Discover all the wonderful islands Hawaii has to offer.
The oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, Kauai is known for the breathtaking cliffs of the Napali Coast. Take a boat tour and don’t forget your camera as you witness this spectacular natural wonder. While you’re there, don’t forget to spend some time relaxing on the picturesque beaches of the North Shore. And while Kauai may be best known for kayaking along the tranquil Wailua River, the truly adventurous should try mountain tubing in the irrigation ditches of Lihue.
Oahu is the metropolitan heart of Hawaii. It’s also known as the destination for the sport of surfing. The legendary North Shore is home to Waimea Bay, the birthplace of big wave surfing and every winter, the best surfers from around the world compete along the North Shore at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. You can also learn how to surf or go on a canoe ride on the gentle waves of historic Waikiki Beach. For snorkelers, the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in the islands.
From Kaanapali Beach to Makena Beach (Big Beach), Maui is famous for its many idyllic beaches. Hookipa Beach is also known as the windsurfing capital of the world. But Maui is probably best known as being one of the best places in the world to see humpback whales. Go on a whale watching tour from December to May departing from Lahaina or Maalaea Harbor for an unforgettable whale encounter.
The calm, clear waters along the Kona Coast make Hawaii Island a special place for snorkeling and scuba divers. Kona is also known as a great place for deep-sea sports fishing, with many fishing tournaments held throughout the year. But one of the most unique water adventures the island has to offer is manta ray diving. Take a charter boat off the Kona coast at sunset and scuba or snorkel with friendly mantas. Having an otherworldly manta ray glide within inches of you is an experience you’ll never forget.
Watch the landscape change before your very eyes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Located 30 miles southwest of Hilo, this is the home of Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. The chance to witness the primal process of creation and destruction make this park one of the most popular visitor attraction in Hawaii and a sacred place for Native Hawaiians. Founded in 1916, the Park encompasses 333,000 acres from the summit of Maunaloa to the sea. Here you’ll find 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters, scalded deserts and rainforests as well as a museum, petroglyphs, a walk-in lava tube and two active volcanoes: Maunaloa, which last erupted in 1984 and Kilauea which has been erupting since January 3rd, 1983. The extraordinary natural diversity of the park was recognized in 1980 when it was named a World Biosphere site by UNESCO and in 1987 when the park was again honored as a World Heritage site. Kilauea is sometimes called “the world’s only drive-in volcano.” This prolific volcano currently produces 250,000–650,000 cubic yards of lava per day, enough to resurface a 20-mile-long, two-lane road daily. As of January 1994, 491 acres of new land have been created on Hawaii Island. The current eruption may last another 100 years or stop tomorrow. Pele, the volcano goddess who lives here, is very unpredictable. But the chance to watch Kilauea’s blistering lava flows meet the sea (click here for Kalapana viewing update) is just one of the reasons to visit.