As the cold weather temps descend on Charlotte, many of us find ourselves dreaming of sunny locales. And, arguably, there is no better warm weather destination to ponder than Hawaii. These gorgeous islands of the 50th state are truly the stuff of vacation dreams. Here’s a few reasons why everyone should experience the Aloha Spirit to combat the winter doldrums:
1. Gorgeous Beaches and Magnificent Weather
While there is a rainier season, temperatures on these lush islands remain steady all year and the cool breezes make for many perfect days. There are over 750 miles of shorelines and more than 400 named beaches… everyone of them PUBLIC! These beaches vary, from sand color to surf conditions to surrounding vegetation – but there is definitely one to match everybody’s perfect idea.
And, when there is beach, there is water! Hawaii has some of the best surfing, boogie boarding and windsurfing in the world. There is great scuba diving and snorkeling, zodiac raft tours, sunset dinner cruises, deep sea fishing, whale watching tours… definitely no shortage of wet activities!
2. The Geography
Every Hawaiian island is unique. While Kauai is lush and green, sporting sea cliffs and canyons, the Big Island is starker, with the vast volcanic landscapes and amazing waterfalls. Of course, Oahu has Diamond Head and the Waikiki beaches and visitors to Maui can see the Iao Valley and the famous Hana Coast.
Each island was formed by a single hotspot on the ocean floor and volcanoes are part of their allure and beauty. Helicopter rides into the crater of Mt. Waialeale are fascinating and many visitors hike to the top of Diamond Head. On Maui, sunrise or sunset on Haleakala is another must-do experience.
This Hawaii naval base was attacked on 12/7/1941 and became the reason the U.S. entered World War II. Now, 77 years later, the site is both a history lesson and a memorial to honor those that perished in the attack.
4. The People, The Food, The Culture and The Luaus!
No list of reasons to visit Hawaii would be complete without mentioning the ubiquitous “aloha spirit” expressed by the people. Tourism is so important to these islands, everyone recognizes the need to radiate kindness, patience and good feelings to everyone they meet.
The culture reflects a true melting pot of people coming to the islands from all around the word. Originally, many were brought to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations that were once prevalent. Now, almost 25% of the island residents claim ancestry of two or more races and the blending of the cultures is evident everywhere.
Nowhere is the blending of Hawaii’s diverse ethnicities more evident than in the food. Hawaii Regional Cuisine is a culinary movement inventing ways to connect all these cultures through food. Of course, sometimes the best and most affordable restaurants are the “hole-in-the-wall” variety where locals meet to eat.
And – surely no visit to Hawaii would be complete without attending a traditional Luau. The opportunities are vast and on almost all the islands. The music, dance, costumes and food are a highlight of any tourist’s vacation.