The Hawaiian islands are positioned in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They are a dream vacation destination for travelers and holidaymakers heading there from all corners of the world.
The relatively isolated Pacific Ocean location of these islands ensures that taking a trip Hawaii is a strictly long haul trip for most of us. However in the case of Hawaii, the rather long travel distance only adds to the allure and magic of traveling.
The islands are closest in proximity to those people who reside on the west coast of the United States, for example in California. The vast majority of us will have to travel a great distance by plane and road in order to reach this paradise Pacific islands. However, the journey to Hawaii is well worth the time and expense.
The extra effort required in reaching Hawaii is what makes going there all the more special and unique. A properly planned trip to Hawaii requires some in-depth travel research and due diligence to extract the highest value from this holiday of a lifetime.
A few facts, first of all, Hawaii is often referred to as the Big Island but in reality, it is the largest island in the wider Hawaiian archipelago which is a group of several remote islands situated in the Central Pacific Ocean.
Explore Diverse and Varied Landscapes
Hawaii is most remarkable for its diverse terrain, landscapes, jaw-dropping scenery and natural beauty spots that are about as varied as you will encounter anywhere else on the planet.
When in Hawaii expect to encounter everything from colored sandy beaches such as those at Papakolea (green sand) and Punalu’u (black sand.) All along the way coming across rich tropical rainforest on the other sides of the islands.
Hawaii is also home to more than one imposing volcanoes. Indeed found within the Volcanoes National Park, there are actually two active volcanoes, these volcanoes being Kilauea and Mauna Loa.
The volcanoes and the harsh unforgiving volcanic rock found there are in complete contrast to Hapuna Beach and Kahaluu Beach Park which are in the western reaches of Hawaii. Magical places that are best known for their amazing diving and water sports. It is truly incredible how the terrain in Hawaii can change so dramatically after traveling just a few short miles across the land.
The attraction of Hawaii to tourists stems mainly on account of its tropical Pacific paradise setting. However, the islands have featured in many popular movies and television drama series in recent times.
All these entertainment vehicles simply add to the island’s strong draw and persistent allure among travelers. Examples of popular shows include the much loved Hawaii Five-O television series, Magnum P.I with actor Tom Selleck and of course castaway series Lost. All of these shows feature Hawaii extensively over multiple seasons.
What Hawaiian Islands Should I Visit?
Determining the ideal island to visit in Hawaii is no simple task. By virtue of there being so much to do on all the islands. Actually making your mind up and reaching a decision on where to go first of all is a very tough call.
Consider though that Hawaii is well known all over the world for its amazing natural beauty. Even the built up city areas have a captivating ambiance and appeal that is hard to find elsewhere. So it is rather difficult not to have a good time and a unrewarding trip to Hawaii. Whichever island is the final destination.
Of course, Hawaii is an island group like few others in this world. So which Hawaiian island should a traveler head to in the first instance when heading to this paradise archipelago in the middle of the Pacific?
Bear in mind that the various islands of Hawaii welcome many thousands of visitors and tourists every year. In spite of the high volume of visitors, the islands still manage to carry the natural, volcanic feel from when it first formed free of human habitation so long ago.
Understandably part of the Hawaiian island chain has been developed for people to live and work but there is still plenty to see and do when away from the developed parts of the islands. In choosing a Hawaiian island to explore, much depends on what kind of traveler you are and the travel experiences and interests that engage you.
Remember if time permits then a traveler can head to more than one island while in Hawaii. Particularly if staying for several weeks at a time. Hawaii is a perfect destination for those travelers that just want to escape life and run away from the stresses of life. Let us take a closer look at some of the islands.
Kauai island on Hawaii is the arguably the most ancient of all the islands. Kauai is also the most northern island in the archipelago. Visitors here can expect to witness dramatic scenery and rugged landscapes that could so easily have been original set pieces or the backdrop to adventure films such as Jurassic Park or the futuristic Avatar.
Some of the well-known tourist attractions found on Kauai Island include the Kokee State Park. This nature park offers amazing views of the lush Kalalau Valley from high up. While exploring the state park expect to take full advantage of wild nature picnics, organized hiking tours, camping, and wood cabin lodging while finding your way slowly around the huge park.
Other interesting places of natural beauty to spend time at on Kauai Island include Poipu Beach and the wonderful Wailua waterfalls. If you simply cannot decide where to go, Kauai Island is a great first choice island to begin your tour of the Hawaiian islands.
The Big Island
When people talk of Hawaii you know that they are talking about ‘The Big Island’, which is easily the most well-traveled island in the archipelago.
The Big Island is bigger than all the other islands put together. What you may not realize is that 11 out of the world’s known 13 weather zones can be encountered here, the climate zones are that diverse. Expect to meet white sands, alongside stormy rainfall and scorching hot sunshine.
The big draw to the Big Island must be the many hundreds of miles of rugged and wild coastline adorned with peaceful sandy beaches to relax upon.
To find souvenirs visit Kailua-Kona which is found in the western part of The Big Island. Here visitors will come across many tourist souvenir shops. There are also countless welcoming bars and relaxing restaurants offering refreshing drinks and fine cuisine. The other side of the island is more active and life runs at a faster pace. It is a great place to see the natural beauty of this great island at its finest.
Over on the eastern side, there are large swathes of rainforest, powerful waterfalls, steaming volcanic lava. Those who come to Hawaii for the photo opportunities will revel at the chances to secure some amazing new images. A must for any photography enthusiast wishing to expand their image portfolio.
For those who prefer big city life with a touch of paradise, Oahu is the island to visit. Oahu is part of the Hawaiian island chain and further it is home to the Hawaiian state capital. This being the city of Honolulu. Oahu is probably the most well-known island in the chain and a large number of big hotels and businesses operate from here.
Don’t let the fact you are within the confines of a major city cause distraction. There is plenty to do while on a visit to Honolulu. for example visiting the historic Chinatown district as well as the aptly named Punchbowl. The Punchbowl is a volcanic crater that has been turned into a cemetery, novel for sure.
No visit to Honolulu would be complete without spending time at the famous Waikiki beach which is a very popular place for hotels, fine dining, nightlife and browsing designer shops. Out of the city towards the western part of the island visitors will arrive at the United States Navy base at Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor, of course, is the site of the 1941 bombing raid that initiated U.S engagement in World War II. Pearl Harbor is also the home of the USS Arizona Memorial which was lost during the attack.
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Hawaii?
The climate in Hawaii during the spring months is almost always ideal for taking a trip to anyone of the islands. In general, we recommend planning a trip in the springtime.
Hawaii is also a great place for families to spend quality time relaxing on the many beaches and with the numerous hotels and resorts. You can, of course, visit any time of year and have a truly great time. Spend sufficient time researching places to stay and attractions to visit. Then you will uncover the best island to visit in Hawaii that fits your needs and expectations.
Chris Blagden is an avid travel writer who enjoys exploring the globe and writing about his exciting travel experiences. Chris produces some of the in-depth travel feature articles and interviews at gloholiday.com