Visiting the Beautiful Islands of Hawaii

August 20, 2011 by  
Filed under vacation

Maui Beach

Of all the places in the world which you can visit, Hawaii is one of most beautiful. Located in the Pacific Ocean, this US state is the only one that is entirely comprised of islands.

There are so many great islands to visit in this archipelago, and the ‘Big Island’ is, as you can tell by its name, the largest of them all. If you are interested in the volcanic connection which these islands have, this is a great place to go. Once here, you can visit the Volcanoes National Park, which highlights two of the most active volcanoes in the world.

The Hawaiian islands were created from volcanic activity, and in this park you can learn all about this process. A great day out for those who are interested in volcanic landforms.

If you want to explore other islands in the Hawaiian chain, the second largest is Maui. Some say that this is the island where you will find among the best beaches in the world, and the sunrises are spectacular.

Oahu Island

Moving down in size, the third largest island is Oahu. This is where the neighborhood of Waikiki is located, a thriving center for Hawaiian tourism. Here, you can shop, dine, take part in great activities and of course go to the beach.

The waters are generally calm here, providing an ideal place to learn how to surf. For those slightly less adventurous, there are also canoes which can you can take out on the water at a more leisurely pace.

A week on the Big Island of Hawaii

June 18, 2009 by  
Filed under vacation

hapuna beach

Before coming to the big island of Hawaii, you must plan your activities according to the number of days you will spend on the island. Because after coming here, it will be very difficult for you to decide which place to go on which day. Having a huge size as compared to the other Hawaiian Islands, the big island of Hawaii offers numerous fun activities and various places to discover, for which at least 1 week is required.
You must have some preliminary knowledge of the famous places those should be visited first if you have limited time at the big island of Hawaii.

Once you have arrived at your hotel at the big island of Hawaii, you should relax for sometime and after that, depending upon the weather, you can go to any of the various beaches for snorkeling, body boarding, swimming and surfing. Some of the famous beaches at the big island of Hawaii are Kahaluu Beach, Kaunaoa Beach, Hapuna Beach.

After enjoying on water activities at the beach, if you still have some time, you can visit the Kamakahonu Bay for watching the sunset. Later on at night, don’t go home without taking dinner from the Kailua-Kona.

Most visitors come to the big island of Hawaii for just on water activities, that is the reason why the beaches are always crowded and there is no privacy. No worries, you can plan your next day to explore one of the many National parks at the big island of Hawaii. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the one that is mostly recommended if you are interested in walking along with the lava flow. Don’t leave this park before night as you will miss the most unforgettable experience of your life. Watching the glowing red lava flowing, slowly, between the mountains looks as if, there is a red snake passing by the black mountains. Hiking and exploring the park, especially the Halemaumau crater, are other options available here.

During your stay at the big island of Hawaii, you may see or hear of Mauna Kea. This is the tallest mountain with height of approximately 13,796 feet. There is a myth by the native Hawaiian people that Mauna Kea is the home to the Hawaiian Gods. For visiting this place, you need a whole day and a four-wheel drive with guides, in order to fully enjoy this visit. You can get it all from the Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. Another attraction for which a huge number of visitors come to Mauna Kea is that this place has a large collection of world’s largest telescopes. This 8 hour adventure starts at mid-afternoon. So, you can relax in the day at your hotel and later on move towards this spot.

You must reserve a day for visiting the old town of Hilo, during your stay at the big island of Hawaii. Gardens, museums, valley and waterfalls, everything is there at the old town of Hilo. For visiting this place, you must arrive early in the morning. Make sure that you visit Gardens of Liliuokalani, World Botanical garden and the Nani Mau Gardens. The Mission House, Pacific Tsunami Museum and Lyman Museum are worth to be seen. Later on you can move forward to explore the Akaka Falls and Waipio Valley.

Visit to the big island of Hawaii is considered incomplete if you don’t carry the antiques, handicrafts and masterpieces made by the Hawaiian artists. You will find stuff of every kind at the shops in different parts of big island of Hawaii. KINGS’ SHOPS and Ka’upulehu Store at THE KOHALA COAST; Elements, Ackerman Gallery and Harbor Gallery at north kohala; Bentley’s Home & Garden Collection, Mauna Kea Galleries and Silk Road Gallery at Waimea are some of the good stores for buying various goods. In south Kona, you can visit the Kamigaki Market at the Mamalahoa Highway for taking special macadamia nuts to your home country.

