Hawaii - the Aloha State - welcomes and seduces visitors with its
frangipani-scented sea breezes and tropical warmth. This is where East merges
with West in a blur of hula and disco, soap operas and creation myths, japanese tea ceremonies, Shinto shrines and surf clubs.
Mark Twain declared Hawaii to be 'the loveliest fleet of islands that lies
anchored in any ocean', and not even thirty years of mass tourism have managed
to prove him wrong. Whether your thing is volcano spotting, surfing or just
lying back and smelling the orchids, this is the place to indulge yourself.
Gateway to the Pacific, the small chain of exotic islands known as Hawaii
contains a wealth of cultural diversity, with numerous attractions across its
islands that include Pearl Harbor, the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hilo,
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hapuna Beach, Captain Cook Monument, Akaka Falls
State Park, and Nani Mau Gardens.
Best explored on foot, some of the best hiking destinations on the Big Island of
Hawaii are Volcanoes National Park, Waipio Valley, Akaka Falls, Kealakekua Bay,
and the Blue Lagoon. Whatever your inclination, you will find it here on
Hawaii's Big Island, from exploring the ocean depths in a submarine,
whale-watching or deep-sea fishing to golf on some of the world's most legendary
First-time visitors to Hawaii often find themselves planning their next trip
back to this island paradise. And there's no debating that almost everyone would
enjoy what the islands of Hawaii have to offer. Beautiful stretches of beaches,
lush tropical forests, magnificent flowers, a rich cultural heritage, and
glowing rivers of red-hot lava that pour into the sea.
The islands of HAWAII , with their volcanoes ,
palm-fringed beaches , verdant valleys , glorious rainbows and awesome cliffs ,
hold some of the most spectacularly beautiful scenery on earth. However, despite
their isolation, two thousand miles out in the Pacific, they belong very
definitely to the United States.
If you expect your South Seas idyll to be
completely unspoiled, forget it; the fantasy of a dream holiday in Paradise
remains firmly rooted in the creature comforts of home. With seven million
tourists per year, including honeymooners from all over the world, frequent
fliers cashing in their mileage, and almost two million Japanese, the islands
can seem like a gigantic theme park.
Honolulu , by far the largest city of the fiftieth
state, and with its resort annex of Waikiki also the main tourist center, is on
Oahu . The biggest island, Hawaii itself, is known as the Big
Island in a vain attempt to avoid confusion. Maui and Kauai also attract mass
tourism, while smaller Molokai remains far quieter. All the islands share a
similar topography and climate . Ocean winds from the northeast shed their rain
on the windward coast, keeping it wet and green; the southwest, leeward (or
"Kona") coasts can be almost barren, and so make ideal locations for
big resorts. While temperatures remain consistent throughout the year at between
70°F and 85°F, rainfall is heaviest from December to March. That is
nonetheless the most popular time to visit.
to Hawaii doesn't have to cost a fortune. The one major expense you
really can't avoid, except possibly on Oahu, is car rental - rates are very
reasonable, but gas is pricey.