Welcome to the Aloha State
The Hawaiian Islands were first settled by the Polynesians sometime before 500 AD and are actually a series of 132 islands atoll. Today, there are six primary islands where visitors go to see the beauty of Hawaii and experience her culture. The islands were formed by volcanoes from the sea floor and these volcanoes and surrounding waters have created the diverse topography of Hawaii.
Hawaii became a state in 1959 and rests 2,300 miles from the mainland. Their time zone is five hours behind Eastern Standard Time and they do not observe Daylight Savings Time. The climate on islands vary….east and north are more tropical, west and south are more dry, and “upcountry” elevations are cooler and often misty. Whale watching season is during the winter and they are most obvious in February. So why do East Coast travelers spend over ten hours in an airplane to visit these islands? Well, that answer is in the magic of the Hawaiian Islands themselves and why visitors keep coming back.
The most populated of the islands is Oahu and home to the city of Honolulu and Waikiki beach. This island offers the opportunity to see Pearl Harbor and feel a slice of history. You can experience Diamond Head and the huge waves on the North Shore. Oahu is filled with mountain ranges, green valleys and beautiful beaches and accommodations and restaurants are abundant especially in the Waikiki beach area. First time visitors usually make Oahu one of their stops.
One of the most visited islands and for good reason is Maui. It is the second largest island and is known as the Valley Isle. Maui is home to the most beautiful beaches, particularly Kaanapali Beach and most world renown golf courses such as the Plantation course at Kapalua and any of the Wailea courses. Many visitors take the “Road to Hana” or bike down Mt Haleakala to see all the diversity of this island. An afternoon stroll down the streets of Lahaina and pictures under the huge Banyan tree are a must when in Maui. The island offers accommodations from the sophisticated luxury hotels to the quaint studio condominiums located everywhere on Maui.
Very close to Maui are two of the smaller islands best known for their peaceful nature and tranquility. They are the islands of Molokai and Lanai, each possessing their own unique qualities. Molokai is for the outdoor enthusiasts and those who appreciate genuine Hawaiian hospitality. Look to find simple places to stay while here. This island is probably the least frequented by the tourist. Lanai offers two upscale resorts and miles of red dirt roads and pineapples! This truly is an island to get away from it all.
The island of Kauai is shaped nearly like a circle, yet the road around its coast is just a semi circle stopping on either side of the Na Pali Coast also known as The Cliffs. This northwestern shore boasts sea cliffs thousands of feet high and the center of the island is occupied by wet and jagged mountains with the majestic Mount Waialeale at its pinnacle. Renting a car is a must on this island to see its beauty and gain a first look at Waimea Canyon. Outdoor activities abound on Kauai especially kayaking, hiking, birding, and the normal beach activities.
Waterfalls on Kauai
The last main island is the Big Island, Hawaii which is known as the land with two faces, snow capped Mauna Kae and the steaming Mauna Loa. Upscale resorts are found on the western Kohala-Kailua-Kona Coast where the sun always shines. Inland are stretches of coffee farms whereas the east coast, home to Hilo, has flower farms, fishing fleets, waterfalls, and rainbows thanks to the misty rainy conditions. To the south, visitors explore Volcanoes National Park. This island is larger than all the other islands combined so give yourself some time to explore its unique qualities.
Visitors have the option to see and explore Hawaii by island hopping either by air or sea thanks to Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) and their innovative itineraries and free style cruising. Back in 2005, NCL introduced the concept of sailing the Hawaiian Islands without stopping at a foreign port. This is accomplished with the US flagged ship, the Pride of America. The ship sails seven night itineraries roundtrip from Honolulu visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Other cruise lines offer longer sailings to Hawaii from Canada, Mexico, the U.S. West Coast, or the South Pacific. You may check our website for more details or call us for the latest brochures. Unpack just once and see all of Hawaii.
NCL Pride of America
Many folks still plan their Hawaiian Adventure by selecting the island(s) they wish to visit, where they wish to stay, their mode of transportation on the island, and what they wish to do once there. These custom made vacations can be packaged together for your trouble free vacation. Just tell us what you would like and we will help you get it.
If you would like to learn more information about traveling to the beautiful state of Hawaii, contact Bay Winds Travel Agency at any time.
Bay Winds Travel Agency, Inc
with offices located in Maryland
410-795-7550 or 410-871-0225