The Five Best Places to Snorkel in Hawaii

June 3, 2009 by  
Filed under beaches

kapalua bay

Hawaii has been one of the premier destinations for vacationers for more than half a century. Just the though of America’s 50th state makes some people mentally picture tropical settings, warm and pleasant temperatures, and beautiful scenery. People travel to Hawaii with the idea that they will be doing a great deal of things while on the islands. Some of these things are more active like hiking and diving, while other things are more relaxing like sunbathing and taking advantage of the many things that the various spas and resorts have to offer. One of the most popular activities on the though islands is snorkeling.

Snorkeling is popular with tourists coming to Hawaii for a number of reasons. As beautiful as the islands are, there is so much more beauty waiting to be seen below the surface of the water. Snorkeling allows a traveler to leisurely observe and explore areas of marine life without having to learn or deal with the complicated equipment associated with scuba diving. Snorkeling is also an activity that can be performed by nearly everyone regardless of their age because it is all about learning a technique. The marine life that can be viewed while snorkeling through some of the areas around Hawaii is an amazing thing to see. Here are the five best places to go snorkeling at in Hawaii.

Hanauma Bay

Located on the island of Oahu, Hanauma Bay has been popular with snorkelers for decades. The one negative about this diving location is that it has become so popular of late that there are sometimes more than enough snorkelers there to make it somewhat crowded. The bay area is gorgeous above water with gentle sloping vegetation covered ground turning into white sand and then the crystal blue waters of the bay itself. Fish are common in the bay, even up near the shoreline, but the many examples of marine life down along the reefs and rocks are amazing.

Molokini Crater

One of the most unique snorkeling locations in Hawaii is the Molokini Crater. This small island is located just three miles off the coast of Maui. The semi-circle shaped island is the remnants of what was once a volcanic crater. Today it is one of the best places to see some hard to find marine life, there are even several species of fish that are not known to live anywhere else. The memory of swimming into and around a sunken volcanic crater is something that many people who take the opportunity to do it will never forget.

Kahaluu Beach Park

Located on the big island of Hawaii, Kahaluu Beach Park is another of the more popular snorkeling locations on the islands. The beach is large enough to host a great deal of people at once and the waters are generally calm and filled with marine life. All kinds of undersea creatures can be viewed at Kahaluu Beach Park, everything from small shellfish, to a number of species of fish, and even sea turtles and other larger creatures.

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay is one of the most recommended snorkeling locations for those going for their first time. The bay is located on the island of Maui and is popular with locals and tourists alike. The waters are extremely calm and protected from the pounding surf and marine life there is abundant. Those that are new to snorkeling will appreciate the lack of water obstructions as they learn to snorkel and become at ease in the water. The sandy beaches and natural surroundings of the area are also very pleasing for before and after the actual snorkeling, or by those who are not participating.

Kealakekua Bay

Another of the top snorkeling spots on the big island of Hawaii is Kealakekua Bay. This smaller bay provides one of the best opportunities to see some of the more rare underwater sights like sea turtles and dolphins. The area is open to snorkelers but is actually part of a protected underwater marine sanctuary. The scenery from the water or the land is simply beautiful in this truly special part of the Hawaiian Islands.

There are a number of popular activities to do in Hawaii, everything from swimming and diving to hiking and sports. There are even ways to enjoy the water aboard various kinds of watercraft including chartered fishing vessels, whale watching ships, kayaks, jet skis, and boats. One of the top ways to enjoy the water around Hawaii though is through snorkeling. This is one of the few ways that all the wonders of the undersea world can be experienced by those that are visiting the area. Snorkeling in Hawaii is great, but finding the right places to do it can have a huge impact on how successful the excursion is.

