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Ah, Hawaii. Land of sugar-sand beaches, shimmying hula dancers, and sunsets as big and brilliant as a blooming hibiscus — Hawaii’s show-stopping state flower.
No wonder our co-founders, Dr. Chrys and Cat, and the rest of the CocoCommunity have so many amazing island memories. Read on for their top recommendations and start dreaming about a future visit. Hawaii’s natural beauty and welcoming aloha spirit will be waiting.
(Psst! After you're done fantasizing, share your favorite spot to relax and floss — whether it’s in your home or in a hammock — on Instagram with #BalanceAndBliss and tag @GetCocofloss. You might win a year’s supply of Cocofloss!)
Cat at the Koko Crater Arch
“Visit the secret beach on Oahu where Nicki Minaj filmed her music video for ‘Starships,’ and then hike Koko Crater Arch for breathtaking views!” recommends Cat.
“Haleakala was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been — and I travel a lot,” said Brittany (@britrdh), a Virginia-based dental hygienist who woke up around 3 a.m. to catch the sunrise from atop Maui’s dormant volcano. Brittany perfectly described the otherworldly landscape of Haleakala’s crater: “Once the sun finally came up, it looked like what I imagine Mars to look like.”
Leo (@leolh), a registered dental hygienist from Washington state, fondly recalled the boat ride she took to view Kauai’s ruggedly handsome Na Pali Coast. “Nothing will top the gorgeous ocean and the spinner dolphins,” she wrote. “We saw pods of about 20 dolphins jumping out of the water on both sides. It was a great show.”
Rainbow-hued shave ice received several shout outs, with @a.aninag giving props to Matsumoto Shave Ice in Hale’iwa, Oahu, and @pensety recommending Wishing Well Shave Ice, a food truck that frequents the beachfront in Hanalei, Kauai.
Mina Kim (@squidysoup), who grew up on Oahu, raves about the mango, pineapple, and lilikoi (passionfruit) flavors at Island Snow. Her advice: “Don’t forget the ice cream and the 'snow cap' (a drizzling of sweetened condensed milk)!”
“Don’t miss Waiola Shave Ice in Honolulu,” said Dr. Chrys. “Cat and I have always been inspired by this place! We’re fans of the natural fruit syrups, lilikoi cream, and custard bowls. We also love Ululani's on Maui for their shaved ice with a 'snow cap.'"
Heart Shaped Rock by Kate Block
“My favorite thing was driving along the (scary) cliffs to the Nakalele Blowhole and Heart Shaped Rock,” said Kate Block (@pretty extra blog) of her Maui adventures. “I rolled down the windows and listened to a Hawaiian radio station.” After winding past ocean vistas and roadside fruit stands, Kate scrambled down the trail to snap this pic of the iconic heart-shaped opening in the rock.
“Take surf lessons from the Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy on Maui. They’re great for beginners and so much fun!” said Dr. Chrys.
Cat on the way to her snorkeling adventure
Cat's adventurous spirit led her to commune with the wild. "Take a boat trip off Kaanapali Beach for snorkeling near Lanai (where there are 300K+ feral cats!)," she said. "If you go during whale-watching season, you may also see dozens of humpback whales. When I went, I saw pods of spinner dolphins and lots of humpback whales."
The highlight for Hallie (@purelyhallie), a natural living blogger from Portland, Oregon? “Snorkeling in Maui’s Honolua Bay and seeing a sea turtle for the first time!” But there were downsides to the magical moment: “I actually got an awful sunburn on that trip,” said Hallie. “I learned my lesson about the importance of reapplying sunscreen!
“Walking along the beach and finding peridot in the lava rocks” was a highlight for Faie (@parfaiebyfaie), a New York–based jewelry designer. She spotted the bright-green crystals while strolling on the Kona side of the Big Island.
An Oahu local’s recommendation? “Definitely go to Lanikai Brewing — their brews are the best of the island hands down!!” said Dr. Ditizio (@dr.aadee), a Honolulu-based kinesiologist. “Last time I was there, the Pinehopple Swipe Sour Ale was my favorite. We also got some amazing tacos from a food truck outside!”
