It’s a sun-lover’s dream, nature’s paradise and a tropical island getaway that looks too perfect to be real. Add to that its incredible culture, lush national parks, friendly locals and delicious food to boot, and it’s little wonder Hawaii is so popular. Need more convincing? Here’s our top 10 reasons why Hawaii is the very definition of wanderlust.
The four main islands that make up the state of Hawaii are The Big Island (Hawai’i), Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, each accessible by plane and with plenty of airport transfer options to take you to and from your hotel. The state’s capital, Honolulu is located on Oahu, the third largest Hawaiian island. If you’re planning a trip to these idyllic islands, the most convenient way to get to and from the airport is with an airport transfer. Then it’s time to enjoy everything this tropical paradise has to offer. Aloha!
1. There’s year-round hiking
Hawaii is a dream location for hikers, whether you enjoy an easy stroll through lush green vegetation, or challenging day trails up to a volcanic crater. Various hiking trails meander through rainforest, past waterfalls, along natural steam vents and by picturesque beaches, so don’t forget to pack a decent pair of walking shoes. Most walking trails on The Big Island begin at the Hawai’i National Volcano Park, and there are plenty of day hikes to choose from.
Note: Permits are required for certain hikes in Hawaii. As with any kind of hiking, it’s always best to check the conditions for the day, any permits required and pack plenty of water, food and sunscreen.
2. There are active volcanoes
There aren’t too many places where you can still see active volcanoes in action, and to witness the geological wonder erupt red-hot molten lava into the Pacific Ocean and the resulting steamy, sizzling spectacle is a truly bucket list worthy experience.
Your best chance to see a volcano show is on Hawaii’s Big Island; there are four active volcanoes here. The most famous is Mauna Loa, which is considered to be the largest volcano in the world. If you’re keen to learn more, then a visit to the Hawai’i National Volcano Park on Big Island is a must to get up close to these natural wonders.
Note: Bear in mind there’s no guarantee of seeing lava when you visit, but don’t fear, even a quiet volcano is a marvel to see. It’s always best to check to see if the park is open beforehand, as active volcanoes can be dangerous and the park is sometimes closed to the public.
3. Surfing here is epic
If you’ve ever dreamed of learning to surf, Hawaii is the perfect place to make that dream come true. While expert surfers flock here during the winter months for the best waves in the world (or so many surfers claim!) thanks to the big swells, Hawaii is also the ideal location for beginner surfers. There are plenty of surf schools located on all of Hawaii’s main islands, so try your luck at learning to ‘hang ten’ in a fun and safe environment in one of the most idyllic places in the world.
4. Enjoy (almost) endless sunshine
It’s little wonder why many people from continental America escape the dreary weather during the winter months to seek out some Vitamin D and sunshine in Hawaii. The climate is tropical, which means it has a distinct wet (winter) and dry (summer) season, but it’s hot and balmy all year round. There are areas on each island that receive very little rainfall, and thankfully cooling ocean breezes balance out the heat, so there’s not really a bad time to visit Hawaii.
5. It’s a culinary delight
Thanks to the plethora of different cultures found in Hawaii, the food here is inspired by everything from traditional Hawaiian to Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese and Filipino, so take time to indulge in some local delicacies. Try a poké bowl; while this dish is popping up in trendy cafés all around the world, the original bowl of raw tuna chunks mixed and flavoured with other fresh ingredients originated in Hawaii. Flavoured shaved ice is another favourite (perfect to enjoy on a sunny tropical day on the beach!), and of course the islands of Hawaii are abundant with fresh seafood.
6. Snorkelling is an underwater paradise here
If seeing wild turtles, rays, monk seals and tropical fish while floating in crystal-clear, tropical waters appeals to you, then you need to give snorkelling in Hawaii a go. Green sea turtles can be found in snorkelling spots in Maui, while Big Island boasts the most snorkelling locations, with plentiful colourful coral to explore. The summer months bring calmer and clearer waters, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot the fish with one of the longest names in the world; Hawaii’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa.
7. Craft beer is thriving
Hawaii might not be the first place you think of for craft beer; Oregon, California and Colorado tend to take most of the glory Stateside. But craft beer is becoming more and more popular in this sunshine state, and it makes sense; icy cold beer on a hot day is a match made in heaven. Kona Brewing Company is probably the most well-known, but other tipples include Maui Brewery Company, Aloha Brewing Company and Big Island Brewhaus.
8. Cascading waterfalls are in abundance
Hawaii is a nature- and outdoor-lover’s dream, not in the least because of the abundance of waterfalls found throughout the islands. From Akaka Falls on the Big Island, which flows all year round, gushing down from a jungle-green towering ledge, to the thin stream of water flowing down the 1200ft drop that makes up Papalaua Falls in Molokai Island (and only accessible via helicopter), the many waterfalls found in Hawaii are, quite simply put, stunning.
9. Beaches, beaches and more beaches
Hawaii and beaches are practically synonymous, and yes, the more popular ones around Waikiki and Honolulu may conjure up images of hordes of tourists sunbaking on the overcrowded sand, but there are plenty of pockets of seclusion that offer a little more privacy around each island. No matter which beaches appeal to you, one thing is for sure – they’re going to be picture-postcard.
10. Magnificent sunsets paint the sky
While Hawaii boasts some absolutely gorgeous landscapes, what lies above you is equally impressive. Hawaii treats visitors to magnificent skyscapes, especially during sunset. Electrifying colours light up the horizon at dusk, so whatever you do, don’t forget your camera!
Some great spots to scope out for a good sunset vantage point include North Shore in Oahu, Kaanapali beach on Maui’s west side, and of course you can’t go wrong with Waikiki in Oahu for an epic sunset.
Equally impressive in the Hawaiian sky are the sunrises (for those early risers keen to enjoy a fiery sky without as many crowds), as well as crystal-clear night skies for stargazing.
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