Hawaiian IslandsTravelers from around the world delight at the natural, awe-inspiring beauty that radiates from the Hawaiian Islands! The Hawaiian Islands actually make up 137 islands and atolls. However, there are eight main islands: Hawaii, Maui, Kahoolawe (largely uninhabited), Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and Nihau. The smaller islands, reefs and atolls are commonly referred to as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Hawaiian Leeward Islands. Here’s some information on some of the more popular vacation destinations for holiday travelers.
Highlights of the Hawaiian Islands
Often referred to as the big island, Hawaii is a favorite holiday destination for many vacationers and has many places of interest. The most favorite attractions of tourists are the Tropical Botanical Garden, Volcanoes National Park and Akaka Falls, the largest waterfall on the island. Because of the island being the most volcanically active, many black sand beaches stretch along its shores. The black sand is formed by the cooling of the volcanic lava as it comes in contact with the ocean. The lava quickly turns into rock, which then explodes into tiny pieces that are washed up onto shore, mixing with the sand and eventually turning it black.
Maui is another island that is popular with tourists and is the second largest. Maui was formed by two large volcanoes that created an isthmus between them. This area is quite fertile and the island is often referred to as the “valley isle.” In 2004, Maui had 2,207,826 visitors and in 2005, the total was 2,263,676. Maui’s geography is responsible for creating many different conditions from one location to another. Some of the attractions on Maui include watching the sunrise from the top of the 10,000 ft Haleakala Crater, and taking a Hawaii tour out on the ocean to spot humpback whales.
Oahu is the third largest of the islands and is the most populated of the Hawaiian Islands. While Americans and Canadians prefer the islands of Hawaii and Maui, many Japanese tourists choose to visit Oahu. There are many historical places to visit on the island of Oahu such as Iolani Palace. It was the home of the Hawaiian Royal Family, and is a fine example of Hawaiian Renaissance architecture. Another favorite of tourists visiting the island is the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. The Memorial was built over the sunken hull of the battleship U.S.S. Arizona.
Lanai is the sixth largest of the islands and has just recently become a tourist destination for vacationers visiting Hawaii. Lanai is known as the pineapple island because of the once-booming pineapple industry there. But pineapple production has been phased out and the island is now focusing on bringing in more tourists. There are only two resort hotels on the island, the Four Seasons Manele Bay and the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele. This island is perfect for newlyweds who want to spend their Hawaii honeymoons in seclusion and splendid beauty!
The Hawaiian Islands have something to offer everyone. With such natural beauty and warm weather, the Islands will never go out of style. Check out each island and see if it is a perfect match for what you want to achieve with your Hawaiian retreat.