Cocoflosser Victoria and her new hubby at the Mauna Kea Observatories
While on her honeymoon, Victoria Guobaitis (@victoriaguo), a civil engineer from Atlanta, visited the Big Island’s Mauna Kea Observatories for a “guided tour” of the constellations. “It was a very surreal experience! Absolutely beautiful!” said Victoria of watching the sunset from Mauna Kea’s 13,796-foot peak. After the sun went down, “the sky looked like something from National Geographic!” said Victoria. “You could see the Milky Way clearly and more stars than you can possibly count!”
“Going to see the Kilauea volcano, where its lava flows into the ocean,” said Jeff from Pennsylvania, of his top Big Island experiences. “We hiked along the old lava flow to the active site, which was amazing.” After the sun set, the lava became even more dramatic: “Everything began to light up in the darkness, which was awesome.”
Mouthwatering malasadas by brx0
Many of our followers couldn’t get enough of the malasadas (Portuguese donuts) from Honolulu’s iconic Leonard’s Bakery. “Must eat hot!” wrote @kitdy808. Sara (@simpledudette) said her favorite Hawaiian memory included “eating endless magical malasadas” after a hike along Oahu’s precipitous cliffs.
Dr. Chrys's favorite treat: Baya Bowls
Dr. Chrys raves about the food truck park at on Wainee Street in Lahaina on Maui. "Go for Baya Bowls' fruity acai bowls and Kusina Ni Jayboy’s tasty Filipino dish called sinigang na bangus. Sinigang is a tamarind-based clear broth soup typically cooked with vegetables like okra, long green beans, daikon, and water spinach. Bangus, aka 'milkfish,' is thought of as the national fish of the Philippines."
Legendary coco puffs and Cocofloss!
If you're in Honolulu, head to Liliha Bakery for their famous coco puffs — addictive, chocolate-filled puff pastries. "They're best eaten fresh ... right away!" said Dr. Chrys.
Luaus were also high on the Hawaii hit parade. “We had a blast going to the most popular luau in Maui—the Old Lahaina Luau!” wrote Jan Peoples (@malahini09). “Beautiful show and so much fun!!!🏝” For @kjk_dentalcorp, island highlights included “Eating taro for the first time at the luau” and “drinking pineapple anything with a fresh lei around everyone’s necks, feeling super tropical and fun.”
Pearl Harbor by Destinee Rosales
A tour of Pearl Harbor was one of the most memorable experiences for Destinee Rosales (@destineerosales), a recent dental hygiene grad from Whittier, California. “As the boat sailed around the USS Arizona memorial, it made you take a deep breath and think about the events that happened the morning of December 7th, 1941,” wrote Destinee. “The way I felt taking in the memorial’s power, tragedy, and beauty will stay with me forever.”
“The Hanapepe Friday Art Night was our favorite from our last trip to Kauai,” wrote @sdrekhudson of the weekly event, when local galleries, street vendors, and restaurants welcome strolling crowds. “Delicious food and beautiful art!”
There's nothing better than a piña colada on the beach!
Tropical concoctions made an impression on plenty of Cocofloss followers. “Our favorite drink was the world-famous Mai Tai from Monkeypod Kitchen!” said Chesca Phillips (@chesca_phillips). “It was absolutely delicious with this yellow cream on top.” Samantha Dong (@samanthadongnyc) shared that “sipping a delicious passion fruit mocktail while watching the sunset was unreal.”
As for Kate McKensy (@mckensy_kate) from Mississippi? “Nothing better than sitting with my toes in the sand enjoying the ocean breeze and a nice cold piña colada served out of a fresh pineapple!!🍍🍍”
Cat enjoying the colorful sand.
“I loved all the different color sands!!” said Candace Lindsay (@candibellabeauty), a dental hygiene student from Athens, GA, of her Maui vacation. “There was a red sand beach (Kaihalulu Beach) and a black sand beach (Honokalani Beach). They were breathtaking!😍”
Chelsea's new diamond at Diamond Head
The hands-down happiest Hawaii memory for Chelsea (@chelseafreeman227) from Portland, Maine? “Getting engaged on Magic Island in front of Diamond Head,” she said. “I was taking a picture of the sunrise and when I turned around, he was on his knee and asked me to marry him.” 🌅 ⛰ 💍❤️
Congratulations to Cocoflosser Chelsea
Congratulations Chelsea! And a big “thank you!” to everyone who shared their amazing stories. We hope these insider tips have inspired plenty of tropical daydreams — and perhaps some fabulous future vacation plans.
Can’t wait that long for some island magic? Experience the spirit of Hawaii at home with our limited-edition "Aloha, Happiness!" Set.