Dreaming of spectacular panoramic views of cascading waterfalls, dynamic and rugged coastlines, breathtaking peaks, stargazing, sunset dinners, surfing, snorkeling and diving beside long stretches of sandy beaches – then ALOHA welcome to Hawaii.
Situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the islands of Hawaii are thousands of miles from the nearest continent. Its first inhabitants were the Polynesians followed by Tahitians during the 9th and 10th centuries.
Using the wind to navigate uncharted waters, the Tahitians arrived on the shores of Big Island in double-hulled canoes, bringing with them wood and stone carvings, weaving, seafood and crops to farm.
Later came Captain James Cook who was killed on his second trip here. After Cook’s adventure, no ruler controlled Hawaii and this inspired a young chief, Kamehameha of Kohala in the Big Island, to become Hawaii’s first king.
As the first king of Hawaii, Kamehameha wished that his nation should increase its contact with the west, but what he did not bargain for was the vulnerability of his people to venereal disease brought about by sailors, whalers and entrepreneurs. As a result, the population of Hawaii decreased by about 80% in the next century.
The next change for Hawaii came in April 1820 when the first Christian missionaries arrived from Boston. The islanders were taught by missionaries to read and write, the change was most beneficial as today Hawaii has the highest literacy rate in the USA.
The 20th century saw an agricultural boom where workers from Japan, China and the Philippines were brought to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane, pineapple and other plantations. As Hawaii became a melting pot of world cultures, faiths and customs, the country began to adopt a new identity. In 1898, the Hawaiian territory became the 50th state of the Union of the USA.
The melting pot of nationalities, cultures and rich history has made the islands what we know as Hawaii today. The country is incredibly picturesque and steeped in tradition. This has made it really hard pulling together a list of must-see places when visiting Hawaii – because there is so much to see!
Waikiki is the biggest tourist attraction in Hawaii and known around the world for its beaches. It has a beautiful stretch of oceanfront beach, lined with hotels and entertainment you would find around the world. These beaches are very popular with holiday makers and have the amazing backdrop of the extinct volcanoes in the distance. Perfect place for those who want everything on their doorstep – why not go for a surf lesson here!
Check out these guys for bookings: www.hhsurf.com
Volcanoes National Park is located in the Big Island of Hawaii with a clear view of active volcanoes oozing with lava as they flow down the mountainside onto roads. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and really is a magical experience! If you need somewhere to stay we recommend these guys: www.hawaiivolcanohouse.com
Get More For Your Stay!
For a limited time only, for every two nights you stay at Volcano House, receive a $50 Dining Credit to use at The Rim restaurant or Uncle George’s Lounge*.
*Valid only when you book the exclusive Room & Dining Credit Package
Pearl Harbour and USS Arizona Memorial has a Visitors Centre that provides information on the sinking of the USS Arizona and detailed WW2 attacks. While it is possible to visit all four of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites in about 8 hours we recommend you make a day of it.
Deals for individuals or family packages can be found with these guys and we recommend the Passport to Pearl Harbour which has all four sites covered: www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org
Jaws. Off the northern coast of Maui is Peahi, or Jaws. This famous location where regular surf competitions are held. Surfers are towed in on jet skis to ride waves between 7 and 15m! Spectators can view the action from a lookout above Peahi.
Waipio Valley is located in the Big Island of Hawaii with lush cliff walls, fertile valley, waterfalls and black sandy beach with white waves and blue water. This is an incredible hike from start to finish but can also be enjoyed in a rather more comfortable way with Waipoo Valley Shuttle: www.waipiovalleyshuttle.com
Maui Ocean Centre with large aquariums showing a variety of tropical reef fish, octopus, moray eels, green sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, sea jellies, and much, much more! All of the animals at Maui Ocean Center are found in Hawaiian waters, with approximately 25% being endemic meaning you can’t see them anywhere else in the world! Receive a Free Week Upgrade for the price of a 1-Day Journey Pass when booking in advance online (by 4pm the day prior to your visit). www.mauioceancenter.com
Mauna Kea, home to the Mauna Kea Observatory, is where you can ski in the snow on the highest mountain in Hawaii. To Hawaiians, it is a revered religious site, home to the Mightiest Gods and burial place of their ancestors. Try and catch the sunrise or sunset here and we recommend these guys too: www.arnottslodge.com
Polynesian Cultural Centre has its home on the island of Oahu with music, dance, cultural items and craft demonstrations from Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. Get a Free Dinner when you purchase our Admission & Show package. Plus, enjoy a Fre buffet dinner at their Island Buffet restaurant. Finish your perfect day with tickets to see the spectacular evening show “Ha: Breath of Life. www.polynesia.com
And if that’s not enough recommendations for you, go for a combined package tour which will tick off all these places and more! This way you just relax and make the most of your experience! www.aloha-hawaiian.com
Mahalo to everyone who contributed to this page! Hawaii is a real example of how life is definitely Better by the Beach!