A chain of five islands in the Pacific Ocean, between North America and Asia, became the 50th State in 1950. The tropical paradise of Hawaii has grown into one of the finest vacation destinations offered. Most visitors land in capital city Honolulu on the island of Oahu, and are whisked to one of the amazing beachfront Hawaii hotels. Explore this island by driving to the North Shore to see world-class surfing; stop at the Pali Lookout for a panoramic photo. Pearl Harbor is a must-see, historic monument. Hiking Diamond Head and hanging on Waikiki Beach are iconic experiences as well.
Following the chain to the southeast, Molokai is famous for the leper colony founded by Father Damien in 1866, now designated Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Beautiful untouched beaches and no high rise development create this island’s setting. Next you will find Maui, the “Valley Isle”, which boasts Haleakala National Park with its memorable Road to Hana, a curving, twisting, hair bending drive and the Seven Sacred Pools. Many visitors choose to stay near Lahaina and Kaanapali on the western coast, with nearby Kapalua airport. Twenty miles to Lahaina’s south lies Kihei, with smaller hotels and less traffic. The east coast city of Kahului offers an airport and the University of Hawaii-Maui. ‘Iao Valley State Park lies between Lahaina and Kahului, a great setting for a picnic; check out quaint Paia Town or take a whale-watching excursion.
Just west of Maui is tiny Lanai; known for quite exclusive resorts. It’s where you go to completely unwind and be left alone. Farthest southeast and largest in size, Hawaii (The Big Island) offers the state’s second largest city, Hilo, on its east coast. The Big Island offers two airports: at Kona on the west coast, and at Hilo on the east coast. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park lies on the southeast coast of the island near Hilo. You can walk right on lava fields, and nothing in the world compares to edging right up to molten lava flowing over a cliff into the sea below, especially spectacular at night with bright oranges and reds. The Kailua-Kona area is the third most populous in the state; enjoy Kaloko-Hanokohau National Historical Park just outside the city; to its south you can explore Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. The northwest corner of the island features Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site.
The island of Kauai is northwest of Oahu and you will find a selection of Princeville hotels to the north. It is near the northwestern Napali Coast, featuring some of the most breathtaking canyons and waterfalls, perfect for seeing by helicopter. Waimea Canyon State Park is also located here as is Koke’e State Park.
Sun, sand and a tropical paradise, and you don’t even have to leave the U.S.! A visit to each of Hawaii’s islands is unique, and it is easy to island hop if you would like. This vacation is going to be one that is as fun to plan as it is to experience!