Five Family Friendly Things To Do On Oahu

May 31, 2009 by  
Filed under vacation

Kualoa Ranch

When it comes to classic vacation destinations, few places can compete with Hawaii. Many people grow up or spend their entire lives dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation. To these people, Hawaii is seen as one of the ultimate places to go to participate in a number of activities all in a warm and tropical location. The visual beauty of Hawaii is also another large reason that many people choose to head there for their much anticipated family vacations. The island of Oahu is a fabulous Hawaiian location to choose as a destination. A number of the areas and activities on the islands though are geared towards adults, both in the area of recreation as well as in the area of romance. Here is a look at five family friendly things to do on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Atlantis Submarine Tour

One of the best ways to get a look at all there is to enjoy underneath the surface of the water when on Oahu is to check out the Atlantis Submarine Tour. The tours include being ferried out to where the waiting submarines rest, boarding the submarine and undergoing the initial pressurization process, and then the actual dive and undersea tour. Among the many things seen out the portals during this submarine adventure are sunken ships, coral and man made reefs, and even the remains of a sunken commercial airliner. All that and also a great look at the undersea creatures that surround the island including fish, sea turtles, and even sharks.

USS Missouri Tour

The USS Missouri was built during World War II and went on to play an important role during the final days of the war. In fact, on board this ship was where the Empire of Japan surrendered to end the war. The ship went on to see action in the Korean War and the Persian Gulf War before being decommissioned for good in 1995. The ship was later donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and today is a museum ship in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship is currently docked just five hundred yards from the more famous USS Arizona Memorial. Actual military veterans who have seen action in the nation’s conflicts serve as the tour guides aboard the USS Missouri. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to get a chance to set foot on an actual United States naval destroyer. This attraction is popular with both those interested in history and those who are not.

Honolulu Zoo

One of the most popular stops for families with small children visiting Oahu is the Honolulu Zoo. The zoo features more than 1,200 animals, all separated into distinct habitats designed to give the appearance and feel of what their natural surroundings would be. The maze of paths through the zoo lead visitors past many animals including gazelle, lemur, monkey, rhino, cheetah, bats, tigers, orangutans, mongoose, snakes, horned frogs, iguanas, skinks, tortoises, and more. A trip to the Honolulu Zoo is a great way change of pace to the beaches and water that are also welcome attractions on the islands.

Sea Life Park

While one would think that with the ocean surrounding the island of Oahu that it is easy to just go for a swim and see a great deal of marine life, this is not always the case. The best place on the island to visit to be guaranteed a chance at seeing all of the marine life possible is Sea Life Park. The park offers a number of signature activities including the Dolphin Royal Swim, Dolphin Encounter, and Sea Lion Discovery. The park is not only home to regularly schedule marine life shows, but also wonderful opportunities to interact with animals like dolphins and sea lions on a one-on-one basis. Kids especially love a visit to Sea Life Park and it often turns out to be their favorite part of a Hawaiian vacation.

Kualoa Ranch

The Kualoa Ranch is located very near to the famous and historic Ka’a’awa Valley. The natural scenery here is gorgeous and there are a number of great photographic opportunities. This area of Oahu is only available to those that purchase a special permit and those that sign up for tours that are offered by the ranch itself. Visitors wishing to see some of the best and most naturally untouched land in Hawaii can tour the valley by bus, horseback, or ATV. The Kualoa Ranch is not the first stop on most people’s itineraries, but it is indeed one of the best places to take a family in Oahu.

While many of the attractions and activities found in Hawaii, and more specifically on the island of Oahu, are aimed at interesting and attracting adult travelers, there are also some great attractions with features that are geared right towards children. These types of attractions truly make the island of Oahu special because they provide a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to be entertained and still remain together. One of the best bonding experiences that can be had by a family is spending quality time together at family friendly attractions. The act of everyone enjoying their time together has a great way of bringing families closer. Oahu is loaded with family friendly attractions, a traveler to the island just needs to know where to look.

Best Hawaiian Spas

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under vacation

Hawaii Spa

Spending your time in spas at the Hawaiian Islands has never been cheaper. Especially, if you are looking to have massage, then, you should be ready to spend $150 to $300 depending upon the time and type of massage. There are large numbers of diverse treatments available for massage. Head massage, Thai oil massage, Hawaiian as well as Swedish massages, are some of the many options available. What the newly married couples would like to have is the side-by-side massage.

