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The only island state in the United States, each one of the major six Hawaiian islands has its own distinctive character. From the spectacular sun-drenched beaches and world-renowned surf enjoyed on O‘ahu to Maui’s rugged coastlines  Hawai‘i Island’s active volcano, peaceful Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, and Kaua‘i’s awe-inspiring lush beauty, this is a land of breathtaking extremes. The following pages are designed to help visitors pinpoint the highlights of each unique and fascinating island


Honolulu is the state capital as well as Hawai‘i’s largest city. This sprawling urban metropolis includes Waikīkī , the center of the tourist industry, with thousands of high-rise hotels, restaurants, boutique stores, and nightclubs. The world famous golden sand and clear blue ocean in Waikīkī lure millions of visitors each year. Be sure to visit the statue on Kūhiō Beach  of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing. Honolulu’s Capitol District is a treasure of architecture, history, and culture. Highlights include the State Capitol , Kawaiha’o Church , and, most glorious of all, ‘Iolani Palace . The state’s most important art collection is housed at the Honolulu Academy of Arts , and the nearby Bishop Museum  offers a fascinating insight into Hawaiian culture. Chinatown  is well worth exploring for the food markets, ethnic restaurants, lei sellers, antique shops, and art galleries. The relics and memorials of the infamous World War II site Pearl Harbor  draw 1.5 million visitors each year and should not be missed.


Visitors who remain in Waikīkī miss much of O‘ahu’s scenic and cultural beauty as well as its history. Snorkeling in shallow water with Hawai‘i’s myriad variety of reef fish is the major attraction at popular Hanauma Bay . The Polynesian Cultural Center  is Hawai‘i’s top visitor attraction. Hale‘iwa  is the quaint town at the core of the surfing community. There are surf shops galore, boutiques, and a surfing museum. The town is also home to Matsumoto’s – Hawai‘i’s most famous shave ice spot. The North Shore is the site of some of the most spectacular surf in the world and each winter many world-class surf meets are held here. North Shore beaches are for extremely experienced and skilled surfers only


The idyllic islands of Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i provide a serene and remote retreat. Kaunakakai , Moloka‘i’s main town, is a charming location for a stroll. The untouched east side of the island is where visitors can experience Hawai‘i’s striking natural beauty. Sheltered Hālawa Valley and Kalaupapa National Historical Park  boast spectacular and haunting landscapes

Once known as The Pineapple Isle, Lāna‘i  offers visitors a host of wonders. The Garden of the Gods  is a lunar-like landscape filled with rocks of every shape and size, formed by wind erosion over many millennia.


The second largest island in the chain, Maui is the destination of choice for more than two million visitors each year. Lahaina , once the capital of the Hawaiian Islands, is packed with shops, galleries, restaurants, and tourists.

The Central Valley town of Wailuku merits a visit. See Maui’s largest collection of Hawaiian artifacts at Bailey House Museum and continue on to picturesque Kepaniwai Gardens. Nearby ‘Īao Valley  has excellent hiking trails. To escape the crowds, Upcountry Maui  offers incredible vistas, rolling pastureland, artistic Makawao , and Maui’s only winery, Tedeschi Winery . Head to the magnificent and diverse slopes of Haleakalā National Park for a spectacular sunrise. The scenery along The Road to Hāna  is stunning, with the ocean crashing against the cliff faces of the rugged coast.


Experience the extraordinary thrill of seeing a continuously erupting volcano in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park . Extensive hiking trails give visitors a close-up view of the lava flows. Sun worshippers should head to Makalawena, a stunning beach on the Kona Coast near Kekaha Kai State Park , Hāpuna Bay  on the Kohala Coast, or to the popular coconut-fringed white sand beach of ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay, Waikoloa Coast . Visit Waimea to glimpse the tradition of paniolo (cowboy) culture. Kona district farms, famous for Kona Coffee also merit exploration

Nearby Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park  is one of the most sacred places in the Hawaiian island chain.


Kaua‘i’s lush and tropical landscape is breathtaking. Visit the amazing North Shore, the nature preserve near Kīlauea Point 
, atmospheric Princeville  and Hanalei , and the Nā Pali Coast with Kalalau Trail winding through Kalalau Valley . Waimea Canyon and Kōke‘e State Park  offers spectacular views.


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