Whether you prefer a laid-back vacation lazing on a secluded beach or a fast-paced holiday packed with fun activities, you'll find what you're looking for in Hawaii. The islands offer plenty of ways to experience native Hawaiian culture, from luaus to festivals to recreations of ancient villages. And, with the state's mixed ethnic heritage, you can experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of many other places around the globe.
With average temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, Hawaii is truly a tropical paradise. Native Hawaiians were known for their incredible prowess in the water, and travelers today can enjoy just about any water activity, including fishing, snorkeling, and whale watching. Of course, Hawaii also boasts some of the best surfing in the world.
There's plenty to do in the great outdoors on land, too. Explore volcanoes, hike in lush mountain forests, learn how to rope cattle on a ranch, play a round of golf, or marvel at the beautiful native plants in a botanical garden. For a glimpse into Hawaii's fascinating past, visit ancient temple ruins or petroglyphs. Kids will love a visit to the zoo or aquarium.
Cultural pursuits abound in the islands, too. Museums cover a wide range of interests, including arts, history, and science. Art lovers will find galleries to browse, as well as special art nights in various locations. In addition to traditional Hawaiian performing arts such as hula dances, a few theaters, an opera house, and a symphony provide for a fun evening out.
Shoppers will delight in browsing shops for Hawaiian products, such as tropical jams, Hawaiian shirts, or plumeria flowers. There are plenty of other interesting shopping opportunities, too, from the bustling stores of Honolulu's Chinatown to quaint antique shops off the beaten path.
Hawaii hosts numerous festivals and events year-round. Many festivals celebrate a particular culture or tradition, like Hawaiian arts and crafts or the Japanese cherry blossom festival. But Hawaii also draws participants from outside the states to events like film festivals, golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, the renowned Maui Writers Conference, and the legendary Ironman Triathlon.
Of course, a day full of adventures can leave visitors in need of some serious relaxation. Most of the islands have at least one spa where you can indulge your need for a massage, facial, or other healing treatment.
Like many other tropical locations, Hawaii is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination. Because it's part of the United States, Americans don't need to worry about the legalities of getting married here, and there's no waiting period. The beauty of the islands creates the perfect romantic setting for weddings and honeymoons.
Families will feel right at home in Hawaii, too. Hawaiian life centers around the family, and many of the state's attractions appeal to young and old alike. In addition, many hotels and resorts offer family rates and activities.
Oahu, Maui, the big island of Hawaii, and Kauai attract the most tourists and have the widest variety of activites, attractions, and events. Travelers in search of a laid-back, uncrowded destination should consider Molokai. Molokai's small population still lives off fishing and farming, giving visitors a feel for how life in the islands used to be. The island's preserve is home to many endangered native plants and birds, making Molokai an ideal getaway for nature lovers. Those who want to relax and be pampered should visit Lanai. With only one town, this small island's main attractions are its two luxury resorts which offer fine dining, golfing, spa services, outdoor activities, and water sports. Several smaller hotels and a bed and breakfast provide alternative options for travelers who'd like more solitude.
Hawaii's excellent weather, gorgeous scenery, colorful culture, and variety of offerings make for a truly unforgettable vacation. Find out for yourself why so many people have already said " Aloha" to these amazing islands.