Hawaii itself – made up of six major islands – is one of the top tourist attractions on the planet, mostly because of its outstanding natural beauty and incredibly welcoming atmosphere. Frequently featured in the movies and on TV, Hawaii’s popularity continues to grow.
Anyone who prides themselves on being a lover of nature should put a visit to the Aloha State on their bucket lists, as the biological diversity is incredibly wide. But enough of that. You’re here for the attractions themselves; we can tell. So here’s a quick rundown of Hawaii’s top tourist draws!
1 – Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Waimea Canyon is commonly referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, and once you’ve seen it with your own two eyes you’ll know why. About a mile wide and ten miles long, the Canyon reaches down almost 4000 feet into the Earth. Resembling a giant gash in the ground, Waimea Canyon makes for a truly impressive sight.
Come as the sun sets to see how the changing light affects the colours you can see – you won’t forget it.
2 –Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Hanauma Bay is home to a famous nature reserve, and it is now at its very best after many years of intensive restoration. With opportunities for both swimming and snorkelling in the gorgeous blue waters, Hanauma Bay attracts many tourists, especially in the summer months.
The conservation programme does some important work for the local environment, and can teach you about the nature in the surrounding areas. The bay itself curves inward upon itself, making for a great photograph from higher grounds.
3 –Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo, Hilo
A truly unique attraction, this zoo is hidden in twelve acres of genuine rainforest land, offering you an experience you won’t find anywhere else. With the native to Hawaii Nene goose on offer, you’ll be sure to see something you’ve never seen before.
Oh, that’s not enough for you? Well then, what about pygmy hippos, white Sumatran tigers, giant tortoises, vultures and water buffalo? All of those – as well as a huge butterfly enclosure – are available for your pleasure at Pana’ewa.
4 – USS Arizona Memorial, Oahu
Back during the Second World War, the Japanese launched an air attack against Pearl Harbor. This American naval base, the headquarters of the US Pacific Fleet, is west of Honolulu, on Oahu.
The attack damaged all of the 8 US Navy battleships which were stationed there; four of these sank. The worst casualty was the USS Arizona – this “super dreadnought” exploded before sinking, taking the lives of 1177 crewmen and officers.
The wreck still lies at the bottom of the harbour, with this memorial being made of the mid-section, which was raised for this purpose. Get a guided tour for your holiday history lesson: there is a documentary, a boat trip and an exploration.
5 – Pu?uhonua o H?naunau, Big Island
The Big Island (or Hawai’i) is home to this fantastic National Historical Park, covering nearly 200 acres of beautiful land. It used to be a sacred place of refuge, where lawbreakers and defeated soldiers would retreat to.
Nowadays you can swim with the green sea turtles and see the beauty of the area on a guided tour, as well as play Kônane, an ancient Hawaiian board game.
Tom Rokins is a travel-obsessed blogger working in the UK. If you fancy booking your flights to Hawaii right now, why don’t you pay a visit to www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-hawaii?