Rather than keeping yourself busy in enjoying the on-water activities like surfing, snorkeling, and swimming during your whole stay at the Hawaii Islands, you can also try the relaxing spas those are out there in the Hawaiian Islands. Especially, Oahu and Maui have numerous spas those are equipped with latest equipment and trained staffs that are there to offer all kind of services those are required for a perfect spa.

You will find a number of spas in Oahu, where the art of relaxation has been brought to a very high level. One of those can be found at the Halekulani Hotel spa. You can have the heavenly experience of the spectacular environment with the famous foot massage. Specialty of this spa is the Nonu massage that is done with the help of stones and is a completely different experience. There is another spa in Oahu at Kahala known for its deep soaking tubs for massaging the body. Other facilities include private changing corners and relaxing areas where you can take your time to relax after being massaged.

One of the biggest spas in Oahu, spanning an area of 35000 square foot, is Ihilani spa. It is an ideal location if you are looking for a complete relaxing spa where you will be treated with the latest traditional ways of massaging. You can also take part in the stretching fitness classes those are organized regularly. Another attraction in this spa is that you can play tennis at any of the three courts which need to be booked before, if you are willing to play tennis.

When talking of spas at the big Island, the Kohala Spa is the place where the visitors can enjoy excellent spa facilities along with other adventure activities. Although the spa is very old but, once you enter it, you will have the unforgettable spa experience of your life in terms of great hospitality and services. The major attraction at this spa is the lava whirlpool where visitors never want to get out of it.

In Maui, you will find the biggest spa of Hawaii, where you can choose the bath of your own choice, Roman; Greek or Japanese; it is all your choice that in which bath you will be taking treatments. Covering a huge area of nearly fifty thousand feet, you can find this spa at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel. There is a fitness center there as well which is considered to be of top quality.

Aside from these spas, there are some other small and luxurious relaxation spots in Maui which are located in Four Seasons Resort, Hyatt Regency and Kea Lani. There are rooms for singles as well as couples where relaxing treatments are provided in special treatment rooms where calm and peaceful environment. Then, there are some local Hawaiians who say,”don’t miss the lave rock showers and massage called the two handed massage when you are at the Grand Hyatt Spa”.

Oahu Site Seeing

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under sights

lanikai beach

Renting a car for exploring the hidden beauty in different parts of Oahu is the feasible option. Especially, if you are looking to visit the remote lands for sight seeing, you definitely need to rent a car. You will find best of the sightseeing opportunities for few bucks or, even, free in many cases. Some of the famous sightseeing spots in Oahu are lanikai Beach, Heiau, Ualakaa State Park and, above all, Diamond Head crater.

If you have limited time on Oahu, one sight you just cannot miss to see is the Diamond Head Crater. With its crowning glory, the view from Diamond Head Crater is the most famous among the pacific. To reach the base of the crater, you have to go by car where you will be stunned to see the luxurious houses of the business men. Two spots on the way to the crater are the Diamond Head Lighthouse and Diamond Head Lookouts, where the sizzling experience of the panorama offered by these places is, just, unforgettable. The trail along the crater takes 30 minutes and is very easy to reach.

Those of you who are willing to explore the wild beauty of Oahu in a true way should do it by the seaplane. Having stunning views of beautiful North shore and Hanauma bay, you would be flying over the great Diamond Head Crater, and memorials of the Pearl Harbor incident. All this is available in a single package of one hour for 170$. The birds eye view of the Waikiki beach will add to the whole sizzling experience.

For watching the best view of sun rising in the morning, you can visit the Lanikai beach of Oahu. The specialty of this view is that the sun rises over the two remote islands just like a painting you used to draw in your school days. It looks as if the scenery of coloring book is brought into existence at this very place of Oahu. What adds to this unforgettable experience is the delightful voices of birds which go out in the morning in search of the food. Make sure you reach here as early as it is still dark in the morning and don’t forget to take your camera along with you to capture these moments.

