Hawaii - The Perfect Vacation for Families Hawaii, translated from the ancient Hawaiian language should mean paradise, because that's what it is. Hawaii has a climate that varies only several degrees in temperature year round and the sun always shines. The rainy season is in January, but it isn't so rainy that it deters visitors. In fact, winter is one of the most popular times of year to visit Hawaii. This is probably because it is cold and dreary just about everywhere else in the United States. Hawaii makes for the perfect getaway for Californians because it is only about a three hour flight. Hawaii makes for a great family vacation because of the wide variety of activities or no activity at all. (if laying on a perfect sandy beach is your thing) All of the islands offer a variety of family friendly activities. Such as swimming or surfing on one of Hawaii's amazing beaches. Wakiki is a family friendly beach located on the island of Ohau. The waves are long and shallow offering a good family atmosphere. Wakiki is a good place for beginners to learn to surf because the waves or not so treacherous. Because Honolulu is a big city, you can even find fast food to satisfy those hungry youngsters. While on Ohau, be sure not to miss the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. This memorial is both powerful and sorrowful. After watching a brief movie depicting the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor, visitors will take a short ferry ride out too the memorial. The memorial actually floats on top of the sunken ship. Once you get off the ferry, you can walk back to the wall that lists the name of every person that died that dreaded day in December. Ohau is also home to the Wakiki Aquarium, the Honolulu zoo, and the Sea life park. The park has a 300,000 gallon tank, where you can see sharks, rays and thousands of reef fish. You can even swim with the dolphins here. The kid's will love the dolphins. The island of Maui hosts the Maui Ocean Center, which is the largest tropical aquarium in the United States. Maui is also a good place to windsurf, and has tons of different waterfalls. The resort area of Ka'anapali is located on the western coast of Maui, and is home to the island's best golf courses. This is where you will find the large high-rise resorts. They have plenty of pools for the kids to swim in. The beach here, however, is not quite as kid friendly as Wakiki Beach. The rip currents can be strong and Maui is much windier that Honolulu. The calmer beach at Kihei, might be a little more kid friendly. If horsebacking riding is more your style, you should visit either the North Shore of Ohau, or the big island of Hawaii or Kaua'i. Of course, don't forget the Luau. Luaus make for great family fun and can be found on any of the Hawaiian islands. The fire eaters and beautiful Polynesian dancers are sure to impress kids of all ages. Whatever your idea of family fun, Hawaii is sure to please. Hawaii - The perfect Honeymoon Everybody knows that the best part about getting married is the Honeymoon. So when choosing a honeymoon destination, you should choose wisely. You cannot go wrong with Hawaii. It has the perfect climate, varying only a few degrees in temperature from season to season. Even in the winter you can expect to have eighty degree temperatures. You will have five different options to choose from when deciding which island to visit during your stay in Hawaii. They are each equally unique and beautiful in their own way. Because of the vast array of options you can choose to stay as long as you like and never have to experience the same thing twice. I would recommend that you stay ten days at the very least. There is too much to see. You want to make sure that you don't miss a thing; and in most cases you have traveled so far to get there, you might as well make the most of your journey. Oahu is a good place to start a honeymoon. You will have many different fine dining options, as well as some very good room service. Honolulu will offer the most night life of any of the islands, so if you dare to venture out, this is the place to do so. There are two historic hotels located in Honolulu, the Royal Hawaiian and the Westin Moana Surfrider. They are both actually located on the same block. I highly recommend the Sheraton Moana Surf rider. The hotel is over a hundred years old, but has been kept so up to date, that you will be surrounded in total luxury. Upon arrival you will be greeted in Hawaiian style with a fresh flower lei. Make sure to mention when making your reservations that this is a honeymoon. The hotel usually provides as special welcome gift for newlyweds. The hotel staff is ready to please; expect to be pampered. The beach itself on Waikiki is nothing spectacular, but it is still a must on list of places to visit. If beaches are your thing you should take a trip over to the north shore of Oahu, before leaving the island for your next destination, Maui. Maui too will offer ample opportunity for romance. There is nothing more romantic than sipping a mai-tai on your balcony, while watching the sunset over the pacific. The road to Hana is a popular attraction for visitors. Hana is a quiet town located on the eastern side of the island. The road to Hana is more about the journey than the actual destination. The trip should take about ten to twelve hours, allowing for plenty of stops along the way. The highway will take you by hundreds of breathtaking waterfalls, stunning black sand beaches, a forest reserve, and even a botanical garden. I would recommend renting a jeep with four-wheel-drive as there are some destinations that are only accessible by four wheel drive. These secluded beaches make for a great romantic place to stop. Helpful Tips for Planning a Hawaii Family Vacation Has your family recently selected Hawaii as the destination for your family's next vacation? If so, you may be thrilled with your decision. With that said, there are some parents whose excitement is soon washed away when they get started with the planning process. Don't let yourself be one of those parents. Vacations can and should be fun, even the planning process. The first step that you will want to take involves determining when you should make your travel arrangements. It is advised that you do so at least two months in advance. If your family vacation is a summer vacation, even more time is recommended. As for why you should make your Hawaii travel in advance, doing so has a number of benefits. These benefits include more options, as well better rates. How old are your children? If your children are under the age of twelve, it is important to think of the plane ride. Plane rides to Hawaii can be long and tiresome, especially for younger children. That is why you should bring a few supplies along with you. These supplies can include dry snacks, magazines, books, small toys, portable movie players, and a set of headphones. Teenagers can typically keep themselves occupied and decide on their own in-flight activities. Once you have made your airline reservations, unless you are buying a vacation package, you will want to examine where you and your family want to stay. The good news is that you do have a number of different options. Hawaii vacation resorts, hotels, vacation homes, and condos are all great options. Before making reservations for your overnight accommodations, it is important to do a small amount of research. Examine pictures of the hotel or vacation rental. Is it attractive? Does it look comfortable? Is there enough space for your whole family to move around and sleep comfortably? There should be. You will also want to examine onsite services and facilities. Typically, hotels and vacation resorts have more family friendly activities, like swimming pools and game rooms. Next, you will want to make reservations for a car rental. If you are still unsure about renting a car, you will want to look at the benefits to doing so. Yes, public transportation is available on most Hawaiian Islands, but is it really worth the hassle? If you have a large family, it can be frustrating and time consuming to get all of your children onto a bus or into a taxi in enough time. Many parents like what private car rentals provide them with, including convenience and freedom. Once you have made all of your important Hawaii travel arrangements, you will then want to examine vacation activities. Planning ahead is important when taking a family vacation. Why? Because not all Hawaii activities are family friendly or designed for individuals of all ages. If you and your family are interested in hiking, it is important to choose hiking trails that are kid friendly and easy to navigate. A standard internet search online can easily connect you to a large number of Hawaii activities or at least give you access to free Hawaii travel guides, which are often available for all of the Hawaiian Islands. As previously stated, you can make all of your travel arrangements at once with the purchase of a Hawaii vacation package. If you are looking to save both time and money, you may want to do so. Many Hawaii travel packages include a stay at a hotel, a car rental, and airline reservations. If you are dreading the time and energy it takes to plan your family's next vacation, travel packages are the perfect solution for you. By taking the above mentioned steps, planning your next Hawaii family vacation doesn't have to be stressful, frustrating, or overwhelming. As a reminder, you will want to be excited when making your travel plans, not regretting your decision to even take a vacation. How to Make Your Hawaii Travel Plans Are you interested in taking a trip to Hawaii soon? If so, you are definitely not alone. Hawaii vacations are in high demand. That will work out to your advantage when it comes time to make your travel plans. Why? Because you are provided with more booking options. One of the many ways that Hawaii vacations are booked is through online travel websites. If you are interested in taking this approach, you can get started with a standard internet search. All you need to do is key in your intended destination, such as Maui Hawaii, and what you need, such as a hotel, airline reservations, or a car rental. Your options will automatically appear on your screen. If you are vacationing on a budget, be sure to set your options so that they appear in order of affordability. When using online travel websites to make your Hawaii travel arrangements, you will also want to look at vacation packages. Vacation packages, also known as travel packages, are a great way to save yourself both time and money. Popular package combinations include airline reservations and a hotel or airline reservations, a hotel, and a car rental. Many travel websites offer small to medium size discounts when travel arrangements are made in packaged formats. Online travel websites are a great way to book a vacation, as they can prevent you from overpaying. Comparing vacation rates online couldn't be any easier. As previously stated, most travel websites allow you to customize your results based on affordability. As nice as online travel websites are for booking Hawaii vacations, some travelers prefer to take the more traditional approach. If you are one of those individuals, you may want to make all of your travel arrangements directly. This involves booking your hotel directly through the hotel, as well as your car rental and airline reservations. To get started, you can use online business directories. They can help you find Hawaii car rentals and hotels that are conveniently located. Making all of your Hawaii vacation plans individually is nice, as you may find unique deals and discounts not offered anywhere else. With that said, this process can be time consuming, especially if you are interested in comparing the rates of different airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. For ease and convenience with booking your next Hawaii vacation, you should consider using the services of a professional travel agent. Travel agents and agencies operate both locally and online. Often times, all you need to do is let your travel agent know where you want to travel to, what you want to do, and what your vacation budget is. The rest should be taken care of by your travel agent. As convenient as it is to let a professional travel agent book your Hawaii vacation for you, be sure to proceed with caution. Do not signoff on vacation plans unless you see them for yourself first. Although your travel agent will have your best interests in mind, the last thing you want is to be disappointment. As you can see, you have a number of different options when it comes to making your Hawaii travel plans. When making your decision, choose the option that is best for your wants and needs, whether they be ease of planning, convenience, or affordability. How to Find the Best Hawaiian Beaches Are you in the process of planning a trip to Hawaii? If you are, the beautiful beaches of Hawaii may have been the biggest draw for you. Hawaii is known as having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! While any Hawaiian beach would likely to do for you, you may want to take the time to do a little bit of research first. This research can help you determine which of Hawaii's beaches are the best and truly worth your time. As nice as it is to hear that you should get a list of Hawaii's best beaches, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so. For starters, you may want to speak to those that you know. Since Hawaii is a popular vacation destination, you may have a family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor who has visited Hawaii before. If so, on what island did they find the best beaches? What beaches would they recommend? Another option that you have involves speaking to a travel agent. This is a good approach to take if you intend to make your travel arrangements through a local travel agent. Travel agents are qualified to do research on popular vacation destinations, like Hawaii. In fact, your travel agent may already have a list handy outlining a few of Hawaii's best beaches. As previously stated, you can speak to those that you know. You can also speak with those who you don't personally know. You can do this with the internet. There are a number of online communities and message boards that are devoted to traveling, as well as Hawaii in general. You can find these online communities with a standard internet search. If you don't already see a discussion on the topic of Hawaii beaches, you can start your own topic or post seeking recommendations. In keeping with using the internet to find information on Hawaii's best beaches, you can perform a generalized standard internet search. When doing so, use phrases like "best beaches in Hawaii," or "top Hawaii beaches." There are a number of websites, including those with travel themes, that rate attractions around the world, including the beaches of Hawaii. When doing your research, there are a number of important factors that you will want to take into consideration. If you have already made your travel arrangements, one of those factors should be your destination. Which Hawaiian Island are you visiting? Maui, Oahu, Kauai, or Big Island? If you are visiting Maui, you may want to instead focus your searches on the best Maui beaches. As great as it is to learn which Hawaiian beaches are the best, it is also important to get specifics as well. For example, are you interested in surfing? Do you know what beaches in Hawaii are known for having the ultimate surfing conditions? What about snorkeling? Some Hawaii beaches are better for snorkeling or scuba diving than others are. As for why you should take the time to find the best Hawaii beaches, doing so can help you get the most out of your next Hawaii vacation. Why spend hours searching for the perfect beach when you can do the same research at home and in only a few minutes? You are also less likely to be disappointed when you know what to expect. Surfing in Hawaii Because of the swells that roll in from the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii has some great surfing spots. These spots are scattered across hundreds of beaches all over the state of Hawaii. You could literally spend a year surfing these beaches and never have to surf the same spot twice. The biggest waves in Hawaii are located on the North Shore of the islands. Waves during the winter are typically bigger than the waves during the rest of the year. The island of Oahu is home to some of the world's largest waves. The north shore of Ohau attracts some of the best surfers in the world and hosts big surfing competitions. Waimea Bay Beach Park draws huge crowds of people there to watch the big wave riders. It's pretty typical to drive down the main highway and see several photographers just waiting to capture the big one. These waters have swells that reach to be over thirty feet. Winter winds prevent this from being a swimming beach during these months. The waves pound the beach with a force so hard that it can be heard for miles. The summer months, however, bring a totally different Waimea. The water is usually calm enough for swimmers June through September. Sunset Beach is also another popular winter surfing destination for the same reasons as above... big waves. Lastly, don't forget about the world famous Banzai Pipeline located at Ehukai Beach. The pipeline attracts world famous surfers to these incredible long tube waves. Be careful, here the water is extremely shallow and these great waves break over top of a coral reef. This can make for treacherous wipeouts. This is not the place for beginners. Wakiki beach is also another world famous surfing destination, but for much different reasons. Wakiki has long predictable waves that are not nearly as tall or as threatening as their northern counterparts. In fact, Wakiki is a great place for beginner surfers. You can walk up the beach and find tons of different places to take a lesson. Honolua Bay on Maui is also a popular surfing spot for the experienced surfer. There are lots of great beaches as well as surfing spots in Maui. Lahaina is a great spot for beginners and there are a couple of different surfing schools located here. Because of the strong winds on Maui, it is also a popular destination for wind surfing and kite surfing. Maui even has its very own kite beach. On any given day you can drive by a see the shoreline full of kite boarders, some of whom you'd probably recognize from the magazines. Hanalei Bay located on the North shore of Kauai also has some great waves. The bay itself is crescent shaped and the waves here are also going to be the biggest during the winter months. The bay makes for some great snorkeling during the summer months. There are also some great spots to surf and the islands of Hawaii as well as Molokai, they are just not as famous of some of these others. Whatever island you pick you can't go wrong in Hawaii. Surf Lessons on Oahu in Hawaii Have you ever had inkling to pick up surfing as a hobby? Or perhaps just try it once and put it on that list of yep, I've done that? Then the island of Oahu in Hawaii is the place to do that. Waikiki beach is the best place for beginners to learn to surf. You may be picturing the lonely deserted beach pictured in the 1950's Gidget or Elvis movies. But, I have to tell you that Waikiki beach has changed a lot since those days. Waikiki beach is located in Honolulu, picture a miniaturized New York City located in paradise complete with palm trees, because after all, Honolulu is a city. The beach is narrow and very crowded, and with good reasons... the waves. The waves are typically small and very long. You can ride them all the way into the beach with plenty of time for beginners to get used to the feel of the wave. There are tons of places on Waikiki to take surf lessons. Just walk down the beach and take your pick, usually you don't have to make reservations because these are just guys on the beach teaching lessons... i.e. bring cash. Because of the fierce competition amongst the "surfing schools" you can usually get a pretty good deal on the lessons. If you are just learning to surf you should stay here in Waikiki. However, it is worth a trip to the North Shore just to see how the other half lives. It's amazing to see world famous surfers riding the waves at Waimea Bay or at the pipeline. It looks like something out of the movies. The beaches are crowed with by standers and photographers. They watch in awe as these amazing athletes ride waves as high as thirty feet. But a warning to those daring novices... do not try to surf the waves here. The can be treacherous. In fact drowning is the number one accidental death in Hawaii. This probably comes as no surprise because the entire state is surrounded by water. Rip currents are one danger to Hawaiian visitors. They are fast flowing currents that can drag swimmers out into deeper parts of the ocean. If you get caught in a rip current, don't fight the current. You should swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current, and then swim safely into shore. Undertows are another dangerous factor while visiting Hawaii. If you get caught in an undertow, (you will feel the wave pull you out to sea) just go with the flow of the wave until it passes. Then you should be able to swim out of it. Don't let the beautiful waters fool you; they can be deadly if not taken seriously. Heed the warning, but try not to get discouraged. There are plenty of places in Hawaii for beginners to surf. If you do not get your fill while visiting the world famous Waikiki Beach, you may want to try one of the other islands. All of the other islands will have some beginner friendly waves to offer. 