Hotels in Hawaii (USA)
Hotels in Hawaii
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HAWAII: AT A GLANCE
When you think of HawaiiHawaii images of warm weather, beautiful white sand beaches and lush flowers may come to mind. Hawaii is also known for its delicious food, traditional luau celebrations, hospitable native people and fun outdoor activities – which include surfing, snorkeling, hiking, camping and so much more. Yet Hawaii is so much more than the activities you see on the surface. Its land is filled with historical teachings and legends that are passed down from generation to generation. Hawaii is a place where visitors from all over the world can come together to share the “spirit of aloha”. During your stay, you should definitely discover the rich cultural history of Hawaii. Just remember not to take any of the sand, land and rocks (of any kind) from any of the islands. You wouldn’t want to face the goddess Pele’s Curse, which won’t be lifted until you return the Hawaiian elements. According to locals, every year hundreds of packages are returned, back to Hawaii, full of rocks, sand and other natural materials.
The cuisine in Hawaii is a true testament to the diversity on the island. Most Hawaiian cuisine incorporates flavors from the Polynesians, who first settled on the islands, to after the first contact with Europeans. As pineapple and sugarcane plantations grew, so did the demands for more workers, bringing immigrants from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Portugal; introducing their food styles to the island and culture as well.
Poi is the staple and traditional filler starch dish in Hawaiian cuisine. It’s a thick paste made from taro root, which is similar to yams or potatoes. It’s made by steaming or baking the root, pounding it and adding water to the mixture, until it’s a pudding consistency. Laulau is another popular dish in Hawaii. Taro leaves are wrapped around pork, fish or chicken and cooked in an underground hot rock oven. Kalua pig is a famous pork dish from Hawaii that’s a favorite amongst locals and tourist. Tuna is the most commonly served fish in Hawaii and fruit, like pineapple, is also popular with meals. A fun fact: Spam is also extremely popular in Hawaii. It was first brought over to the country during the war and was fed to soldiers, because it was easy to cook with, it was slow to expire and it could be eaten out of the can. Today, there’s a Spam Festival and there are many Hawaiian dishes that include Spam. Tiki Cocktails, like the Mai-Tai are also popular in Hawaii.
One of the biggest celebrations in Hawaii is the Aloha Festivals. Traditionally, they normally included a parade, pageants, hula shows and more. In 1991 the event expanded and now encompasses about 300 events on all six islands spanning a two month period – from September to the end of October. Each island picks a king, queen, prince, princess and royal attendants – all who are Hawaiian descent. There are concerts, food booths, arts and crafts and more. If you can, it’s worth visiting every island during the festival.
Summer is the most popular time, tourists visit Hawaii and you can book your trip then. The weather is the best during this time. However, summer is also the most crowded since everyone visits then. It is said that September through November can be some of the best times to find bargains; since traveling to Hawaii can be expensive. However, if you’re looking to enjoy Hawaii with a little more peace and quiet, the spring – April and May – may be the best time to travel. Winter is supposedly the worst time to travel. The islands experience heavy rains and earthquakes have been known to happen during this time with more regularity. But, whale watching is only available during the winter months. So if you’re looking to partake in this activity, winter is your season.
NOT TO MISS
There are eight islands that make up the state of Hawaii. Out of the eight, only six are open to visitors; they include Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii – “the Big Island.” The most popular island is Oahu Oahu and the capital, Honolulu Honolulu, is located here. Oahu has one of the most famous, and most visited, beaches in the world – Waikiki, and you definitely will want to make a trip here. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be able to snag a hotel on Waikiki beach. However, these always fill up quickly. While you’re on Oahu Island, stop by the Pearl Harbor Memorial, the Honolulu Museum of Art and Iolani Palace – which gives you a unique glimpse of Hawaii’s history. You’ll also be able to check out some nice shopping and restaurants here.
“The Big Island” (Hawaii Island) Kailua-Kona is also another popular destination. This island is filled with popular hiking spots and beaches. If you want to explore the outdoors, this is the island to do it on. Getting a glimpse of fiery volcanos can be done at Hawai’I Volcano National Park. Akaka Falls State Park is good for hiking and you’ll be able to view beautiful waterfalls. The Hilo Farmer’s Market is a sight to see and you’ll be able to buy fresh fruit and veggies while you’re there. And if you’re looking to lounge on the beach for an entire day, Kaunaoa Beach is the place to be, but come early; there aren’t many parking spaces. For more information about Oahu and “The Big Island,” check out the City Guides!