Hawaii is like no other place on earth. One look out of your airplane window as you prepare for landing and you can see how special Hawaii it is, with the deep blue ocean, the emerald valleys and golden sands.
There is something special about the word “Hawaii.” It rolls off the tongue and, over the course of only three syllables, conjures visions of palm trees, long beaches and greener-than-green hills. Just speaking the phrase “I’m going to Hawaii” is a life-long dream for many. For most, that is enough.
Hawaii has earned a special place in my heart and it is one of my favorite places to visit. Helping clients plan their Hawaii vacations is incredibly rewarding as I get to share my love and knowledge of these amazing islands.
Planning a Hawaii vacation can be stressful and overwhelming. But that's where I come in, to make the process as stress-free as possible. How? By helping you choose which island fits you best or whether you can do a multi-island vacation. By helping you find the best accommodations to fit your needs. By helping you narrow down what to see and do during your stay.
Of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, six are openly accessible to tourists. Only four, however, are regularly frequented by most Hawaii visitors. Whereas Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii (commonly known as the “Big Island”) all see millions of visitors annually, the islands of Lanai and Molokai fewer than that. Of the two inaccessible islands, Kaho’olawe—a former bombing range—is open only to volunteers, and Ni’ihau has been privately owned since 1864. Although all the islands fall under the veil of “tropical paradise”, each island has its own unique set of quirks and qualities which makes it appealing to a certain type of visitor.
Oahu Nickname: "The Gathering Place" Size: 3rd Largest Oahu is home to the capital of the state of Hawaii, Honolulu which means the "The Gathering Place". Oahu is the 3rd largest of the Hawaiian islands in land mass but is the largest in population and is the main commerce port for all of Hawaii. Formed by two volcanic domes, Oahu is diverse in both agriculture and tourism. Located on the south side of Oahu is probably the most well known city in Hawaii, Honolulu and home to one of the most photographed beaches, Waikiki. With it's populated city and downtown atmosphere, Waikiki offers everything from high rise hotels to popular beaches.
The city of Honolulu is home to the business district, international airport, major sea ports, military bases and all the government offices for Hawaii. The city also is home to the Iolani Palace. The palace was built in the late 1800`s by King Kalakaua who lived in the palace until his death. Queen Liliuokalani, the sister of King Kalakaua took residency in the palace until the monarchy ended. The palace grounds are very special to the Hawaiian people, as the grounds and the contents within it are sacred and dear to their hearts. The city is also home to one of the most famous harbors and battle sites that led the American people into World War II, Pearl Harbor. The most famous of Honolulu's landmarks is Diamond Head and is seen from almost any vantage point in Honolulu. Located on the North side of Oahu are the world famous surfing locations, Sunset beach and Waimea Bay. The area is also home to the Waimea Falls Park and the quiet community of Haleiwa.
Nickname: "The Valley Isle" Size: 2nd Largest Maui also known as the "Valley Isle" is the 2nd largest island in the Hawaiian chain, with over 700 square miles of breathtaking scenery and coastline. The island of Maui was actually formed by two separate volcanoes, one being Mt. Haleakala which is the worlds largest dormant volcano. Haleakala rises to over 10,000 feet with sloping hills and wind swept terrain.
The island of Maui features an abundance of beaches, especially along the West Coast. Sun is abundant here, too, as the volcanoes in the center of the island block the majority of precipitation from ever reaching the leeward side of the island. While portions of Maui's west coast are often dry and barren, the eastern portions of the island are a lush and green paradise boasting waterfalls in numerous valleys. Many visitors enjoy the Hana Highway (aka The Road to Hana) as is winds its way along the cost to the sleepy town of Hana in the bay.
Nickname: "The Garden Isle" Size: 4th Largest Kauai, also known as the "Garden Isle" is the 4th largest island in the Hawaiian chain, and is also the oldest. The island was formed by Waialeale, a volcano which rises above 5,000 feet and is located in the center of the island. The island of Kauai is full of lush tropical rain forests, with certain areas receiving over 400 inches of rain annually, making it one of the wettest spots on Earth. This is an island full of splendor, raw beauty, and culture; an island that represents the true spirit of aloha like no other. A trip to Kauai is truly like a journey back in time to the beginning of the main Hawaiian chain. Here you'll find legends and lore, cliffs and coral reefs, and some of the most enchanting lands you'll ever visit. Kauai is dubbed the "Garden Isle" and no nickname could be more befitting. It is by far the "greenest" of the islands and the most lush in all of Hawaii. This jungle-like island paradise can attribute its climate to the trade winds that blow over the land, thereby allowing the ancient volcanic peaks to catch rain from the sky and pull it down to the earth below.
Nickname: "The Big Island" Size: Largest The island of Hawaii or the "Big Island" as it is referred to, is the largest of the Hawaiian islands. It is home to what is widely considered to be the tallest mountains in the world, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The island is the youngest of the Hawaiian islands and is still growing due to the current eruptions of Kilauea, the most active of Hawaii's volcanoes.
The island is entrenched with Hawaiian history as Kamehameha the Great ruled his kingdom from Hawaii in the later 1700`s. Born an island of both fire and ice, where land and sea meet in one of Earth's most epic battles. Home to two of the one of the world's most active volcanoes, 11 of the world's 13 climate zones, Hawaii's greatest king, and the wettest city in the United States, the Big Island of Hawaii is an island like no other. It is an island of such proportions that all of the other islands in the main Hawaiian chain could fit inside it twice.