The country's youngest state (which joined the Union only in 1959) is something of an anomaly. It's the only one of the United States with a tropical rain forest and a royal palace, but it's also the only state that is made up entirely of islands -- eight of them: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and the Big Island.
Leverage Partners Mauna Kea Realty (Big Island), The Wailea Group (Maui), and East Oahu Realty (Oahu) can attest that each island has its own unique characteristics. But needless to say, wherever you are, you'll find an airy, summertime vibe year-round, with plenty of flower leis, luaus, and beach scenes.
Each of the Hawaiian islands has a distinct cultural relevance. The Big Island, for instance, which is as big as all the others combined, encompasses about 4,000 square miles. It's a trove of hidden beaches, volcanic national parks, rain forests, otherworldly waterfalls, and lush vegetation.
On Oahu, you'll find markers of both American history-Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial-and Hawaiian history-the Iolani Palace and the Byodo-In Temple. It's also the location of the capital city, Honolulu, which is the biggest city in Hawaii. The island of Maui boasts pristine beaches and shimmering shores, but it also is home to the Road to Hana, one of the most traveled trails in the state.
Here, we explore destinations on the three islands in greater depth and share all the places to get out and enjoy before you say, "Aloha."
Located on Waikiki Beach, Halekulani welcomes travelers to an oasis of sophisticated luxury, and is recognized as one of the world's finest and most acclaimed independent luxury hotels since its inception in 1984.
Chef Peter Merriman had a vision for the growth of local agriculture and the potential of Hawaii's rich volcanic soils. He, along with twelve other prominent chefs, encouraged farmers to grow local fruits and vegetables, raise meats locally, and start a healthier more sustainable Hawaii. Showcasing locally sourced menus of fresh line caught fish, grass fed meats, and Hawaii grown produce, the authentic flavors of Hawaii await at Merriman's.
ZIPLINE AT UMAUMA FALLS
Catch the view from the top on this outdoor adventure, which boasts two miles of ziplines and family-friendly fun.
DOLPHIN SNORKEL SWIM, KAILUA-KONA
Swim with the dolphins in Hawaii's crystal-clear waters. The same company also offers whale watching.
The waterfalls in Waipio Valley, on the Big Island, are some of the most exquisite in the state. For a rustic adventure, see them from horseback.
This crater was created by a giant eruption 300,000 years ago. Today, it's a landmark on Oahu, and a hiking trail (0.8 mile) winds through it.
When you imagine waters so blue that they'd be perfect for a postcard, this is the image that comes to mind. Sign up to snorkel to see angelfish, butterflyfish, and yellow tangs galore.
THE HIGHWAY HANA
Wind through approximately 600 curves on this Maui road to see the lush green countryside.
SNORKELING AT MOLOKINI
Swim with the turtles and fish at this Maui gem. For those who like to stay a bit drier, the yacht that takes you out is the perfect place to get a tan.