5 Must Visit Maui Attractions Are you in the process of planning to trip to Maui Hawaii? Maui is one of Hawaii's most popular vacation destinations. One of the reasons for that is all that you can see. Did you know that Maui is filled with amazing attractions, most of which are considered "must visits?" After a close examination, you will be more than pleased with your decision to take a Maui vacation. Once you have made your Maui travel arrangements, you should start focusing on which Maui attractions you would like to visit. Although having options is nice, your choices can seem overwhelming. Since there is so much for you to see, you will want to create a to do list or a vacation itinerary for yourself. If you don't, you may find yourself missing out on some of the history and beauty that Maui has to offer you. For help with determining which Maui attractions you should visit, please continue reading on. For your convenience, five popular Mau attractions that come highly rated and recommended are outlined below. 1 -- The Island of Molokini The Island of Molokini is a crescent shaped island that is located not too far past the southern coast of Maui. Although those just looking to sightsee will enjoy the boat trip, Molokini is home to some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling that all of Hawaii has to offer. Private and group tours are available to the island. 2 -- Iao Valley State Park The Iao Valley State park, located in central Maui, beautiful historical land. According to Hawaii's Official Tourism Site, it was home to the great Battle of Kepaniwai, which occurred in 1790. The biggest attraction at the Iao Valley State Park is that of the Iao Needle. The Iao Needle is a sightseers dream come true. A visit to this state park is ideal for those who enjoy hiking and learning about the history or Maui. 3 -- The Banyan Tree The Banyan Tree, located in Lahaina, is another must visit for all Maui tourists. The Banyan Tree is one largest trees of its kind in all of the United States. The Official Hawaii Tourism Site states that the tree is the size of an average city block! If your Maui vacation is a family vacation, you should definitely take your children to see the tree, as it is something that they will likely never forget. 4 -- Haleakala National Park The Haleakala National Park is located on the eastern side of Maui. There you will find the world's largest dormant volcano. Past tourists recommend hiking to watch the sunrise at the Haleakala Crater. The Haleakala National Park, like many other parks in Hawaii, can be explored by foot, car, or bike. In addition to the Haleakala volcanoes, you will be able to see and explore tropical landscaping that features rare flowers and plants, beautiful streams and waterfalls. 5 -- The Hana Highway Also located on the eastern edge of Maui is the Hana Highway. Although a highway itself may not seem like a must see tourist attraction it is. It is one of the most scenic places to visit in all of Hawaii and what you will see will, literally, amazing you. On the drive, you will pass through narrow, yet beautiful bridges, see amazing waterfalls, get breathtaking views of the ocean, see amazing foliage, and so much more. A drive along the scenic Hana Highway is enough reason alone why you should rent a car for your next Hawaii vacation. As highlighted above, there are a number of Maui attractions that you should take the time to visit. Since the above mentioned Maui attractions are just a few of the many that you will find on the Island, you may want to do a little bit of research before your trip. With a standard internet search online, you can find detailed Maui travel guides, as well as request free printed travel guides to be delivered to your home. 4 Must Visit Big Island Hawaii Attractions Are you in the process of planning a Big Island trip? Hawaii's Big Island is a popular vacation destination, partly due in fact to its size. Why? Because there is so much for you to do and see. Once your Big Island travel arrangements are made, you may want to shift for your focus to what you can do and see. Creating an itinerary for your trip has a number of benefits. It is important to remember that Big Island is filled with so much for you to do and see; so much that you may not have enough time to do so. Familiarizing yourself with popular Big Island attractions before your vacation can help you make sure that you visit the mostly highly rated and recommended sites, a few of which are outlined below. 1 -- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a must see for all Big Island tourists. This National Park is situated on 377 square miles of a vast array of landscaping. Whether you are interested in traveling by car, foot, or bike, there is a large part of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that you can examine. When traveling by car, you can visit the summit of the Kilauea volcano. Chain of Craters Road is also a must visit in the park, as this is where lava once flowed over the road. With so much to do and see in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including guided tours and themed wilderness tours, you may want to stay onsite. What better way to end your day than camping? Camping is free as long as you paid admittance into the park. 2 -- Waipio Valley Waipio Valley is also known as "The Valley of the Kings." This Big Island attraction is a must visit if the history and culture of Hawaii is of interest to you. Here, you will be able to explore an area that was once populated with native Hawaiians. There are unlimited hidden treasures in the area, including beautiful waterfalls, rivers, and tara fields. To learn the history of the Waipio Valley, not just see it, a guided tour is recommended. Guided tours of "The Valley of Kings," are available by way of car, horseback, and foot. 3 -- Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is often referred to as "A Garden in the Valley of the Ocean." Due to close proximately, a visit to the gardens is advised either before or after a visit to "The Valley of the Kings." Guided garden tours are available for multiple trails, including the Onomea Falls and Palm Jungle Trail. 4 -- Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park If you are unable to visits the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park is a must visit for you. Situated on 180 acres of land, this National Historic Park is considered sacred ground. It was once refuge and home to those who broke the law. When visit the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, you can see the black lava rock, a sacred temple, wooden statutes of Hawaiian gods, and so much more! The area is filled with beautiful fish ponds; therefore, you can enjoy a fishing adventure in addition to hiking and examining the historical background of Hawaii's Big Island. In addition to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, and Waipio Valley, there are other popular and well-known attractions that you should place on your vacation itinerary. Those visiting the North Side of Big Island will want to examine Parker Ranch. Those visiting the South Side of the island should checkout the views at the Ka Lea South Point. As you can see, there are a number of must visit attractions for your next Big Island vacation. The above mentioned attractions are just a sample of what you will find on the island. For that reason, you are encouraged to use the internet to your advantage or request free Big Island travel guides, which are relatively easy to find online. What You Need to Pack for Your Hawaii Vacation Are you preparing for your upcoming trip to Hawaii? If your vacation is within the next few days, you may be getting ready to start your packing. When doing so, do you know what you should bring? If not, now is the time to find out. After all, there is nothing worse than arriving at your vacation destination only to learn that you left something important at home. The most important thing for you to pack is a form of identification. In fact, you should never leave home without a form of identification. If you have a state issued driver's license that should do. If not, a picture identification card is recommended. This can be a recent work identification card, college identification card, or a picture card issued by your state. Even though a passport is not required to travel to Hawaii, if you are coming from the United States, a form of identification is a must. All important health and medical related information should be packed as well. For starters, make sure you bring all health insurance cards with you. This is important, as it can be frustrating stuck in an unknown emergency room with your important documents thousands of miles away. In addition to health insurance cards, there are other medical and health bases that you should also have covered. What about prescriptions? Do you take daily medication? If so, it may be a wise idea to create a backup plan with your doctor in the event of an emergency. Would they be available to call or fax in a prescription for you should you misplace your medication? Would they be willing to write an extra small prescription, in the event you lose your medication on your trip? Some physicians will do, but the medication will likely only be enough to get you through your trip. Are you planning to make reservations for a Hawaii car rental or have you already done so? If so, what is required of you? As previously stated, you should bring your driver's license with you. Most Hawaii car rental companies require proof that you are able to legally drive in the United States. Proof of car insurance may also be required or at least recommended. Of course, it is important to pack clothes for your trip. When doing so, be sure to check the weather forecast for your Hawaii destination. This allows you to pack accordingly. When packing your clothes, it is important to keep fees in mind. There are many airlines that now charge an additional fee for a second bag of checked luggage. If you gain access to a washer or dryer, it may be best to pack light and quickly wash your clothes. In addition to clothing, it is also important to pack items and supplies that are used for recreational activities. Hawaii is known for is great beach activities. These activities include sunbathing, swimming, boating, fishing, surfing, and snorkeling. If you plan to participate in these activities, you will need to bring a swimsuit and a beach towel with you. Even if you opt for land based activities, like hiking, camping, or horseback riding, comfortable clothes and sneakers are recommended. It is also important to pack a small amount of toiletries. To save you time, as well as reduce problems at airport security checkpoints, travel size toiletries are recommended. Most department stores sell these convenient travel sizes. Deodorant, shampoo, soap, and toothpaste is recommended. Although your hotel or vacation resort may provide you with some small toiletries, there are no guarantees. And, these items are often expensive to purchase in popular vacation destinations. The above mentioned items are all must haves that you should bring with you on your next trip to Hawaii. To help ensure you are fully prepared for your trip, you should create a luggage checklist for yourself. Check off each item as you pack it and you should arrive at your destination with everything you need. What to Look For In a Hawaii Hotel Are you in the process of making your Hawaii travel arrangements? If you are, you may be looking for a Hawaii hotel to stay at. When examining all of your options, you will find that you have a large number of hotels to choose from. So, how do you know which hotel is right for you? Continue reading on to find out. You will want a Hawaii hotel that has affordable rates. After all, why pay more than you need to? When you save money on a hotel, you can spend your money to improve other important parts of your Hawaii vacation, such as your entertainment. When looking for the best hotel deals, examine online travel websites, as they easily let you compare rates. Next, it is important to examine location. Which Hawaiian Island are you visiting? If you will be staying on Big Island, you will want to search for Big Island hotels and so forth. It is also important to choose a Hawaii hotel that is conveniently located. The less you have to travel, the more you are likely to enjoy your vacation. For that reason, examine hotels that are located near what you want to do and see, like the beach or the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, should you choose to visit Big Island. You will also want to examine onsite services, but it is also important to proceed with caution when doing so. Room service and a dry cleaning service may sound nice to have, but do you really need to have them? If not, you may be able to find a more affordable rate. With that said, be sure you are provided with onsite services that you need or can benefit from gaining access to. Onsite facilities and features should also be examined. Many Hawaii hotels, you will find, can double as vacation resorts. This is mostly due in part to the onsite features and facilities they have. For example, some Hawaii hotels have onsite swimming pools, fitness centers, restaurants, salons, volleyball nets, or tennis courts. Even if you plan to spend most of your vacation out exploring Hawaii, it is still a good idea to choose a Hawaii hotel that has attractive features and services. Due to the warm climate, many travelers consider a hotel with a pool a must. When looking for a Hawaii hotel, comfort is also important examine. You will want to stay in a hotel that you feel at home in. That is why pictures should be examined. Do you actually like the hotel? If not, you should move on. Many hotel websites and online travel websites have pictures of the hotel and hotel rooms posted; be sure to examine them. Although optional, you will want to closely examine beachfront Hawaii hotels. Many travelers recommend staying along the coast, it is gives you that true Hawaii experience. You also gain easy access to the ocean, which is nice if you are looking to enjoy a few beach activities, like swimming, snorkeling, or body boarding. The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind. As a reminder, even if you intend to spend time away from your hotel, it is still nice to have a comfortable and beautiful hotel to come back to after a day filled with fun and excitement. Snorkeling in Hawaii Hawaii is a popular destination for water sports enthusiast, obviously because the entire state is surrounded by water. Each island offers different water and weather conditions, making each island experience completely unique. The water temperature in Hawaii varies only between about 72 to 80 degrees year round making water sports ideal the entire year long. You will see an amazing array of sea life while snorkeling in Hawaii such as, sea turtles, manta rays, moray eels, and dolphins. The best thing about snorkeling is that it doesn't require a lot of effort and it's not particularly difficult. Most snorkeling tours will provide all of the necessary equipment, including a mask and snorkel, fins and usually some sort of floatation device. You simply put on your equipment and stick your face in the water, and prepare to be amazed by the sea life surrounding you in this paradise. On the island of Oahu, Hanauma Bay offers the best snorkeling. It's located on the southern shore of the island, and it's a great place for beginners. The water is very shallow and in most cases you would be able to stand, however, you shouldn't stand because you can damage the precious coral reef on the bottom of the ocean floor. Maui offers several snorkeling options. There is black rock, and Kapalua. Another popular snorkeling site is the submerged volcanic crater called Molokini. There are many different options for getting to this destination. Tours leave daily from Ma'alaea and Lahaina Harbors. These are fun tours because they usually serve lunch and have some sort of open bar. I would recommend choosing a smaller boat because obviously it's less crowed and a little more personal. This will also give you the best opportunity to really see the ocean life. The best snorkeling of the island of Lana'i can be found at Hulopo'e Beach. This is not an offshore excursion, so the water will be fairly shallow perfect for children and novice swimmers alike. Here you will see a lava shelf that is home to some spectacular tropical fish. The beach access is a public park complete with a picnic area, so bring your lunch and settle in for the afternoon. Moloka'i has over thirty miles of barrier reef offering some decent snorkeling, however, not the best in Hawaii. The best place to snorkel on the island of Moloka'i is on twenty mile beach. The reef is extremely shallow and can be rough at times so you should have a back up plan for snorkeling on one of the islands. The big island of Hawaii offers the most variety in snorkeling options. Kahula Beach is another great spot for beginners. It's an off beach reef so you can simply go ashore when you've had enough. The reef however is impressive enough to please even the most seasoned of reef aficionados. Kealakekua Bay is a popular off shore excursion; this will be a half day adventure complete with lunch and of course cocktails. So whether you are new to the snorkeling scene or you have seen it all, Hawaii will have something to offer you. Scuba Diving in Hawaii Hawaii is the perfect vacation paradise for beach lovers and ocean lovers alike. All of the islands offer beautiful scenery both above and below sea level. If you ever had inkling to try scuba diving this is the place. There are hundreds of miles of barrier reef that have equally as many different species of sea life; there are craters and ship wrecks, as well as good old fashioned reefs. The water temperature is always perfect in Hawaii making it a great place to explore underwater. Oahu is a great place for beginners to learn to scuba dive. There are a few different dive shops that offer same day certification at a competitive price. The best thing about these quickie one day certification courses is that you learn everything you need to know for the one day dive and then you are out in the ocean exploring at sea level in just a few short hours. Oahu is the place to be for wreck diving. The fish aren't as impressive as diving on a reef. However, I think that everyone should do a wreck dive at least once. It's impressive to the power of the ocean to sink those huge heavy ships. It's amazing to see how the fish adapt to this alien object in their natural habitat. On the big island, Ka'awaloa Cove offers a great opportunity for scuba diving. The cove is located on the western side of Hawaii. The site is