Many couples dream of a romantic vacation or honeymoon in Hawaii, but it’s not always feasible. Perhaps it’s too far to go in the limited amount of time you have, or it’s too expensive for your budget. Or maybe you want to consider an alternative to Hawaii that isn’t experiencing over-tourism.
Whatever your reasons for looking for Hawaii alternatives for a honeymoon or romantic trip, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll tell you all about 12 of the best alternatives to Hawaii, including Hawaii alternatives in the USA, beaches like Hawaii in the USA, which Caribbean island is most like Hawaii, which state is similar to Hawaii, and what is like Hawaii but cheaper.
What is like Hawaii but cheaper?
Some of the best cheaper Hawaii alternatives include the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, Belize, and San Diego, California.
Which state is similar to Hawaii?
While no other state is really the same as Hawaii, two do offer many similar experiences. California and Florida have long coasts with stunning beaches; watersports including surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving; plenty of outdoor activities; excellent cuisine; and historic and cultural centers.
Here are our top 12 choices for the best alternatives to Hawaii.
San Diego, California
What is an alternative to Hawaii where you can surf, get in plenty of beach time, and enjoy a laidback city vibe at the same time? Sunny San Diego in southern California is your choice.
This beautiful spot has all the amenities of a major city but the charm of a small beach town. There’s plenty to do, fabulous cuisine, and miles and miles of waterfront. And best of all, you don’t have to leave the country to enjoy this paradise. No customs, no immigration, no passports…just a domestic flight, drive, or train ride, and you’re there. This makes San Diego an easier and cheaper Hawaii alternative.
The Florida Keys
One of the best cheaper Hawaii alternatives is this lovely stretch of islands off the southern coast of Florida. You can get here easier and faster, and prices are much lower than in Hawaii, but you’ll still feel like you’re a million miles away.
Look no further for beaches like Hawaii in USA; the Florida Keys offer plenty of undeveloped sandy stretches lined with palm trees and crystal clear waters. You’ll also find great snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities as well as plenty of watersports.
Miami also offers beaches like Hawaii in the USA. The famous strip at Miami Beach is wide and lined with palm trees, and the water is beautiful. There are tons of hip resorts either on the beach or a short walking distance away, and the nightlife here is legendary.
Just offshore are coral reefs to snorkel or scuba dive. You can also swim, surf, sail, paddleboard, kayak, go fishing, and more. There are also plenty of things to do in the greater Miami area, and you can even add on a road trip to the Florida Keys for a more undeveloped, island experience. If you love nature, be sure to check out the nearby Everglades National Park.
Puerto Rico is a great option for a cheaper Hawaii alternative in the USA. U.S. citizens can easily visit this beautiful and friendly Caribbean island with plenty of direct flights and no passport needed.
Accommodations, activities, and dining options are affordable, and you’ll have your pick of beautiful beaches and scenic spots. There are also mountains, jungles, rainforests, and waterfalls to explore, as well as great local culture, fascinating history, and delicious food. Puerto Rico also offers excellent surfing.
Which Caribbean island is most like Hawaii? St. Lucia is often called “little Hawaii” because of its stunning scenery, featuring the iconic Piton mountains, a rainforest interior, and pristine beaches. It even has a dormant volcano, Soufriere, which you can actually drive through.
This excellent Hawaii alternative is just a few hours’ flight from the U.S., with plenty of direct flights offered from major cities. Choose St. Lucia for outdoor adventures, hiking, breathtaking beaches, incredible cuisine, luxury all-inclusive resorts, and a welcoming atmosphere.
St. Lucia is also great for couples who like to snorkel and scuba dive, featuring unique opportunities like diving at the base of the Pitons and exploring the protected Anse Chastenet marine reserve.
Other Caribbean islands with volcanoes include St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica, and Martinique.
Turks & Caicos
Just about 2 hours from the U.S. mainland by air, Turks and Caicos is another of the best alternatives to Hawaii, offering some of the most beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise water in the world.
Turks & Caicos is home to the world’s third-largest coral reef system, and the incredibly clear water makes it a prime choice for divers and snorkelers. You can also enjoy swimming, sailing, watersports, hiking, horseback riding, and more in this Caribbean paradise.
This gorgeous and popular Caribbean island also has a dormant volcano, as well as a lush interior ringed by stunning white sand beaches. Grenada also has black sand beaches, making it even more similar to Hawaii, as well as a rich culture and delicious local cuisine.
It’s a top spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, with plenty of great spots including an amazing underwater sculpture park, healthy coral reefs, and wrecks.
If you’re interested in alternatives to Hawaii that offer surfing, check out Barbados. This lovely Caribbean island is great for surfing, even hosting surfing competitions. It also features thriving coral reefs for excellent snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as sparkling white sand beaches.
Barbados has wonderful year-round weather, crystal clear water, rich culture and history, delicious cuisine and locally made rum, and friendly hospitality. Plus, it’s just a 3 ½-hour flight from Miami.
Another of the best alternatives to Hawaii that is close to the US is this island off of the East Coast. Bermuda offers a beautiful setting and lovely weather all year-round. Couples love the pink sand beaches and clear blue waters, as well as vibrant coral reefs, Crystal Caves, top-notch golf courses, elegant resorts, and charming historic towns.
Bermuda is just a short flight from major East Coast cities, making it much easier to get to than Hawaii.
If you love outdoor adventures, this tiny Central American country is an excellent Hawaii alternative. The snorkeling and scuba diving here are fantastic, with the diverse and thriving Belize Barrier Reef just offshore. The beaches are serene and stunning.
Inland, you can hike through the jungle and see Mayan ruins. The local cuisine is delicious, and you’ll enjoy warm hospitality wherever you go. And best of all, Belize is less expensive than Hawaii and only a few hours by air from the U.S.
If you have plenty of time but are looking for cheaper alternatives to Hawaii, check out this lush Indonesian paradise. You’ll see some of the most spectacular natural beauty but pay a fraction of the cost of a Hawaiian vacation here.
Enjoy outdoor adventures, relax on the incredible beaches, go hiking and exploring in the mountains and jungles, and soak up the fascinating culture. Dining here is both delicious and inexpensive. Bali is also a spiritual center, so vacations here can be especially restorative.
If you’re looking for an adventure-filled island vacation, one of the best alternatives to Hawaii is Fiji. This group of South Pacific islands has something for everyone, from hiking and biking to diving and snorkeling. Considered the soft coral capital of the world, Fiji is a very popular dive spot.
Fiji also offers excellent surfing. Plus, the beaches on these islands are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with white sand, clear blue water, and swaying palm trees. And since Fiji is also Polynesian, it has a similar vibe to Hawaii. However, the islands are less developed and have a more serene, remote feel.