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Wanderlust – Hawaii

So, my travel bug is contagious. The boy and I have a growing list of weekend road-trips, adventure itineraries and international extravaganzas in the works, but it’s nice to see our BIG ideas have inspired family and friends to join the party!

We are hoping to get our passports within the next couple of months (hard to believe we don’t have them already), until then, it is safe to plan for travel within the 50. The United States has so much variety to keep the indecisive traveler busy. For the thick-blooded mid-westerners (like my family), tropical getaways tend to top the list. After 3 years in Florida, and multiple trips to California, we were looking to try something new…HAWAII!

Now, after living in Orlando, I have a new appreciation for locals in tourist destinations. I wanted to do my best to research Hawaii for a respectable balance between sight-seeing and experiencing “real” Hawaii. Comments & suggestions are appreciated!



History –
The language of Hawaii and archaeological discoveries indicate that Hawaii was settled by two distinct waves of Polynesian migration. Modern Hawaiian history begins on January 20, 1778, when Captain James Cook’s expedition made its first contact with the Hawaiian people on the islands of Kauai and Niihau. The islands are the “icing on the cake” of the United States, becoming the 50th state only 55 years ago. Historical Attractions: Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona and USS Missouri Memorial; State Capital in Honolulu, Oahu; Royal Capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom in Lahaina “Lele”, Maui; the temples and Kii of Puuhonua o Honaunau in south Kona, 

A taste of Hawaii – Chief exports are cane sugarpineappleflowerscoffee beansbananas, and macadamia nutsYUM!

When to go? – Best time to travel to Hawaii? ALWAYS! But seriously…Spring seems to be the best bet for experience and affordability. According to GuideofHawaii.com, “The weather is almost always perfect and in general this is the best time to find good travel bargains. After mid-April most airfare and lodging prices drop as a result of high season ending.” July has the highest level of visitor arrivals, but Summer is uncomfortable for most due to high temperatures and humidity.  Fall is rainy as trade winds increase. Winter is high season for travel. On average, the prices are higher and occupancy rates are higher. Christmas is a time to avoid for anyone who dislikes crowds.

Islands:

  • Hawaii: “the big island”, Volcanoes National Park, Kona. 
  • Maui: Voted “Best Island” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler for 19 years. 
  • Oahu: North Shore, Diamond Head,  Hanauma Bay, Makapuu Lighthouse. 
  • Kauai: Waimea Canyon, Kilauea Lighthouse and National Wildlife Refuge.

Must See & Do:

  • Snorkel:  Molokini, Maui: crescent moon-shaped island for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Molokini is a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District
  • Surf:  “the perfect wave” is found at Oahu’s North Shore. May-Sept waves subside, creating a more tranquil atmosphere for surfing swimming and sunbathing. 
  • Waterfalls: Waianuenue “Rainbow Falls” (80 foot), Kahuna Falls (100 foot), Akaka Falls (442 foot), Hiilawe Falls (1,300 foot). 
  • Volcanoes: Volcanoes National Park features 150 miles of hiking trails, the Thurston Lava Tube (a 500-year old lava cave), and Halemaumau Crater (known as the home of Pele, the volcano goddess) and the Kilauea volcano. Kilauea has been in a constant state of eruption since 1983. 
  • Whale Watching: According to gohawaii.com, one of the best viewing spots in the world is the shallow Auau Channel between West Maui, Lanai & Molokai. 
  • Hiking: Wa’ahila Ridge Trail (Honolulu, Oahu), Diamond Head Summit Trail (Honolulu, Oahu), Pipiwai Trail & Waimoku Falls (Hana, Maui). 
  • Food: Luau (Kalua pig, haupia, poi), Coffee (Kona), Fish (marlin, ahi, mahimahi), shaved ice, macadamia nuts, pineapple…

References –
http://www.hawaiianroots.com/hawaiihistory.htm
http://www.gohawaii.com
http://www.hawaii-guide.com/content/posts/best_time_to_travel_to_hawaii  http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-hawaii
http://www.infoplease.com/us-states/hawaii.html

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