accessible only by boat, but there are several companies that operate tours daily. There are also several dive sites near Kona on the big island. They offer a wide variety of options from beginner dives to the more challenging dives, such as night dives. One popular night dive is around Kailua-Kona. The divers hold lights that attract plankton, which is the main food source for giant manta rays. The plankton in turn, draw the rays. There are many tour companies offering such night time entertainment. Red Hill is another popular dive site near Kona. It has lava formations that are a breathtaking sight to say the least. The sun reflects light of the lava tubes, thus the name Red Hill. In the deeper water off the Kona coast there are over thirty dive areas accessible only by boat. One site not to be missed is an airplane wreck near Keahole Point. The island of Maui offers it own spectacular dive sites. Molokini is a volcanic crater in the bottom of the pacific. It has steep ledges and walls that create an amazing site. This particular crater attracts such sea life as reef sharks, manta rays, sea turtles and a huge variety of tropical fish. This site should be on the top of your list when visiting Hawaii. For a tamer and less crowded taste of scuba diving in Maui, try Black Rock or Makena State park. The crystal clear warm waters of Hawaii are a scuba divers paradise. You could literally stay in Hawaii for a year and not explore all of the amazing dive spots. Hawaiian Vacation for Golfers Hawaii is a popular destination for many vacationers. It's no wonder with its gorgeous palm trees, and white sandy beaches. The vast array of water sports such as surfing, kayaking and snorkeling attract many vacationers yearly. But Hawaii is also a great place for golf. The big island of Hawaii has over 20 golf courses. The Four seasons Hualalai Course was designed by world famous golf pro Jack Nichlaus. The Mauna Kea Golf Course has been said to be the best on the island. While taking a break from a round of golf, guests at this hotel can relax at one of the most gorgeous beaches on the island. The crescent shaped bay boasts white sandy beaches and is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. There are also a couple of noteworthy golf courses located in Hilo. Make sure to bring an umbrella. We play rain or shine here, as Hilo is known as the rainiest city in the world. Lanai is known as the rich man's paradise of Hawaii. So, it's not surprising that there are some great golfing opportunities here. Lanai is home to not one, but two, world class championship golf courses. The experience at Koele, which designed by Greg Norman is set amongst the backside of Hawaiian mountains, making for a challenging and unique setting. The challenge at Manele is located at another world renowned resort and was also designed by Jack Nicklas. It's amazing that he has time to play golf, with all that designing he's been doing. Another place to play golf in Lanai is located in Lanai city, the Cavendish Golf Course. It is a local favorite and is open to the public. This course has 9-holes and does not have greens fee (bonus). Maui offers as many or more places to play golf as the big island of Hawaii. The island offers beautiful vistas that make for the perfect backdrop for golfing. Kapalua and Wailea are the most well known places to play. There are also some championship golf courses located in the resort area of Ka'anapali. This resort area was once a sugar plantation, converted into a resort area by its owners. Lanai as well, is not lacking in golf courses. There are nine great golf courses here. Half were designed by either Jack Nickluas or Robert Trent Jones. The Princeville courses have made a name for themselves as some of the most challenging golf courses in the world. Princeville is a resort community located on the North Shore of the island. While taking a break here, golfers can enjoy world class beaches, as well as fine dinning and exquisite shopping. Let's not forget about the island of Oahu. Oahu is home to several 18-hole golf courses all located fairly close to Honolulu. The Ala Wai Golf Course and the Ewa Villages Golf course are actually located in the Wakiki Beach Area. Here golfers should take a break to catch a wave on famous Wakiki Beach. Turtle Bay Beach Resort is located on the North Shore of Oahu. It is home to 2 spectacular golf courses. One of which, was designed by Arnold Palmer and the other by George Fazio. The resort itself is located on a great beach complete with a reef for snorkeling. Hawaiian Luau No Hawaiian vacation would be complete without attending a luau. The word luau really just means a party or a celebration. Typically in ancient Hawaiian culture luaus were given to celebrate the birth of a child or a wedding. These days the word luau has become a household name all across the United States. When we think of a luau today, we think of those cheap plastic lays and those silly plastic tiki cups. Oh, but a luau is so much more. In Hawaii there are two basic types of luau. The first type closely resembles that of the original type of luau. This is a private gathering of friends and family for a celebration. The second type of luau is a commercial luau open to the public and what we tourists typically visit. While in the state of Hawaii there will be many different luaus to choose from. They are basically all the same, with a few different high points. Arriving guests are greeted with a fresh flower leu. The entertainment is usually choreographed and top notch, complete with hula dancers and fire eaters. Sometimes the guests provide some of the entertainment themselves. It's always fun watching grown men wear hula skirts and try to learn this complicated dance. There are different options for food and drink as well. I myself prefer the open bar type. The food is usually a buffet, consisting of a roasted pig or perhaps some sort of roast beef, rice, and of course the Hawaiian staple...pineapple. I have to mention some of the best known luaus and those with the best reputation. While in Maui, the Old Lahaina Luau is the one not to be missed. This is the most authentic Luau on the island. The hula dancers are superb and the food is of the highest quality. The other luaus available in Maui are usually done at the resorts and lack the realism of Old Lahaina. Because of it's popularity, the Old Lahaina Luau does require reservations. In fact, I would recommend that you make your reservations before you even leave for Hawaii. While visiting the big island, again there are a plethora of options to choose from. Kona seems to be a popular town for the luau. King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel offers a Luau with a shell lei greeting, and a torch lighting ceremony. Check with the hotel for luau days. On the mornings of luaus spectators can watch the hotel staff bury the pig in the sand and begin roasting. The island of Kaui offers a couple of luau's of its own. Both the Radisson Kauai Beach Resort and the Kilohana Plantation have nice luaus complete with open bars, fire eaters and of course, hula dancers. Whichever island or islands you choose to visit while in Hawaii, a Hawaiian luau is a must. Whether the gorgeous hula girls are your thing (scantily clad Polynesian dancers for the ladies) or you are just there for the food, a luau is sure to please. Hawaii Vacations: Why Weather Is Important Are you getting ready for your upcoming Hawaii vacation? If so, have you been keeping track of the Hawaii weather? If your vacation is within the next week or so, you should be doing so. Did you know that many first-time travelers are surprised to learn just how much the weather can impact their vacation? As previously stated, you should check the weather before leaving for your Hawaii trip. One of the many reasons why you should do so is for packing. When you have a good idea as to what the weather will be like, you can more accurately and properly pack for your trip. Different weather forecasts call for different clothing pieces and supplies. For example, if the weather is calling for rain, be sure to bring a raincoat with you. If the weather is calling for hot, sunny weather, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Monitoring the Hawaii weather in the days leading up to your trip can also reduce the amount of luggage that you have. This is nice, as it can help to reduce your travel expenses. Many airlines are now changing an extra fee for second bag of checked luggage. Since the weather can change, it is best to always be prepared, but within reason. You may want to bring a sweatshirt or light jacket with you, but if the predictions are warm and sunny weather, you don't have to pack your suitcase full of warm clothes. In keeping with packing for your trip, monitoring the weather forecast for your Hawaii vacation can also reduce extra expenses when you arrive on the island. For example, if you didn't know the weather forecast called for rain, you may need to buy an umbrella or a raincoat. The same truth applies for warm weather with sunscreen, sunhats, and sunglasses. Remember that merchandise is typically more expensive in popular vacation destinations, like Hawaii. So, it is best to be well informed, well prepared, and well packed. The Hawaii weather may also have an impact on your intended vacation activities. For example, a day calling for rain could temporarily put-off that day of hiking that you had planned. If that is the case, it is best to have a backup plan. What other activities or attractions are there that you could participate in or visit? Familiarizing yourself with your options will only take a few minutes of your time. As for how you can check the Hawaii weather forecast for your travel dates, you can do so by visiting the online websites of Hawaii new stations. Most have the extended weather forecast on listed on their websites, which can easily be found with a standard internet search. Nationally known and operated websites, such as the WeatherChannel.com, will provide you with the same information. With these websites, just enter in your Hawaii vacation destination and you should get the information you need. As an important reminder, a weather forecast can change at any given moment. That is why it is also advised that you recheck the anticipated weather forecast before you leave for the airport. This will allow you to make any last minute adjustments in your packing or vacation activities if needed. Knowing what to expect on your Hawaii vacation, especially where the weather is concerned, can do wonders for your trip and your satisfaction. 5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Hawaii Vacation Are you in the middle of planning a Hawaii vacation? If you are, you may be looking for tips to ensure that your vacation is just as you dreamed it would be. The good news is that are a number of steps that you can take to improve the overall satisfaction of your next trip to Hawaii. 1 -- Choose Your Overnight Accommodations Wisely While on a Hawaii vacation, you have a number of different of different places to stay. You can choose from Hawaii hotels, vacation resorts, vacation homes, condos, and so much more. You are encouraged to think long and hard about your decision before making your reservations. Where you stay will be the base of your vacation, even if you intend to get out and explore the Hawaiian Island of your choice. For that reason, choose an attractive looking hotel or private rental, as well as one that is stocked full of great features and makes you feel comfortable. 2 -- Check the Weather Before You Leave Checking the weather before you leave for your Hawaii vacation is an important component of having a great vacation. There is nothing worse than being unprepared on a trip, especially where weather is concerned. Before you start to pack for your trip, be sure to check the anticipated weather forecast. The night before or the morning of your trip, be sure to check again for any changes. Hawaii's weather is important, as it can have an impact on the way that you pack your bags. You can also reduce your vacation expenses, as you aren't left buying last minute supplies, like a raincoat. The anticipated weather forecast will also have an impact on your vacation activities. 3 -- Bring Extra Spending Money Extra spending money, even just a small amount of it, is important when traveling, especially to Hawaii. A good step to take however is to first research popular Hawaii activities and attractions. In doing so, you can get a good idea of how much money you should bring with you. Still, having extra spending money on hand is nice. You may wish to purchase souvenirs or visit a popular attraction that wasn't on your to-do list. Carrying a small amount of extra cash or having your debit card handy can't do you any harm. 4 -- Bring the Proper Documents With You While most vacations are able to go off without a hitch, you should always be prepared for the unexpected. For that reason, you and every member of your traveling party should bring all proper and important documents with you. These documents should include your driver's license or another photo identification card, as well as your health insurance cards. In the event you suffer from a medical injury, it can work in your favor to have all needed documents ready and on hand, as opposed to thousands of miles away. If you will be renting a car, be sure to bring documents proving that you are insured, as some car rental companies require them. 5 -- Remember to Have Fun Although your goal is to have fun on a Hawaii vacation, sometimes we need to be reminded of that. As hard as it can sometimes be, try to leave all of your problems at home. A family vacation or a romantic getaway to Hawaii should be fun and relaxing, it isn't the time to be concerned with work. 5 Reasons Why You Should Plan a Hawaii Vacation Are you looking for a vacation destination for an upcoming trip? If you are, you should examine Hawaii. Hawaii vacations are popular and their popularity continues to increase. There are good reasons for that. In fact, five reasons why you should plan a Hawaii vacation are outlined below. 1 -- Affordability The cost of travel can seem quite high today, especially with the high cost of gasoline. In fact, many individuals are putting off their summer vacation plans. With that said, many travelers are surprised to learn just how affordable it is to vacation on a beautiful Hawaiian island. With a small amount of time and research, you can easily find amazing Hawaii travel deals and discounts. As for how you can find great travel deals and discounts, examine online travel websites. They are ideal for comparing the rates of airline tickets, hotel reservations, and car rentals. When using a travel website, be sure to examine vacation packages. They are convenient to book and you are often rewarded with a small, but helpful, discount. It is also a good idea to visit the websites of Hawaii hotels and airlines directly, as some are known for offering moneysaving discounts directly to consumers. 2 -- Beauty If you have never visited Hawaii before, the beauty of the land will likely leave you breathless. In addition to vacations, did you also know that Hawaii is a great place to get married? Hawaii destination weddings are just as popular and that is due in part to the beauty of Hawaii. The beauty of the land is great for travelers who are unable to decide on a destination, as there is so much for you to do and see. It is hard to find a destination like Hawaii where you can relax in a tropical climate, swim in the ocean, hike to see beautiful waterfalls, and explore volcanoes. 3 -- Activities As previously stated, all of the Hawaiian Islands are home to a vast array of landscaping. This opens up a world of opportunities for you and your traveling party, in terms of Hawaii activities. It is also great for families who members all have different likes and dislikes. Whether you enjoy staying on land, being on the water, or being in the air, there is so much for you to do and see while on a Hawaii vacation. As for beach activities, swimming, boating, fishing, dinner cruises, surfing, body boarding, and scuba diving are popular. Popular land activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, and sightseeing. Hawaii can also be explored by the air and the perfect way to do is with a private Hawaii helicopter tour. 4 -- Attractions If the above mentioned Hawaii activities weren't enough to keep you occupied on your trip, the large number of attractions in the area will. Regardless of which Hawaiian Island you choose to visit, there are so many wondering, beautiful, amazing, and historical sites for you to visit. One of the most popular Hawaii attractions is that of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is located on Big Island. Kauai, Molokai, Maui, Oahu, and Lanai all have their must see attractions as well. 5 -- Travel Reasons Perhaps, the greatest reason why you should consider taking a Hawaii vacation is because of your reasons for doing so. Although you do not need a reason to travel to Hawaii, any reason will do. Hawaii is the perfect destination for family vacations, romantic getaways, and trips with a group of friends. You will also find that many Hawaii activities and attractions are designed for individuals of all ages, which is nice if you are planning a family vacation. As you can see, Hawaii is the perfect vacation destination. With a number of beautiful islands to choose from, a number of travel deals and discounts, and large number of Hawaii activities and attractions, what more could you ask for? What are you waiting for? Book your Hawaii trip today! Hawaii - The Island of Maui Maui is a gorgeous island amongst the chain of the Hawaiian Islands. There are tons of activities for both families, and honeymooners looking for a quiet escape. Weather water sports or land activities are your thing, Maui is sure to please. The town of Lahaina is an old fishing village located on the western side of the island. Here you will find a vast array of shopping and fine dining options to choose from. There is also a whaling museum located here. It's a great place to explore the wonders of these huge mammals. Lahaina is also a great place to take surf lessons. There are a couple of different surfing schools located here. Lastly, the Old Lahaina Luau is one not to be missed. If you are interested in going to a luau at all, while on the island this is the place. It's smaller and more authentic than those that you will find at the resort hotels. The road to Hana is another popular journey for vacationers on the island. If you were to drive straight through on the Hana Highway, the trip would take about two hours, however, this journey is not about the destination. There are literally over a hundred places you could stop along the way. There are waterfalls galore, a rainforest reserve, black sand beaches, and more hiking trails than you can imagine. Once in the town of Hana you might want to stop for lunch or perhaps a relaxing swim on the beach. I would highly recommend renting a vehicle with 4-wheel drive because the best spot, the Ohe'o Gulch is located just past Hana. If you don't have 4-wheel drive, you will have to go back the way you came. This road is full of one lane roads and hair pin turns; and it's located at the top of huge cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. The Ohe'o Gulch, otherwise known as the seven sacred pools, is nothing short of spectacular. There are actually twenty four pools. They are natural pools that form from water trickling down from the ocean. The water runs over the rocks to form the pools and falls. The best part about the pools is you can take a relaxing dip in them. Kihei is a quiet town located on the southern side of the island. Here you are more likely to find low-rise hotels and condos rather than the high-rises that are so prevalent in the resort area of Ka'anapali. This is a good place to relax on the relatively quiet beaches, or perhaps take a windsurfing or kite boarding lesson. The Maui Ocean Center is located in Ma'alea, near the Ma'alea Bay. The ocean center is home to a giant aquarium that has a tunnel you can actually walk through. It makes for a great picture taking