Wedding Photography by Jeannemarie Photo

With my one-year marriage anniversary approaching this July, I’ve been busy finding ways to celebrate in a unique, romantic and meaningful way. Since my husband and I are lucky enough to live in a place as beautiful as the North Shore of Oahu, it’s hard to find someplace to beat it. We considered flying to Maui, or maybe to Kauai, but eventually settled on staying here on Oahu and just getting creative. And good thing we did! I discovered so many new ways to elicit romance without ever having to leave the island. So for those of you celebrating an anniversary in Hawaii or planning one in the future, here are my top picks of ways to enjoy the day, weekend or vacation together.

Create a staycation

If you’re planning a Hawaii getaway specifically around your anniversary, then make sure the actual day is special and unique. If you’re staying in Lahaina on Maui for your whole trip, then consider booking a one-night stay in Hana. Secluded, lush and utterly tropical, there are a few luxurious and charming places to stay in this North Shore town that will really allow for a special anniversary day.

Since we live on the North Shore of Oahu, we’ve decided to create our staycation in Waikiki. While this can just be a one day getaway, we’ve decided to lengthen ours and make it a two day extravaganza, allowing ourselves to truly relax in our new surroundings and enjoy a different perspective of Oahu. Kauai and the Big Island also have beautiful places on their opposite sides to ‘getaway’ during your anniversary vacation.

Make reservations

If you have a particular restaurant in mind for your anniversary dinner, like Roy’s Waikiki, The Beach House on Kauai or Mama’s Fish House on Maui, be sure to make reservations ahead of time. There’s nothing like arriving at your favorite restaurant for a special occasion only to find out they are booked for the night.

We plan to dine at House Without A Key, the quiet beachfront restaurant at the Halekulani in Waikiki on our first evening. With live music, unmatched sunset views and high-end service, this dinner spot is sure to kick off our romantic night on the town!

Our second evening we’ll enjoy the cozy escape to France at Brasserie Du Vin. We love this place for a few reasons. First, it’s a wine bar, and we’re big on wine. Second, it’s has a relaxed atmosphere and a local crowd. Some evenings you’ll catch live music while other nights they’ll have specials like half off a bottle of wine. Lastly, this restaurant is inspired by the French countryside, with a cobbled patio, lightning stung between the umbrellas and a view of the stars. This is significant for us because we honeymooned in the southwest of France- what better way to be transported back to that time than with dinner and wine at Brasserie Du Vin!

Bring something special from home

For those celebrating an anniversary in Hawaii and traveling to the islands from afar, I think it’s a good idea to bring something familiar to inspire memories. After all, your anniversary is meant to be a day where you remember your wedding day and celebrate the years you’ve spent together.

I recommend bringing your wedding photo album (be sure to package it well!), a special bottle of champagne or wine (maybe the label you drank at your wedding), or something else reminiscent of your special day. Things like cards from guests or your scrapbook are good ideas. Bringing items like these from home will help make the anniversary especially fun and memorable! We plan to use our etched crystal flutes and relive one year ago with photos, our guest sign-in book and cards.

Plan a couple’s activity

There are so many options in Hawaii for couple’s activities. Kayaking to a secluded beach or island, tandem parasailing or bicycling, stand up paddling a lazy river, outrigger canoe rides, private surf lessons and so much more! Hawaii is premiere when it comes to outdoor activities, and a haven for the couples that loves an adventure in nature.

A couple standing together

Two of the activities we plan to book are a catamaran snorkel cruise through Waikiki’s clear waters and horseback riding on the North Shore. Another great idea that costs next to nothing is a picnic in a romantic spot like Tantalus, Lyon Arboretum or one of the beach coves at Ko Olina.

Surprise one another

Lastly, a great way to celebrate an anniversary in Hawaii is to make sure you weave in a surprise for each other. Whether this is a gift you brought from home, one you bought on island, a sweet card or a spontaneous activity, surprises help to keep romance alive. What better place than Hawaii to find and present your lover with s surprise they will remember forever!

Hawaii is a wonderful vacation destination to reinvigorate the love and adoration you felt on your wedding day. The islands are full of natural beauty, new adventures and luxurious relaxation. Not to mention this archipelago is intrinsically romantic! I can’t think of a better place to be celebrating year number one with my husband than here on the gorgeous island of Oahu!


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