America’s tropical paradise
Hawaii is a group of islands, each has something unique to offer a visitor. From the surfing on Oahu to the wonders of Maui, to the beauty of Honolulu, to the hidden surprises on Lanai, Hawaii is the excellent tropical escape for those looking to stay within America. There are beautiful beaches, amazing jungles, towering waterfalls, excellent diving, and world-class waves. Hawaii is a unique destination for newlyweds, surfers, and families. While not thought of as a budget destination, there are plenty of low-budget options for people to choose from once you leave the busy hotels on Waikiki beach!
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Around O'ahu (5days)
Top locations in Hawaii
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Honolulu, away from the crowded Waikiki, you get to shake hands with the real people of Hawaii. A boisterous Polynesian capital, Honolulu gives an island-style mixed plate of experiences. Eat your way through the pan-Asian streets of Chinatown, where 19th-century whalers once brawled, and immigrant merchants thrived. Gaze out to sea atop the landmark Aloha Tower, then sashay past Victorian-era brick buildings, including the USA's only royal palace. Browse at the world's largest open-air shopping center at Ala Moana, then poke your nose into the city's impressive art museums.
Most Hawaiian Islands have a large town like Kahului, full of warehouses, strip malls, shopping malls, and that island-wide magnet, the big-box store. Like its counterparts, Kahului is also home to Maui's main harbor and airport, making it, in the eyes of many, only a transit stop. But at the same time, you'll find a vast swath of local life here if you stay a little longer. You can meet the locals at the Saturday swap meet, listen to a concert on the grass at the cultural center and join the surfers at Kanaha Beach.
The Kona coast extends north and south of Kailua 'town.' To the north, you'll find the edges of the great Hawaiian lava deserts, as well as hidden coves, Hawaiian ruins and resort communities. The South Kona Coast is a fascinating microcosm of Big Island ecosystems and cultural groups. Coffee farms tended by mainland transplants, and generations-deep Japanese families stud the jungle hills, which smooth down to a coast studded with excellent snorkeling opportunities. Connecting the South Kona Coast to Kailua is Keauhou, a slice of mainland condo-country carved out of the Big Island.
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