opportunity, as you can literally have sharks and huge manta rays swimming directly on top of you. Ma'alea Bay offers some great whale watching opportunities, particularly during the winter months. Mother humpback whales come into the shallow waters of the bay to protect their babies from sharks that frequent the deeper waters. Hawaii - The Big Island On the big island of Hawaii you will find diversity in the geography ranging from beaches to volcanoes. You will find miles and miles of undeveloped land as well as bustling urban development in cities like Kailua -Kona. Hilo, which is located on the windy side of the island, gets a lot of rainfall. This contributes to the lush green landscaping of this side of the island making Hilo an interesting sight and a must see on the list of destinations. Most people begin there journey on the big island in Kona. You should plan to take a few days to relax and enjoy the nearby beaches, or perhaps go snorkeling at Kealakekuea Bay. Next you should take some time to explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is a must see on the list. The park is amazing to say the least. If you have plenty of time you can actually make camp in the park and really explore. The park has over 140 miles of hiking trails and is nothing short of spectacular. If you are short on time, you should still take a drive through the park. There is a stretch of Highway 137 dubbed Red Road that is also worth visiting. There is a canopy of Milo and Hala trees that have intertwined to form a sort of a tunnel effect. You should also plan to spend some time in Hilo. The lush landscaping makes for great scenery and picture taking opportunities. Hilo has been called the rainiest city in the USA, so don't expect much in the way of beaches. But Hilo is a cute little town; nonetheless, that offers some history and culture complete with Bed and Breakfasts. There is a quiet little town called Puako located on the Southern Kohalo Coast that is home to the fabulous tide pools. This is accessible by highway 19 near the Hapuna Beach State Park. The giant tide pools are home to some marine life including coral making this destination a must see. However, don't plan on staying in Puako, it is such a small town that it doesn't have any lodging and it really is off the beaten path. Who would have thought that horseback riding would be on the list of activities for a Hawaiian vacation? Well, actually there is a huge ranch called the Dahana Ranch Roughriders in Waimea. It's owned and operated by a native Hawaiian family and is still a working cattle ranch. The ranch raises and breeds, and trains cattle and horses. There are also some excellent cycling opportunities here in Waimea as the terrain is full of rolling hills. Before checking out and leaving the island stop into the Pololu Valley which will offer some hiking trails. You can even take a mule ride through the valley. Lastly, you should take some more time to relax on the white sandy beaches of the big island. Or perhaps, take one last snorkeling opportunity at Kauna'oa Bay. Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure that your stay in Hawaii will amaze. Hawaii - A Brief History of Culture The beginning of a Hawaiian kingdom started in 1809 after the fall of king Kamehameha. The new king moved to Honolulu to take control of the trade that was going on. Honolulu was the perfect place because it was centrally located. In the 1830's sugar plantations were established and Honolulu became a booming city, bars and brothels alike were opened. In 1845 Honolulu officially replaced Maui as the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Because of increasing western influence, Hawaii, and most importantly Pearl Harbor, officially became a US territory in 1898. There were several arguments, failed bills and lots of political red tape that kept Hawaii from becoming a U.S. state. The gateway to allowing Hawaii to become an official state was tourism. Pan American Airlines flew the first passenger flights from the mainland to Hawaii in 1936. This led to mass tourism. After the Korean War and the attacks on Pearl Harbor, it became imminent to make Hawaii an official state. Hawaii was declared the 50th state on August 21, 1959. In the 1970's the Hawaiian culture had a resurgence of pride and heritage awareness. The ancient Hawaiian language had all but disappeared and a huge westernization had spread across the state. In the seventies the original Hawaiian language was reintroduced back into preschools and became an important part of the heritage again Thanks to the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch we all know that ohana means family. Today the language is taught at the University of Hawaii as well. The luau is also another important part of Hawaiian culture. Luaus have been with the culture for hundreds of years. The word luau really just means a party or a celebration. This is the way that friends and family honor each other on special occasions. Today there are two types of Luaus. The first is like the original way, just a gathering of family and friends, and is the only authentic type. They are private, and unless you have local connections, it is unlikely that tourists would be invited to such an event. The second type of Luau is commercial. It's the type that we tourists would frequent. They are heavily choreographed and can be quite entertaining. The luau usually has a buffet of some sort of roasted pig as the entree accompanied by rice and of course pineapple. These luaus are also complete with hula dancers for the guys and Polynesian dancers for the ladies viewing pleasure. There is plenty of entertainment to go around, especially when you add an open bar to the mix. The merry monarch festival was founded in 1971. It is a hula festival; in fact it is the largest hula festival in the world. It features thousands of dancers and honors the long time Hawaiian tradition of hula dancing. The festival takes place in March or April and draws huge crowds. It is located in Hilo on the big island of Hawaii and is a weeklong cultural event. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hawaii is a beautiful vacation destination. It makes for either a quiet and mild vacation consisting of countless hours lying on a beach or wildly active vacation sure to please event the most avid thrill seekers. What thrill seeking vacation would be complete without exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HAVO). The national park occupies a vast array of terrain ranging from tropical beaches to the sub arctic Mauna Loa summit. The huge park has two active volcanoes. Kilauea Caldera is the youngest and most active volcano on earth. The landscaping is amazing complete with hardened lava and dozens of craters. The park has 140 miles of hiking trails and is open to the public for camping. The park is over 333,000 acres of land so plan to stay a while if you truly want to explore the park. If you don't have a lot of time, you should plan to at least drive through the park. It is worth the hour or so that it will take you to see everything. The volcano erupts regularly, so in most cases you will get to see some sort of lava flow. However, don't expect to see eruptions spewing into the sky like in the movies. The flow is fluid and constant, not nearly as dramatic as Hollywood depicts. The terrain changes so frequently due to the ever changing lava flow that it makes it difficult to follow maps, however the most up to date versions will be available at the visitor's center. The map can be used for driving as well as hiking. The park has a hotline that tells you what is happening with the volcanoes that day and where to best view the lava flow. Unlike the rest of Hawaii the weather can change very quickly in the park. The temperatures can be about 15 degrees cooler here than in Kona, so plan to dress appropriately. The park can have blistering heat from the sun's reflection off of the lava flow. It can be hot and steamy one minute and change to a chilly downpour of rain with little or no warning. If planning to visit the volcanoes you should be prepared and dress appropriately. Wear hiking shoes or boots; bring sunscreen and lots of water. The heat can cause dehydration quickly so be prepared with lots of fluids because this little nuisance is preventable. Always follow the signs and stay on the trails. Fatalities do happen here at HAVO. The most common are due to people wandering off and getting lost in the park and people getting too close to newly formed lava paths. These lava flows can collapse causing injuries, or even worse death. If and when the lava reaches the ocean, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid permeate the air. These gases are toxic. Every one should be careful, especially pregnant women, young children and people with upper respiratory problems. The smell of sulfur is strong in the air. Whether it's magnificent hiking trails you seek, or simply marking visiting a volcano off of your to do list, HAVO is sure to please. Hawaii Vacation with Kids There couldn't be a more relaxing vacation spot than Hawaii. There are lots of activities on both the land and in the water. The landscape provides the perfect backdrop for all sorts of outdoor activities. There will be plenty of things for the kids to do, so bring them with you. The whole family will love boogie boarding or body surfing on one of the great beaches in Hawaii, like world famous Waikiki Beach. Waikiki even has a cheeseburger in paradise restaurant. The kids will love it. They can get any kind of toppings they want on these world famous burgers. Don't forget the Honolulu zoo. It is a small city zoo, but it's worth taking a tour. The flamingo pond in the front is sure to please the kids and will offer a great photo taking opportunity. The Waikiki Aquarium is another fun family stop. It has a touch pond for the viewing pleasure of the kids and adults alike. Lastly, the bishop museum is worth taking a tour. They have demonstrations on the art of making lei's as well as hula dancing performances. Before leaving the island take the kids to visit the world famous beaches of the North Shore. It's worth the drive to see the very beaches where world class surfers congregate. When visiting Maui a sure bet is the Maui Ocean Center, home to the largest tropical fish aquarium in the United States. The dolphin statues out front make a great background for a souvenir photo. Don't forget to check out the whaling museum located in Lahaina. If you are visiting during the winter months go ahead and take a whale watching tour from the Lahaina harbor. It's sure to please. The beaches at the resort are of Ka'anapali are fun for kids as well. Most of these resorts have awesome pools for little swimmers. Some even have water parks within the hotel themselves. Parents should take advantage of the kids programs at these resorts for some quiet time to themselves. On the big island of Hawaii take a drive through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You can see active volcanoes and possibly some lava flow from the comfort and safety of your own rental car. Next take a ride over to Waimea and take the kids for a horseback ride through the valley. You could do an all day excursion complete with lunch, or perhaps just pony rides for the little kids. Lastly you could go to North Kohala and try kayaking. This is a great place for beginners. The island of Molokai will offer some good old fashioned rest and relaxation in an authentic Hawaiian atmosphere. You could rent mountain bikes and explore the island together. Be careful, however, not to go too far off the trails, because it's easy to get lost on the mostly undeveloped island. On this island you should consider renting a house so the kids will have plenty of room to spread out. Also there aren't too many hotel options here on Molokai. Hawaii in the Winter If you are thinking about planning a trip to Hawaii, you may be wondering the best time of year to visit Hawaii. Well, anytime really. Hawaii really doesn't have an off season. The winter months of January and February seem to be the rainiest, but it's not the same kind of winter you would have in other parts of the United States. In fact the winter months may actually draw crowds during those so called rainy months. One reason is that the waves on the northern shores of the islands are much bigger during the winter. The North Shore of Ohau in particular is famous for those huge waves, sometimes coming in as high as thirty feet. These are some of the largest waves in the world. On any given day on the North shore, you can expect to see world championship surfers, particularly at Waimiea Bay. The Banzi pipeline is another popular surfing spot for these amazing athletes. The pipline is famous for its long tubes. But, don't be fooled by the lure of this gorgeous wave, the water underneath is shallow and full of coral reef. The waves at these famous hot spots are not for beginners. If you are just learning to surf, you should stick to the shallow waves at Wakiki Beach in Honolulu. Another reason for the high number of winter tourists is whale watching. Whale watching season is generally from January to May. Whale watching is a popular activity during the winter months on the island of Maui. You can expect to see many different species of whales, including the humpback whale. They are typically found along the western shore of Maui. Ma'alaea Bay in particular is a great spot to catch a glimpse of the mother and baby whales. The shallow waters of the bay offer protection from possible shark attacks. You can see the whales, by simply taking a stroll along the beach. There are also many tour companies offering day trips to popular whale watching destinations. The island of Lanai also offers some whale watching opportunities, both on and off shore. The humpback whale is the fifth largest of the whale family of mammals. The humpback is on the endangered species list due mostly to hunting of these animals in previous years. At one time hunting humpbacks was considered a great sport and it almost forced the species into extinction. Humpback whales can reach lengths of 45 feet and can weigh as much as 45 tons. Another reason that Hawaii is such a popular vacation destination during the winter months is plain geography. Because the winter months are so cold and dreary during these months back on the mainland, visitors flock to Hawaii for a much needed respite. What better way to escape a February snow storm than to sit on a tropical beach in paradise and sip on Mai tais. Whatever your reason for visiting Hawaii, all of the islands are waiting and are sure to please even the most frostbitten winter visitor The Road to Hana- The First Half Hana is a sleepy little town located in Maui on the backside of Haleakala. Hana is a fairly quiet town with only one or two hotels. It has a small public beach that when compared to some of the other beaches on Maui seem less than impressive. And what sleepy town would be complete without a horse ranch. Hana is definitely not lacking in charm. While millions of people travel through Hana each year, few people actually stay here. The road to Hana as the Hana highway has been dubbed is more about the journey, than the actual destination. If you were to drive straight from Kahului to Hana the trip would take you about two hours. But, as I said before, this trip is about the scenery. If you were in a huge rush to get to Hana, you would be disappointed. In order to do this trip properly, you should be in no hurry and allow for an eleven or twelve hour trip. The first place to stop on the road to Hana is the twin falls. They are impressive if you have never seen a waterfall, but you will see some much more spectacular views along this journey. The Ko'olau Forest Reserve is one stop along the way that you should not skip. You will first see Norfolk pines located on the hillside, then some vibrantly colored Eucalyptus trees (very impressive to the east coast native). Next you will see a vast expanse of bamboo trees. It's worth the time to visit this tropical forest. If waterfalls are your thing, you are in luck. There is the famous Waikamoi falls located at the bridge just before the 10 mile marker. This waterfall is impressive to say the least. It stretches some hundreds of feet above the bridge, and it has several different colors of moss growing alongside the falls. The next place to stop is the Kaumahina State Wayside Park. It has picnic tables and provides a wide ocean view. This is the perfect place to stop for a quick romantic lunch. For the next several miles there is a spectacular ocean view, offering ample opportunity to pull over and take pictures. If it has recently rained, then you are in for a special treat, you will see a plethora of water falls exhibiting a rainbow of colors due to the wild vegetation. You don't get much closer to perfection than this. At this point you are roughly halfway to Hana. The Ke'anea Valley marks the halfway point to Hana. This valley is home to the Haleakala Crater, which was formed from an eruption of the Haleakala volcano. Lava erupted from the volcano and flowed into the valley creating this giant crater. It is a sight to see. As you drive on from here you will see a sign that says "halfway to hana". There is also a camp site here, so you can either make camp or explore around the first half some more, or you can drive onto Hana. The Road to Hana - The second Half The second half of the road to Hana is even more exiting than the first. As you approach the town of Wailua, you will pass a few fruit stands offering homemade goodies and fruit. If you are hungry for a snack, this is the place to stop. The first stop on this second half of this journey is Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. It is a little blue and white chapel built in the 1860's. This church has an existing congregation, but they no longer use this chapel as the current sanctuary. Another site not to be missed is the Ka'eleku caverns. You can actually go into underground caves formed by lava eruptions from ancient volcanoes. You will probably need a four wheel drive vehicle to access this one. The Kahanu garden is a botanical garden located on the road to Hana. It is a National Conservation effort. The next stop just past the botanical garden is the sacred pools. They offer a natural water park of sorts. The view is spectacular and unlike anything that I have ever seen. Near the top of the mountain, almost to Hana is Wai'anapanapa State Park. The park is located amongst an impressive black sand beach and has two caves that you can walk through. They actually lead to the ocean, so be careful. I have heard that there is an opportunity here for good snorkeling, but I will never find out. There are several signs warning would be swimmers of unusually large man of war, strong rip currents and sharks. Hmm, maybe I'll sit this one out! Now get back in your car, for the next stop, Hana. Before I mentioned that Hana is not really all that spectacular considering all the gorgeous stops along the way, however, it is worth your time to stop in this sleepy little town. There are a couple of little cafe's that make for a good place to have lunch. The beach is complete with a pier that you should at least take a quick stroll on. Hana even has an airport. You can either stay in Hana at one of the few lodging options, or if you are like most people it is time to head back to the resort area. Most people will drive back the way the came, perhaps stopping at a few of the places that they might have missed along the way. Or, if you are amongst the brave few, you may continue onward. This will require a four wheel drive vehicle. You will drive along a dirt path that could be called a road, but it's extremely winding and curvy, along the top of a cliff with no guard rails to protect motorist from falling hundreds of feet into the ocean below. There are a few signs instructing drivers to honk in order to alert oncoming traffic, because this is only a one lane road. It is a little bit scary, but thrilling at the same time and the view is unbelievable. This isolated road complete with ocean views on one side and cow pastures only lasts for a few miles, and then it's back to civilization. You can get a detailed map complete with a C.D. from your concierge or even the gas station. The map will give specific mile marker indications, allowing even the most lost prone driver to find these breathtaking sights.
