One of our favourite places to go is Hawaii. Our island of choice is Oahu, for several reasons. There are more hotel rooms in Waikiki than elsewhere, and the same holds true for restaurants. There are more things to do if you are not inclined to get skin cancer sitting on a beach all day. While a car is not necessary,with a great bus system, it does offer up more choices, or freedom as I like to think of it. With all the accommodation in food and lodging, the competition is greater for your dollar and hence it will cost less in total for your holiday. Waikiki is a world-class beach and is within walking distance of just about any place in the Waikiki area. Parks and good shopping abound in the area. People watching is a great pastime here.
We have been to other islands in the chain, the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, all very nice and should be on your visit list. Our first trip to Hawaii included the Big Island, and Maui along with Oahu. We chose Kauai on a later trip. The Big Island is aptly named, since it is bigger in area than all the other islands combined. It is quite big, and is best seen by car or tour bus. A number of attractions are available such as the Volcano National Park, where you can witness at a safe distance the presence of lava flows. Hilo is basically in a rain forest, it rains often there. In fact the north side of the island like all the others gets the prevailing winds and hence they all have rain on the north side. The Big Island is probably less than a million years old, and is made up of lave flows. Lava flows are everywhere. Two major mountains dominate the place Mauna Loa, and Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world when measured as all mountains are from the base. Kilauea is an off shoot of Mauna Kea and is erupting as we write! The Big Island is actually growing before your eyes! There is another place to visit called the Place of Refuge and it too is a National Park. It is not to be missed. The early history of the Hawaiian People is on display there.
All the Islands differ to some degree. Maui is a place where pineapples and sugar cane were or are still grown. It has nice beaches, and unless it has changed since we were last there, you need a car to get around to those beaches! Hotels abound as do condo rentals, some on the beaches some back a bit, and these are usually less costly. There is the infamous Road To Hana, a narrow, winding, and many one lane bridged road. It is fun to drive, but do understand that speed is not possible. Haleakala is a dormant, not extinct volcano that can be visited. Some go at night to watch the sunrise. The view on a clear day is spectacular. Both places are well worth the time to go. Haleakala will get snow on the summit, like Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
Kauai is different again, with the Waimea Canyon also known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. It is certainly worth a look, and then continue on the same road to the tallest sea cliffs in the world. Along the same road is another park to visit, and the place that gets the most annual rainfall in the world. It is a mountain top and is reputed to get over 400 inches of rain a year. There are some nice beaches on the north side and they are accessible by road. Kauai tends to be less populated than some others and so it also tends to roll up the sidewalks a bit early. It is called “The Garden Island”and for very good reason. It is lush with vegetation.
Oahu is older, and offers a lot to do, a Google search of Oahu activities will have you calling your travel agent!
So there you have it, my view on visiting the Hawaiian Islands. I love it! I believe everyone who can, owes it to themselves to visit at least once in their life. At the very least put it on your Bucket List! The food is good, it still retains the Polynesian flavour of an island, the weather is usually mild, it is reasonable in cost, they all speak English and offer an Island Welcome! Aloha! Depending on the island chosen, there is either little or loads to do.
Mahalo (thank you)