This week we will begin revealing our Parents Choice 2012 winners! Last fall, we asked our readers to fill out a short online survey to determine which beaches, activities, and events they thought were the best for families. We had an overwhelming response and we appreciate everyone who took the time to complete the survey. We will reveal the top 3 answers according to our survey respondents to each of our questions as well as what percentage of the votes each had. We think the results will give you an additional perspective on family friendly adventures that are available here in the islands and give you the added comfort of knowing that these are places that ranked highly among parents just like yourselves! This post, we will look at which island our readers feel is the most family friendly and which beach and water activities are your favorites! Please share your thoughts on the winners or let us know who you think should have been on the lists by leaving a comment!
Which Hawaiian Island is the most family friendly?
Oahu (76%) was the clear winner amongst our poll responders. It is the most widely visited island in the state and home to a significant number of our readers so the result is not entirely surprising. There are seemingly endless beaches and activities available on Oahu for families and it is truly a remarkably family friendly place! Maui (18%) finished second in our poll. Hawaii’s second most visited island, like Oahu, has tons of family friendly things to do ranging from fantastic keiki-safe beaches to bike rides and surfing for older kids! Kauai (6%) completes our listing of the top 3! The laid back island with superb beaches and exquisite hikes and waterfalls is an excellent spot for a relaxing family friendly adventure! All of the Hawaiian Islands offer unique and fun opportunities for families to enjoy. You can find out more about a particular island by visiting the Hawaii Visitors Bureau at www.gohawaii.com.
Which Hawaiian beach is the most family friendly?
Let’s be honest, Hawaii has some of the world’s best beaches, in fact, they are probably the reason that most people come to Hawaii. While there are many terrific beaches to choose from, not all of them are kid friendly. Many of Hawaii’s beaches are remote and difficult to access and others offer no facilities or have dangerous water conditions. That is not the case with the beaches that topped our list of the most family friendly. All of them are easily accessible, feature full facilities, and offer some to the most calm and pristine conditions that can be found on the islands. The Ko Olina Lagoons (59%) on Oahu’s leeward side ranked at the top. These man-made lagoons provide well protected swimming conditions perfect for even the youngest kahunas! The Waikiki beach front combination at the Hilton Hawaiian Village of Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon (18%) was second for similar reasons. The lagoon is a perfect place for families to try stand up paddling or just relaxing. Windward Oahu’s Kailua Beach (12%) was third. This stretch of sand is heaven on earth and one of our favorite places to take the kids on weekends. Gentle conditions, soft powdery sand, and plenty of beach activity options nearby make this an perfect option for a family day at the beach!
What is the best family surf spot?
Hawaii is the birthplace of modern surfing and it continues to be a surfing mecca for the world. Some of the best and biggest surf locations in the world line its shore and each winter the world’s top professional surfers arrive to surf famous spots like Pipeline, Waimea, and Sunset! Fortunately, for families and beginners, some of the calmest and best learning conditions are also just offshore and easily accessible. All of the top 3 locations offer terrific family beaches, great waves, and lessons for beginners. Our poll responders picked world famous Waikiki Beach (41%) as the best family surf spot. Waikiki is the ancestral home of modern surfing. First surfed by Hawaiian Kings, its gentle and rolling conditions make it an ideal surf spot for surfers of all ages and experience levels. Haleiwa (35%) on the North Shore of Oahu was a relatively close second. It too offers terrific conditions for families. White Plains (18%) on Oahu near Kalaeloa, part of the now closed Barbers Point Naval Station, is another terrific location for families. Conditions there are similar to Waikiki and it is usually less crowded.
What is the best family friendly snorkel spot?
Next to surfing, snorkeling is one of the most popular water activities for families in Hawaii! Hawaii’s extensive reef system features an abundance of diverse marine life, consistent and safe ocean conditions, and is readily accessible from most beaches making it ideal for snorkelers of all skill levels. At the top of our poll for the best family snorkel spot was Oahu’s Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (63%). This is one of Oahu’s most popular attractions for good reason. The snorkeling is fantastic and the beach one of the best on the islands. It features full restroom and shower facilities and equipment rental. Sharks Cove (25%), located on Oahu’s North Shore is another terrific snorkel spot during the summer months when ocean conditions are calmest. This site doesn’t have the sandy beach that Hanauma Bay has, although there is a nice beach nearby at the tidepools. There is a wide variety of marine life and it is super convenient to access! Maui’s Black Rock (6%) rounds out our top 3. Located along Maui’s beautiful Ka’anapali Beach, this large outcropping of black lava rock tends to regularly draw a wide variety of sea life including turtles. More experienced snorkelers may want to head to the backside of the point where we tend to find a lot more to see. The beach is one of the best in the world! The resorts and hotels along the beach all offer water activities, shopping, and dining options. It is also one of the best places in Hawaii to catch a sunset!
Look for more Parent's Choice Awards 2012 winners in our next post! Mahalo!