Comprehensive hawaii travel guide with pictures and maps. Includes hawaii accommodation reviews, scuba diving and surfing vacations, honeymoon and wedding venues, backpacking and adventure travel and history, nature and culture.
The Hawaii Islands is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. One of the 50 States of the USA, it is a mix of tradition and modern living, of large beach resorts and tropical adventure. Waikiki rules the tourist brochures, but the absolutely stunning landscape around the group should be more than enough to tempt most tourists to these shores.
Oahu, in particular the tourist icon of Waikiki Beach, is visited by more than 4 million tourists each year, mostly Americans and Japanese. Waikiki beach, the shopping malls of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, magnificent golf courses and the surf on the North Shore are its main attractions.
The Big Island is by far the largest island in the far south of the group, but only 140,000 people live there. But, over a million tourists visit each year, drawn by the stunning tropical scenery, laid back lifestyle, snow capped mountains and lava flowing volcanoes. Scuba diving and game fishing are at its best here and there is a growing colony of large beach hotels and golf courses.
Maui, by contrast, is the glamour beach destination with lots of large international hotels and condominium complexes alongside sweeping swimming beaches and manicured golf courses. The rural charm of the upper valleys and the historical port of Lahaina give the island a classical feel. Maui is also renowned for its excellent whale watching.
Kauai, the garden island, is much quieter than Maui with equally good beaches and the most breathtaking mountain and coastal scenery with great hiking and kayaking opportunities. Those who love the outdoors will find Kauai to be the most compelling destination.
Only on Molokai and Lanai will you truly escape commercialism – tourist infrastructure is limited, the scenery and beaches are not picture postcard, but a certain charm prevails where elsewhere in Hawaii it has been lost.
Hawaii beach locations are renowned for their long stretches of white sand and great surfing conditions. If you like to just lie on the beach then the beaches Best Rice Cooker throughout Hawaii will charm you. However, if you like to swim, you’ll find some beaches to be fantastic fun, whilst others to be too dangerous to venture into. Winter months herald high surf to the northern shores of all islands and make swimming dangerous. In general, the best activity beaches are on Oahu, the most secluded beaches on the Big Island, the most scenic beaches on Kauai, and the best swimming beaches on Maui.
Hawaii’s isolation from the world has created a unique and thriving natural environment with stunning and diverse scenery from mist filler tropical rinforests to barren mountain scape volcanoes.
Hawaii boasts numerous championship golf courses on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island which are generally part of a mega resort complex. Most resort courses are overtly manicured and lack the rough edge of European golf courses. The most breath-taking and challenging courses are found on the main island of Oahu.
Hawaii is one of the most popular honeymoon and wedding destinations in the world, with Waikiki Beach a particular favourite amongst Japanese and the ostentatious resorts of Wailua on Maui and Princeville on Kauai with Americans. These large International resorts offer exceptional pampering along with fine dining to add to the naturally romantic scene of a tropical beach paradise.
Hawaii IslandsTourist Information
The following Hawaii tourist information facts should help answer any questions you have:
Hawaii is a moderately expensive destination with prices noticeably higher than those on mainland USA where most things are imported from. Land is also at a premium and pushes hotel prices up. Tipping is expected as in USA but in theory it is against the principles of Polynesian culture. Credit cards and travellers cheques are readily accepted from shops, hotels and restaurants and there are ATM machines at throughout the islands. Currency is the US$
Money and Currency
Tourism peaks in the winter months from November to March – this is when mainland Americans, in particular retires, take their extended winter break. In these months, accommodation can be booked-out well in advance. Winter is also the peak season for surfing and whale watching making the north shore of Oahu and Maui popular destinations. The summer months are drier and slightly warmer (about 30C), the seas and surf are generally calmer and this is the Hawaii holiday season popular with families. The low seasons when hotel prices are most likely to be discounted is between April-May and September-October.
Hawaii is extremely well connected to mainland USA, notably the cities on the west coast, and also from Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Most International flights arrive at Honolulu Airport on Oahu but International flights also fly direct to Maui and the Big Island.
Hawaii has only six islands with regular tourist activity. These are all networked by two local airlines with inter-connections between islands. There is no inter island ferry service except to Lanai and Molokai. Public transport is excellent.
English is the official language although many Hawaiians still speak their local dialect as their first language. This is being increasingly encouraged and is now spoken on some TV channels.
Organised crime is rife in Honolulu, particularly amongst the Chinese community. Oahu has the highest crime rate of the islands by a long way, although it is still lower than almost all mainland US cities. Electricity is 110 volts. The water is generally safe to drink although bottle water is readily available from the shops and cheap.