Hawaii consists of 19 sun-drenched islands. From blue lagoons to soaring volcanoes, lush rainforest for serene sandy swathes, it is a playground and backdrop for relaxation all rolled into one. A geological wonderland that entices visitors back year after year, the 50th state of the US is a very special place indeed.
Stunning sights, fantastic facilities and a unique location, it is time to say “aloha” to Hawaii, one of the most perfect archipelagos on the planet. While there are 19 islands, six offer accommodation for the thousands of visitors that grace the shores each year. The four most popular destinations are:
The biggest island in Hawaii, it has a towering volcanic centre that then flows down to the golden coastline and pristine waters with lush foliage. The Volcanoes National Park is a breathtaking place, filled with more than 23,000 rock carvings, where you can hike through the dramatic terrain, through the Thurston Lava Tube, and see the sun set atop of the Kilauea Caldera volcano.
The city of Hilo is a great place to visit and, if you are there during the Merrie Monarch Festival then you can watch the celebration of the ancient Hawaiian dance – the hula. Don’t miss the Mookini Luakini Helau, on the Kohala Coast, this is the most sacred temple in Hawaii and is 1,500 years old.
Home of the state capital of Honolulu, this is a popular destination and has been known as the ‘gateway’ to the United States mainland. It boasts great dining and shopping options.
Consider taking a drive through the scenic Hana Highway. This 109-kilometre stretch of road is known as one of the greatest roadtrips in the world and is a breathtaking journey that takes you through beautiful jungle interior and past stunning waterfalls. The Pineapple Express train is another wonderful journey where you will pass the old Dole Plantation, which was the centre of the country’s pineapple industry.
Want to try surfing? You’re in luck because the North Shore is renowned for good waves and they get some of the biggest on the planet during the winter months. Waikiki Beach is also a popular spot for anyone looking for a surf lesson while the Waimea Valley National Park has some great hiking and cliff diving opportunities. Check out the ancient sport of canoe paddling too at the Ala Wai Park between February and September.
A visit to the Arizona War Memorial at Pearl Harbour is highly recommended.
Whilst on the island, take the opportunity to visit the Bishop Museum, which is a restored mission home complete with artefacts and a native garden. Also, you can experience the Hula here or at Halekuani’s House Without a Key to get a glimpse of the ancient dance.
Stunning, dramatic scenery makes for a wonderful backdrop on the island that is known as the ‘Valley Isle’ thanks the valleys engraved in the volcanoes. It isn’t all rugged landscape as the Maui is home to no fewer than 80 beautiful beaches. Ka’anapali Beach is one of the most well known and is the perfect place to participate in some cliff diving.
Winter sees the arrival of humpback whales and you can head out to see them off the coast at Wailea. The Molokini underwater volcanic crater is a stunning area where you can dive with sea turtles and bike up to Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise.
Another island that comes complete with green mountains and waterfalls, Kauai is a tropical paradise. Head to the Napali Coast for beautiful views or fly through the jungle on ziplines at the Princeville Ranch. Elsewhere, you can test your swing on the golf courses, relax in the spas or watch dolphins on the Na Pali Coast.
Visit old Hawaii by taking a trip to Molokai. An island undisturbed by the influx of tourism, you can see the tallest waterfall in Hawaii and the highest sea cliffs in the world..
Food is important to those from Hawaii and you will see south-east Asian influences shine through in the cuisine. Keep your eyes peeled for Loco Moco and masaladas while the POG (a drink with guava, orange and passion fruit) is delicious. A shave ice is also popular and perfect for a cool down.
There is much more to these islands than just golden sands and surfing the waves, as the middle of each island is dramatic and rugged in equal measure.
It might be the 50th state of the United States but it’s a world away to your classic American holiday. The iconic Waikiki Beach in Honolulu boasts the view of the classic palm-lined beach haven but then you can also experience the likes of Volcanoes National Park on Big Island where you work through jungle and climb to the top for a sensational panoramic.
Whether you want adventure or a couple of weeks relaxing in tropical weather, it is all here in Hawaii.
Things to do in Hawaii
A trip to Hawaii is sure to be an unforgettable holiday. Find out more about this destination, and you can have a tailor-made trip to paradise.
As the temperature doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, your suitcase will look pretty much the same whenever you travel to Hawaii.
Sun, sea and sand are what come to mind when you think of the trip so beachwear with swim suits, shorts, t-shirts, skirts, sundresses and other cover-up clothing is imperative. On your feet you will want sandals, flip-flops or water shoes if you like to wear something in the ocean. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen for the intense sun rays. Also, if you think you might hike in a national park or take a helicopter tour then a pair of walking shoes will be extremely useful.
In the evening the temperature cools off a little but not too much so casual shoes, long pants and a light jacket or sweater will be useful. Some restaurants may be smart casual so consider dress shoes, blouses and collared shirts.
Plenty of things can be bought in the chain pharmacies on the islands but make sure you have important toiletries, lotions and medications in your bag so that you aren’t without anything.
Hawaii has a tropical climate but the islands experience different conditions depending on their location. Generally, the weather is very consistent and there are two seasons: summer from May through October and winter that runs from November to April.
At sea level, you get a daytime temperature of just over 29ºC in the summer whilst in winter you can expect 25ºC as the average during the day. At night these will cool off by between 10 to 12 degrees. These are ideal beach holiday conditions and the warm trade winds add to the paradise feel of the islands.
The recommended time to travel to Hawaii is between March and May because you get calm waters, cool days and very little rainfall. June to August give you the highest temperatures while December and February receives rain.
It is important to remember that, as the islands are on a hot spot beneath the earth’s Pacific Plate, they have mountains in the middle and the temperature can get significantly cooler inland. Also, keep in mind that the islands are bio diverse thanks to leeward sides – which are hot and dry – and windward sides – which are cool and moist.
Check out our Blog to see some of the amazing experiences Hawaii has to offer
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