So many states claim uniqueness, and Hawaii does too. It now even boasts that it’s the birthplace of the USA’s 44th president, Barack Obama. But this string of emerald islands in the cobalt-blue Pacific Ocean, over 2000 miles from any continent, takes a little work to get to. So you may wonder: will that be time and money well spent?
We’re so glad you asked: cue the galloping Hawaii Five-0 theme music and watch surfers carve a thunderous ocean, Elvis croon and lei-draped beauties dance hula ’neath windrustled palms.
Hawaii, as tourist bureaus and Hollywood constantly remind us, is ‘paradise.’ Push past the hype and what do you find? Darned if they’re not right. Hawaii is hiking sculpted cliffs or diving coral-reef cities in the morning and drinking mai tais to slack-key guitar at sunset. It’s slurping juicy papayas with hibiscus flowers in your hair; it’s Pacific Rim cuisine, fiery volcanoes and cavorting whales. By serendipity and design, Hawaii is an almost flawless destination. It’s an enchanting multicultural society with roots in Polynesia, Asia, North America and Europe, and it’s an expression of nature at its most luscious and divine.
About seven million visitors come to experience paradise annually, but the islands are not as crushed with sun-baked tourists and cooing honeymooners as that sounds. If you want a cushy resort vacation, head for Oahu’s Waikiki or West Maui. For something cheaper or more adventurous, aim for the Big Island or Kauaʻi. If time is short, stick to one island and make the most of it. Honolulu is a teeming cultural and economic powerhouse, but in under an hour you can be alone in the rainforest or snoozing on white sand.
Locals know that Hawaii isn’t really paradise, but on any given day it can sure feel like it.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Take a Big Island volcano tour
- Skip the lines for a memorable Pearl Harbour tour
- Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Maui streams and waterfalls
Last updated: Jan 17, 2013
Tips & articles
7 May 2013
A Hawaiian honeymoon has all the storybook ingredients to make couples swoon: sherbet-coloured sunsets, songbird serenades and pal...
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