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Your Guide to Hawaii
As America’s newest state, Hawaii has so much to offer today’s visitors. If you are looking to visit there sometime soon, it is helpful to know where you should stay and what you should do. That will help maximize your time and turn the trip into one of the most memorable experiences you have ever had.
Hawaii is about much more than just surf and sand. There are luscious hills and valleys to explore, cultural events to take part in, and historical attractions to learn from and appreciate. There are also some beautiful places to stay throughout the state. The following guide will let you know what is possible in Hawaii.
Top Attractions in Hawaii
The all year great weather combined with the laid back environment that Hawaii is known for being a great place to visit no matter what season it happens to be. You will find many attractions waiting for you and your family. Depending on what you are interested in, there is something that appeals to every type of person.
Whether you are looking to visit an active volcano, take a horseback ride through the tropical mountains, or go surfing in the ocean, it can all be seen and done in Hawaii. Along the way, you will want to visit a few of the many attractions that Hawaii is known for. Continue reading to discover three of the top ones that you should add to your itinerary.
Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head State Monument
Rated Hawaii’s top tourist attraction, no visit to Hawaii would be complete without some time spent on Waikiki. This is an entire stretch of ocean front beach conveniently located in Honolulu. Even if you are just in town for business, you will see the sites here.
You will find major resorts, plenty of dining opportunities, loads of entertainment, and all of the shops that you have been dreaming of.
One particular item of interest here is the Waikiki Historic Trail. This is a place to stroll and relive the history of the area as inspired by Duke Kahanamoku. He was an Olympic gold medalist in swimming. He was also a famous surfer from Waikiki.
There is also the Waikiki Beach Walk. This is a boardwalk that has plenty of cafes and places of entertainment for you to enjoy.
At the end of Waikiki Beach is Diamond Head State Monument. In the olden days, this is where the island defended itself against possible invasion due to its great vantage point of the region. Today, you will take a hike up to the top of the area to see the bunkers and other remnants of the defense system that used to call Waikiki home.
Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial
You have probably heard of Pearl Harbor. This is the place in Hawaii that was attacked in 1941. More than 1,100 service members onboard the USS Arizona carrier ship at the time were killed . This is now the site of several attractions that are designed to pay respect to those who lost their lives.
The combined attractions are referred to as the World War II Valor in the Pacific Monument. Among these is included the memorial to the USS Arizona. This floats on top of the actual remains from the ship that are still in the water. You can tour the memorial for free, but you will want to make reservations so that you aren’t disappointed.
There is also a Pearl Harbor Visitor Center that is free and is a great place to arrange tours. From there, you can get to the Pacific Aviation Museum. This is located on Ford Island and is the place to go to see a variety of aircraft and artifacts from World War II. You can also try to land an airplane right on an aircraft carrier as you navigate the flight simulator.
While here, you can tour the USS Oklahoma, USS Utah, and the SS Missouri. This is a battleship, and you can stand on the deck of it.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
This is one of the most beautiful and unique places that you will find in Hawaii. Hanauma Bay is located on Oahu Island and was actually formed within a volcanic crater. Snorkelers have long enjoyed the waters here, as it is so clear, pristine, and home to an incredible array of aquatic life.
To learn all about the area, you can visit The Hanauma Bay Education Center. You will also find some snorkeling shops where you can get all of the equipment you need to explore the bay. Snorkeling is the best way to see the reef ecosystem that Hanauma Bay is so well known for.
To help preserve the ecosystem of the Bay and prevent abuses that used to occur, all visitors are now required to view a video that details marine life, certain safety rules, and the importance of preservation.
This is an attraction that is all about the water. You will find everything you need, including equipment rentals and life jackets, when you get to the Bay. Keep in mind that the parking lot here is rather small. That is something to consider if you plan on driving yourself.
The Experience of Flying into Hawaii’s Airports
Outside of Honolulu’s main airport, each of the islands also has its own smaller airports. This is how you will get around from one region to the next. It is quite the experience to fly into each airport, as they all have a character of their own. While there are other ways to get from one island to the next, flying saves you time so you can get back to exploring the state.
Top 3 Tips to Fly Cheap to Hawaii
If you are looking for a cheap flight to Hawaii, some great deals can be had. Patience is necessary in order to find the best prices, but there are some strategies that can help you. Here are three tips to help you as you look for cheap ways to get to Hawaii.