Those of you who are fond of visiting ancient buildings, there is a special attraction in Oahu. The place is known as the Heiau. The site is the remains of the largest temple of Oahu called Puu O Mahuka Heiau. With its large area of nearly 5 acres, this temple has so much to offer for visitors interested in sight seeing as well as history. The stonework and pathways, those are left there, are considered to be depicting the best skill of the ancient architects. You can have snaps with the ancient plants those are still fighting for their survival. The temple bluff, nearly 300 feet high, is the place to have a bird’s eye view of the remote areas between Waimea Bay and Kaena Point.

Puu Ualakaa State Park is very famous for its majestic panoramic views of the sunset. The weather here is always clear and that is the reason why, potatoes were planted here way back a long time. Every evening at the Puu Ulakaa Park is a special occasion for the visitors to come and enjoy the view of Diamond Head with the sun setting down slowly. At night, this romantic place finds most of its visitors in the form of young love birds.

Atractions on Oahu

May 1, 2009 by  
Filed under sights

diamond headYes, it is the place known as the “real Hawaii” where the expectations for visitors to have the completely different experience are very high. Without any doubt, in the kind and friendly atmosphere of the island, you can relax and find many attractions. Mai tais, Kayaking, and stunning views of Waianae Mountains are not the only attractions but sport fishing, local cuisines and the operating culture provide visitors so much to explore, for a true Oahu experience.

If you don’t plunge into water to see the world under Hawaii water, keep in mind, you are wasting your trip to Hawaiian Islands. Swimmers as well as non-swimmers, both have equal opportunities to plunge into water and explore the magical world of colorful fish.

The most famous snorkeling spot in Oahu is located in its eastern part. At the small beach of Hanauma Bay having golden sand, you can enjoy sunbathing and snorkeling in the shallow waters with the marine life. There is another dangerous spot for serious divers. It is called”the slot” which makes its way to the strong currents of Deep Ocean. Don’t get caught by sharks while you are swimming with the turtles.

One function that should never be missed is the Halau, a form of hula, which is performed at the Bishop Museum where the local Hawaiian dance show is arranged. Those of you who have previously visited Oahu cannot forget the Kodak Hula Show in which the members of the Hawaiian Glee Club used to dance in traditional skirts. Unfortunately, this show is not organized nowadays.

As you move towards the North shore, you can enjoy some of the most spectacular beaches. Especially, if you happen to visit this place in winters you will see it crowded with people who come here for watching the surfing done by the professionals. Out of more than 130 beaches, Waikiki beach is the name that comes in mind when talking of beaches in Oahu. Due to its popularity it is attracts many visitors. You can select other less crowded beaches but how can you miss the Longest-running beach party at the Waikiki beach.

Being on Oahu soil, it is the time you go out and meet the local folks to get familiarize with the local culture. You will have every opportunity to make new friends from different ethnic groups. Visit the Ala Wai Canal on weekend, find a good spot to sit and watch the locals playing one of the oldest local sports of Canoe Paddling. Go out and visit the Arizona Memorial of Pearl Harbor Tragedy. You can image yourself at the day when Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese warplanes on December 7, 1941. Don’t miss to have a hike with your family at the Diamond Head.

Horseback Riding in Kauai Hawaii

April 30, 2009 by  
Filed under beaches, sights, vacation

Hawaii HorseOnce you are at the Island of Kauai, you should have no difficulty in finding opportunities for having fun in the area nearby. Breathtaking views of deep valleys, high cliffs, and the stunning flora, that’s there for free, is the most memorable experience on the island of Kauai for the visitors. For watching frequent rainbows, high waterfalls and experiencing the cool winds of Kauai Mountains, all you have to do is to get out of your hotel and start exploring the island. There are numerous ways out there for you to get the best out of the Kauai vacation. As most part of Kauai Island cannot be covered by car; this opens other ways for visitors to explore Kauai in different ways and one of those ways is to explore it by horseback riding.