The Hawaiian Island of Ni'ihau Not all of the Hawaiian Islands have been as westernized as equally as others. Most people would say that Oahu is by far the most commercialized of the islands and that Molokai is the least. They are only partly right. The little known island of Ni'ihau is actually the least modernized and the least populated of the islands. Ni'ihau is located less than twenty miles from the island of Lanai. It is a private island not open to tourism. Thus the island has earned the name as the forbidden island. Ni'ihau is the only island where the predominant language is still Hawaiian. There is one school here that runs grades K-12 and the lessons are taught in Hawaiian. English is introduced as a second language. The entire island is owned by the Ni'ihau ranch, which is owned by the Robinson family. The Robinsons provide food, clothing shelter, education and just about anything else their people need. There is no widespread electricity here. Don't expect to find cell service for your phone either. Ni'ihau is the smallest inhabited Hawaiian Island; it's about 70 square miles. The economy of the island depends on farming, but that has not been very prosperous for over thirty years. The Robinson family has looked to the government for support in exchange for allowing military drills and mock practice operations. The Robinsons do not allow visitors on the island. In fact if a resident marries someone from even another Hawaiian Island, they will not be invited back into the community. Ni'ihau is such a closed community that there really is no way to visit the island. The Robinsons have, however allowed a small window of opportunity to peak into the island. One is through a helicopter tour, but don't expect this one to be listed in the budget category of a tourism book. The pilot will fly the visitors to a beach location of the island. Here they will have the opportunity to go snorkeling, and lunch is provided. When leaving the island, the pilot will fly over most of the uninhabited parts of the island. The second opportunity to see the island is to go on a Nihau Safari. Again, don't expect this one to be cheap. Everything needed to hunt for Polynesian boar and sheep will be provided for you. There are also snorkeling and scuba diving tours around the island of Ni'ihau. Most of these tours depart from Kauai and you cannot come ashore during your excursion. There is a supply boat that runs from Lanai to Ni'ihau once a week. The boat runs from Kaumakani, which is headquarters of the Ni'ihau ranch. There is also a settlement of former residents that prefer to live in Lanai. The residents of Ni'ihau are free to go to Lanai and shop and do really whatever they want. There are about 250 residents of the island, most of whom live in Pu'uwai, which means heart in Hawaiian. The village is on the western side of the island. Each house is surrounded by a stone wall to keep out the neighboring wildlife. The living here is pretty basic. They still collect their water and they have no indoor plumbing. The Hawaiian island of Molokai The Hawaiian Islands are the perfect place for a getaway. The islands offer a wide variety of activities, such as surfing, swimming snorkeling, and land activities such as island hopping. This is a must if visiting Hawaii. Each island is unique in its own way and has something special to offer. The island of Molokai is known as the mysterious island. Molokai is the least developed of all of the islands. This is the perfect place to relax and the best chance to have an authentic Hawaiian experience. Getting around on the island of Molokai can be difficult due to lack of modernization. If you rent a car, it should be one with four-wheel drive. Or perhaps you could rent a mountain bike; this would allow you get to some remote locations not available to you by car. There are two shops on the island that rent bikes, Molokai Outdoor Activities and Molokai Bicycle. There are two ways to get to the island. You can travel to Molokai by boat or by plane. The airport is small and you must fly in from a larger island such as Oahu or Maui. The island is most easily accessible by boat. If you can't stay for a long time, you could take a day trip from Maui. You won't be disappointed. The most popular beach is known as twenty mile beach. It has a barrier reef, which makes for a great snorkeling opportunity. The beach is located near the 20-mile marker of the main highway. There are two ranches on Molokai. They make for a great horseback riding experience. The ranches offer guided trail tours through the valley. Another popular activity of the island of Molokai is mule riding. You can ride mules through the valley and trails. The tours are available through a company called Molokai Mule Rides. Hiking is a popular pastime in Molokai. The most visited trail is the mule trail to the Kalaupapa Peninsula, which is complete with breathtaking views and awe inspiring landscaping. The Nature Conservatory at Kamakou Preserve has unique guided tours. These tours are only available a couple of times a month, so it's a good idea to make reservations and check with the conservatory before arriving in Molokai This preserve boasts almost 3000 acres of native ecosystems including a cloud forest and habitats for many endangered plants and animals. Along the hike you will see cliffs and valleys alike. What Hawaiian island would be complete without a golf course? Molokai has two. The Ironwood Hills Golf Club was originally built by Del Monte for its employees. The club is a very casual fun environment. The Kaluakoi Golf Course is located in a resort condominium community. This resort community has been limited by something called the Molokai plan. The plan is an agreement between lawmakers and locals to keep the island from becoming over developed. This plan has allowed the island and its inhabitants to keep their rural lifestyle. In fact, fishing, hunting, and ranching are still among the islands top professions of choice. Water Sports in Hawaii Ah, Hawaii the perfect vacation spots for a magical getaway in a tropical paradise. There are few vacation destinations that offer as many attractions as Hawaii. The island of Oahu boasts huge cities with lots of shopping as well some cultural activities nestled amongst the North Shore surfing villages. The island also is home to the memorial at Pearl Harbor, which is on the top of the list of must see for Oahu There are ample opportunities for playing golf as well. All of the islands have golf courses. They range from world championship golf courses to quiet laid back courses that have little or no greens fees. But really Hawaii is all about the water sports. The state is an island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean that is home to some of the world's best and largest waves. In fact surfing was invented here in the islands. Oahu and Maui are most well known for surfing, particularly the North Shore of both islands, but you can really expect to see some pretty great waves just about anywhere in Hawaii. If you are a beginner, you should stick to the beginner friendly waves like Waikiki Beach on Oahu and Lahaina in Maui. The big waves on the North Shore of the islands should be left to the experts. Diving and Snorkeling are another popular pastime for vacationers in Hawaii. There are some world famous dive spots like the molokini crater located off the coast of Maui. You can expect to see a wide variety of sea creatures here, such as, sharks, sea turtles, rays, and tons of different tropical fish. This is a great spot for snorkeling, as well as scuba diving. If you are anxious to try scuba, but don't think that you are quite ready; you could try a combination of the two called snuba. This is similar to scuba in that you have an air supply; however, it's attached to the boat and it floats above you. With scuba, however, you have to carry your air supply with you in a tank on your back. This is a good compromise if you want to get a feel for breathing underwater, but are not quite ready to make the scuba commitment. Maui in particular is great for windsurfing and kite boarding. Kite boarding is similar to windsurfing or wake boarding, but throw in the fact that you need to be able to fly a kite, and the sport suddenly becomes difficult to master. Hawaiians have been kayaking since ancient times. If kayaking is your thing, Hawaii is the place to be. All of the islands have something different to offer. On Oahu, Kailua Bay is a popular kayaking spot, where you can paddle over to an uninhabited island for some respite for the very busy Waikiki Beach. On Maui Kealakekua Bay is a great place for Kayaking. These waters are responsible for the downfall of Captain Cook. Molokai offers some great kayaking for the more experienced paddlers. Whatever you water sport pleasure, Hawaii is sure to please. Tips to Help You Choose the Perfect Hawaii Vacation Rental Are you in the process of making travel arrangements for your next Hawaii vacation? If so, are you interested in vacationing in a private Hawaii vacation rental, as opposed to the traditional hotel? If you are, you may be surprised with the number of options that you have. Many travelers are pleased to learn just how many private vacation rentals there are available for rent throughout Hawaii. Since you do have a number of different options, in terms of Hawaii vacation rentals, there are a number of points that you will first want to take into consideration. One of those is your options. Did you know that Hawaii vacation rentals come in a number of different formats? They do. These formats include vacation homes, condos, apartment rentals, cottages, and villas. If you have a preference, now is the time to finalize your decision, as many travel websites allow you to search based on property type. Next, it is important to determine how much you have to spend on your Hawaii vacation. Better yet, how much do you have to spend on a private vacation rental? If you have limited financial resources, it is important to know so ahead of time. Speaking of time, creating a vacation budget for yourself can save you time. If you make your Hawaii vacation rental reservations online, many travel websites allow you to customize your search based on your affordability. This means that rentals you cannot afford are automatically eliminated from your search results! Speaking of affordability, rental fees should be examined. Of course, you will want to choose a private rental that you can afford, but still make sure that you don't overpay. That is why comparing is recommended. Compare the cost of vacation homes that are similar in style, size, and location. Is there a huge price difference? If so, it is in your best interest to choose the cheaper option. Why? Because rental fees are not all that you have to consider. Most renters are also charged cleaning fees and security deposits. These additional fees can sometimes significantly increase the cost of a Hawaii vacation rental. When choosing a private Hawaii vacation rental, it is important to keep location in mind. For starters, which Hawaiian Island will you be visiting? If multiple islands, a stay at a hotel may be a more convenient and affordable approach to take. If your vacation is focused on one Hawaiian Island, examine popular destinations, such as Honolulu on Oahu. Vacation rentals that are located near larger cities often give you easy access to more vacation activities and attractions. Finally, it is important to examine rental features. If you will be spending a lot of time at your private Hawaii vacation rental, it is important to make sure that both your wants and needs are met. Otherwise, you may be left bored and disappointed. As for what you should look for, all private rentals should come equipped with air conditioning, television, and internet access. As for extra features that are nice to have, but not required look for swimming pools, hot tubs, private patio areas, and views of the ocean. Another important step involves examine vacation rental pictures. In fact, you should never book a potentially expensive vacation rental without first seeing what you will get. Look for vacation rentals that are comfortable and attractive in appearance, as well as those that look like they provide you with a lot of space to comfortably move around and enjoy yourself. Taking the above mentioned steps can make booking a stay at a Hawaii vacation home or another rental seem like a long and complicated process, but it really isn't. Often times, you can tell right away, by looking at pictures, whether or not the rental in question is right for you. Plus, when you arrive to the vacation home of your dreams, regret and disappointment will not be something you are greeted with. Tips for Traveling to Hawaii for Romance Are you and your spouse interested in taking a private, romantic getaway? If you are, Hawaii is the destination that you will want to examine. Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, great hotels and vacation resorts, as well as its many activities and attractions. What more could you ask for? Although Hawaii alone is enough to give you a nice romantic getaway with your spouse, there are some steps that you can take to ensure so. A few of these steps are highlighted below for your convenience. When taken into consideration, your romantic getaway to Hawaii will seem like a dream come true. When making your Hawaii airline reservations, you may want to examine flying first class. Yes, it is more expensive to fly first class, but what better way is there to start a romantic getaway? Most airlines offer travelers more space, as well as other amenities when they fly first class. Many travelers find flying first class to be more quiet and peaceful, when compared to flying coach. The next travel arrangement that you would likely make is that of a hotel or a vacation resort. Most of the Hawaiian Islands are filled with them, so you will have a number of different options. Even if you are on a budget, it is important to examine both quality and costs. Cheap hotels are nice, but not if they leave you wishing you had something better. Examine hotel and resort pictures. Do the rooms or suites look like they could help to create a romantic environment? Are there onsite features and services that you and your spouse can benefit from, like a swimming pool, hot tub, spa, or room service? In addition to examining Hawaii hotels and vacation resorts, private vacation rentals are worth the look. In fact, they are perfect for those on private, romantic getaways. Why? Because you often receive the ultimate level of privacy. With vacation homes, villas, and cottages, you should be the only individuals on the property. Condo rentals and apartment rentals are available and nice, but they aren't as private as standalone homes. As with Hawaii hotels and vacation resorts, be sure to examine pictures and features. Next, you will want to make arrangements for a Hawaii car rental. Unfortunately, relying on public transportation is a mistake that some tourists make. A car rental is convenient, as it gives you the freedom to come and go as you want. It is also private. With your own car rental, you do not have to share a bus or a taxi with other tourists or locals. Privacy is important when taking a romantic getaway. Finally, you will want to research Hawaii attractions and activities before you leave for your trip. This can help you get a good idea as to what you can expect on your Hawaii vacation. Also, Hawaii activities and attractions come in a number of different formats. If you are looking to achieve the ultimate level of romance, you will want to examine activities and attractions that have romantic like themes. For example, a tour through a garden may be more romantic than a long hike up a mountainside. The above mentioned steps, when properly taken, can help to make sure that your Hawaii romantic getaway goes off without a hitch. Most importantly, remember to let loose, relax, and have fun. When doing so, you will find that the romance makes it way to you. Tips for Planning Your Maui Family Vacation Have you and your family recently decided to take a Maui vacation? Hawaii is a great destination for family vacations, although some parents do get overwhelmed with the planning. To help make sure that your next family vacation is as smooth as you imagined it would be, please continue reading on. For starters, it is important to make your family vacation travel arrangements well in advance of your trip. When you do so, you should be presented with more options. For example, if you want your family to all sit next to each other on the airplane, your chances of getting your wish increases with the earlier you make your travel arrangements. Speaking of your airplane ride, depending on your starting point, an airplane trip to Hawaii can be long. For that reason, you will want to bring lots of activities, which can help to keep your children occupied. These items can include small toys, a portable movie player, a music player with headphones, books, or magazines. Snacks are also a good idea. Drinks can usually be purchased at the airport, but past security checkpoints. In fact, be sure to familiarize yourself with all airport security rules and restrictions before your intended dates of travel. Next, it is important to examine where you and your family intend to stay while on the island of Maui. Be sure to make your decision wisely. For example, hotels are popular options for tourists, but some can be quite small in size. Make sure that you have enough room for all of your children to comfortable stay and sleep. Doing so can help to improve their satisfaction and yours as well. In keeping with your overnight accommodations, also examine services, facilities, and other extras that you may be provided with. Look for those that are designed for kids or those that benefits parents, such as yourself. For example, does your hotel or vacation resort have an onsite gaming room? What about a child care service? Even if you intend to spend most of your time away from your hotel or vacation resort, it is still important to examine all of the features, services, and facilities you are provided with or gain access to. If you haven't already decided on a Maui car rental, you will want to do so. Despite the fact that public transportation is available, you may find a car rental to be a more convenient approach. The last thing that you want is to get two, three, or more kids into a taxi or on a bus. As a parent, you may know that this can be a frustrating and time consuming process. Instead, a car rental provides you with convenience and comfort. And, since car rentals come in all different sizes, it doesn't matter how large or small your family is. An important component of planning a family vacation is to make sure that everyone has fun. That is why your intended Maui vacation activities should be of great importance to you. While you do not have to have every minute of your vacation planned, you should still do a little bit of research first. This research involves determining which vacation activities your family may enjoy participating in and which attractions you should visit. If your family consists of two or more children that are in different age groups, planning your Hawaii vacation activities may seem like a lose-lose situation. There are a number of steps that you can take. First, choose activities and attractions that are ideal for individuals of all ages. This may include swimming and visiting a zoo. You can also let each of your children pick one or more activities or attractions, which helps to make sure that everyone gets their wish. The above mentioned points, when taken into consideration, can help to ensure that your next Maui family vacation is perfect. Although planning a family vacation can seem like a stressful and overwhelming process, the end result will be more than worth the time and energy that went into planning your trip. Fun Hawaii Beach Activities You Can Enjoy on Your Next Vacation Have you just