Hawaii invokes images of pineapples, fragrant Kona coffee, pig roasts, and towering tropical palm trees. You can close your eyes and almost imagine being there, surfing on the warm Pacific Ocean or watching massive whales playfully jump in and out of the water. Hawaii, officially named a US state on August 21, 1959, has been a popular destination for vacations and honeymoons for decades. It’s easy to find yourself dancing away at one of the island’s Maui luaus, enjoying your vacation escape. No matter where you end up on the island, Hawaii is sure to capture your attention with some of its sights and destinations. Here’s what you can look forward to.
How to prepare
Before you set off on your tropical adventure, make sure you have the proper items to take along with you. You may be adding up some mileage on foot, so pack comfortable footwear such as sneakers or hiking boots. Be prepared for any type of weather, be it cool, warm, or rainy, by grabbing some sunscreen and slathering it on before you leave your hotel, and keeping a rain jacket or poncho handy.
Make sure your clothing is lightweight and you have a bag or backpack to carry your valuables with you. You don’t want to miss out on buying those fantastic souvenirs! Bring along a camera is another option (besides the one on your phone) to capture the scenic adventures and all those memories. Also, stay up to date about the conditions of roads on the island due to the active volcanoes.
Seeing the history
Hawaii may have been claimed as “new” when President Eisenhower named it as a state officially on August 21st 1959 for the US, but the islands have a much longer history that dates back over a thousand years. There are lots of national parks you can visit which also serve as historical sites for ancient Hawaiian societies.
Though still an active military base, you can venture around the Pearl Harbor memorial. Then you can spend the day at various memorials for other US ships, including the museum dedicated to the WWII-era submarine the USS Bowfin. You can learn about how submarines work and see what daily life onboard an old sub consisted of. Venture into the visiting center where you can gaze upon the real life artifacts and specs from the submarine itself.
Seeing the sights
Speaking of the sea, you can book a snorkeling excursion for yourself and your family to experience the ocean life of Hawaii firsthand. About 25 percent of the fish found swimming in Hawaii’s waters are exclusive to the island thanks to its relative isolation. Some native fish have quite familiar names you may recognize such as the (bandit) angelfish and yellow tangs. The state fish, known as the Picasso triggerfish or humuhumunukunukuapua’a can be found in other parts of the pacific. Surfing, sailing, and whale watching are other water activities to enjoy while you spend time in the Aloha State.
If you are feeling a bit daring, you can find a zipline to hop on while viewing the island’s beautiful natural landscape. Spend the day following a tour guide around on of Hawaii’s National Parks to learn and experience what else the island has to offer. Help cut back Himalayan ginger (a common but non-native plant species), take a Crater Rim driving tour, or follow a park ranger around on a day of hiking. Your day will be busy and well occupied with the adventures that await you.