Travelers enter this happening Hawaiian paradise through Honolulu, a 5.5-hour flight from Los Angeles. Oahu’s biggest city is a favorite in T+L’s annual America’s Favorite Cities survey—ranking No. 1 for romance and No. 2 for families—and Oahu’s fabled North Shore is only 90 minutes by car. This is where pro and amateur surfers head to catch waves of epic proportions during high surf season (October through March). Humpback whale season, when the mammals arrive from Alaska to mate and give birth, is at least as popular.