finished booking your Hawaii vacation? If you have, you may think that you are all set and ready to go. In reality, there is one more step that you should take. That step involves familiarizing yourself with Hawaii activities. As for why you should take the time to examine Hawaii activities, doing so can help to improve your vacation. One reason why Hawaii is attractive to tourists is because of all that you can do and see. Hawaii has a long list of fun attractions and activities. Since you will be unlikely to do and see all that Hawaii has to offer, you should decide what is most important to you. Despite the fact that Hawaii is known for its wide range of both land and beach activities, the beaches of Hawaii are the most popular. For that reason, you may want to enjoy a number of fun Hawaii beach activities. The good news is the options that you have, as they are virtually unlimited. Swimming is a Hawaii activity that you may want to enjoy. Although swimming is something that can be done at home, it is different while vacationing on a Hawaiian Island. There is nothing like swimming in an amazing climate with a beautiful backdrop of scenery surrounding you. Although it is difficult to describe, you will known the feeling as soon as you step foot in the water. If swimming is a Hawaii beach activity that you think you would enjoy, you may also want to try snorkeling. Snorkeling is a great activity for experienced swimmers, who aren't yet ready for a scuba diving adventure. When snorkeling, you stay towards the surface, allowing you to breath from above water with the use of a snorkel tube. Scuba diving tours are also available; however, you may be required to take a small certification course before your adventure even begins. Boating is another Hawaii beach activity that is perfect for those who want to spend their time on the beautiful waters of Hawaii. Boating is nice, as it comes in a number of different formats. Private boat charters are available if you are looking for privacy. Dinner cruises, whale watching tours, and general sightseeing tours are also popular. In addition to traditional boating, fishing is another activity that many tourists enjoy. Although there are fishing spots through all of Hawaii, you may prefer to fish on a boat. Many find doing so to be an amazing, enjoyable, and relaxing experience. As previously stated, private boat charters are available throughout all of Hawaii. Perhaps, the most popular beach activity of Hawaii is that of surfing. All of the Hawaiian Islands have at least a few beaches that are known for their great surfing conditions. Unfortunately, surfing is an activity that many tourists do not take part in due to fear. If you have never surfed before, you may want to schedule a lesson. There are a number of individuals and companies who offer professional, yet affordable surfing lessons. Windsurfing is great alternative. As you can see, you have a number of different options when looking to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Hawaii to their fullest extent. As a reminder, the above mentioned Hawaii vacation activities are just a few of the many that you can enjoy. For a more detailed list, you can request free Hawaii travel guides online. Choosing an Online Travel Website to Book Your Hawaii Vacation Would you like to take a trip to Hawaii? If so, you may want to start making your travel plans soon. When it comes to doing so, you will find that you have a number of different options. Out of all of those options, you may find online travel websites to be the best. As nice as it is to hear that you should book your next Hawaii vacation through an online travel website, you may be looking for more information. For instance, there are multiple travel websites for you to choose from. Which one is the best? Before choosing an online travel website to book your trip through, there are a number of points that you will first want to take into consideration. Reliability and reputation are important when choosing an online travel website. A small or relatively unknown website may work, but do you really want to take the chance on your dream vacation? Most travelers prefer using well-known websites to plan their trips and you may wish to do the same. If you find a great deal on another travel website, like one that isn't as well known, do the proper amount of research first. A good name likely means a good reputation and that should translate into a good vacation for you. Professionalism is another great way to gauge the reliability and reputation of an online travel website. Of course, anyone can create a professional looking website, but you may be surprised how many people don't take the time to do so. If anything on the website of your choice looks unprofessional or suspicious, it may be best to move on and examine your other options. As previously stated, you can easily find a number of online travel websites that will allow you to book your next Hawaii vacation. The number of partners an online travel website works with should also have an impact on your decision. As for partners, what hotels, airlines, and car rental companies work with the travel website? These are results that will appear when you perform a search for Hawaii airlines, Hawaii hotels, and Hawaii car rentals. When you choose to do business with an online travel website who has a lot of partners, your chances of saving money increase. This is because you are provided with more options, which can better allow you to price compare. In keeping with examining an online travel website, is the site easy to use? Booking your Hawaii vacation online should be easy, not hard, frustrating, or time consuming. Are you able to find what you need right away? When you search for Hawaii hotels is that all you are getting or are you also getting hotels for other popular vacation destinations? An easy to navigate website should make it easier for you to examine your options, as well as book your trip with less errors. It is also advised that you find a travel website that allows you to customize. This is important as we all have different wants and needs when taking a vacation. Are you looking for the most affordable airline reservations? Are your travel dates not flexible? Are you looking for the shortest flights to Hawaii? If so, choose an online travel website that allows you to customize your searches so that your options appear in order of affordability, availability, or time. When choosing an online travel website to book your Hawaii vacation through, your wants should also be examined. Your wants are important with your overnight accommodations. Do you want to stay at a Hawaii hotel or a private vacation rental. As popular as Hawaii vacation homes, condos, apartment rentals, and villas are, not all well-known travel websites list them. Instead, you may need to search for a website that deals specifically with private vacation rentals. Now you know what you should look for in an online travel website. Taking the time to choose a quality, reliable, and dependable website to book your next Hawaii vacation will likely result in a better trip and less disappointment for you. How to Save Money on a Hawaii Vacation Are you interested in taking a trip to Hawaii, but are you also worried about the costs? If so, you can rest assure. There are multiple ways that you can have your dream Hawaii vacation, while saving money at the same time. The first thing you will want to do is examine Hawaii vacation packages, also commonly marketed as Hawaii travel packages. Travel packages are known for simplifying the process of planning a trip, as you can make multiple travel arrangements all at once. With that said, many online travel websites reward you with discounts for buying their travel packages. The amount of money that you save can vary, but you may appreciate any savings, even just $20. As nice as Hawaii travel packages are, they aren't right for everyone. If you would rather make all of your travel arrangement individually, be sure to use your best judgment. You will want to examine and compare all of your overnight accommodation options. This includes hotels and vacation resorts. To have an affordable Hawaii vacation, choose the cheapest, yet quality hotel or vacation resort that you can find. As for your airline reservations, it is important to be flexible. Doing so may be able to save you money. Does the price you were quoted for a roundtrip to Hawaii seem too high? If so, experiment with your travel dates and times. Did you know that it is often cheaper to fly on some days more than others? It can be. This is a great way to save yourself money if you can leave either a day or two later or earlier than originally planned. Also, only check one suitcase, if possible, as many airlines now charge an extra bag fee. Planning your Hawaii vacation activities ahead of time can also help to save you money. Have you decided that you want to take a guided hiking tour? If so, you should have a number of tour companies to choose from. Do the research online to determine which company has the most affordable rates, as opposed to choosing the first company that you come across on the island. The same should apply for other Hawaii activities, like surfing, boating, and fishing, as well as attractions. In keeping with your Hawaii vacation activities, be sure to check with your hotel or vacation resort first. At the very least, look for brochures or travel guides near the front desk. These are occasionally filled with moneysaving coupons and certificates. It is also common for some hotels and vacation resorts to work with nearby businesses. For instance, you may be able to receive a discount on a meal at a nearby restaurant or a movie at a nearby theater. If this is your first time traveling to Hawaii, you will likely want to have souvenirs of your trip. If so, browse before buying. Did you know that many souvenir shops and gift shops in vacation destinations have the same items? Although the items are the same, the prices aren't always. If you are not careful, the cost of buying souvenirs for yourself, your friends, and your family back home can easily add up and quickly. If you are like most other Hawaii travelers, you will likely spend most of your vacation out exploring the amazing island of Hawaii. Doing so is nice, but it can get expensive, especially where food and drinks are concerned. You may want to think about brining snacks and drinks with you on your travels. Often times, grocery stores sell both snacks and drinks for a lot cheaper than small convenience stores do. By taking this approach you may be able to save yourself $10 to $20 a day! As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can save money on your next Hawaii vacation. In fact, the above mentioned steps are just a few of the many that you may want to take; however, they are the most practical. Road to Kona The Kailua Coast is home to the world's most spectacular endurance race, the Ford Ironman world championship. The race itself is grueling and intimidating. An iron man race consists of a 2.4 mile swim. This one is in the shark infested waters of the ocean. Next comes an intense 112 mile bike ride, and lastly the athletes will run a 26.2 mile marathon. All must be completed in 17 hours. Sounds impressive huh? Well imagine that in order to even be eligible to compete in this mind boggling event, you must have not only done it before, but also finished in the top 5 of your age group. Now that's impressive. There is one other way to be eligible to compete in this event. A lottery is held and 200 lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) would be participants are allowed to enter the race. One contributing factor that makes this race so difficult is the heat. On an average day with a normal temperature of about 85 degrees the actual temperature could rise to be easily over a hundred degrees due to the lava flow of the nearby active volcano reflects off of the sun. Dehydration is prevalent and it requires literally thousands of volunteers to put on a race like this one. Top athletes actually arrive weeks or even months in advance in order to acclimate themselves to the dreadful temperatures. It takes a full year of training to become prepared for such an event. Amateur athletes must compete in several iron man events before even dreaming of qualifying for Kona. Even then they must be the best in their game. Recreational hobbyist need not apply. The elite athletes that win these events sleep eat and breathe the sport of triathlon. They compete not for the cash prize (only around a hundred thousand dollars) but for the emotional one. I say that just finishing this race is worth more than a cash prize. The elites, the top professional athletes that will win this race will finish around two or three o'clock. The top age group athletes will start to pour in at around five or six o'clock and then it will start to get dark outside. The otherwise dark and deserted run course is heavily lit for the runners. Then the regular age group athletes will start to arrive. Remember, these people have most likely done this before and have finished their other races at the top of their division. At midnight the clock will strike and the race will be over. I say cheers and a job well done to anyone who tackles this crazy endurance event in America's paradise. How to Find the Best Deals on Hawaii Vacations Would you like to take a vacation to Hawaii? If so, you may be concerned with the costs. After all, the cost of driving down the street has increased, let alone flying to Hawaii. There is good news though. That good news is that there are ways for you to find amazing Hawaii travel deals and discounts. One of the many ways that you can go about finding moneysaving Hawaii travel deals and discounts is by using the internet to your advantage. Online, you may be surprised with that you find, as there are so many ways for you to save money. To get started, you may want to examine online travel websites. These websites can easily be found with a standard internet search. Online travel websites are a great way to find affordable travel arrangements for your trip to Hawaii because of their setup. Many websites allow you to easily compare prices. In fact, some will automatically list your hotels or airline reservations in order of affordability. This allows you to find great deals, but without having to do much of the work yourself. Even if your Hawaii travel arrangements aren't automatically categorized by price, you can change the settings so that they are. Speaking of doing the work yourself, it is also important to consider travel agents. You can also make your Hawaii travel plans through one of your local agents. These agents can be found by way of your local phone book. There is nothing better than having an experienced travel agent examine, compare, and make your travel arrangements for you. With that said, be sure to verify all of your travel plans first, as you want to make sure that you are truly getting a good deal. Returning back to online travel websites, in addition to simply just comparing prices, be sure to examine Hawaii vacation packages. Did you know that vacation packages are often offered at discounted prices? Most are. Travel packages, including those for Hawaii, do come in a number of different formats, but they often include airline reservations, a hotel stay, and a car rental. As an added bonus, you may not only be able to save money, but you can also save time as well with packaged travel plans. In addition to online travel websites, independent arrangements should also be examined. Did you know that most well-known hotels and airlines are known for offering moneysaving deals? Some are and, unfortunately, these deals aren't always passed down to online travel websites. That is why you should also examine the websites of Hawaii hotels and Hawaii airlines. When you find a great Hawaii travel deal or discount, you may be excited and want to make your travel plans right away. Before doing so, be sure to read the fine print. Are there any rules or restrictions that may put a damper on your vacation? It is best to check first. With that said, you will typically find that most legitimate Hawaii travel discounts and deals come with no strings attached. As you can see, there are a number of different ways that you can go about finding moneysaving travel deals and discounts for a Hawaii vacation. If you are looking to save the most money on your next trip, do the proper amount of research first. Researching great, yet affordable Hawaii attractions, activities, and restaurants can help you save even more money. How to Find Hawaii Travel Packages Are you looking for a way to save money on your next trip to Hawaii? If you have yet to make your travel plans, there is an easy way that you can do so. The purchase of a Hawaii travel package may be able to save you money. As nice as it is to know that Hawaii travel packages can help to save you money, you may be looking for more information. Some travelers want to know exactly how much money they can save. In all honesty, it will depend. That is why you need to proceed with caution when examining and buying Hawaii vacation packages. There are some companies that will actually try to charge you more. With that said, as long as you know what you are getting, you should walk away with a great deal. In addition to helping you save money, making your travel plans in the form of a Hawaii travel package can also save you time. While travel packages do vary, they often include reservations for a car rental, a hotel or resort stay, and airline tickets. These are three reservations that you would have to make individually if you opted to not go with a vacation package. As exciting as it can be for you to plan your upcoming trip to Hawaii, you may not want to spend days or hours doing so. As for how you can find Hawaii travel packages, you do have a number of options. One of the easiest approaches to take is to visit online travel websites. Well-known and reputable travel websites can easily be found with a standard internet search containing the phrase "travel website." Once at the website, you will need to enter in your starting point and destination, for airline tickets. Your intended travel dates are also needed for hotel stays and car rentals. Be sure you check the selection that allows you to search for travel packages. In addition to the above mentioned travel websites, you can also find vacation packages on specialty travel websites. These are websites that tend to focus on one destination, such as Hawaii. Specialty travel websites are nice, as most are familiar with the area in question. This often means that you are provided with more information, including detailed pictures of the surrounding area or a small list of nearby activities and attractions. Many specialty travel websites also list private vacation rentals, which is nice if you would rather stay at a vacation home, condo, or villa. Another easy way that you can find Hawaii travel packages is by using the services of a professional real estate agent. Your local community should have at least one travel agent for you to choose from. This approach is nice, as it limits the amount of travel research you have to do on your own. With that said, some travel agents are more focused on giving you a great vacation, as opposed to finding you the best deal. That is why you may prefer doing your own searching online for vacation packages, especially if you are on a limited budget. As you can see, there are a number of different ways that you can find Hawaii travel packages. As an important reminder, be sure to use your best judgment. Travel package prices will seem high, due to their combined reservations, but never pay more than you need to. How to Choose the Perfect Maui Vacation Rental Have you recently decided that you would like to stay at a private Maui vacation rental, as opposed to a hotel? If you have, you may be pleased with all of your options. On the beautiful island of Maui, there are a large number of vacation rentals for you to choose from. You should also know that private rentals come in a number of different formats, which include apartment rentals, homes, villas, and condos. As nice