Introduction to Hawaii
"After all, Hawaii is the best land". So says a Hawaiian proverb, long repeated by locals who continually beam with pride over their homeland. And it's not hard to see why. Although its the 50th state of the USA, Hawaii couldn't be further from the mainland, both physically and culturally. An archipelago of over 19 distinct volcanic islands lying somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is the birthplace of modern surfing, the hula, America's 44th president and the ideal summer vacation.
The Hawaiian Islands is a place where welcome leis work their good-mood magic on arriving tourists, surfers enjoy the swells of a neverending summer and the natural beauty that surrounds never seems to fade. Think lush rainforests, sprawling beaches, glittering waterfalls, vibrant sunsets and you'll soon realise why so many holiday here. While its beauty may be far from secret (you can thank Elvis and the Beach Boys for that), with popularity comes experience.
The 6 main Hawaiian Islands, including the namesake, Hawaii or the Big Island, are well equipped with a wide range of accommodation, tried-and-tested attractions and all-ages fun. Restaurants range from the kitschy plate lunch diners all the way up to 5-star affairs, while the nightlife sees many nursing a mai tai-induced hangover the next day. And where better to do so than in Hawaii, the best land.
Though the islands have plenty to offer, a Hawaiian holiday is essentially a beach holiday and the most famous beach is, of course, Waikiki. Made legendary by Beach Boy lyrics, Waikiki is the popular beachfront that lines the capital, Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, and where much of Hawaii's beach accommodation can be found. Further afield, Hanalei Bay Beach on the island of Kauai is an idyllic stretch of white sand surrounded by a backdrop of emerald mountains and shimmering waterfalls. Below the water, Hawaii's best snorkelling can be found at Molokini, a volcanic caldera marine sanctuary located off the coast of Maui. For more water action, Hawaii is home to a great range of waterfalls, the most spectacular of which is the massive Waimoku Falls in Maui.