Maui Mountain Resorts – Hawaii Island Vacations
While Maui of Hawaii is a tropical island and is better known for its beautiful beaches, its mountain ranges offers an alternative adventure for tourists in the island especially with its famous dormant volcano the Mt. Haleakala.
One adventure is sliding down West Maui’s mountain ranges through a zip line. Kapalua Resort’s zipline course is one the US’s largest with nearly two miles of parallel line of zipping action offering you an almost bird’s eye-view of the slopes. The difference with this facility is that it allows zip riders to ride side by side with a friend down the slope.
Another mountain adventure could be the downhill biking tour. Starting point of the tour is atop Maui’s spectacular 10,023 foot of the Haleakala volcano and will allow a cruise of 28 miles and ending at the charming town of Paia town.
Last to mention are the hiking tours available in the island. Excursions could range from an easy half-day walk to a moderate full-day walk. Trails could be as short as half-mile walk up to ten miles of rugged terrain. Some of the familiar trails taken by most tourists are the Waihee Ridge Trail (2.5 miles) where on top one can see the Wailuku and central Maui and to the north is the Kahaluloa slopes. Another is the Hoapili Trail (5.5 Miles). The trail is almost entirely barren due to the old jagged lava flows.
The Haleakala Ridge Trail (1.6 Miles) passes through a light forest of alternately rough cinders, native scrub brush, grassy swales and planted forest of pines, eucalyptus and other species.
Five Things to See on the Big Island of Hawaii
More than ever, Hawaii has become a premiere vacation destination for honeymoons, romantic couples getaways and family vacations. Today with the high price of travel, Hawaii affords an exotic destination with much less expense than traveling outside the U.S. However, few people see the real Hawaii away from the tours, the plastic leis and complimentary Mai Tais.
The Big Island of Hawaii still affords an authentic Hawaiian experience. It is a paradise that remains relatively untouched by the crowds and mass marketing of some of the other islands. While on the Big Island there are five things you shouldn’t miss.
This sleepy little village has grown up in recent years, but still maintains the old Kailua charm. A relaxing stroll down the main street Alii Drive offers a mixture cute little shops and historical buildings. A particularly worthwhile stop is Hulihee Palace. Once a retreat for Hawaiian royal families, a visit to the Palace gives visitors a real sense of how Hawaiian royalty lived. Rich koa wood furniture and Hawaiian artifacts are a real visual treat. Tours of the home are given daily, and it shouldn’t be missed.
This is a great place to visit, as long as your last name isn’t Cook. This is where Captain Cook, who arrived in the Bay in 1779, was eventually killed by native Hawaiians. It is now a National Park and offers the best snorkeling on the Island. You will see a myriad of tropical fish as well as the once endangered green sea turtles. It’s about a 30 minute drive from Kailua, or you can take a catamaran cruise down to the bay. The boat trip makes a whole day’s adventure of it, complete with booze and lunch. Kona is also known to have some of the calmest waters in the world, so seasickness shouldn’t be a problem.
City of Refuge
About a 30 minute drive South from Kona is the City of Refuge. This is an important National Park that preserves Hawaiian history. In ancient Hawaii, when a person broke a law, the punishment was death. The only way a person could escape this harsh punishment was to seek refuge at a place like this. There is a self guided walking tour, and it is in a beautiful setting. Bring your bathing suite and take a dip in the ocean or explore the tide pools after your tour.
Black Sand Beach
This is way more fabulous than it sounds. It is hard to imagine the drama of seeing a beach that is jet black, in contrast to the turquoise Hawaiian water. The journey is just as entertaining as the destination. It is a long but beautiful drive, through rainforests and patches of strangely stark lava flows. There isn’t much in the way of restaurants and tourist attractions along the way, so bring lunch with you just in case hunger strikes.
Kilauea Crater, Volcanoes National Park
This is hands down a must see while on the Big Island. There are actually very few places in the world where you can get up close and personal with a live volcano. Lime green smoke wafts through cracks in the ground, and the crater is eerily desolate. You may see actual glowing red lava, although the most active flows are cordoned off because of the danger involved.
Stop by The Volcano House, where you can actually spend the night on the rim of the crater, or just dine in their restaurant. This is old Hawaii, so it’s not fancy. However the setting is about as dramatic and interesting as it gets.
The Big Island affords an experience that no other island can. The diverse and untouched scenery combined with warm welcoming people, makes for the perfect vacation destination.
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Best Oahu Beaches – Top Picks - Hawaiian Island Oahu Beaches
Oahu, the third largest Hawaiian island, is certainly one of the finest and most popular tourist destinations. Aside from its geographical diversity and abundance of rainforests, tropics, volcanic craters and high mountains, it is known to host several of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
The most famous of all these Oahu beaches is the Waikiki beach, which means “spouting water”. Popular for its fine golden sand and its seemingly endless sun, Waikiki also provides excellent waters ideal for surfing while it features a long spread of shallow and high water lagoon fit for both experts and beginner swimmers.
Various activities such as snorkelling, hobby cat sailing, boat paddling and the like can all be enjoyed at the same Waikiki beach. Modern high-rise hotels near the bay provide excellent accommodation and fantastic view of the Oahu beaches, sights and wonders.
Just west of the Waikiki beach is the Ala Moana Beach, which is also known as “the path to the sea”. The Ala Moana beach park is also the biggest beach park in Honolulu. The beach is known to be very safe and ideal for swimming as the waters are cosseted by offshore reef.