s a selection of what’s being offered – but be sure to book early for the best savings and availability. Read more

parrish collection kauai - Sunset Makai Hale KauaiIt’s not your imagination: That is a chill in the air. Which can only mean one thing: sweater sets! And winter vacations to warm destinations. Time to get planning now, especially when you can snag a high-end guesthouse in Kaua’i for 15 percent off just for being your great gay self.

From now till next summer, the Parrish Collection Kauai is offering a Rainbow Promotion to the LGBT community that offers significant savings on selected weeklong (or more) rental. Guests planning a Hawaii civil union (legal from January 1, 2012 onward) or commitment ceremony can also receive complimentary help to coordinate their event from the Parrish Kauai concierge as well as group discounts on additional vacation homes and condos used by friends and family of the couple.

Out of 200 choice properties, what types of distinguished abodes are available? Read more

iStock InternationalPyongyang’s plentiful monuments and levels of red tape make it one of our top forbidden places

Shrouded in mystery, pulsing with dangers both real and imagined, forbidden places have always exerted an irresistible pull. Indeed, the same impulse that drew 16th-century explorers into uncharted oceans may compel today’s intrepid travelers to ignore State Department travel warnings. When white-sand Bermudan beaches and rooms with Eiffel Tower views no longer satisfy, becoming a war correspondent for CNN is always an option. Seriously though, while a few of the destinations on our list of Top 10 Forbidden Places are consumed in seething conflicts, most do not require Anderson Cooper’s security clearance to enter. Consider visiting Havana, more accessible to American travelers than it has been in decades, especially while Cuba still conjures up the sexiness of the “forbidden” (there’s just something about that word); or take a tour of the “dead zone” around Chernobyl, Ukraine, now teeming with life and relatively safe. We don’t necessarily endorse visiting many of the other places on this list now – particularly hot zones like Damascus, Mogadishu, and Tripoli – but we highly encourage traveling by armchair, so check out our Forbidden Places slideshow.

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Aqua Bamboo HawaiiHawaii’s first and only boutique hotel chain, Aqua, marks its 10th anniversary this August, and to celebrate its passage into double-digits, the brand is selling the first night of four-night stays (or longer) for just $10. Choose from 16 properties across Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, including 12 destinations within one mile of the famed Waikiki Beach. Book by August 31 for travel August 11 through December 22.

THE VALUE: Room rates start at $89/night, which amounts to a $79 savings the first night of your stay; with the discount, the average room rate for a four-night stay is $69.50.

THE CATCH: You must stay at least four nights to receive the discount.

THE DETAILS: Click here to book Aqua’s 10th Birthday Package.

WE’VE GOT MORE: See our Hawaii Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.

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