The Hawaiian Islands are truly like no place else on Earth. Their rich diversity of wildlife and plants, as well as ‘explosive’ geography in the form of active volcanoes, draws thousands of visitors every year. Beyond its natural wonders, Hawaii has a wealth of cultural and historic attractions to offer up as well. The Big Island in particular has a wide variety of historical sites and cultural destinations that travelers can enjoy, including ancient rock carvings imaging the beginnings of the island, the well-preserved sites of a number of ancient battles, and the birthplaces of three of Hawaii’s kings.
Necessities for a Hawaiian vacation
Hawaii’s weather is mild year-long, with temperatures usually remaining in the 70s. Hawaii is also a tropical destination, complete with rainforests; expect there to be a lot of rain in these areas. It is a good idea to toss a light jacket into the case while packing to help keep the rain off.
The dress code throughout Hawaii is casual and colorful; a standard wardrobe will consist of Hawaiian shirts for men and flower print dresses for women. Shorts and tee shirts are the standard here, with sandals almost a necessity if the beaches are being frequented.
Speaking of the beach, Hawaiian beaches enjoy abundant sunshine, and those who plan to spend much of their vacation on the beach or in the water should bring plenty of sunscreen; this is particularly important for individuals who burn easily, or who have very fair sensitive skin.
Some of the best attractions and locations in Hawaii evoke strong emotions. One of the most popular of these is the 184-foot long USS Arizona Memorial, which is anchored above the remains of its namesake battleship. This shrine honors those who died so tragically and violently in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The visitor center for the memorial is free to enter and enjoy, and includes a museum containing memorabilia from the attacks. Tourists can also visit the USS Bowfin, a diesel sub from World War Two, and the USS Missouri, a World War Two battleship, both of which are anchored nearby.
Another of Hawaii’s best and most popular destinations is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Each one of the Hawaiian Islands is composed of one or more volcanoes that rose from the sea floor of the Pacific, and some of the largest and most impressive volcanoes are located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Five of the volcanoes that are located there have erupted in the past two hundred years and one of them – Kilauea — is currently in a constant and steady state of eruption. The largest volcano in the world, Mauna Loa, is also located there; Mauna Loa is also the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its base that lies deep under the Pacific Ocean.
One of the most famous beaches in Hawaii – and the best beach on the islands for people-watching – is Waikiki Beach. Surfers first made this beach famous and continue to surf there today, but they are not in the water alone; swimmers and snorkelers also frequent the beach. Here, you can rent an outrigger canoe and take it out for a paddle or enjoy a sunrise stroll before returning to the Sheraton Waikiki or other luxurious beach hotel to work on that tan.