Ohh Hawaii. Our second home, a tropical paradise stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is a volcanic archipelago with eight major islands, although four predominately have the entire US states population and tourism. Those islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai are all similar, but all very unique. Each has a different feel and can serve as a completely different travel destination. Hawaii is a very popular tourist destination for couples, families, and honeymooners. Something about it screams romance. Maybe its all the damn beauty everywhere!
Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is the largest and youngest of the volcanic islands. The Big Island is the only still active volcano, which I am sure you are aware of. The volcano of Kilauea has erupted since 1983 and is a top attraction at Volcanoes National Park. The island has a raw feel to it, with great adventure tourism. Hawaii Island is a great stop for a few days to visit Volcanoes, or for a longer trip in search for desolate beaches, waterfalls, hiking adventures, 4WD excursions, cliff jumping, and a rare green sand beach.
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Oahu, the third largest island, is home to two-thirds of the state’s population. The major city of Honolulu gives Oahu a much different feel than the other islands. It is a real city with real city things. All the other islands lack this feel. Oahu has few (if any) desolate areas to explore or private beaches that you wander with no soul in sight, something each of the other islands offers. But with that said, what Oahu does have to offer, are some of the world’s best surf beaches, excellent cuisine, and possibly the best hiking in Hawaii. Oahu has insane peaks, with hundreds of trails to explore. Most hikes are day hikes, but you will be sore for days after. Some of the hikes are so intense, they should be considered rock climbing. What we don’t love about Oahu is completely overruled by all the amazing hikes on the island. Some of our favorites are the Pali Notches and Pali Puka, Olamana Trail (3 peaks), Ka’au Crater, and the Moanalua Valley Trail to Haiku Stairs.
Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii, but a favorite for couples and honeymooners. Maui is known for beaches, and it has some of the best in the United States. Whether you are searching for black sand beaches with turtles, world-class surfing beaches, excellent snorkeling beaches, or desolate white sand beaches, Maui offers them all and usually several to pick from. The island is defined by its major geographic landmark, the Haleakala Volcano. This dormant volcano offers insane beauty and lots of things to do. The summit, at over 10,000 feet, is incredible for sunrise as you watch from above the clouds. The hiking in the crater is like hiking on another planet. The Road to Hana, a 65-mile drive that winds to the backside of Haleakala, is famous for its one-lane roads and gut-wrenching cliff side highway. From waterfalls, stunning beaches, and quaint Hawaiian beach towns, Maui has a special charm to it.
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Kaua’i, a smaller island, but what it lacks in size, absolutely makes it up for it is its insane beauty. The oldest island of Hawaii, Kaua’i is also one of the wettest on earth. The east side of the island, known for the famous Na Pali coast, receives over 460 inches of rain a year. With over 5 million years and this much rainfall, Kaua’i has eroded immensely compared to the other islands of Hawaii. The erosion has caused insane cliffs that feature thousand foot drop waterfalls with scenery straight out of Jurassic Park. Literally, Jurassic Park was filmed here. The hiking in Kaua’i is incredible as well whether it is a trail in the Waimea Canyon, or one of the most famous hikes in the world, the Kalalau Trail, they sure are beautiful. Kaua’i is my personal favorite island of Hawaii and is the most beautiful of them all.
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