Hawaii Destination Guide
Hawaii holidays need no introduction as one of the best ways to relax and enjoy some Pacific Ocean sunshine. Kick back on the pristine beaches of Maui or head to livelier Oahu for the best of Hawaii's nightlife and culture. Adventure lovers can get their thrills on the 'Big Island,' where hiking and four-wheel drive expeditions are popular activities. If that isn't enough, Hawaii also boasts some of the best big-wave surfing in the world. Not surprisingly the Hawaiian islands are a magnet for surfers and watersports enthusiasts from across the globe.
The list of things to do in Hawaii is extensive, however many of the most popular options revolve around the beach. Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu is one of Hawaii's most famous and you can surf its breaks against a backdrop of glittering high-rise buildings. Away from the coastline, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a popular attraction. It's where you'll find the spectacular Halemaumau Crater – part of the famous Kilauea volcano which is constantly billowing a spectacular stream of lava and ash.
Hawaiian food tends to be a fusion of the many different cultures which make up the islands. Capital Honolulu is perhaps the best place to sample Hawaii restaurants, however a more authentic way to sample Hawaiian food is at a traditional 'luau.' Here you can enjoy buffet-style meals amidst traditional Polynesian music and hula dancing. Popular meals include steamed pork, 'saimin' noodles and a wide array of seafood dishes. If you're looking for a place to drink consider heading to one of Kona Brewing's two pub-restaurants in Kailua Kona or Hawaii Kai, with microbrewing one of the fastest growing industries on the islands.
As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, Hawaii accommodation runs the gamut from cheap hostels to 5-star luxury resorts. The two most visited islands of Oahu and Maui have the widest range of options, from cheap and cheerful bed and breakfasts to long-term holiday rentals. The outer isles of Kauai, Molokai and Lanai have fewer options, although sparsely populated Lanai is home to a couple of exclusive 5-star resorts. The 'Big Island' of Hawaii is a popular place to stay for those looking to explore Hawaii's famous active volcanoes.
No trip to Hawaii would be complete without the purchase of an 'aloha shirt' – your own brightly coloured piece of polyester better known as a Hawaiian shirt. Ladies might prefer a 'muumuu' – the billowing long Hawaiian dress typically worn loosely on the shoulder. The islands are also a popular place to shop for bath and body products. Try some frangipani-fragranted bodywash or sample some sandalwood-scented soaps, with Hawaii a great place to stock up on bathroom products.
Hawaii like a Local
The 'hula' is one of Hawaii's most famous exports and you can learn this ancient dance at one of the many fun-filled classes which take place across the islands. To immerse yourself in the world of hula try to time your visit to coincide with the Merrie Monarch Festival – a week-long cultural festival with a strong emphasis on hula which takes place in Hilo. Hawaii weather is comfortable year-round, so if surfing is more your style consider heading for the beaches of Oahu in winter for some of the Pacific's best breaks.