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Discover the Hawaiian Islands
Discover the Hawaiian Islands
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Must-Visit Parks and Monuments

Among the incredible natural and historic sites in Hawaii, Maui’s Haleakala National Park, the “House of the Sun,” is a massive shield volcano that offers unparalleled sunrise views. At the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, a somber air surrounds the USS Arizona Memorial, dedicated to those killed in the 1941 attack at Pearl Harbor. The striking power of erosion is on view at Kauai’s Waimea Canyon State Park; the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” was created by the collapse of the volcano that formed the island. Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, known for its fantastical mask carvings, is a sacred place of refuge that Hawaiians used in ancient times.

 

Outdoor Paradise

Marvel at colorful canyons, valleys and waterfalls while hiking the 35.5-kilometer Napali Coast. Crystal-clear, turquoise waters invite snorkeling in the Molokini Crater off the coast of Maui. Take a surfing lesson to ride the waves at popular Waikiki Beach or trek to the less-traveled island of Lanai to visit the Kaunolu Village Site, a prehistoric Hawaiian fishing village. On Kauai, try waterfall rappelling, tubing through old sugar plantation chutes or kayaking the serene Wailua River amid ancient mountains and rainforests. Off the Kohala Coast of Hawaii, December through April, take a whale-watching cruise at sunset and listen to whale songs on an underwater hydrophone.

 

Only in Hawaii

For a taste of classic Hawaii, take a private hula dance lesson and learn to make leis with the Hawaii Hula Company. In the spring, the Merrie Monarch Festival gathers the best hula groups for a visually spectacular competition and other traditional cultural activities. You’ll find slack-key guitarists, known as ki hoalu, performing at the Outrigger resorts in Waikiki; there’s also a Slack Key Festival in Kona every September. The Bishop Museum in Honolulu houses the world’s largest collection of Polynesian artifacts, and the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu’s northeast coast offers visitors an authentic luau dinner and show. The island of Molokai is home to the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, which preserves the leprosy colonies that operated there until 1969, near the tallest sea cliffs in the world.

Discover the Hawaiian Islands
Discover the Hawaiian Islands
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Fun Fact

Freshly roasted coffee beans from a crop grown in Hawaii
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Hawaii was the first state in the USA to commercially grow coffee, and its aromatic Kona Coffee is the best known.

A view of the sea cliffs on the north side of Molokai in Hawaii
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The Hawaiian island of Molokai has the highest sea cliffs in the world.

Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Hawaii
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The Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu once housed Hawaii’s monarchs in the late 1800s and remains the only royal palace in the USA.

Must see places

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

The Dec. 7, 1941, attack of Pearl Harbor on Oahu triggered the USA’s entry into World War II. The monument at the attack site honors the thousands who lost their lives during the raid. Visitors can pay their respects at the memorials and learn about military history at two museums.

Diamond Head State Monument

The ridge of the Leahi tuff crater dominates the Waikiki Beach skyline, where a challenging, history-filled hike awaits at Diamond Head State Monument. Climb 175 stairs, shuffle through dark tunnels and encounter old military bunkers on your way to one of the most spectacular views of Honolulu.

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

Famous since the early 1900s, bustling Waikiki Beach is the ultimate place for people-watching, shopping, beach amenities and surfing lessons. You’ll have your pick of beachfront accommodations as well as attractions such as the Honolulu Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo.

Kaanapali Beach

As Maui’s signature beach, Kaanapali impresses visitors with its fine white sand, spectacular sunsets and nightly cliff-diving ceremony, a re-enactment of a feat by King Kahekili. It’s close to numerous resorts and Whalers Village, which features hundreds of shops and a whaling museum.

Looking over Waimea Canyon on Kauai

Waimea Canyon State Park

At 16 kilometers long and 900 meters deep, Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Soak in the landscape of rich red, green and rainbow colors in the waterfalls along the many hiking trails. If you’re lucky, you may glimpse nene, the world’s rarest goose native to the Hawaiian Islands.

Napali Coast State Wilderness Park

Napali Coast State Wilderness Park

Waterfalls, streams, dramatic cliffs and deep valleys characterize this spectacular 25,000-square-kilometer state park on the coast of Kauai. Explore the hiking trails for outstanding views, go camping, or take a boat, kayak or helicopter tour.

Haleakala National Park

On the island of Maui, Haleakala National Park is home to its namesake crater that means “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian. With a peak towering 3,055 meters above sea level, Haleakala is one of the best spots to catch a sunrise or sunset. Enjoy the dramatic scenery with a hike, horseback ride or overnight camping trip.

Punaluu Black Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

With volcanic black sand fringed by swaying palm trees, this famous beach on the Island of Hawaii is the perfect setting for a photo. Relax under coconut palms and watch sea turtles sunning on the beach. Bring a picnic to enjoy the view.

Dole Plantation

Have a family fun day at the Dole Plantation on Oahu, which has been growing pineapples since the 1950s. Children love the garden maze, train tour and displays about pineapple farming.

Lava flow within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are greeted with an otherworldly landscape formed by still-active volcanoes. Learn the history of how volcanic activity formed the Hawaiian Islands at Kilauea Visitor Center, and follow Crater Rim Drive to see various overlooks of the Kilauea crater and contrasting landscapes of deserts and rainforests. Hiking trails are also available for a closer look. Click the link below to check out the National Park Service website for the most up-to-date park information.

The sun rises over a Pacific Ocean shoreline in the Hawaiian islands
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