Here guest writer and Hawaii fan Andy Young tells us why you should visit the crowd pleasing travel destination…
Hawaii is well-known as one of the world’s natural beauty spots and always ranks highly on the many ‘most desirable vacation’ lists. Just over seven million visitors arrive here each year to enjoy the many sightseeing attractions and activities in this group of Pacific Ocean islands.
Surfing at Waikiki Beach, witnessing volcanic eruptions and humpback whale watching cruises are just a few of the many exciting highlights available on a trip to Hawaii. The Hawaiian beaches are second to none and the year-round high temperatures – 80°F even during the winter – means this is a reliable beach destination whenever you travel.
Each of the eight major islands holds their own distinct attractions such as scuba diving in Lanai, surfing at Oahu or relaxing on the idyllic beaches of Maui. If you’re a first-time visitor then consider one of the many Honolulu hotels and use the state capital of Hawaii as your base from which to explore this beautiful region of the world.
Exploring the state capital
Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu. This city is a major tourist destination and arts and culture lovers are well catered for here, via the galleries of the Chinatown art walk district and museums such as Bishop Museum and the historic Iolani Palace. Nightlife options in the capital include the live music venues along Kalakaua Avenue, to the many first class restaurants and local neighbourhood eateries serving Hawaiian cuisine. Oahu is home to numerous beautiful beaches including the famous Waikiki Beach on the south shore, as well as the legendary surfing beach at Waimea Bay.
Viewing an active volcano
A highlight of any trip to Hawaii is the chance to view an erupting volcano and there are five active volcanoes to choose from. Kilauea is considered the world’s most active volcano and which has been continuously active since its last eruption in 1983. A trip to the 377 square mile Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island allows visitors to drive to the Kilauea crater rim, walk through 500 year old lava caves and witness the lava flow from the Kalapana viewing site.
Life on Hawaii is geared towards outdoor activities thanks to the beautiful climate, and watersports are something of a way of life. Hawaii is often called the birthplace of surfing and that may be because there are surfing spots such as Pe’ahi, which translates to Jaws, on Maui, where waves are said to reach 120 feet. Other famous surfing spots include the legendary mile long rides available at Canoes in Oahu and the extremely strong currents at Lopa Beach on Lanai, which are not suitable for beginners. If you’re not a surfing enthusiast then scuba diving, snorkelling, canoeing and kayaking are all popular watersports available on the islands.
Whale watching cruises
One of the most exciting activities available is to spot the 52 feet long humpback whales cut through the ocean waters. Two thirds of the North Pacific whale population can be found in the Hawaiian ocean between December through May. Getting up close to these amazing creatures from the deck of a boat and listening to their haunting tones is an unforgettable experience.
Composed of six unique islands, a trip to Hawaii will never disappoint, no matter how many times it’s repeated. So if you fancy seeing what’s so special about this idyllic American outpost, grab your garland and your floral shirt and start planning…