Hawaii is one of those places that has so much to do that you will just have to keep coming back year after year (or even sooner if you are lucky). There are those amazing Hawaii vacation condos that are right next to the beach, volcanoes, great food, islands and just about everything you could imagine to have a great holiday. It isn’t always easy to know where to start when you visit Hawaii, but here are some of my absolute favorite things to do when I am in Hawaii. Enjoy the stunning landscapes, beaches and great food. I hope that this article inspires you to take the plunge and experience one of my favorite holiday destinations.
Head to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The Big Island was not always “Big”, it was formed through immense volcanic activity from the many active volcanoes that existed in the area at the time. Today, Hawaii still has a lot of volcanic activity and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the way to get up close and personal with the power of molten rock that has formed these beautiful islands over many years. There is nothing quite like seeing fields of lava and magma oozing into the sea and creating immense clouds of steam. This is something you should definitely experience in the early hours of the morning or when the sun sets, as the deep red glow is something to behold.Hiking through the park is also an eye opener and you can see just how the volcanoes formed the surrounding landscape. The Thurston Lava tube is one of the most interesting things to see as you can quite literally walk through a cave that was formed by lava.
Enjoy the local fare
Hawaiians are well known for their amazing cuisine. It isn’t just the great tastes, but the freshness of the ingredients that makes it next level good. The extremely fertile volcanic soil means that the fruit and vegetables are well nourished, as well as the tropical climate. Eating fruit and vegetables here is just a different experience to what you would normally get in other parts of the world. They are juicier, tastier and fresher. That brings us to the food now. My personal favorite dish is anything that has been cooked in an Imu. Imus are traditional Hawaiian underground ovens. They use hot stones from a fire to cook things like wrapped meat and vegetables over a long period of time. The meat for example is buttery soft when it comes out of the imu and it seals in all the juices too. There really is just so much to love about Hawaiian food. Don’t forget to try the fish and seafood too, you will not be disappointed.
Pay tribute at Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor played an extremely important part in the Second World War and many people make the trip to pay tribute to those that lost their lives here in the Japanese attacks on the Harbor in 1941. One of the most moving places to visit is the USS Arizona Memorial. This is an interesting and architecturally designed structure that sites over the sunken remains of the USS Arizona, which was lost during the attacks. The site acts as a museum and memorial to those that died in the sinking of the battleship. From the structure above you can look directly into the ship and can even see oil that still rises to the surface of the water. Almost 1000 people’s remains still lie within the ship’s hull. It truly is a moving experience to visit this historically significant place and there is no excuse to visit as it is completely free to do so.
Head to the crescent shaped Molokini
Molokini is a truly unique place that is great for everyone to visit and for so many reasons. It is a curious crescent shaped island that is actually the remains of the crater of a volcano. The part that protrudes from the water is the ridge. Although you are not allowed to land on the island itself, it is a great place to visit by boat. The crater itself has created an incredible ecosystem of its own with coral and tropical fish. There are over two hundred species of fish here. For many years this has been a divers paradise, especially due to the amazing flora and fauna in the crater itself. Scuba diving and snorkeling are perfect ways to spend time here and you will be treated to great views of the reefs, especially with the crystal clear waters and great visibility that is possible.For those that like to stay on land, you can see a number of species of native birds that nest on the island itself. Molokini is a place that anybody visiting Hawaii should not miss.
See the stars at Mauna Kea
The dormant volcano Mauna Kea is the ideal place to sit and enjoy looking directly into the heavens. It has the perfect vantage point with little light pollution and of course the Mauna Kea Observatory. It’s great to have a guide to show you exactly what you are looking at or if you are a bit of an astronomy buff yourself you. If you do plan on going you can either bring your own equipment or better yet, let your tour guide help you with that. Many guides here offer everything in a great package, such as food, telescopes, a warm jacket (it gets cold at this high an altitude) and of course a hot drink.