Starting from the Battleship Row of Pearl Harbor fame to the warm and inviting sands of Waikiki Beach, Hawaii allures holidaymakers to its shores in vast numbers. You can look for houses for rent in Hawaii, or travel around. Apart from admiring the natural beauty of Hawaii, there is so much to experience and explore in this tropical paradise, that you are bound to be mesmerized on this amazing vacation. So irrespective of whether you intend to just rejuvenate, or simply let the sand run under your feet, this exclusive itinerary and guide to Hawaii will introduce you to the must see gems of this popular destination.
Start with Honolulu
Your dream trip commences immediately upon arrival at Oahu, where a traditional Polynesian welcome awaits you. After adequate rest, take a tour of the Pearl Harbor Memorial, dedicated to the 1102 brave men who laid down their lives in the infamous Japanese attack. A narration of the dramatic air raid of December 7, 1941, with a visit to the USS Arizona and the battleship USS Missouri culminates a morning well spent.
The art lovers can opt for an excursion to the Polynesian Cultural Center to witness an exclusive performance by over a hundred artists. Most of the performers come from the different island they represent giving the center a degree of authenticity. Other sights include the Punchbowl National Cemetery, Chinatown, the Royal Palace and the statue of Kamehameha the Great.
The north shore of Oahu is basically a region which lies between Ka’ena Point in west Oahu and Kahuku point in east Oahu. The north shore is a haven for surfers, who throng here in the winter season, to ride some of the largest waves to be found anywhere else. Some important surfing places are Waimea beach, Sunset beach and Ehukai beach.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Fly down to Hilo on the east coast and drive down to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and visit the active volcanic crater of Mt Kilauea, rising 4,090 feet above sea level. Witness steaming smoke pits and lava flows in this fiery wonderland. While hot lava flows down the sides of the mountain, there are many areas of the road covered by dry lava, displaying a stark reminder of nature’s forces.
The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is an active macadamia and coffee producing farm, which imparts rich knowledge about the Kona coffee industry and their pioneers. Kona is an ideal place to savor traditional Hawaii specialties like poi and learn the hula. Helicopter flights and excursions to Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling are highly recommended.
There is so much physical activities for those who want to stay fit traveling, but there is also a lot of sights to relax and see. The Valley island of Maui, can be accessed by an early morning flight from Kona. Take a trip to the dense green ‘Iao Valley to explore the spectacular volcanic spire, ‘Ioa Needle. Activities abound in this region which can include the incredible humpback whale migration during the season. Another option is taking the “ road to hana”, an impressive drive covering 54 bridges and plenty of waterfalls. The road runs from Pa’ia to the remote township of Hana.
No trip to Maui is deemed complete without a visit to the iconic Haleakala National Park to see the Haleakala crater, a designated International Biosphere Reserve, standing at 10,000 feet. Views from the summit exhibit the dormant crater, apart from stunning visuals at sunrise of the entire island.
The Maui Ocean Theatre affords unforgettable views of marine animals like sharks, stingrays, turtles and other creatures which live below the surface of the sea. The glass tunnel provides great close ups of this interesting sea life.
This is undoubtedly the major attraction of Hawaii, offering an exquisite ocean facing beach in the suburb of Honolulu. Waikiki beach is easily accessible and offers all modern amenities and entertainment of a cosmopolitan city. The extinct volcanic crater of the Diamond Head volcano lies at one end of this crescent shaped sun drenched beach.
The name Waikiki actually means ‘spouting water’ and was patronised at one time only by the royal families. Only after the opening of the first premier hotel in 1901, did Waikiki threw its doors open to foreign visitors. Today Waikiki enjoys the distinction of being the most popular vacation destination in the world.
Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
This scenic coastline on Kauai is said to be one of the most beautiful spot on earth. Apart from being a picturesque place, the Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is steeped in Hawaiian history and culture. An abundance of flora and fauna, natural food resources and fresh water supplied though rivers and waterfalls has made Na Pali an attractive sightseeing spot.
Access to this amazing place is only by boat and visitors have the luxury of experiencing this magical place in an ocean vessel. Tourists can also enjoy snorkeling tours and sunset dinner cruises, through a number of agencies specialising in the same.
A visit to Hawaii requires an average level of fitness as most tours involve climbing stairs or walking fair distances, sometimes over uneven surfaces. The highest point on the tour can be as high as 13,000 feet above sea level. Hawaii happens to be five hours behind EST, or Eastern Standard Time. The electricity in use runs on 120 volts, while the currency in use is the US dollar.
Irrespective of whether you are a resident of Hawaii or a first timer planning a visit to this island paradise, there are innumerable wonderful locations to be experienced in Hawaii. Though this short list can’t do enough justice to see these islands in their entirety, it will surely make your sojourn much more easy.