as it is to have options, in terms of your overnight accommodations, it can make making a decision seem like a huge and overwhelming task. There is good news though. With a small amount of thought and careful consideration, you can easily find the perfect Maui vacation rental for you and your trip. The first step in finding a great Maui rental is creating a budget for yourself. This is particularly important if you are traveling on a limited budget. Even if money is not a concern, a travel budget can still do you wonders. Having a set budget in place can make finding a vacation rental easier, as you may be able to eliminate those that are too costly. It is also important to note overpayment; why pay more than you need to? Next, it is important to examine and compare all of your options. As stated above, you have a number of private Maui vacation rentals to choose from. For that reason, do not choose the first one that you come across. Doing so may later result in disappointment. Instead, you should visit an online travel website and start comparing all of your options. Speaking of which, there are websites that are designed for Hawaii trips only, as well as those that specialize in private rentals, like homes, cottages, villas, apartment rentals, and condos. When comparing Maui vacation rentals, there are a number of factors that you will want to keep in mind and take into consideration. One of those is location. Don't spend your vacation on the road traveling to participate in or see the Maui activities and attractions on your vacation to do list. Instead, examine location. You will want to choose a rental that is conveniently located. Doing so can save you money in travel expenses, as well hassle. Perhaps, the most important factor to take into consideration is rental fees. When examining Maui vacation rentals, always compare rental fees. Some vacation rentals can appear identical in nature, but have very different rental rates. As a reminder, do not overpay. Instead, search for the best deals. Also, examine extra fees, such as cleaning fees and security deposits, as they are often required for private rentals. Vacation rental features should also be examined and compared. You will want to choose a Maui vacation rental that can give you want you want and what you need. After all, that is what vacations are all about. Features are particularly important if your Hawaii vacation is an extended trip. Despite variances, many travelers like having internet access, an onsite swimming pool, a private garden or patio area, as well as a dishwasher. In short, since you do have a number of different options, in terms of private Maui vacation rentals, take the time to find the vacation rental that is perfect for you. By doing so, you are less likely to be disappointment and you won't be left second guessing your decision days before your vacation. How to Choose the Perfect Kauai Vacation Rental Are you in the process of making your travel plans for your upcoming Kauai Hawaii vacation? If you are, are you interested in staying at a private vacation rental, as opposed to the traditional hotel? If so, you will soon see that you have a number of different options. This is because the Hawaiian Island of Kauai has a number of vacation rentals, including homes, villas, cottages, apartment rentals, and condos. With a number of great private Kauai vacation rentals to choose from, you may be wondering what choice you should make. Before doing so, it is important to compare. If you don't, you may always be left wondering or seconding guessing your decision. There is nothing worse than later learning there was a better vacation home available just down the street that came with more features that had more affordable rental rates. When comparing Kauai vacation rentals, there are a number of aspects that you will want to examine, starting with price. Did you know that vacation rentals have a wide range of rental fees? Even those that have similar features and similar layouts can have varying rental fees. That is why it is important to price compare. Never overpay for a vacation rental, even if you don't have a set travel budget. As an important side note, most vacation homeowners charge cleaning fees and require the payment of a security deposit, so these should be factored into your costs. As important as it is not to overpay for a Kauai vacation rental, you will also want to keep quality in mind. For that reason, be sure to examine vacation rental features. When doing so, look for features that you need to have. This may include an onsite washer or dryer, which is often needed for extended trips. After your needs have been met, examine your wants, such as a swimming pool or hot tub. While vacation rental features do vary, internet access, cable television, and air conditioning often come standard. Comfort and size should also be examined and compared. Luckily most, online travel websites provide you with detailed information and pictures. Make sure your first choice rental has enough space for you and your traveling party. Comfort and space is key to having a successful and pleasant vacation, especially a family vacation. In terms of appearance, be sure to choose a Kauai vacation rental that is attractive and appealing to you. It is also important to examine and compare locations. Although the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is not very large in size, location can still save you time and money. Find an online travel website that lets you examine the location of vacation rentals on a map. A vacation rental near the beach is advised if you want to swim, surf, body board, or fish. If you have a list of attractions you would like to visit, like the Waimea Canyon, examine your anticipated travel distances and try to keep them as low as possible. Taking the time to examine and compare a number of private Kauai vacation rentals may seem like a time consuming process, but it is easy to do online. Within a few minutes worth of time, you can easily examine twenty or more private rentals to find the vacation rental property that is perfect for you and your needs. Must Visit Molokai Attractions Are you looking for an amazing, yet relatively private and peaceful destination for a Hawaii vacation? If you are, you should examine the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. Molokai and Lanai are two islands that are known for their natural beauty. This is beauty that seems as if it was left untouched from the common commercialization that takes place at many popular vacation destinations. Despite the face that Molokai isn't as popular of a vacation destination as other Hawaiian Islands, such as Maui, Oahu, Big Island, and Kauai, it is still a great place to be. Why? Because there is so much for you to and see. Many travelers are surprised to learn all that Molokai has to offer them, in terms of fun, relaxation, and entertainment. To help get your planning starting, a few popular Molokai attractions are outlined below. A hike through the beautiful Halawa Valley is one of the many must visit attractions you will find on Molokai. The area is also known as the "cathedral valley," of Hawaii. Here you will find amazing landscape. This landscape includes distinctive and rare Hawaii plants and flowers. Hidden throughout the valley are ancient places of worship, and the Mooula Falls. The double tiered waterfall is a sightseers dream come true. According to Hawaii's Official Tourism Site, guided hiking tours are the only way to explore the Halawa Valley. The Kalaupapa National Historic Park is another attraction that is rated as a must visit by past visitors. It is located along the northern shore of Molokai. Here, you are able to take amazing pictures and learn about the history of Molokai. The Kalaupapa National Historic Park is only accessible by a guided mule ride. The trial is just under three miles long and takes on average 90 minutes. Along the way, you will see breathtaking views of the ocean and ride along the tallest sea cliffs in the United States. The Waikolu Valley Overlook is another must visit on the Molokai Island. The area is only accessible by hiking and a 4-wheel drive vehicle. For that reason, it is advised that you take this into consideration when making reservations for a car rental. When driven to by a 4-wheel drive vehicle, this great Molokai attraction is perfect for individuals of just about any age range. At the main lookout point, you are able to look out into the ocean, and see waterfalls and beautiful sea cliffs. If you opt for visiting the Waikolu Valley Overlook, you will want to continue on the path to the Kamakou Preserve. The Kamakou Preserve is not located far from Kaunakakai. It has been said that the preserve is left exactly "the way Mother Nature intended." The Kamakou Preserve is situated on 3,000 acres of beautiful land. Here you will find rare plants that are only home to the Kamakou area. A visit to the Kamakou Preserve is only a small hike and ideal for individuals of most age groups. Another must visit attraction is that of the Papohaku Beach, which is located on the western end of Molokai. Papohaku Beach is also known as Three Mile Beach, as it is home to three miles of beautiful white sand beaches. According to Hawaii's Official Tourism Site, it is the largest white sand beach throughout all of Hawaii. From numerous lookout points, you can see the neighboring island of Oahu. Camping, picnicking, swimming, and sunbathing are all popular activities enjoyed on Papohaku Beach. If you schedule your Hawaii vacation in May, you can participate in and witness one of the island's biggest festivals. As you can see, there are a number of great attractions that can be found on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. Although Molokai isn't always listed as a popular Hawaii vacation destination, it should be. In addition to the above mentioned attractions, there are also many "hidden gems," throughout the island. In fact, after visiting some of the most popular and well-known attractions, you are encouraged to just explore the land and see where the road leads to next. Hawaii - The Island of Lanai Lanai is the smallest and perhaps most exclusive island in the chain of Hawaiian Islands. The beaches are just as gorgeous as the other islands and the palm trees offer the perfect backdrop for a romantic island getaway. When visiting Lanai you can get to the island either by plane or by a ferry. You can fly into Lanai from either Maui or Honolulu. There are no direct flights from the mainland so you should take some time to visit one of the other islands first. If you take a boat to Lanai, it will be from Maui and you may just get lucky enough to see some migrating whales along the way, particularly in the winter months. If you do not have a lot of time to visit Lanai, you could take a day trip from Maui. Lanai is home to a famous dive site known as Cathedrals located near Pu'u Pele rock. The tropical fish and coral are abundant here. Hulop'e Beach is another popular destination on the island. Here you can usually see spinner dolphin and a variety of reef fish making this a great place for snorkeling. The beaches here are white sand and gorgeous. They make for a great place to relax and unwind. Shipwreck beach is a nice place to take a stroll. It's relatively quiet; in fact you are likely to be alone on this stretch of beach. You may find remnants of sunken ships in the form of driftwood washed up along the shore here. As the name implies there are several shipwrecks located just off the shore. The island of Lanai is also home to two championship golf courses. Manele, located at Manele Bay Hotel was actually designed by Jack Nicklaus and is set amongst a gorgeous tropical backdrop complete with palm trees and ocean cliffs. Greg Norman designed the second course which is the Experience at Koele. It has been rated the number one golf resort in the world by Conde Nast. The course lies beneath the mountains and offers spectacular views of the neighboring islands. Lanai is also home to the Cavendish Golf course that is a local nine-hole course. The course is open to the public and all are welcome. There are no greens fees here (impressive) however, donations are accepted. Horseback riding is another popular activity on the island of Lanai. The only place to ride is at Koele. They offer a variety of different ride options including pony rides for the kids. One favorite ride is a trail ride that will take you on trails along the coast. This offers breathtaking views, and if you look closely, you may be able to se Moloka'i and Maui. This ride also includes a picnic lunch, which can make for a romantic afternoon. One hiking destination not to be missed while in Lanai is the Koloiki Ridge Trail. The 5-mile hike begins at the Lodge at Koele and will take you up to the Munro Trail. The hike will offer some breath taking views of the valleys, as well as Moloka'i and Maui. The island of Lanai will offer a great variety of activities, or none at all if you wish. It's the perfect island for pampering and relaxation. Must Visit Lanai Attractions Are you interested in taking a Hawaii vacation, but would you like privacy at the same time? If you so, then Lanai is the perfect destination for you. It seems as if the Hawaiian Island of Lanai was untouched from most of the commercialization that took place in other popular Hawaii vacation destinations. Although Lanai is not as popular as Big Island, Maui, Oahu, or Kauai, it is home to a number of must see attractions, a few of which are outlined below. Although Hawaii is filled with endless green gardens that are home to distinctive, rare flowers and plants, the island of Lanai is known for their Keahiakawelo. Keahiakawelo is also called the "Garden of the Gods." Here you will find a beautiful, yet mysterious rock garden. Many of the rocks are stacked to create both small and large towers. According to tourists, the best time to visit Keahiakawelo is around sunset. Due to the terrain, Hawaii's Official Tourism Site recommends the use of a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The Munro Trail, located near the well-known Lanai city, is a must visit attraction for those looking for adventure and the perfect sightseeing destination. The Munro Trail is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles, which can be rented nearby. The trial is a seven mile road of dirt. Along the way, your breath will be taken away, as there is so much for you to see. Cooke pine trees, the Maunalei Canyon, and the nearby island of Maui can be seen. You will also end up atop of Mount Lanaihale, which according to Hawaii's Official Tourism website, is the highest peak on the island. Hulopoe Bay, located on the southern end of Lanai, is often referred to as one of the beast beaches in the United States. In fact, many travel websites and television channels have stated so. Hulopoe Bay, like most beaches of Hawaii, is known for its all-year round activities. In the summer months, Hulopoe Bay is perfect for swimming, body boarding, snorkeling, and walks along the volcanic rocks. Spinner dolphins are also common seen from the shoreline. Should you visit in the winter, you may be able to spot Humpback whales from the coastline. While the beauty of Hawaii is a big draw for tourists, so is its rich history. If you would like to learn more about the history and culture of Lanai, you are encouraged to visit the Lanai Cultural and Heritage Center. The Lanai Cultural and Heritage Center is located in Lanai City. Here you can see documents important to the history of Lanai, as well as Hawaiian artifacts. If you are looking for privacy and adventure on your next Hawaii vacation then the Polihua Beach is just for you. Unfortunately, the Polihua Beach is only accessible by 4-wheel drive and the ten mile drive can leave some non-adventurers wishing to turn back. However, once you arrive at Polihua Beach, you will be glad you made the journey. The beach is commonly deserted, often giving you the ultimate level of privacy. If golfing is a sport that you enjoy or if you have been thinking about taking it up, the Challenge at Manele Clubhouse is the spot for you. The Challenge at Manele Clubhouse is not only heaven for golfers, for those who enjoy sightseeing as well. The golf course is built on natural terrain that includes cliffs, gorges, and ravines. The Pacific Ocean is viewable from just about every area on the course. Even if other members of your traveling party aren't golfers, you may find that they want to take up the sport for the day. Yes, the views from this golf course are that good. The onsite restaurant is also known for its great food and amazing view of the ocean. At first glance, it may seem like Lanai is geared more towards locals than tourists, as the island has basically been left untouched. However, as highlighted above, there is so much for you to do and see on the beautiful, amazing, and relatively private island of Lanai. Maui Ocean Center Located on the south side of Maui is Ma'alaea Bay, home to the Maui Ocean Center. The center is the largest tropical aquarium in not only the state of Hawaii, but in the United States altogether. If visiting the island of Maui, this spectator spot should not be missed. The ocean center has a huge aquarium that has water filtered into it from the Bay. This aquarium is as real as it gets. This tank has a tunnel that you can actually walk through. This makes for great pictures. You can get a picture of yourself standing face to face with a sand shark. While walking through the tunnel, you will see sharks and rays, and tons of different types of fish. The best thing about the tunnel is that you can see the underside of the creatures as they swim above you. The tanks also boast a coral and tropical fish display that will amaze anyone. The coral itself is breathtaking. In fact this coral collection is the largest of any aquarium in the world. Another amazing display inside the aquarium is the giant cylinder columns of jelly fish. They are several feet wide, and you can watch the jellyfish float above you. The sight of these creatures is both terrifying and mesmerizing at the same time. Next you move along through the aquarium to the sea turtles tanks. These sea turtles have been injured at some point in their lives and their stay at the aquarium is only a temporary one. They will be reintroduced back into their natural habitat once they have recovered. This is my favorite exhibit in the aquarium. If you happen to visit during feeding time you can actually feed the turtles. It's great to watch these huge docile creatures chomping happily on their lunch. The ocean center also has an interactive display on whales, where visitors can learn about these giant mammals. Whale watching is a big hobby in Hawaii. There are several whale watching tours available. Turtle bay resort located on the north shore of Oahu boasts that during the winter you can actually see whales from your balcony. The Maui Ocean Center is a perfect place for families to visit. They offer a wide variety of exhibits for children that are both informative and exciting. There is also a touch pond, where children can pick up some of the creatures and actually handle them. They can see sea stars and sea urchins, as well as skates and rays. Be careful when stroking rays, however, you should always stroke them from head to tail in order to avoid being stung by there tails. No kid friendly aquarium would be complete without food. The ocean center offers a cafe where you can grab lunch. They have light fare such as salads and sandwiches, and of course, ice cream. Also don't miss the great picture taking opportunities that the center has to offer. Along the backside of the aquarium there are some spectacular views of Ma'alaea Bay, and there is a dolphin statue located in the very front of the center that also makes for a great souvenir photo. Hawaii Vacation Packages: How They Can Help You Save Money Would you like to take a trip to Hawaii, but you are you worried about the cost your trip? With gas prices on the rise, many individuals are cutting back on their travel. Of course, you may want to do the same, but don't let gasoline prices prevent you from having the vacation of your dreams. Did you know that there