a surfer


When coming to Hawaii you have a choice of which island you want to stay on. Honolulu, Hawaii’s largest city is on the island of O’ahu so if nightlife is what you want to see that is where you should go. Of course there is nothing dictating you stay on one particular island, with only a short plane ride between islands. Each island has something special so if you have time, explore all 4 of the main islands.

Hawaiian Islands

Kauai, the Garden Isle has some of the most spectacular scenery, the Wailua Falls being one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Though nowhere near as big as Victoria Falls in Africa it has its own form of beauty that makes it a gorgeous spot to sit, take photographs, and enjoy nature at its best. Wailua Falls is a double-tiered waterfall which is quite fascinating to watch as the water tumbles down.

Kauai is also where the Waimea Canyon is (nickname: Grand Canyon of the Pacific). At ten miles long and 3500 feet deep it’s very impressive, and the unusual red coloring is interesting. It literally looks like the rock is rusty. There are three places you can stop and look out along the canyon and take photographs.

O’ahu, the Gathering Place, is where the state capitol of Honolulu is, as previously mentioned. It is also where most of Hawaii’s population lives. Of all the islands it is the one that is most advanced and so you will likely see many amenities and entertainment that you are familiar with. O’ahu is where the famous Waikiki Beach is and you must, without a doubt, go and watch the surfers there, or if you can surf yourself try some waves. It is also where Pearl Harbor is located and as it is an important part of Hawaii’s history you must check out the museum and see where the terrible bombing occurred.

When I was last on O’ahu I spent a lot of time snorkeling and I have to say if you are adventurous enough to give it a try you will not regret it. There is a completely different world just under the ocean’s surface and the best way to enjoy it is snorkeling. If you have never done it before there are plenty of people willing to give lessons. If you want to try surfing some really big waves North Shore is where it all happens. I’ve tried it a couple of times but I have to admit to not being experienced enough to tackle some of those monsters!

Maui, the Valley Isle, is where everyone says the best beaches are. I’m not sure that I totally agree but they are really nice I admit. I have spent many hours on many beaches around the world so I might be a little spoiled when it comes to what I think is a great beach. What I found the most pleasant about Maui was visiting Haleakala National Park and hiking around to take in all the beautiful scenery. It is huge (30,000 acres) so naturally I was only able to see a small part of it but if getting out in nature is your ‘think’ go to the park. The highest peak is also within the park so check that out too! Panoramic views for what seems like miles! The summit is a very sacred place to the native Hawaiian people so please respect that when visiting.

I have always visited Hawaii either in the late spring or early summer because they are the seasons that I think are the best but I have been told that if you go in the winter you can go whale watching. I am not going to do that this trip because it is not the right time of year but I will make definitely make a return trip in the winter so I can see the whales. That is something I have never experienced before so will be exciting to do!

Big Island of Hawaii, the Orchid Isle, is by far the largest island and it is said that all the other islands can fit inside it together. It is very interesting as there are all different climates on the Island of Hawaii. On one hand you have hot, sunny beaches, and with a bit of traveling you can see snow-capped mountains. For things to do on the Big Island I highly recommend seeing the volcano Kilauea. It is said to be one of the world’s most active volcanoes, which is a little scary to me, but I saw it anyway and I am glad I did.

Hilo, an area on the Big Island of Hawaii, has some of the prettiest scenery I have ever seen anywhere. Lots of pretty waterfalls, very green rainforest areas, and the botanical gardens are spectacular, full of color and wonderful scents. Check out the town of Hilo too. Many years ago it was devastated by a huge tsunami that killed a lot of the residents and flattened over 1000 houses. It’s hard to believe looking at it now. It’s a historical town so there are some interesting buildings to see and places to go.

If money were no object I would recommend you visit each main island and spend at least a week on each. The bigger islands probably would take two weeks to see everything. If you only have a short time available to visit Hawaii I would recommend O’ahu because it has the best of both worlds; beautiful scenery and great city nightlife.