Aloha Bruce is offering tips for individuals with disabilities visiting Hawaii on this latest episode of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast. Bruce talks about some of the efforts in Hawaii to make attractions and destinations more accessible. “I think it’s really great news for seniors and people with disabilities,” he says.
Bruce starts by noting that Hanauma Bay, one of Oahu’s most popular visitor destinations, offers wheelchair rentals. He has specific locations on each island to discuss, and insights on Hawaii hotels making accessibility improvements thanks to state legislation requiring them. Improvements to transportation accessibility have been made, and many tour operators and activities have special programs for the disabled.
“Hawaii really has a commitment to making accessibility top-of-mind,” Bruce says. He talks about a state office devoted to monitoring and ensuring accessibility. Hawaii’s airports have made many improvements, and Bruce mentions the TSA Disability Notification Card, which eases travel delays.
The topic moves to native Hawaiian cultural activities that make participation accessible, with Bruce mentioning the Merrie Monarch Festival and the Aloha Festival which provide reserved seating and parking.
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As for tips for individuals with disabilities visiting Hawaii, Bruce begins on Maui. Many Maui beaches offer beach wheelchair rentals, making the sand and ocean accessible. Haleakala National Park has some accessible trails and viewpoints that can be accessed with a pass. The Maui Ocean Center is “totally wheelchair accessible”, and Bruce also mentions the Atlantis Submarine experience on every island being accessible. The Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Bruce also mentions Adaptive Sports Maui that offers a variety of activities like surfing and canoeing. Historic Lahaina Town “is completely wheelchair accessible. Many Maui whale watching outfits are also fully accessible.
On Oahu, Bruce mentions the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquariums accessibility. He also notes that private tours like Secret Hawaii Tours offer full accessibility. Bruce says Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Beach Park, Hanauma, and Kailua Beach are all accessible. As is the Bishop Museum, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the USS Arizona Memorial are noted. Bruce says that all parks and museums on Oahu are accessible.
Bruce continues with tips for individuals with disabilities visiting Hawaii on the Big Island. Volcanoes National Park offers several accessible tours and trails. Sea Paradise and Fair Wind are snorkeling tours that offer accessibility to explore under the sea. Bruce also says that scenic drives are a great idea, mentioning spectacular Akaka Falls and the Hamakua Coast. Whale watching with Kona Ocean Adventures is “especially good for wheelchair accessible folks”. Farmer’s markets in Hilo are noted, and Bruce mentions the helicopter tour company Paradise Helicopters. Bruce then names several Big Island beaches that are noted for their accessibility.
On Kauai, Waimea Canyon National Park has exceptional accessibility. Bruce notes several scenic drives, including Hanapepe Loop Road. The National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kauai offers and accessible tram tour, and the Kilauea Lighthouse has accessible parking and accommodations.
Bruce ends his tips for individuals with disabilities visiting Hawaii by encouraging listeners to contact Hawaii Aloha Travel about their accessibility needs as you do your own research about wheelchair access and activities for seniors.