are still ways for you to plan an affordable trip to Hawaii? There are. As for how, you will want to examine Hawaii vacation packages. Hawaii vacation packages are travel packages to Hawaii that allow you to make a number of travel arrangements at the same time. The biggest plus side to vacation packages is the time you are able to save. By choosing a vacation package that includes your airline reservations, your hotel, and your car rental, you are able to save time. You don't have to make three separate travel arrangements. As nice as saving time is, you may be focused more on the money that you are able to save. Typically, you will be rewarded with a small, but still attractive discount for buying a Hawaii vacation package. The amount of money that you can save can be anywhere from five dollars to a hundred dollars or more. When examining Hawaii vacation packages, you will find different packages available for sale. This is because vacation packages do come in a number of different formats. Be sure to choose a travel package that offers what you need, like a Hawaii hotel, airline reservations, and a car rental. Extras, like entertainment, are nice, but only if you will use them. Otherwise, you will end up wasting your money, instead of saving it. As previously stated, there is a good chance that you can save money with the purchase of a Hawaii vacation package. With that said, be cautious of travel packages that appear too high in price. There is, however, an easy way that you can see if you are really getting a good deal. It involves visiting an online travel website. First, get quotes for their vacation packages. Next, examine each feature, like a stay at a hotel, to determine the individual costs. Add up those individuals costs and then compare the two. Don't purchase a vacation package that ends up costing you extra in the end. As for how you can find Hawaii travel packages, you do have options. One of the easiest approaches to take is to turn to the internet. As previously stated, online travel websites are a great place to start. A number of quality travel websites can be found with an internet search. Travel websites often offer packages that include hotel stays, car rentals, and airline tickets. As a reminder, be sure to compare all vacation packages to make sure you are saving money. In addition to finding Hawaii vacation packages through online travel websites, you can also examine the websites of well-known hotels and vacation resorts. Some offer travel packages. They do this by working in conjunction with airlines and car rental companies. Although your best bet is to book your vacation through an online travel website, examining all of your options cannot do harm. Hawaii vacation packages can also be purchased through travel agents. You can easily find a number of local travel agents by using your local phone book or an online business directory. The only downside to this approach is that you may not be able to do your own comparing. This may leave you unsure if you are saving money. Be sure to tell your travel agent that you want the best deal. This should include the best quality vacation, but for the most affordable price. As highlighted above, Hawaii vacation packages are an easy, convenient, and often moneysaving way to plan your next trip to Hawaii. As an important reminder, be sure to use your best judgment. Travel packages are supposed to save you money, so never overpay. Hawaii - Pearl Harbor When visiting Hawaii most people think of lush tropical trees and white sandy beaches. After all, Hawaii is the perfect spot for relaxing and sipping fruity drinks. However, there is one somber tourist spot that should not be missed. It is the memorial at Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was once known only for its ample supply of pearl oysters. No one would have ever dreamed that this harbor would become the reason that the United States entered into World War II. Sadly today it is known only for the infamous attacks that happened December 7, 1941, when wave Japanese planes flew over an attacked an unsuspecting sleeping army. Over 1.5 million people visit the USS Arizona memorial yearly. Tourists of all kinds stop here to remember the lives lost on that fateful morning so long ago. 2335 US soldiers died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Roughly half of those killed were aboard the USS Arizona. The giant ship was bombed and sank in less than ten minutes trapping over a thousand men on board. Today, the ship lies exactly where it sank and is a giant tomb. The bodies aboard the ship were never recovered. A memorial was erected and floats directly on top of the ship. The ship still leaks oil into the harbor in small amounts that have been said to be black tears. The mood at the memorial is somber even today over sixty years after the attack. The park does a nice job of filtering the average number of 4500 guests through the memorial daily. Upon arrival to the memorial you are given a ticket and told when your entry to the movie theater will be. The time of year of your visit determines your wait time. During the summer months when crowds are at their highest you may have to wait a couple of hours. But, there is plenty to occupy your time. There is a museum that contains memorabilia such as letters from soldiers to loved ones and uniforms. The museum also has photos of Japanese planes as well as map showing the destruction of the harbor. There is also a World War II submarine located at the memorial site. The USS Bowfin Museum and Park are worth taking a stroll through. They have kept the submarine intact and you can see pretty much how the men lived in the submarine. You can actually walk through the submarine. Be forewarned, this is not an activity for Closter phobic people, the ship's quarters are very tight. Once the wait is over the tour through the memorial runs fairly quickly. They show a movie that lasts about twenty minutes. It shows exactly what happened that early morning in December all those years ago, complete with video footage. Once the movie is over you will take a short boat ride out to the actual memorial. When the ferry arrives, you will walk all the way to the back of the memorial where there is a wall listing the names of all who died that day. 5 Must Visit Oahu Attractions Have you just finished booking your next Oahu vacation? If you have, it is time to start examining Oahu attractions. Of course, you can do so once you arrive on the island, but there are a number of benefits to familiarizing yourself with your vacation activities before you leave for your trip. As previously stated, there are a number of benefits to familiarizing yourself with available vacation activities and attractions before you leave for your trip. One of those benefits is creating a budget for yourself. Some Oahu attractions require the payment of a small admission fee. Determining this and other information, such as hours, ahead of time, can help to make your trip more enjoyable. 1 -- Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is a National Historic Landmark. In fact, is it currently the only naval base that has been designed as one in the United States. The attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, forever changed America. Whether you are looking to see the site for yourself, pay tribute to those who lost their lives, or do both, this is a must see attraction for you. While visiting Pearl Harbor, you can take a guided tour through the Battleship Mississippi Memorial, Visit the USS Okalahoma Memorial, as well as the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. 2 -- The North Shore of Oahu Are you an avid surfer or just a fan of the sport? If you are then the North Shore of Oahu is a must visit for you. Did you know that many travel websites claim that the North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the best surfing conditions in the world? Experienced surfers flock to the shores of local beaches and you may even be able to watch professional surfers! In addition to surfing, there is so much more that the North Shore of Oahu has to offer. Swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and other beach related activities are enjoyed by individuals of all ages. 3 -- Diamond Head State Monument The Diamond Head moment, which can be found in Waikiki, is one of Hawaii's most well-known landmarks. According to Hawaii's Official Tourism Site, the name came from the British who believed they found valuable diamonds in the crater. As it turns out, they were mistaken. As popular as the Diamond Head State Monument is, this Oahu attraction isn't right for everyone. A significant hike is required to get to the crater. This hike is perfect for those looking for adventure. The walk includes almost two hundred steps and mysterious underground tunnels. 4 -- Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, located in southern Oahu, is a must visit for all swimmers. It is known as the perfect destination for snorkeling. The bay is home to colorful tropical fish, coral reefs, and clear water. While some children and teenagers are able to snorkel, as it is a relatively easy activity for strong swimmers, caution is advised. Due to the area earning status of a nature preserve, all visitors are urged to be cautious in and around the water to help keep the area as natural and as beautiful as ever. 5 -- The Iolani Palace Iolani Palace is classified as an official residence of royalty. In fact, it is the only one of its kind in the United States. This, alone, makes the Iolani Palace a national treasure and a must visit. At one point in time, it was considered the political forefront and home of Hawaii. The Iolani Palace is located in Honolulu. When visiting the Iolani Palace, there is so much for you to do and see. Depending on the day of your visit, you can shop the Palace shop, listen to band concerts, or take a guided tour. The Iolani Palace, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, the North Shore of Oahu, Pearl Harbor, and the Diamond Head State Monument are just a few of the many great attractions you should visit. For a more detailed list, consider requesting a free vacation guide. 5 Must Visit Kauai Attractions Have you recently decided that you would like to vacation on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai? If you have, your first step should involve making all of your needed travel arrangements. Once those arrangements are complete, you should examine popular attractions on the island. As for why you should research Kauai attractions before your trip, there are a number of benefits to doing so. One of those benefits includes time. Kauai is filled with a large number of attractions, as well as other great activities. Creating a small itinerary for your trip can help to make sure that you get to experience all that this Hawaiian Island has to offer. One attraction that you will want to visit, when on a Kauai vacation, is that of the Waimea Canyon. The Waimea Canyon is also known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Here, you will find a number of lookout spots that are a sightseers dream come true. Not far from the Waimea Canyon is the Kokee State Park. Although often considered to be a separate attraction and destination, many travel websites combine this state park with the Waimea Canyon. Hiking trails can allow you to explore the land, as well as take amazing pictures. The Kokee Museum can teach you the history and culture behind the area you are about to explore or just finished exploring. The Napali Coast, located on the northern end of Hawaii, is a must visit for those looking for fun and adventure. Unfortunately, the Napali Coast is only accessible by the Kalalau Trail. This trial is eleven miles long and covers rough terrain. Due to the terrain, only those in good health are encouraged to take the hike. Also, due to its length, many tourists decide to stop and camp along the way, creating a two-day adventure. Although the Napali Coast is a hiker's dream come true, those who wish to avoid the long journey can still enjoy and see the beauty of the land either by boat or air. Helicopter tours of the coast and guided boat tours are also available. Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, but Kauai, according to the Hawaii Official Tourism Site, has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii. The most popular is that of the Wailua River. Kayaking and canoeing are two popular ways to explore the river. If you are looking for a more relaxing approach to take, guided boat tours are available. The river is also home to the Fern Grotto. Hawaii is known for their sometimes mysterious, but amazing legends. One is that of the Spouting Horn, located on the south end of Hawaii in Poipu. Here, water spouts around 50 feet high! According to Hawaii's Official Tourism Site, the ancient Hawaiians thought the coast was protected by a giant lizard. It was believed that the water spraying up from the lava tubes is his breath. The Kilauea Light House, is another must visit attraction for Kauai vacationers. The lighthouse is situated atop rugged coastline. It is known as the best destination to take pictures, as you are able to get unique panoramic shots. It addition to the beautiful view of the ocean, you will also see a wide array of sea birds, as the area is also home to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. As you can see, there are a number of great attractions for you to visit on your next Kauai vacation. In fact, did you know the above mentioned activities are just a few of the many that you will find? Other mentionables include the Captain Cook Monument in Waimea, the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge, and the Allerton Tropical Gardens and McBryde Gardens, both located near Poipu Beach. As previously stated, in addition to sightseeing and visiting a few of the above mentioned Kauai attractions, there are also many more Hawaiian activities for you to enjoy. These activities include boating, hiking, camping, shopping, swimming, and surfing. Surf lessons on Maui It is safe to say that if anyone visiting Hawaii ever wants to learn how to surf this is the place. There are many different places to take surf lessons while on the island of Maui. My favorite is located in the town of Lahaina. Lahaina is just a short drive from the Kanapali resort area that is the temporary home of many tourists like me. I took a four hour lesson at this cute little place called goofy foot. They came highly recommended by the concierge at the hotel, and I was not disappointed. The surf school required that all students wear a rash guard, which is just a long sleeve neoprene shirt. The rash guard is to protect your chest from the sand and wax on the board, not to mention the fact that it will also protect you if you happened to be pummeled by a wave into coral. Coral is prevalent in these waters; in fact, the coral actually contributes to the making of those long beautiful waves. The surf school provided the rash guard, as well as these goofy aqua socks that everyone had to wear... Maybe that's why they call the school goofy foot. But seriously, it is important to wear the aqua socks because they protect your feet from the coal. The instructor also explained that it is important to fall shallow rather than deep in order to avoid hitting the dreaded coral. The next required piece of paraphernalia is the board itself. They gave me this twelve foot foam surf board that I actually had to balance on my head to carry. That was really the hardest part of the lesson. Once equipped with my surf gear, I was ready to hit the waves. But my instructor stopped me in my tracks. Did I mention that the instructor was extremely hot? Anyway, he said that we had to practice on the beach a few times, so we did. We lay on top of the board in the sand and pretended to paddle. This seemed pretty stupid to me, but who was I to argue. By the time that we finally got in the water, I was ready. My really hot instructor stood behind me and actually pushed me into the wave. First I climbed up onto one knee, and then the next thing I knew I was standing. This took a couple of minutes, but that's the good thing about these great Hawaiian waves. You have plenty of time. The waves are long and even, giving beginners ample time to actually stand up. Once standing, I was a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, there was no way I could control that big board, I just held on and enjoyed the ride. Now, I have to mention that this was not my first attempt at surfing. I have actually tried many times on the east coast. The waves are much shorter and less predictable. The waves in Lahaina seemed to break at the same exact spot every time. Throughout the remainder of my four hour lesson, I was surfing. I felt like my very own modern day version of Gidget. Another great thing about the goofy foot surfing school is that they have a photographer on staff taking pictures of the lessons. Alas, I have documented proof of my surfing skills! It was a great experience, one that I believe to only be available on one of those long waves readily available and waiting for you in Maui." Hawaiian Souvenirs Oh, Hawaii the perfect vacation spot for just about anyone, and what Hawaiian vacation would be complete without souvenirs? While vacationing you will find ample opportunity to pick up souvenirs to bring back home to your loved ones. Hilo Hattie's is the big souvenir store. Unlike, the name suggests there are not located strictly in Hilo. It's a big chain store that has several locations on just about all of the islands. Hilo Hattie's is famous for all different types of souvenirs, but their crowning glory is, of course, the Hawaiian shirt. Every tourist needs a Hawaiian shirt. You will also find the other stapes, such as homemade chocolate covered macadamia nuts. These are sure to please every grandma. They also have a wide assortment of hula dancing dolls, perfect for your brother-in-law. They have the standard dash board version, as well as the world famous hula lamp. I was surprised by the extreme variety available in the hula lamp. You can find cheap plastic hula lamps for as little as about thirty dollars; and the hand crafted more classy (if there is such a creation) hula lamp that can be as much as two hundred dollars. Perhaps the goofiest souvenir, in my opinion, is a real live coconut. You can actually ship a real coconut back home to the continental United Sates. It usually costs about thirty bucks. I say, save your money, I'd rather have the dash board hula dancer. Coconuts are not the only live things that are frequently shipped from Hawaii as souvenirs. The live lei industry is very profitable in Hawaii. You can have a fresh flower lei sent back to grandma to go with those macadamia nuts. Tiki statues are another popular Hawaiian souvenir. Hawaiian legends say than the ancients, who carried a Tiki statue with them experienced, an immediate run of good fortune. Today, you can find these statues just about anywhere. My favorite is the tiki statue that doubles as a bottle opener. You can have good luck while drinking your beer. Ukuleles are another popular Hawaiian souvenir. These are miniature guitars that have been prevalent in Hawaii since ancient times. Again, just like the hula lamp, you can spend anywhere from about thirty bucks and up (really up). Some of these Ukuleles actually cost thousands of dollars. The work ukulele actually means "jumping flea" in Hawaiian. This refers to the way the player would strum around the strings. There are many different souvenir shops on all of the islands from which to choose your gifts. In addition to Hilo Hattie's, there is the old stand by the ABC store. This isn't the type of ABC store that you think of on the mainland. It's really just like a convenience store molded into a souvenir shop. They are on just about every corner in Honolulu. Another spot for cheap souvenirs is the flea market on Oahu. It's located in the parking lot of a stadium on the northern side of Oahu. Here you can find everything from knock off purses to hand carved tiki statues. Whatever you are looking for, Hawaii is sure to please.
InfoBank Intro | Main Page | Usenet Forums | Search The RockSite/The Web