Who goes to Hawaii? Who doesn't? Hawaii has a lot to offer: beautiful hotels and beaches, incredible food, rare exotic flowers, whale watching, and arboretum and botanical gardens, the largest dormant volcano in the world, and more.
In The Beginning
The eight major islands of Hawaii were created by millions of years of volcanic activity. And yet each island has its own unique character and landscape. Mark Twain called this stunning necklace of islands the "most beautiful anchored in any ocean."
Its miles and miles of beaches boast sand ranging in colour from sugary white to red, green and jet black. Hawaii is home to a wide mosaic of people, where everyone is a minority. Its geography showcaes deserts, rainforests, snowy mountain tops and coral reefs.
Temperatures of the clear aqua blue water range from about 25 to 30 degrees Celcius, luring people to swim, snorkel, surf, scuba dive, body surf, sail, canoe, kayak, water ski, windsurf, and go deep-sea fishing.
The canoe (especially the outrigger), has always been a revered object in Hawaii. Today, you can ride in an outrigger on a rolling Hawaiian breaker just by going to the beachfront of a major hotel and telling a beach boy you're ready to "go for it!"
Hawaii is also a mecca for a serious surfers, but there are locations where beginners can rent boards and learn the sport from knowledgeable trainers.
For sport fishin, the Kona Coast on the Big Island is a world-class destination.
Snorkellers and divers will find calm reefs teeming with damsels, angel fish and parrotfish. On more adventurous pelagie dives, you may encounter whales and mantra rays.
Don't miss teeing off at some of the world's most challenging and visually dramatic courses - 60 courses in all. Or you can trot along the beaches on horseback, go up the mountain to snow ski, or hike on well-marked trails.
Hawaiians love to celebrate: Japan's Cherry Blossom Festival, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Buddha's birthday. All are woven into celebration of 'ohana' or family, with street parties and music, food and crafts.
The hula - both the ancient and modern styles - is kept alive by hula schools but is just one of the ancient island traditions. Other ancient arts include beautiful artifacts using wood, bone, plants, flowers, shells, stones and fibers. Visitors love the hula instruments, woven mats, baskets, sculptures and woodcrafts. And you'll want to take home a handmade quilt, using fiber as thread to attach barkcloth.
The lei, which is made of blossoms, leaves, vines, seeds, feathers or shells, shows Hawaiians' warm welcome to guests.
Check out the activities in the various hotels that showcase Island pageantry, music and the hula.
Hawaiian regional cuisine is savvy, sophisticated and stylish, blending Asian and Western cuisine. Local fish, found only in Hawaii's tropical waters, is moist and flaky. The tropical fruits are fantastic, including 20 varieties of bananas as well as papaya, guava, passion fruit, mangoes, white eggplant, orange tomatoes, lychee, macadamia nuts, coconuts, shrimp, lobster, goat cheese, cocoa beans and wonderful chocolate.
Until the mid-1070's, hotel chefs ignored the abundance of local foods. The imported European foods they felt would cater to the tourists from the West. Then it all changed. New, exciting young chefs discovered the rich varieties of local foods and, today, Hawaii is world-famous for its Hawaii regional cuisine.