Here's what the "locals" like best about Hawaii

Whether you've already booked a trip or are just dreaming about one, here are some tips to make the most of your dream vacation.

Travel agents can help harried consumers get the most for their vacation dollar. Vacation packages typically offer an all-in-one price that includes air, hotel, and some meals. Identify your destination and ask a travel agent to help.

Many who dream of visiting Hawaii's hidden beaches, secret caves, tropical trails or local eateries take into consideration the results of a survey recently conducted by one of Hawaii's largest hotel and resort chains, Aston Hotels & Resorts. Here's what the "locals" like best:

Kauai, the Garden Isle

  1. Kauai has traditionally been a favorite island of Hollywood producers. Movie buffs will want to take a "director's tour" to visit and photograph the lush sites where "The Thorn Birds," "Blue Hawaii," "South Pacific," "Jurassic Park," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" were filmed.

  2. Try a "Botanical Ramble" with Kayak Kauai. Adventurers are led on custom nature hikes to some of Kauai's most beautiful areas.

  3. Explore the Maniniholo Dry Cave at Haena, on Kauai's north shore. The huge cave has been fascinating people for over 100 years because of its hidden rooms and spooky recesses.

  4. Sunbathe and swim at Polihale Beach, one of the island's longest stretches of white sand beach.

  5. The Farmer's Markets, sponsored by Kauai County, are scheduled throughout the island. Devour island delights like strawberry papaya, bananas, sweet sugarloaf pineapple, and juicy mangoes.

  6. The Kamalani Playground was built by volunteer labor and donated materials in 1994, with design input from local youngsters. It's a maze of activities, caves, slides and surprises.

  7. As soon as you land, pick up a copy of 101 Things to Do on Kauai. It's free and it's chock full of great maps and enough insider tips to keep you busy.

Sunny Kona - on the Big Island of Hawaii

  1. Beat the crowds and have Volcanoes National Park all to yourself by getting up at sunrise and making the 90-mile drive.

  2. Go on a nature hike with Hawaii Forest and Trail. Owner Rob Pacheco is one of the foremost authorities on Hawaiian bird, plant, and insect life.

  3. Try billfishing with one of the several charter companies in Kona. This is sport fishing at its most exciting.

  4. Like to golf? People don't always think of the Big Island first when they think of hitting the greens. The Kona/Kohala areas boast some of the best courses in the state.

  5. Through the Onizuka Center, you can take part in a free guided star-gazing session from the slopes of Mauna Kea, home of the world-famous Keck Observatory. Guides show visitors planets, stars, galaxies, and nebula that can't be seen from anywhere else in the U.S.

  6. Stop in at Cook's Discoveries in Waimea Town for an authentic Hawaiian shopping experience.

Aston Hotels & Resorts offers a variety of accommodations, from hotels to condominium resorts, on four Hawaiian islands. Savvy travelers seeking spacious accommodations appreciate Aston's condominium resorts, featuring large living areas, separate bedrooms, private balconies and fully-equipped kitchens. With Aston's Kids' programs on Maui, children can take part in supervised Hawaiian activities.

Free Brochure

For more information about Aston's Resorts, call 1 (800) 922-7866. (NAPSI)

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