9 simple pleasures to be grateful for in Hawaii

It’s no secret to anyone on this planet that 2020 has been a rough year. No need to explain why 😬

And yet, despite our collective suffering, the number of things to be grateful for in life is infinite. We here in Hawaii continue to enjoy the little things that have always given these Islands that special magic.

As we enter the Thanksgiving and holiday season, we’d like to share some of those simple pleasures with you, in no particular order — enjoy!


The summits of Hawaii’s tallest peaks — Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Haleakala — offer some of the clearest night skies on Earth. If you want stargaze up there, prepare for some driving, hiking, and in some cases wintry weather and dizzying altitude.

If you’re not up for the trek, Hawaii has tons of places free of light pollution. Just wait until dark then look up!


Ever wonder why Hawaii is sooo comfortable, like all the time?

The “secret” is tradewinds. These “curved” winds flow east to west and form when moist warm air from around the equator rises, dries and cools…then sinks back down near the tropics.

These light breezes blow across the islands, keeping the temperatures never too hot or never too cold, but just right.

Warm ocean

There are plenty of coastal towns along the USA mainland that attract the kind of people willing to pay the price to live near the ocean.

But nowhere in those glitzy zip codes can you just peel off your clothes and jump in the water. It’s way too cold, and you need a weird rubber suit to stay warm. But not in Hawaii…

Waterfalls and rainbows

Hawaii is abundant with rainfall. Constant showers over the windward sides of the islands create a never-ending flow of water that supply our tropical waterfalls and create spontaneous rainbows.

Hawaii culture

excellent hula show in Hawaii

Surfing, hula, and Hawaiian language (olelo) are just a few of the cultural treasures established by ancient Hawaiians that still thrive today.

They’re all accessible, too — just head to the beach to surf, cruise by some hotels to watch a hula show, or read the street signs in Hawaiian.

Poke bowls

I confess it’s not my thing, but most people I know LOVE poke. Are you one of them?

You can get this famous Hawaiian snack anywhere in the Islands, from corner markets to grocery stores to upscale restaurants.

Pau hana

In Hawaii we have a ritual called pau hana that comes right after work when it’s time to clock out, close the laptop, ditch your job, and actually relax.

Bonus points for pau hana on a Friday, aka Aloha Friday!

Duke’s Waikiki

Speaking of pau hana, there’s a special gathering spot called Duke’s where visitors from all over the world kick back with the locals over a mai tai, some pupus (tapas), and live Hawaiian music — right on Waikiki Beach. Need we say more?

Sacred spaces

Hawaii is a place of great mana, or power. You can feel it as soon as you step off the plane. There’s mana in the land, the ocean, and the people.

If you go searching for mana, you may discover places where it’s strong, such as heiaus, mountain tops, and other sacred sites.

Photo  credits: Steve Halama, AussieActive, Tim Foster, Corryne Wooten, Jakob Owens, little plant, Alexandra Tran

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at info@sunnymauivacations.com or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo or rental home in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui.

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