HawaiiBeach scene

Is just another state but oh so different. Separated from the rest of the country by several thousand miles of ocean, it is a series of volcanic islands located just above the equator. Its attractions include beautiful beaches, live volcanoes, tropical jungles, and an island culture that is different from the rest of the states.

We have been Hawaii specialists for many years. I lived there for over three years and am quite familiar with all our 50th state has to offer.

Hawaii is made up of a number of islands - four major ones, two smaller ones and a number uninhabited rocks that just barely stick above the waters of the Pacific. The most visited islands include:

Oahu - is not the biggest of the islands but it is the most populous. It is home to many of the icons that suggest Hawaii - Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, the Arizona Memorial, Honolulu, and Punch Bowl Cemetary - but there are many other attractions that make it one of the islands not to be missed. Some of them are: The Bishop museum in Honolulu - everything you could ever want to know about the history of Hawaii. Polynesian Cultural Center - located on the north shore - is a living exhibit of the various South Pacific cultures, the best dance show on any of the Islands, and one of the better luaus available. Hanauma Bay - not far from Waikiki - I don't think there is a better spot for a beginning snorkeler than this beautiful bay.

Hawaii - aptly named the "Big Island". It is here that you can walk through a live volcano. Mauna Kea, the inactive volcano, rises almost 14,000 feet above sea level but more than 30,000 feet if measured from the ocean floor (making it taller than Mt. Everest. A drive around the Big Island will take you through most every environment you can imagine. There is generally enough snow on the top of Mauna Kea that you can ski in the winter. You will travel through dense tropical jungle and barren desert as well as rolling hills and pastures. Of course the whole island is surrounded by beautiful beaches and the Pacific Ocean.

Maui - is an island formed from two volcanoes. One of the is the famous Haleakala (in Hawaiian the home of the sun). A traditional trip for Maui visitors is to see the sunrise from the top of Haleakala. It's a pretty tough drive (in the dark if you want to be there when the sun comes up) and it is over 10,000 feet so it can get a little chilly but the experience is one you will remeber for the rest of your life. Maui is home to a beautiful jungle park where the Iao Needle is located (strange tall narrow rock formation. Probably the largest town, Lahina, was originally a whaling stop - lots of history and the world's largest banyan tree (completly covers the town square).

Kauai - also called the "Garden Isle", is a striking collection of tall cliffs and deep valleys. It substituted for Bali Hai in the motion picture South Pacific. It is small and less populated than the others but has a beauty that is unique among the islands. There are some hidden beaches here that are only accessable by boat or heliocopter. There is lots of wilderness hiking available.

How to Visit

There are cruises to Hawaii but they come with some funny rules. There is an American law that says that a ship cannot leave and return to an American port unless she visits a foreign port before returning. The exception to this law is if the ship was built in the US (98% of all cruise ships are built overseas), flies the American flag (hardly any do - it costs less to be registered in Panama), and is crewed by Americans, then (and only then) can it visit all American ports. At this time the only line that qualifies under these rules is NCL (Norwegian Caribbean Line. You can fly to Hawaii and travel between the Islands on their ships. Everyone else cruises from the mainland (up to 10 sea days) and returns after stopping at a foreign port in Mexico or Canada.

Because we can understand the language and read the signs, it is a good spot for self exploration. Interisland air transport is inexpensive and easily available. Land at the airport, pick up a car, and drive to the hotel. You might skip the car on Oahu - most of the things you want to see are readily available with a tour. Having a car on the other islands is really a benefit. Accommodations in hotels or house-keeping condos are readily available and reasonable.

Additional Information

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Hawaii Research

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Beach Vacation?

Hawaii is a great place for a beach vacation but, if you spend all your time on the beach, you will miss a lot of what Hawaii has to offer.

If you think about going, be sure to give us a call. We'll make sure that you know about all of the other attractions besides the beach.