Hawaii is one of the many states in the United States and a favorite tourist destination. Located almost at the center of the northern Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is an archipelago that is composed of hundreds of islands, all of which offers endless natural wonders. However, there are only eight major Hawaiian Islands, six of which are flocked with visitors all year round.
The largest of these islands, and aptly named the Big Island, Hawaii covers almost half of the state. It plays residence to the tallest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea. Its Hawaii Volcanoes National Park also houses one of the world’s largest and most active volcanoes, Mauna Loa. Located on the east coast of Hawaii is its largest and capital city Hilo. Hilo’s charm lies in its Amazing Botanical Gardens and some of the most stunning waterfalls of Hawaii. Its architecture is also noteworthy. On the other side, the west coast, is the tourist spot Kailua-Kona. If you are looking for some golf courses and shopping centers, Waikoloa offers some of the best.
At the heart of Hawaii is the island of Oahu. Being the most populous of these major islands, Oahu is coined the Gathering Place. The island is home to the state capital, Honolulu, the biggest city in the Hawaiian Islands. Elegant restaurants and shopping malls, rousing cultural events, bustling nightlife, an array of lodging options and an excellent public transportation, no doubt Oahu is a top tourist destination. Get around Oahu comfortably by riding TheBus. With its lovely beaches, beautiful parks and glorious mountains, it offers the best of both worlds. Two mountain ranges dominate the island, the Koolau Range and Waianae Range, while one of the most renowned beaches in the world can be found in Honolulu, the famous Waikiki Beach.
The second largest island in the state of Hawaii, Maui, is also known as the Valley Isle because of the narrow plain formed by the volcanic mountain Haleakala and the mountains of West Maui. One of its major attractions is the city of Hana with the exhilarating 52 miles of winding scenic roads to get there. The city is abundant with lush rainforests and alluring black sand beaches. Another beach area nestled at the foot of the West Maui Mountains, Kapalua takes pride in being one of the most luxurious in Maui. Other resort cities worth visiting include Napili, just next to Kapalua; Kihei, with great view of Haleakala; Lahaina, which offers whaling tours; Paia’s windsurfing locations; and Wailea and Makena just south of Kihei. Hikers will definitely have a grand time trekking the Iao Valley.
Another fascinating island is situated in the northwestern part of Hawaii. Appropriately named the Garden Island, Kauai is covered with marvels of greeneries. Being the oldest of these eight islands, Kauai’s natural wonder is endless. Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast are two of these sights worth seeing. In comparison to Oahu and Maui, Kauai is smaller and more laid back, an ideal spot for some relaxation. Visit Lihue for the island’s best museum, Poipu’s gorgeous beaches, the famous Hanalei Bay, and Haena’s Limahuli Valley, a National Tropical Botanical Garden of the Pacific.
Molokai, the Friendly Island, is one of the least developed of these islands. Roaming the island by riding a tour bus is a great way to understand the island. Some worthy stops to make are Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Molokai Museum and Cultural Center and Saint Damien churches. Phallic Rock is a short walk for anybody interested in hiking.
Another Hawaiian island that should make your list is Lanai. Enjoy the panoramic views while following the trails of Munro and Naha. Take a dip in the water of its most popular beach, the Hulupoe Beach at the Four Seasons, or take some time off on the quieter Shipwreck Beach at the northern part of the island. For golf enthusiasts, there are two eighteen-hole golf courses operating in the island: Manele Golf Course at Manele Bay and Koele Golf Course at Lanai City.
One of these major islands is privately owned, while the other one is uninhibited. Though not considered primary tourist spots, these two islands are equally enchanting. Niihau allows limited tourism through ATV’s, helicopters and excursions starting from Kauai. Kahoolawe, a former US Navy property, is currently undergoing rehabilitation.