Exploring the Best of Hawaii Holidays
Hawaii, the isolated and paradisaical archipelago in the Central Pacific, tops many travellers’ bucket list. Home to dramatic landscapes, comprising white sandy beaches, waterfalls and canyons, you can not only spend their days hiking, lounging and swimming, but experience the aloha spirit with a number of local activities and traditions on your Hawaii holidays.
Each island offers something different, from beachside whale watching for families looking for an adventure holiday to hula shows for culture lovers looking to enjoy an authentic Hawaiian experience.
Tour the ‘First Lady of Waikīkī’
Travellers heading to the cosmopolitan hub of Honolulu, O‘ahu can enjoy a number of activities, besides enjoying the panoramic scenery, secluded beaches and hiking trails the island has to offer. Those looking to delve into the history and heritage of Waikīkī, the vibrant beachfront neighbourhood, can take part in a free historic tour of The Moana Surfrider every Monday and Wednesday at 11am. Opening its doors as the first hotel in Waikīkī in 1901, the hotel is affectionately known as ‘The First Lady of Waikīkī’. The hotel has been used throughout the years for a number of purposes, including a rest and recreation area for soldiers and sailors during the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the Second World War.
Hawaii boasts one of the largest seasonal populations of North Pacific humpbacks in the world. From November to May, travellers can whale watch from boat cruises or along the shore as thousands of humpbacks fill the tropical waters surrounding the Hawaiian coastline as they commence their annual winter migration from the Gulf of Alaska to the North Pacific Ocean. Some of the best whale watching spots on land include Kā‘anapali Beach, West Maui, Makapu‘u Lighthouse Trail, O‘ahu, Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Island of Hawaii and Kīlauea Lighthouse, Kaua‘i.
Experience traditional music and enjoy a hula show on your Hawaii holidays
Visitors looking to embrace the destination’s local cultures and experience authentic Hawaiian music and hula shows can head to Kūhiō Beach Hula mound on Kalākaua Ave, O‘ahu every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening at sunset for a free performance. Highlights include torch lighting, traditional blowing of the conch shell, Hawaiian music and dancing.
Tour a ‘ukulele factory or head to a ukulele festival
The ukulele is the most celebrated musical instrument in the Hawaiian Islands – with dedicated festivals scheduled for locals and travellers alike to enjoy. Maui Ukulele Festival takes place on 30 September at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, with a free workshop taking place the day before. Travellers are invited to the event to listen to acclaimed ukulele musicians fill the air with island music. For travellers visiting O‘ahu, open tours of the Kamaka factory are offered every Tuesday – Friday at 10:30am and guests can admire the models crafted from Hawaiian koa wood, with a lacquer finish.
Sample local macadamia nuts
Hawaii produces 90% of the world’s macadamia nuts. Head to Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, in Kawaihae, Island of Hawaii for free tours and tastings at the new factory store. Similarly, on Moloka‘i you can visit Purdy’s Macadamia Nut Farm, where Tuddie and Kammy Purdy have been welcoming visitors to their five acre natural macadamia nut farm for years. The Purdy’s offer tours of their farm Monday – Friday from 9.30am to 2pm.
Time in Hawaii
The time in Hawaii is GMT / UTC -10. There is no daylight saving.
Flights to Hawaii
Virgin Atlantic, BA and American Airlines have flights from London Heathrow to Honolulu International Airport, via Los Angeles. Air Canada flies via Vancouver
Hawaii has two seasons; the dry season from April to October and the wet from November to March. April to May and October are good times to visit the islands, December to January is also good, but this is also peak holiday season so hotels fill up.
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For further information about Hawaii holidays
Mark Bibby Jackson
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