For sightseeing and exploring Kauai beauty, what most people prefer is horseback riding. Newly married couples should not miss the opportunity to have a ride on the horse to explore Kauai. Especially, for those people who don’t have the stamina to walk miles of trails, horseback riding comes to rescue. Most guided horseback tours in Kauai are provided by the private ranches. Princeville Ranch Stables and CJM country stables are the two famous names, you should remember if you are willing to explore Kauai by Horseback riding. It is your choice whether you want to have a long ride or small.

The horseback riding package duration can range from 1.5 to 4 hours. The longest ride can be of more than 4 hours, in which, you will be treated with visit to hidden beaches and have a picnic there. What the natives suggest is to have a horse ride package known as “Waterfall picnic Ride”. In this package, you are taken by horses through ranch lands along with the guides. Continuing further on the trail, you reach at waterfalls where you can swim in the pools.

For having panoramic views of Hanalei Mountains; visiting beautiful Anini beach, and wave-watching at the North shore, you can choose from the different packages offered by Pinceville Ranch Stables. The ride from North shore to Anini Beach does involve some walking to the beach, after you tie your horse before moving forward. Before choosing a riding package, do make sure that whether you will be served with the lunch in the same package or there are extra charges for it.

Kauai Golf Courses

April 29, 2009 by  
Filed under golf

Puakea GolfPlaying golf is one of the most favorite activities, especially if you are at the island of Kauai. Not only military golf courses, but public golf courses of Kauai really offer sizzling golfing experience for the golfers. Surrounded by sandy beaches, with panoramic views of the mountain ranges, playing golf in Kauai golf courses is a pleasure in a true sense.

Whatever the budget of the visitor, he can go to the golf course of his choice. Rates for playing golf for visitors are very high as compared to the rates for the local residents. To add to that, the rates for playing golf may also vary depending, whether you are visiting in the peak season or the off season. In some golf courses, the rates are different at different times of the day. You must choose the right time in the day so that you can fully enjoy the golfing as well as the terrific atmosphere that’s there to welcome you.

If you cannot live without golf, then it will be better for you to select such a resort which has a golf course associated with it. The rates for playing golf in the resort-associated golf courses are very low as compared to the non-residents. Make sure that you have already done your homework on the internet about the golf courses attached to the golf courses of Kauai. Later on, you can enjoy golf at the golf course associated with your hotel or resort.

You will find numerous golf courses at the island of Kauai. For playing golf in the courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, you can visit the Kauai lagoons Golf Course. Once you are inside the Kauai lagoons Golf Course, it’s up to you whether you want to play in the Lagoons Course or Kauai Kiele Championship Course. The important thing about Kiele’s championship course is that is not easy for the amateurs to play golf here, whereas if you are a professional, then this is the course for you to test your expertise in golf.

Amateur golfers should give a try to the Puakea Golf Course. Fighting against the Hurricane Iniki, this 18 holes golf course was, once, ranked as one of the top ten golf courses in the U.S. Currently it is still considered one of the best golf courses for amateur golfers.

While on the Kauai Island, if you happen to visit the Poipu Bay Golf Course, then this is the time you should explore the par-72 course which spans an area of nearly seven thousand yards. You will see the surging greens beside most of the holes while some are adjacent to the coastline along the holes.

Kiahuna Golf Club is another huge golf course where you can not only play golf but also spend some time in watching the ancient Hawaiian temple and historical tombs. If you happen to come here more than once, one thing you may notice here is that there are a large number of local Kauai people who come here regularly for playing golf. Sand bunkers, and undulating greens give it a Scottish look. The speed of wind is also close to ideal to give the best golfing experience. The only thing visitors don’t like here is the time spent in waiting for your turn to come because this golf course is always crowded with golfers.

Iolani Palace

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under sights

A Hawaiian national treasure and the only official state residence of royalty in the United States, `Iolani Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs–King Kalakaua, who built the Palace in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili`uokalani. During the monarchy period, the Palace was the center of social and political activity in the Kingdom of Hawai`i.

Though its grandeur was neglected after the overthrow of the monarchy, restoration began in the 1970s through efforts of concerned individuals. Restoration and preservation continues, and, as a result, today’s visitors to this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu enjoy one of the most precise historic restorations and learn much about Hawaiian history and heritage.

Image Gallery of Iolani Palace

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