There is a reason Hawaii is the number one honey moon destination in the world. Why many children and adults alike dream of the day when they’ll walk off the plane to be greeted by the famous “Aloha!”. Hawaii is the world’s vision of paradise, because it offers everything that an ideal tropical destination should. The island is safe, diverse, affordable, stunning and interesting. Your trip to Hawaii will transform you by adding a whole new understanding to the strange beauty the world has to offer.
1. State Parks
Hawaii is one of the most geographically unique places in the world that offers a glimpse into the complex world we live in. For a trip, you have to visit at least one of the state parks to consider your trip to Hawaii complete. See life changing things in Hawaii state parks that you cannot find anywhere else in the world.
You can visit the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” at Waimea Canyon State Park. Witness lava pumping in action at Hawaii Volcanoes State Park, and you can also see the world largest active volcano Mauna Loa here. For a remote view of the islands countryside, you can hike at Haleakala National Park; summiting the Haleakala Crater, a volcano almost entirely originally made by lava flows, gives you spectacular views. To immerse yourself into history and see large wooden figures of the Hawaiian gods the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park is a good spot. For snorkelers a perfect-circular shoreline offers the most pristine snorkeling conditions on the island at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.
2. The Beaches
As humans we have a universal draw to travelling to beach-centric places, so this may seem like a no brainer too many. What makes Hawaii beaches so unique is that on the islands they boast every type of beach imaginable. Red, black, green, white sand beaches are easy to find. The rocky off the beaten path beaches are a hikers dream. Romantic bays and beach parks are perfect for those searching for calmer waters to safely swim in.
What is also important to note is how well maintain Hawaii maintains it beaches. We’ve all been to tourist destinations where it is clear the powers at be aren’t maintaining their beaches. Hawaii does an exemplary job of keeping their beaches, that draw people from around the world, pristine as isolated beaches on the main land. The world could learn a thing or two from the eco-tourist minded official that live in Hawaii.
3. The Food
Hawaii has its own very unique cuisine that is delicious. Remember to adventure away from the resort to get better food for better prices! The first must have is the tropical fruits grown right on the island. These unbelievably juicy fruits are a staple for breakfast food. You may think you have had a pineapple, but you haven’t had pineapple the way it is supposed to be unless you’ve had one on Hawaii. There are even some savory concoctions, like spicy pickled green mangoes, that add a bit of additional fun to the fruit.
Manapua is another common Hawaiian dish that is dough balls about the size of the first that are stuffed with meat fillings. They are seasoned with Hawaii’s unique flavors that set it apart from other dough balls you may have experience through Chinese, South American or Italian cuisine.
Next up is the Portuguese inspired Malasadas. Malasadas come in sausage, soup and sweetbread form. There are also sweet versions of these that are basically deep-fried doughnuts rolled in sugar, and these go great with coffee.
Since you are on an island, there is of course the obligatory seafood checklist. Do not leave the island without having fresh tako (octopus) or ‘ahi (tuna). Even try it raw in a poke platter that is raw seafood cut into bit-sized chunks mixed with other local ingredients and spices, a perfect choice for sushi lovers.
For those who may have indulged in one too many tropical drinks the night before, the perfect hangover cure is the local dish saimin. Saimin is the Hawaiian adaptation of pho, an Asian-style noodle soup. A large bowl is filled with broth, noodles then topped with onions, fish cakes, pork, green onions and even sometimes spam. Hawaii has an interesting history involving incorporating Spam into cuisine, so you could say it is part of experiencing true Hawaiian culture (or you can just skip it like I did). To give your bowl of Saimin a spicy kick add the chili pepper water or shoyu.
4. The Weather
Hawaii has nearly perfect weather all year round with breezy and sunny summer days and cooler summer nights. You can snorkel comfortably in the water water easily year round. It is the perfect destination for those who want a break from the miserable weather at home.
Since the weather is perfect everyday of the year it is best to try to travel off peak season. If you have a flexible schedule the best time to go is shoulder seasons when you can get great deals. This way you also avoid all the crowds of families with their younger children that can spoil your tropical serenity. It is an imperative travelling experience to see what all the busy tourist destinations look like mostly free of tourists to give context onto how as travelers we impact the environment. Only then can one truly gain an appreciation for the special places in the world that put up with us curious travelers poking around their home turf.
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Holly Williford lives in Washington D.C. with her three cats Tommy, Coo-Coo and Koko. She loves to travel to destinations that give her a new perspective on her life. Today she just booked a tour to Mozambique with Palace Travel that she will be writing about shortly.