A lot of people are already convinced that Hawaii is a vacation paradise. Do you want to get away from it all and relax, or are you looking for action and adventure? Do you have plans to elope, or are you planning your honeymoon? Looking for family fun with the kids? Do you like warm places, especially during a cold winter? Hawaii's a great choice!
Mark Twain described the Hawaiian Islands as “the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.” The natural beauty of the islands is indeed stunning, with lush green valleys, high mountains and volcanoes, and an abundance of sunny beaches. The sunsets (and sunrises!) can be gorgeous, and the possibilities for tranquility and relaxation are numerous. For those who are adventure-minded, there is plenty to do, either at sea or on land. The ocean offers splendid swimming in warm waters. Snorkelers and scuba divers will be enchanted by the colorful fish and reefs. On land, there's world-class golfing, lots of places to hike, and many interesting historical sites. The Hawaiian people are friendly and welcoming, and you'll find loads of great food, shopping, and nice accommodations.
To help you plan your vacation, there are many Hawaii guide-books available, each with its own style. Some are full of lovely pictures with little text, while others contain detailed descriptions of the writer's personal restaurant and hotel experiences. The goal of this book is simply to provide you with some good, concise information that you'll find useful in planning your visit to these beautiful islands. The information you find here will make you aware of the many choices available that will make your visit a great one. It's meant to give you a solid start in exploring Hawaii's many appealing vacation options.
Our exploration of Hawaii begins with some general information about the islands and how to initiate a visit. You'll also find a brief summary of their natural history, including the story of how they came to be inhabited by humans and an idea of the native inhabitants' culture. Next, you'll find information about the places, activities, and options on the four main islands: Oahu (O'ahu), Maui, Hawaii (Hawai'i, the “Big Island”), and Kauai (Kaua'i). There are also separate chapters describing the smaller islands of Lanai (Lana'i) and Molokai (Moloka'i) and information about some of the other Hawaiian islands that are restricted or difficult to visit. In the final chapter, you'll find some tips on how to make your trip a bit safer in the sun, in the water, and on trails. The appendices at the end of the book list some useful phone numbers and Web sites, annual events, and good books about Hawaii.
If you've never been to Hawaii before, you'll likely find that it really is relatively easy to plan your trip. If you are returning to the islands, this book might very well give you more interesting information and introduce you to some new places and experiences. Regardless of whether you are a first-timer or a regular visitor, the chances are excellent that you'll have a delightful visit and, like many folks, you might find yourself wanting to return again and again and again. Aloha!
A Special Note: Virtually everywhere you go in Hawaii, you will see free glossy visitor magazines. Make sure you pick up a copy of This Week Magazines. Founded in 1966, it's the largest weekly magazine in Hawaii. It offers discounts on family dining, attractions, shopping, and much more. There are regular editions for each of the main islands: Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai.