There are a number of good reasons why the Hawaiian Islands are one of the planet's most popular tourist destinations. From world-class beaches to active volcanoes to lush island vegetation, the beauty of Hawaii is unmatched by no other place on earth. A host of diverse dining and shopping opportunities make Hawaii a destination that will please even those travelers with the most discerning tastes. Boasting some of the best weather in the world, it is no wonder that so many people flock to this island paradise. The melting pot of cultures and the storied history also make Hawaii an educational experience.
Hawaii is comprised of eight main islands, all of which offer something unique and defining. The only challenging part of your Hawaiian vacation will be narrowing down what to do and see first. Here is a list of some of the highlights of the Aloha State!
The Best Places to Stay
Hawaii offers an incredibly diverse experience depending on what island you decide to make your home base. Those looking for a more metropolitan vibe should choose Oahu for the bustling city life and endless activities. If you are looking for a lush landscape and secluded experience, Kauai would be the ideal choice. Those seeking the thrill of touring an active volcano should not miss the Big Island while those chasing the sun and abundant whale watching opportunities should consider the island of Maui.
Oahu's Waikiki Beach boasts a multitude of lodging options from historic resorts such as the Moana Surfrider and the Royal Hawaiian to the sprawling family-friendly Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Visitors to Maui will delight in the impeccable service and luxurious accommodations of the Grand Wailea. When vacationing in Kauai, you would be wise to consider the sunny beaches of Poipu and the majesty of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. If visiting the north end of the island, the Princeville Resort offers sweeping views of the ocean waters of Hanalei Bay. The Sheraton Kona is an idyllic escape from reality in one of the most happening spots of the Big Island.
Where to start? Hawaii offers a cornucopia of interesting and exciting activities to try while visiting this slice of heaven. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate all of the opportunities to get outside and connect with Mother Nature. Those looking for amazing hikes will find it on the island of Kauai. From the magnificent views provided by the Waimea Canyon to the strolls through cascading waterfalls to the challenge of the Napali Coast, there is a hike for every skill level and interest.
Water lovers will rejoice in the chance to snorkel, swim, surf, and boat through the beautiful and tranquil waters surrounding all of the Hawaiian islands. The surfing is historically best on Oahu's North Shore and the northern parts of Kauai. Hanauma Bay in Oahu and locations along Poipu Beach in Kauai offer some of the best snorkeling in the region. It is easy to rent snorkel gear for a day or a week so that you can take advantage of the opportunity to get up close and personal with sea turtles, tropical fish, and more. During the winter months, whale watchers flock to Maui to get a glimpse of these majestic creatures dancing in the waters.
The Most Exciting Sights
There is a myriad of activities in Hawaii, designed to please every travel taste and preference. Those who appreciate culture and history will enjoy the Polynesian Cultural Center, conveniently located on Oahu. This living museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of the people of the Pacific islands. Visitors should also not miss an authentic Hawaiian luau, complete with native food and entertainment. No visit to Honolulu is complete without a trip to see Pearl Harbor and the moving USS Arizona Memorial.
Over on Maui, the Road to Hana is a journey for those who appreciate some of the best that Mother Nature has to offer. The Big Island boasts two active volcanoes nestled inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This educational experience allows guests to view a variety of native flora and fauna while seeing the wonder of volcanoes from a vantage point like no other. A helicopter tour over Kauai's famed Napali Coast is the perfect ending to an idyllic trip to paradise.