Many people give America’s 50th state the nickname Paradise and it doesn’t take long on these spectacular volcanic islands to realize that the moniker is well earned.
Travel to the Hawaiian Islands to enjoy white sand beaches, view volcanic lava flow, appreciate culture and tradition and relax in warm tropical settings. You’ll find history, adventure and island friendship.
Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii (Big Island) with smoke rising and lava flowing from the state’s active volcanoes, Maunaloa and Kilauea. Walk on the 150-mile (241-kilometer) trail to observe the destruction and rebirth that follows the lava cooling. Go to the Kalapana viewing area where you can see remains of a town overrun by volcanic flow. Here hot lava meets cold ocean waters with striking results.
On Oahu, drive to the top of Leahi (Diamond Head) and explore the remnants of World War II military bunkers and tunnels. Gaze at stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The main city of Honolulu offers high-rise accommodations, glorious beach resorts, luxury-brand shopping, a lively Chinatown and exciting nightlife.
In Waikiki visit historic sites commemorating the 1941 invasion of Pearl Harbor, which sank dozens of ships, killed many Americans, and triggered U.S. engagement in World War II. Take the boat tour to the memorial for the USS Arizona, permanently resting under the harbor waters.
On Kauai, shop in Lihue for local clothing, handicrafts and artwork. Travel north to Kilawea’s lighthouse to watch for whales and listen to seabirds keening. At Princeville have a drink, play golf at the spectacular resort or snorkel amid the coral of Anini Beach where sea turtles and rays may glide along next to you. Drive up Waimea Canyon or hike along the Na Poli coast.
Book a table for a traditional luau with poi, roasted pig and island punch. Drink the Kona coffee. Visit a pineapple or coffee plantation. Watch a hula performance and take a lesson to learn how natives communicate using the fluid body movements of this Polynesian dance. Look for the colorful state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, easy to say if you remember that every vowel is pronounced in the Hawaiian language.