1. Be flexible about your travel dates
Airlines tend to make fares cheaper at certain times of the week, month, and year. The more flexible you are with your dates, the more likely you will find the price you have been hoping for. For example, mid-week travel tends to be cheaper than weekends.
2. Consider alternate departure airports
When flying from the mainland, you will likely be flying into Honolulu. However, you will want to consider alternate departure airports near your home city to find a lower price.
3. Monitor prices online
There are many great sites available online to monitor airfare. If you have time before you need to purchase your tickets, start monitoring the prices. Set your goal, and when the price gets down to that point, be ready to buy it.
These three tips will help you find the best prices. That money that you save can go a long way towards beefing up the cash you have to spend while you are in Hawaii.
Popular Areas of the State to Stay
At first glance, Hawaii might not seem like a big state. However, many different regions encompass its seven islands. If you are looking for a popular area of the state to stay in, consider the following three.
If you have never been to Hawaii, this is probably the area you want to stay in first. It has it all, from rainforest to beaches and just about everything in between. This is also why it is commonly referred to as the Beverly Hills of Hawaii.
This is where you want to go if you are looking for a more exclusive and remote area of Hawaii. It is only nine miles from Maui, but you would never be able to tell from how different the vibe is here. There is an airport to Lanai if you want to make this a mid-way stop on your next visit to Hawaii.
This is where Hawaii comes alive at night. It is also where Waikiki is. There seems to be live music and something happening just about everywhere that you turn. It is stunning all year-round.
You really cannot go wrong with any of these popular areas. You will always have something to do and enjoy.
Popular Hotels in Those Areas
Choosing the right hotel for your stay in Hawaii is an important decision. There are many things to take into consideration. Here are a few choices to help get you started in the decision making process.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa (Maui)
This is where you want to stay when you are ready to pamper yourself. It is also located right in the heart of Maui, so you will never have far to go to get to your next great adventure.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai (Lanai)
Located in the lush rainforest of Lanai, this is an environmentally friendly resort that knows how to pamper you at the same time. You will not regret staying here.
Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club (Oahu)
Located directly on the beach, you will have plenty of activities to take part in throughout your stay at the resort. It is also located in direct proximity to much of what Oahu has to offer.
Popular Air BnB Places in Those Areas
You might want to stay in a private home or condo instead of a hotel during your stay in Hawaii. If so, here are a few options that you will want to consider.
Garden Gingerbread House (Maui)
This is a hidden house in the heart of Maui. It even has an organic nursery right outside your door. This is place is so secluded and popular that even Jimi Hendrix stayed here.
A private home facing the ocean (Lanai)
This house is surprisingly affordable, yet it puts you right outside the ocean. You will love the view from the terrace on the second floor.
A Beachfront Yurt (Oahu)
This might just be the most unique Air BnB in all of Hawaii. It is located right on Sunset Beach and has become one of the most popular Air BnB places to stay in all of Oahu.
Top 3 Things to do in Hawaii
There is so much to do and see in Hawaii that it is not easy to narrow it down. However, here are three things that should get you excited about your upcoming trip.
- Go hiking – While there are many trails scattered across the state, one of the most popular is to hike to the top of Diamond Head. Your reward at the end will be the most spectacular views of Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean.
- Go surfing – The Banzai Pipeline on Oahu is a great place to get started. If you do not want to give it a try yourself, you can always just go there and watch others. Sunny days will almost always have plenty of surfing going on.
- Sunbathe – No trip to Hawaii is complete without time on the sand. Waikiki Beach is probably the most popular beach globally, so that is a great place to go.
Coolest Air BnB Experiences in Hawaii
While you are in Hawaii, you might as well look for a unique and creative Air Bnb experience. Here are three possibilities for you.
- A newly renovated Winnebago Motorhome – This is the way to tour the island in style and always have a place to stay at night. It has a bed, kitchen, shower, and even air conditioning. You even get a television if you feel the need to watch it.
- Retro condominium in Waikiki – Not only is this condo located within walking distance from the beach, but you will love the way it is decorated. Every orifice screams island living.
- Stay on a yacht – If you love the water, you might as well stay on it. This Air BnB allows you to stay on a yacht in Kakaako. It is an experience that you will never forget.
This guide to Hawaii should have you ready to pack your bags. Remember to plan your trip well, but to leave some flexibility to be spontaneous. There is so much to see and do in Hawaii that you will never have a problem filling your days and nights. Remember to leave some time for rest and relaxation as well.